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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old August 27 2013, 08:42 PM   #31
Doom Shepherd
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

R. Star wrote: View Post
Wow, people will blame the rich for anything these days.
Certain types of people like to believe in a small, wealthy minority that they can claim is manipulating everything to keep them down in some sort of vast conspiracy. It keeps them from having to take responsibility for their own epic fails.

See also: "Der Juden."
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Old August 27 2013, 08:49 PM   #32
Doom Shepherd
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

Yminale wrote: View Post
That's only true if you live in the West. Earth's poor get very little benefit from space.
Only if you consider having food to be of "very little benefit."

http://spinoff.nasa.gov/pdf/Agriculture_Flyer.pdf
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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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Old August 29 2013, 09:39 PM   #34
B.J.
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
The taxpayer's present contribution to space exploration is something like 2 cents out of every dollar collected in taxes;
Actually, it's less than 0.5%, which is why the Penny4NASA campaign exists. They want to get federal funding for NASA up to at least 1% of the federal budget.
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Old August 29 2013, 11:37 PM   #35
publiusr
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

If it were up to me, it would be 2.5%
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Old August 30 2013, 06:38 PM   #36
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

^ If it were up to me, we'd spend at least as much on space exploration as we do on the military. And that's not even to say the two are mutually exclusive; who needs aircraft carriers when you've got Rods from God?

Even without some innovative new technology, even without a revolutionary drive system that makes space travel cheap and easy, $500 billion would be enough money to brute-force our way to full blown lunar colonization in a very short timeframe. The real issue with space exploration is not that it's expensive or dangerous, it's that Americans stupid and crazy and won't tolerate spending tens of billions of dollars on things that don't explode.
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Old August 30 2013, 10:51 PM   #37
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

Preach it, brother!
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