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Who’s up for a trip to Mars with the wife?
Posted: 02 March 2013 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Lois - 02 March 2013 04:26 PM
Coldheart Tucker - 02 March 2013 03:17 PM
Lois - 02 March 2013 01:22 PM
Coldheart Tucker - 02 March 2013 10:34 AM
Lois - 02 March 2013 10:22 AM
macgyver - 01 March 2013 01:44 PM

http://www.space.com/19998-inspiration-mars-mission-married-crew.html

I tried to convince my wife but when she heard you couldn’t stop and stretch your legs once you got to Mars she balked. She thought we should at least be able to pick up a T-shirt at the gift shop while you were there. Anyway I gave it a shot. Anyone else here up for a long cozy trip out of this world?

We have enough problems on earth.  Why look for more?

I always find it hysterical when someone uses a technology, like the internet, that owes its existence to the space program, to dis the space program.  We have been mucking about on the Earth for hundreds of thousands of years, trying to solve the same problems of war, poverty, ignorance, and disease, but didn’t begin to make huge progress in any of those areas until the space program got going.  We can mine the asteroids for resources that we need here on Earth, or we can continue to tear up the planet and render it unfit for human life.  We learn by expanding our horizons, not by circling the wagons.  Tito’s idea has a lot of flaws, but better we push out, than confine ourselves to this one planet.  Otherwise, we’re going to go extinct.

Besides that, most of the people going would be theists and we know what wonderful company they make.

There’s only two people who’re going to be going on this trip, and they’re most likely going to be a married couple.  One would think that they’d know how to get along with one another.

Haha! That’s a good one.

You wrote:
  We have been mucking about on the Earth for hundreds of thousands of years, trying to solve the same problems of poverty, ignorance, and disease, but didn’t begin to make huge progress in any of those areas until the space program got going.  We can mine the asteroids for resources that we need here on Earth, or we can continue to tear up the planet and render it unfit for human life

What makes you think humans wouldn’t tear up other planets or space itself if they had the opportunity?  Why should humans suddenly behave any differently just because they have new resources? Did Europeans suddenly become good caretakers of the earth and humanity after they discovered and populated the new world? To them the new world was very much like a new planet would be to us—riches for the taking. They didn’t suddenly become good people, careful of their resources, and neither would the occupiers of other planets, IMO.  There would be even more raping, pillaging and war.  Leopards don’t change their spots.

History predicts the future.

“Insanity is hitting yourself in the head with a hammer repeatedly and expecting a different result.”

The evolutionary changes experienced by humanity haven’t been that great in the past hundred thousand or so years, when humans move to Mars (or some other lower gravity world), there will be noticeable differences between those born on Earth and those born on Mars (or wherever).  They will also grow up in an environment which is harsh, and lethal if they make a mistake.  We will be changing both physically and psychologically in dramatic and unique fashions at a faster pace than at any point in our history as a species.  Those folks will know, at a deeper level than any of us do, that if they screw up the environment, it’ll be lethal to them, not in decades or centuries, but in seconds.

The environment has always been harsh and lethal if anyone makes a mistake.  It didn’t stop anyone from reckless behavior in the past.

Lois

The environment on Earth is vastly more hospitable than that on the Moon or Mars.  A few seconds exposure to the outside world on either of those bodies and you’ll be quite dead.

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Posted: 03 March 2013 08:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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To begin with there won’t be a first or second generation of human martians to speciate.  We are stuck in real life here and not a fiction writer’s dream. 
PS. hell, we’re still trying to overcome our reptilian brain driven reflexes, that we drape rationalization over to kid ourselves into thinking we are rational beings… all evidence to the contrary.

I can’t fathom folks who believe it’s reasonable to focus only on the benefits the space program** has brought us . . .
while ignoring all the damage our space program aided headlong, and thoughtless, rush towards… {towards what, I still haven’t figured out} has brought our planet.

All objective evidence points to humanity marching our planet toward the brink of a quantum shift in our planet’s biosphere {global warming - land destruction - species extinctions - ocean poisoning} to one totally foreign and inhospitable to the life forms and even more so to the society born out of historic benign weather systems and a cornucopia of resources.


* well, we lucky ones. . .  but that won’t last either   hmmm 
** mind you, I’m a child of the Mercury missions and have loved watching our space adventure these decades… but the cold reality of what we’ve done to ourselves and our planet is what it is.

