POLL: Do You Think The ISS is Worth $100 Billion?

POLL: Do You Think The ISS is Worth $100 Billion?

  • Yes! It's worth every penny.

    Votes: 28 49.1%
  • I love human spaceflight, but that's a lot of cash.

    Votes: 19 33.3%
  • Absolutely not. It's waste of money flying in circles.

    Votes: 10 17.5%

  • Total voters
    57
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D

doublehelix

Guest
It's been 10 years since astronauts began flying to the International Space Station on six-month missions, and the orbiting laboratory has been inhabited by one crew or another ever since.

Today the station is fully staffed by a crew of six and slated to continue operating through 2020. But is it worth the long-touted $100 billion price tag? Weigh in with your vote now!

More Resources:
Gallery: Building the International Space Station
Graphic: The International Space Station Inside and Out
International Space Station: By The Numbers
SPACE.com Video Show - Inside the International Space Station
 
R

Ruri

Guest
For something the government has done recently it is a good deal.
Of course that 100Billion is mostly a media figure the actuall cost of the station is probably closer to 30Billion.
The high ball figure includes logistics and the cost of the shuttle program which also was doing other missions.
 
R

rcsplinters

Guest
This is a tough question. Like a true engineer and scientist, I'll answer with another question.

Do we, as a nation and species, want to do research in the microgravity environment for medical, material, life science and other purposes, not to mention learn how to live and function for extended periods in microgravity?

If no, then we just burned that investment.

If yes, we believe that these things are critical to furthering our knowledge (and I believe that has unlimited value), then yes, it was worth it.
 
D

docm

Guest
But you still have to include the cost of those missions that did service the construction of ISS. Not doing so would be like not including the cost of rail & building the factory in the price of a car.

I feel it has taken so long to build, and had so many cost overruns, that it has oulived its cost/benefit ratio, and in many ways its own spam-in-a-tin-can technology. One excuse after another has been given for not splashing it in 2015/16, and they all amount to an ongoing jobs program.

What's needed is a truely international station and run using a commercial model; lease experimental space to all comers for basic research. Bring in Mr. Bigs BA-2100 ASAP.
 
S

Skyskimmer

Guest
docm":3bqfa9eb said:
But you still have to include the cost of those missions that did service the construction of ISS. Not doing so would be like not including the cost of rail & building the factory in the price of a car.

I feel it has taken so long to build, and had so many cost overruns, that it has oulived its cost/benefit ratio, and in many ways its own spam-in-a-tin-can technology. One excuse after another has been given for not splashing it in 2015/16, and they all amount to an ongoing jobs program.

What's needed is a truely international station and run using a commercial model; lease experimental space to all comers for basic research. Bring in Mr. Bigs BA-2100 ASAP.
Agreed commercial is the way to go. I'd like to see atleast 5 billion a year from nasa go straight to private industry, it'll help keep the industry afloat.

Of course I think ditching the station is a huge waste, remove the modules that's are worthless there, keep but the sollar arrays and other componets are still worth a atleast a billion, or so i'd hope :(

Just think where 5 billion could go to private enterprise. If just half the money went to private launches 50 mil each, your talking about 1 launch per week, that kind of money going to rocketry, would I think get the cost per kilo down dramatically.
 
B

brokndodge

Guest
i voted worth every penny even tho the truth is a fourth answer: it's worth it, but, i wish nasa had been just a tad bit more responsible with the money.

as an aside, why would we let $100 billion burn up in the atmosphere? could the thing not be boosted to L1 as a parking spot till someone figures out how to get some use out of it?
 
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E

elroy_jetson

Guest
As a human presence in space, right now, it's all we've got. Until we achieve a higher landmark, the ISS must remain funded and maintained, for the good of all humanity.
 
L

Levend

Guest
This is an easy one, how much do you value knowledge? Without knowledge we would be still in a cave eating raw meat and berries.
 
L

LS650

Guest
I am all for humans in space... but for $100,000,000,000 we should have gotten a permanent moon base or a Mars colony for our money's worth!
 
V

Valcan

Guest
I picked the second option.

Yes its worth alot of money BUT the Space station was put together wrong. To many varying designs and wrong way to build it as well as the wrong orbit.

To much was sacreficed for political gain and to save a few bucks....though it didnt save it at all.
 
