Mars Direct is Dead?

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MeteorWayne

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NoDozRequiem":1ri1o0jg said:
MeteorWayne":1ri1o0jg said:
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. In my experience, 75% of the public isn't even smart enough to understand what space exploration is, and 98% wouldn't give up a single cent to support it.

What kind of polling system do you use? ;)
Well, it's talking to people, and interactions with the public at the NJAA observatory public nights. I didn't say it was a proper poll, it's just my impression from interacting with the humans around me. :)
 
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matthewota

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Instead of you folks arguing about how to get to Mars, you need to unite to fight attitudes like this

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/environment/orl-mike-thomas-nasa-080609,0,458926.column

There is a possibility that the United States manned space program may be ended permanently. NASA is really in trouble. Today I saw a Bolden quote that he has been told absolutely nothing by the Augustine Commission as of today, and he will have to wait until they report to the President.

It is up to us to let the President know we need to maintain our leadership in Human Spaceflight. We need to expand human presence out into the solar system in order to ensure the survival of our species. We have abused the Earth so much that it may not be able to be saved.....
 
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NoDozRequiem

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matthewota":11cc98yd said:
Instead of you folks arguing about how to get to Mars, you need to unite to fight attitudes like this

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/environment/orl-mike-thomas-nasa-080609,0,458926.column

There is a possibility that the United States manned space program may be ended permanently. NASA is really in trouble. Today I saw a Bolden quote that he has been told absolutely nothing by the Augustine Commission as of today, and he will have to wait until they report to the President.

It is up to us to let the President know we need to maintain our leadership in Human Spaceflight. We need to expand human presence out into the solar system in order to ensure the survival of our species. We have abused the Earth so much that it may not be able to be saved.....
With statements like:

"The reason we have to keep redeciding whether to go back to the moon is the same reason we stopped going in the 1970s. There is no reason to go there."

and

"A journey to Mars, which would follow the moon, is no different. Absent a Soviet Union to motivate us, there is no reason to go."

I think Mike Thomas' ignorance on the subjects are more than evident.
 
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JonClarke

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matthewota":2vl5c05r said:
Instead of you folks arguing about how to get to Mars, you need to unite to fight attitudes like this

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/environment/orl-mike-thomas-nasa-080609,0,458926.column
Interesting that 69% of the people responding to the poll were in favour of continued manned space activities in one form or the other. Only 12% wanted to cut it back.

Also interesting that Thomas thinks the only worthwhile role for space is Earth observation. Of course he fails to realise that Earth observation was cutting edge space exploration 50 years ago and a technology which many saw little value in.

Jon
 
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wubblie

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I don't give that poll any credence at all. The question is leading. Most American's do not know that the space program accounts for %1 percent of the budget- most are ignorant and believe that it is like %10 or more. So when you phrase the question that way, of course you will get a response favorable to space exploration. If they had the question without the statistics, the answer would have been very different. Even our politicians do not seem to know how small NASA's budget is- as when Obama said he would cut funding for NASA in order to pay for an improvement in k-12 education (good luck with that). If even our presidential candidates seem to believe the fantasy reasoning "If we cut NASA's funding, we could use *all that money* to fix (insert massive social program here)" then certainly the general public is even more ignorant, and probably reasons the same way. That's why I believe that funding for NASA should be a line item on our tax returns. So that a short paragraph just like the one in that survey can be presented, and the taxpayers can decide, based on an *informed* opinion, what NASA's level of support should be. I think that NASA would see a jump in funding after that. The problem is that our "political class" are mostly BA students who went to law school. They have no interest in math/science/technology, and cannot verbalize anything accurate or insightful about space. Journalists are even worse. Since that is where voters get most of their information, maybe it is surprising that we have a space program at all. (Of course, our space program was really initiated after Sputnik- during the very short window of time when experts on space and technology were put on primetime tv to talk to the public directly about the space program).
 
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JonClarke

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wubblie":exojnc84 said:
I don't give that poll any credence at all. The question is leading. Most American's do not know that the space program accounts for %1 percent of the budget- most are ignorant and believe that it is like %10 or more. So when you phrase the question that way, of course you will get a response favorable to space exploration. If they had the question without the statistics, the answer would have been very different. Even our politicians do not seem to know how small NASA's budget is- as when Obama said he would cut funding for NASA in order to pay for an improvement in k-12 education (good luck with that). If even our presidential candidates seem to believe the fantasy reasoning "If we cut NASA's funding, we could use *all that money* to fix (insert massive social program here)" then certainly the general public is even more ignorant, and probably reasons the same way. That's why I believe that funding for NASA should be a line item on our tax returns. So that a short paragraph just like the one in that survey can be presented, and the taxpayers can decide, based on an *informed* opinion, what NASA's level of support should be. I think that NASA would see a jump in funding after that. The problem is that our "political class" are mostly BA students who went to law school. They have no interest in math/science/technology, and cannot verbalize anything accurate or insightful about space. Journalists are even worse. Since that is where voters get most of their information, maybe it is surprising that we have a space program at all. (Of course, our space program was really initiated after Sputnik- during the very short window of time when experts on space and technology were put on primetime tv to talk to the public directly about the space program).
The poll has a specific disclaimer against being scientific and I never said it was. But the results are consistent with other polls which indicate broad-based if somewhat shallow support for human spaceflight.

You don't need strong, well informed publiuc support for their to be a manned space flight program. you just need general; support and a lack of opposition. How many people in the US are aware of the multi-billion dollar polar and ocean research programs? How many care?

Jon
 
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radarredux

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matthewota":dxrr7r9t said:
It is up to us to let the President know we need to maintain our leadership in Human Spaceflight.
I think it is going to be somewhat difficult to argue "our leadership in Human Spaceflight" when in about 18 months NASA will lose its ability to launch humans into space, and they won't have a viable alternative for 5-10 years.

matthewota":dxrr7r9t said:
We need to expand human presence out into the solar system in order to ensure the survival of our species. We have abused the Earth so much that it may not be able to be saved.....
I think rehabilitating Earth will be far easier than trying to transform any other body in our solar system. Besides, even if we could transform another planet (like Mars), transferring even a small percentage of the Earth's population is going to be virtually impossible.

I believe we should become a spacefaring civilization, but I don't think we can or should justify achieving that goal because we screwed up Earth.
 
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