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Posted: 03 March 2013 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 03 March 2013 08:09 AM

I can’t fathom folks who believe it’s reasonable to focus only on the benefits the space program** has brought us . . .
while ignoring all the damage our space program aided headlong, and thoughtless, rush towards… {towards what, I still haven’t figured out} has brought our planet.

You need to elaborate on this. What damage has the space program done? Technology is not inherently bad or good. It all depends on what people do with it. To blame man’s ills on technology or the space program you would also have to apply this argument to every advance man has made including fire and the wheel. Technology has tremendous power to improve our lives and comparing life on this planet today to what it was like 5,000 years ago it would be extremely hard to claim it was better back then unless you’re wearing rose colored glasses.

On the whole,  the space program has improved our lives enormously in both a material and spiritual sense. The net effect seems very positive to me. I would be intersted in hearing your take on the “damage” it has done.

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Posted: 03 March 2013 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 03 March 2013 08:09 AM

To begin with there won’t be a first or second generation of human martians to speciate.  We are stuck in real life here and not a fiction writer’s dream. 
PS. hell, we’re still trying to overcome our reptilian brain driven reflexes, that we drape rationalization over to kid ourselves into thinking we are rational beings… all evidence to the contrary.

Its not an impossibility at all.  Though it won’t be something that the mass of humanity gets to enjoy, but given the number of billionaires with their own space programs, even if we do nothing to save the planet, they’ll be moving to Mars.

I can’t fathom folks who believe it’s reasonable to focus only on the benefits the space program** has brought us . . .
while ignoring all the damage our space program aided headlong, and thoughtless, rush towards… {towards what, I still haven’t figured out} has brought our planet.

None of which you’d know about were it not for the space program.

All objective evidence points to humanity marching our planet toward the brink of a quantum shift in our planet’s biosphere {global warming - land destruction - species extinctions - ocean poisoning} to one totally foreign and inhospitable to the life forms and even more so to the society born out of historic benign weather systems and a cornucopia of resources.


* well, we lucky ones. . .  but that won’t last either   hmmm 
** mind you, I’m a child of the Mercury missions and have loved watching our space adventure these decades… but the cold reality of what we’ve done to ourselves and our planet is what it is.

The next few decades are critical, but if we can manage to avoid a major war (on the level of WWII or greater), we should be able to make it.  No guarantees that we can do that, of course.

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Posted: 03 March 2013 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 02 March 2013 04:56 PM

What makes you think humans wouldn’t tear up other planets or space itself if they had the opportunity?  Why should humans suddenly behave any differently just because they have new resources? Did Europeans suddenly become good caretakers of the earth and humanity after they discovered and populated the new world? To them the new world was very much like a new planet would be to us—riches for the taking. They didn’t suddenly become good people, careful of their resources, and neither would the occupiers of other planets, IMO.  There would be even more raping, pillaging and war.  Leopards don’t change their spots.

History predicts the future.


History predicts nothing. Although well researched history can give us a more accurate picture of who we were, the mistakes we made and the strides made to improve on those mistakes. For instance, the last century was the bloodiest ever recorded in man’s history, yet we cured diseases, improved food production, increased longevity, slowly decreased mass killing at the end of the century and went to the moon. We’re now on our way to Mars and our probes will reach Pluto in 2018, the end of the solar system. I used to hear this tireless cliche when the Apollo project was instituted; “why spend billions of dollars mucking around space when we could spend it here improving our lot”? The fact is that we did both, and the space program gave us hundreds of spin off products. So when we get there no one can accurately predict how we will behave. BTW, you can’t rape, pillage or make war on rocks and dust. We can however mine much needed minerals and colonize, planets and Jovian moons. no, we aren’t the conquistadores looking for gold, god and glory. We exchanged our swords for probes. We’re an insatiably curious species and someday we will reach another planet, colonize it and move on until our sun explodes or another mass extinction wipes us all out then the point will be moot. And leopards can’t change their spots unless they no longer need them and natural selection alters the pattern.

 

Cap’t Jack

Ok, we’ll just wait and see what happens. I’m sure someone will be crazy enough to try it.

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Posted: 03 March 2013 10:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 03 March 2013 08:54 AM
citizenschallenge.pm - 03 March 2013 08:09 AM

To begin with there won’t be a first or second generation of human martians to speciate.  We are stuck in real life here and not a fiction writer’s dream. 
PS. hell, we’re still trying to overcome our reptilian brain driven reflexes, that we drape rationalization over to kid ourselves into thinking we are rational beings… all evidence to the contrary.

