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Old August 29 2013, 09:11 PM   #33
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

Yminale wrote: View Post
The movie "Elysium" has gotten me thinking, if spaceflight and colonization only benefits the rich, why should the rest of the 99% support and fund space.
They shouldn't, and for the most part, they DON'T. The taxpayer's present contribution to space exploration is something like 2 cents out of every dollar collected in taxes; you probably loose more money than just sitting on your couch.

OTOH, the rest of the 99% stand to benefit substantially from space exploration if and when the resources of space become available for consumption to the people on Earth. This, too, is one of the major plot elements of Elysium.

The assumption has always been that private companies like SpaceX would make access to space affordable. Even with the most optimistic projection, the average person could only afford sub-orbital flight.
The "average person" could NEVER afford a sub-orbital flight.

When people like Elon Musk mean by "affordable" is really on the order of "millions instead of billions." The kind of space missions that could be paid for by state or even city governments (on behalf of universities or science programs) or by medium/large corporations instead of global superpowers. Space won't be accessible to private citizens until there's a couple million people living there who have to provide services to one another, but that's a very different concept.

So are you comfortable with the 1% forming a breakaway society while the rest of us die on this rock?
No, but neither would I be all that surprised if they tried it.
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