O

OhMyScience

Guest
Have we learned anything more from the ISS on living in long-term microgravity, than what has been learned from Mir (which had stays much longer than the 6 months of the ISS)?
 
D

drstein

Guest
I don't think a penny has been spent, because the money that has been spent, hopefully will have gotten in to pockets that wants to spend the money again, and back into the system. It's not like the money disappears when you spend it, it actually boosts the economy.

The worst thing is when people hold on to there money, and dont spend it.

Don't worry about the costs, it will soon be in your pockets again!

And try to see the benefits of it, not the bill.
 
M

Max56

Guest
I think if you handed NASA a technology that could get us to mars and back in less than a month and came out publicly with it, already developed, they would send someone to shoot you in the head.
 
S

Skyskimmer

Guest
Levend":3otbt0f3 said:
This is an easy one, how much do you value knowledge? Without knowledge we would be still in a cave eating raw meat and berries.
That's a funny what to put it but do you have any regard forefficency.

For a 100 billion we could of sent something like 100-200 probes, to every planet moon, rock and dwarf planet in the system.
 
X

xtramatrix

Guest
Absolutely! It is unfortunate that many believe the ISS to be a waste of money and resources. The problem is the short sightedness and ignorance of the majority of humankind. Unless mankind colonizes space the human race is eventually doomed. The stray asteroid, supervolcano or mankind's inability to get along with each other will put an end to our reign on this planet. Not to mention the limited resources being spread amongst an ever increasing human population.
 
C

coby21

Guest
I believe the ISS was worth the effert. Some commented "it wasn't put together correctly" but this is how we learn. It also created thousands of jobs arround the world and brought Nations together, that we may learn diffrent ways of doing and working in space....
Well worth it.....
 
R

RandyL

Guest
brokndodge":28sifyg3 said:
i voted worth every penny even tho the truth is a fourth answer: it's worth it, but, i wish nasa had been just a tad bit more responsible with the money.

as an aside, why would we let $100 billion burn up in the atmosphere? could the thing not be boosted to L1 as a parking spot till someone figures out how to get some use out of it?

I agree with the L1 option - I thought they should have done that with Mir - even more so with a $100 billion dollar piece of equipment - or even boost it into orbit around the moon... make the modules that are rockets in order to get it there. I don't agree with the overall cost though - I would have rather seen that amount of money spent on getting man to Mars or a permanent base on the moon - both of these could have been done for well under $100 billion. While I would like to see the U.S. be the 1st to set foot on Mars - at this point I would be happy to see anyone get there.
 
W

Windbourne

Guest
From the ISS, sprang transhab, which is about to lead to multiple private space stations by Bigelow and hopefully, ILC Dover. It has enabled us to develop a near recycling lift support system, though the toilets leave a lot to be desired. In addition, private space needs to return to the skylab showers. Now that ISS has a recycling water system, there is no reason why these astronauts can not have a shower every couple of days.

ISS has also lead to multiple vaccines which would require longer incubations than what the shuttle provided. Simply put, the ISS is about to launch the space era.
 
W

Windbourne

Guest
docm":2e5rhojz said:
....
What's needed is a truely international station and run using a commercial model; lease experimental space to all comers for basic research. Bring in Mr. Bigs BA-2100 ASAP.
First off, even Bigelow has said that he does see the BA-2100 up there right away. Every space station is designed with multiple systems. The idea being is that if you have a failure, you are not dead. The BA-2100 is several times the size of the ISS, so, it really does not make sense.
OTH, in the new few years, we are looking at the fact that bigs will have at least one space station up there and headed towards multiples. And each station will have multiple units (again for safety).

The point is, that ISS is not outmoded. Yet. In fact, it may never be. It will have more energy than any other system going for some time. Down the road, it may not be an R&D system, but a garage/factory from which future space systems are assembled prior to use.
 
W

Windbourne

Guest
brokndodge":12h51xq5 said:
i voted worth every penny even tho the truth is a fourth answer: it's worth it, but, i wish nasa had been just a tad bit more responsible with the money.

as an aside, why would we let $100 billion burn up in the atmosphere? could the thing not be boosted to L1 as a parking spot till someone figures out how to get some use out of it?
Please give examples of how you think that NASA was irresponsible with the money?
 