Its not an impossibility at all.  Though it won’t be something that the mass of humanity gets to enjoy, but given the number of billionaires with their own space programs, even if we do nothing to save the planet, they’ll be moving to Mars.

I’m not saying it’s impossible within the realm of our four dimensional world. 
I’m just saying no billionaire and no country has the money . . and more importantly the luxury of a decade worth of free time for developing such an empty gesture.

Getting man to the moon was only possible because of that special time and place that were the 1960s.
And look what that amounted to.
A few quick visits for some souvenirs, leave behind a few experiments, {which a robot could have done} and call it good.

Beyond the politics - think about the resource and economic realities 2010 . . . and considering how our politicians and business leaders only seem capable of thinking of themselves and making every situation yet worse.  Well hell, nothing is going on to indicate the 2020 will be anything other than a mad ugly scramble for survival.

I’m pretty positive a mission on the scale of sending people to Mars requires a stable political and positive economic situation. . .  wish I were totally crazy, but looking at current news along with the condition of our biosphere, I don’t see any happy secure days in our future.  This Mars “think” just sounds like the productive of people who love their science fiction and hollywood dream scape a bit too much.

Coldheart Tucker - 03 March 2013 08:54 AM

The next few decades are critical, but if we can manage to avoid a major war (on the level of WWII or greater), we should be able to make it.  No guarantees that we can do that, of course.

I’m amazed!  You think another world war is all we have to worry about?

You think this experiment with our atmosphere and our oceans is just another externality to be ignored?

[ Edited: 03 March 2013 10:31 PM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
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Posted: 03 March 2013 10:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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macgyver - 03 March 2013 08:35 AM
citizenschallenge.pm - 03 March 2013 08:09 AM

I can’t fathom folks who believe it’s reasonable to focus only on the benefits the space program** has brought us . . .
while ignoring all the damage our space program aided headlong, and thoughtless, rush towards… {towards what, I still haven’t figured out} has brought our planet.

You need to elaborate on this. What damage has the space program done? Technology is not inherently bad or good. It all depends on what people do with it. To blame man’s ills on technology or the space program you would also have to apply this argument to every advance man has made including fire and the wheel. Technology has tremendous power to improve our lives and comparing life on this planet today to what it was like 5,000 years ago it would be extremely hard to claim it was better back then unless you’re wearing rose colored glasses.

On the whole,  the space program has improved our lives enormously in both a material and spiritual sense. The net effect seems very positive to me. I would be intersted in hearing your take on the “damage” it has done.

It’s used up a lot of valuable resources that could have been better spent elsewhere.  How are we better off today for the space program? What did it tell us that is so valuable? I mean on a practical level.

Lois

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Posted: 03 March 2013 10:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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macgyver - 03 March 2013 08:35 AM
citizenschallenge.pm - 03 March 2013 08:09 AM

I can’t fathom folks who believe it’s reasonable to focus only on the benefits the space program** has brought us . . .
while ignoring all the damage our space program aided headlong, and thoughtless, rush towards… {towards what, I still haven’t figured out} has brought our planet.

You need to elaborate on this. What damage has the space program done? Technology is not inherently bad or good. It all depends on what people do with it. To blame man’s ills on technology or the space program you would also have to apply this argument to every advance man has made including fire and the wheel. Technology has tremendous power to improve our lives and comparing life on this planet today to what it was like 5,000 years ago it would be extremely hard to claim it was better back then unless you’re wearing rose colored glasses.

On the whole,  the space program has improved our lives enormously in both a material and spiritual sense. The net effect seems very positive to me. I would be intersted in hearing your take on the “damage” it has done.

Please read my words again: “while ignoring all the damage our space program aided headlong, and thoughtless, rush towards… “
I am not blaming the space program on anything!

I’m blaming the folks wearing the rose colored glasses that allow them to ignore all the damages our immense wonderful, beautiful, oh so f’n lovable progress (mind you, I’m not oblivious to the wonders of living in these days!) was/is doing to our planet.

I’m blaming the folks wearing the rose colored glasses that allow them to ignore the fact that our planet’s “environment” was not some externality to be despised [why do I say it’s despised?  Perhaps because every right-wing thinking person has been indoctrinated to hate anyone who cares about and advocates for our natural environment; aka our life-supporting biosphere.]

I’m blaming the folks wearing the rose colored glasses that allow them to lie repeatedly about what Earth Observations and rational understanding is telling us about what our collective Grand Atmospheric Experiment is doing to our planet and what it promises for the future.

