View Single Post
Old February 8 2009, 11:28 PM   #16
John Picard
Vice Admiral
John Picard's Avatar
Location: Waiting for Dorian Thompson to invite me to lunch
Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

Squiggyfm wrote: View Post
John Picard wrote: View Post
Squiggyfm wrote: View Post

NASA lost it's balls because the American public lost it's balls. "We won the moon race so why keep spending billions? We beat the Soviets. USA. USA. US...hey...disco!"

We were VERY reactionary back then. They launched then we launched. They launched a man into space then we did. They orbited then we did. They started looking at the moon then Kennedy said "Hey, we should go to the moon and do that other thing."

People think NASA gets billions more money than it already does. They're convinced that NASA wastes the "endless supply" of cash on pointless endeavors and to be honest, what NASA has done for the past 30 years hasn't been "sexy". We've pretty much been mass transit or a construction crew since Skylab. No exploring. We're building. We're watching how peas grow and how mice fuck in 0g. No one wants their tax dollars spent on that!

Now the question of "Mars, why?" Because we can. It'll be hard and cost a lot of money but Apollo united the country in the 60s in a way few other things aside from war can. It's good for the nation and would resolidify our superpowerness.
Just because we "can" go to Mars doesn't justify that we should. I'm all for space exploration, but I think remote rovers (at a few million a pop) are money better spent than BILLIONS to send a manned crew. Other monies could be spent on on developing other types of space craft and even mining asteroids for energy to haul back to earth.
You can only explore so much using a rover...and the people at large don't tend to give a fuck.
I don't buy it. We have two rovers on Mars right now, correct? They've exceeded expectations by operating for years, rather than the original 90 days expected, and for much cheaper than what it would have cost to send three, four, or five people there. And the cost doesn't even take into consideration the economic toll, but also the personal and psychological toll on the astronauts.

Utilize the current and evolving technology to send probes and rovers while we worry about the immediate neighborhood. Sci-Fi geeks have a hard-on for colonizing the moon and Mars, which I hardly see will be of a benefit to the Earth.

TheMasterOfOrion wrote: View Post
John Picard wrote: View Post

Going to Mars -- WHY?
Explain to me - WHY NOT?

John Picard wrote: View Post

Nothing of what you've posted makes any sense (either philosophically,
or economically)
and you have shown zero understanding of the branches of the military.
Or course it makes sense
1philosophically, yes! do you want the first colonists on Mars to be speaking Chinese or worse come form of Eurobabble like French? If this were to happen it will send the wrong philosophical message, signaling the American century has come and gone and the next 100 years belongs to another dominant cultural force
tech benefits, yes ! the medicine for hospital air filters, the satellites for tracking forest fires, the alpha particles used by neuro surgeons in attacking brain tumors all come from spin offs from government funded sciences
3 economically
How far would NASA be if it got funded in 2010 by a 700 Billion Dollar Bailout like Wall St got? Eisenhower was a good President but wasn't very good on the economy, postwar Americans had money again but he never capitalized on it, the economy was starting to buckle and he allowed the Soviets to get ahead. JFK's Moon vision wasn't just about planting a flag on the Moon, it was also a jobs program and inspired the sciences and industries throughout America.

Tell me how I "have shown 0 understanding of the of the military"? You seem to be defending the Navys infleunce in space during Mercury, the Soviets had the first dog in space, first spacestations, first long duration flight while United States still had a lot of catch up to do in Mercury. You're not one of these people who daydreams about your days at sea everytime you watch a StarTrek epsiode? I also remember stories of the US Navy trying to bribe their way into space during the early years by paying off congress men and it resulted in a very public failure of the US Navy resulted in headlines across the world like "Kaputnik" and "Flopnik".
Personally I don't think the military should be involved in space, I think Mars needs geologists, biologsts, and other scientists who would perhaps run artfical farms but the military connection is probably unavoidable. If we need the military I say the USAF is the way, since you've got the whole pilot experience and the fastest flight ever recorded by man was Apollo-13 at something like 44 000km/h, its clear we need a new space plane if we want to crank up the speed and get people to Mars.

Forbin wrote: View Post
No, it's time for the civilian sector to take over. For example, a Mars mission for purely exploration purposes should be run by by a private organization such as the National Geographic Society, probably in financial association with several universities and private donors.
However for manned flight big government is a necessary evil. Private isn't always successful, and when it comes to space these guys will be offering peanuts in comparison to a government one. Let's imagine for a second somebody like Rutan or Brason builds a private ship for manned flight and some big mega star like Oprah Winfrey and BillGates decides to give them every penny they own - adding up to 70 billion. (this is highly unlikely since the private sector is not going to spend so much on something that's not very profitable and high risk to astronauts)
However for arguments sake let's say the mega rich back up the private sector of space flight.
A government funded program in China or any other big country can still out spend them by 30 to 1, if your leader of a country of a billion Chinese you just set aside a percent of the GDP and put 2 Trillion into making sure the first Mars colony is a Chinese one. A country like China could be willing to risk some lives to put people on Mars, while the private sector will go bankrupt after the first loss of life.
Your entire rationale is unsound and full of fail. As was pointed out above, the Air Force can't even handle its own procurement without problems. If you had any clue about maritime life then you'd know why the Navy plays a vital role with NASA. Hell, one thing no Air Force pilot would even attempt is to land a jet plane on an aircraft carrier!!! The Navy does it everyday and does a damned good job of it.
Don't like my posts? Fill out a report.
Psssstttt - Dorian, my location.
John Picard is offline   Reply With Quote