W

Windbourne

Guest
OhMyScience":1je0y15w said:
Have we learned anything more from the ISS on living in long-term microgravity, than what has been learned from Mir (which had stays much longer than the 6 months of the ISS)?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mir_Expeditions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_In ... xpeditions

Most of mir's were 6 months, though a few ppl did go for longer.
Our astronauts come back in better shape than what they did from MIR, so I am guessing that we have learned some things.

OTH, MIR taught some interesting lessons to both Russia and America. America took serious fires, but the soviets did not until MIR fire.
Likewise, Fungus on MIR became a REAL issues. VERY unhealthy.
Well, ISS does not have that issue.
 
R

Redbaron719

Guest
I doubt it on the grounds that the poobahs in government are only going to allocate a certain paltry amount of funds for space exploration over and above other expenses plus what they waste, steal or hand to their backers under the table . The only time big money was spent was when space was a "Cold War" hot button. Nevertheless, the moon was, is and will be #1 on the priority list of important targets in space. Money used for the ISS could have gotten us (the USA)back there and made a beginning toward a permanent colony. The money spent on the ISS is now used as an excuse for insufficient funds to return to the moon. Why the need? 1)Access to raw materials outside the Earth's gravity well. What's there and how it might be processed from minerals/ore, refined and/or smelted there is just now beginning to be realized 2)A relatively safe, gravity enhanced environment can be set up there to maintain a permanent presence off planet(astronauts can't remain on the ISS indefinitely for medical reasons) 3) A critically needed Biosafety Facility can be built with BSL-4 or better protocols as a safe interface return point for all space exploration artifacts and samples as well as for astronaut quarantine, as required, that wouldn't be feasible on the ISS or on a craft like the Space Shuttle. The "ET" that Stephen Hawking mentions might not be so friendly could be an alien microbe that we mistakenly bring back to Earth ourselves. We need the conveniently placed moon as a biosafety checkpoint.
 
H

hipar

Guest
Can someone cite a major discovery, process or product that's directly traceable to the ISS? If someone can tell me there's a drug that can cure or control human misery being made there I'd vote it's worth every penny. Where's the breakthrough product .. I'm thinking something akin to the microprocessor. Major is the operating concept here.

I've learned more about the cosmos from Hubble, Mars probes/rovers, Cassini and the other robotic missions than anything reported from the ISS. It's just a play thing for those few prima donnas who get to go up there and somehow attained hero status for taking the ride.

--- CHAS
 
A

anon777

Guest
The poll's wording, and many of the comments, imply that if you are pro human spaceflight, you must be pro NASA and pro space station. And I strongly disagree with this implicit assumption.

Here's one of many examples: Mars Direct could have landed a person on Mars for much less cash, and in the same time span, than we have wasted on the ISS "bridge to no where".

NASA is no longer a cutting edge explorer - it's a giant bureaucracy and a jobs program, that defends it's job instead of doing it's job. I don't not say this lightly. I have many friends that work there and many more that are contractors. I hear more and more examples. We the public are partly to blame. Every time there is a failure, we demand new rules and policies that reduce risks. But then if Nasa isn't allowed to fail, it isn't allow to be daring, and it can only do safe boring and expensive stuff. They end up spending years and millions to make sure a $1 million dollar 6-month project won't fail.

We need human spaceflight that can do the boundary-pushing stuff that is too risky for privately owned companies. Then our country, and humanity, and reap the payoffs. We don't need the orbiting PR and jobs program Nasa has become. We need to keep exploring, but find new explorers.
 
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Windbourne

Guest
hipar":2pfwvppf said:
Can someone cite a major discovery, process or product that's directly traceable to the ISS? If someone can tell me there's a drug that can cure or control human misery being made there I'd vote it's worth every penny. Where's the breakthrough product .. I'm thinking something akin to the microprocessor. Major is the operating concept here.

I've learned more about the cosmos from Hubble, Mars probes/rovers, Cassini and the other robotic missions than anything reported from the ISS. It's just a play thing for those few prima donnas who get to go up there and somehow attained hero status for taking the ride.

--- CHAS


Salmonella vaccine.
http://www1.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stat ... nlpv2.html

Salmonella is a HUGE disease. It leads to diarrhea and throwing up. Here in the west, we have good enough sanitary procedures and medical care that it is not a big killer. However, in most 3'rd world nations, diarrhea on a child is the kiss of death. Few will survive it.
 
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