I’m blaming the folks wearing the rose colored glasses that allow them to make ignorant statements such as - “global warming stopped 16 years ago”, or “there’s no evidence linking arctic ice melt to weird jet stream behavior” - yet when they have been presented with overwhelming evidence that such a notion is plain wrong - they continue to refuse to acknowledge and learn, opting instead for willful ignorance and continue to repeat known nonsense.


I’m blaming the folks wearing the rose colored glasses that allow them to refuse to honestly learn new lessons about how our Global Heat Distribution Engine operates.

[ Edited: 03 March 2013 10:49 PM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
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Posted: 04 March 2013 05:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Lois - 03 March 2013 10:38 PM

It’s used up a lot of valuable resources that could have been better spent elsewhere.  How are we better off today for the space program? What did it tell us that is so valuable? I mean on a practical level.

Lois

The cost of the space program is a common misconception. NASA budget is about 18.5 billion dollars which may sound like a lot but its less than 0.5% of the U.S. budget. To put this in perspective though Americans spend about $1.9 billion on Halloween candy,  $10 billion/year just to go to the movies,  $106 billion per year on alcohol and at the height of the war we were spending $10 billion per month in Iraq.

If you still think the money we spend on NASA isn’t justified even after seeing how much money we spend on things that are far less worthwhile, then balance the cost against the good that the space program does. Most estimates come to the conclusion that the space program returns benefits far in excess of what we spend on it in terms of jobs, spinoffs, better weather forcasts and on and on. Take a look HERE for a blog on the freakonomics website that addresses this and HERE to read a copy of the 1989 Chapman Research Report which goes in to great depth to investigate this question.

All of this just addresses the money issue. There is more to space exploration than money though. It has worth in the same way that art has worth because it inspires the imagination. It has worth in the same way that anthropology and archeology have worth. It help us understand our place in the universe. And it has value because it is a big inspiration to many young americans who then go on to study in the STEM fields that are so important if America is going to remain technologically competitive.

Take a look at all of this before you form an opinion about the net benefit of NASA. You really need to understand the costs AND benefits before you can come to a conclusion about the value of anything.

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Posted: 04 March 2013 07:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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citizen I am not really sure I understand your position but NASA is not responsible for every technological innovation nor is it responsible for what is done with those the discoveries it makes. If you make a beautiful ceramic bowl are you then responsible if the person you sell it to cracks it over someones head? Discovering how to use fire changed the course of history for humanity mostly for the better. In fact every technological advance we have made since then could not have happened without fire but without fire there would be no global warming either ( no fuel burning anywhere in fact) so you could say that the first humans who discovered how to use fire are really responsible for all the environmental damage we have today.

We could blame them but that would be foolish. Its foolish because no one discovery or technological breakthrough is responsible for the ills of the world. It is the culmination of all these advances which are then used without proper consideration. People who blame modern technology do so out of convenience. They are willing to give up their cell phones but have no plan to go back and live in a cave without fire as their friend as though you can arbitrarily draw a line and say this amount of technology is good and that amount is bad. Its all bad if used the wrong way and its all capable of elevating human existence out of the mud when used properly. As I said above, on the whole humans beings are far better off today then they were 5,000 years ago so its hard for anyone to make a valid argument that the net effect of technology is a negative one.

Technology is not the cause of our problems, its a scapegoat for people who don’t want to deal with the complexities of our world.

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Posted: 04 March 2013 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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macgyver - 04 March 2013 07:10 AM

Technology is not the cause of our problems, its a scapegoat for people who don’t want to deal with the complexities of our world.


MacGyver, You’re misunderstanding what I’m saying. 
I am not blaming the space program or the technology itself - it’s the careless self destructive way we people have applied it that I’m pointing my finger at.

Beyond that I’m not blaming the dream or impulse to reach ever further.

It’s about recognizing how our greed impulses has/is blinding us to the life-threatening damage we are inflicting on our one and only forever home planet.

Which basically brings us to the reality of today’s world… which is unraveling in so many ways I wish I could ignore it.
But I can’t and then when I hear about the people’s energies and resources going into this science fiction dream of colonizing Mars it simply turns my stomach.


It’s like planning to go on a trip to Atlantic City, even though your house is on fire.
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Posted: 04 March 2013 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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OK I understand your position better now but I think you’re missing something here. The serious scientists involved in space exploration do not see this as a way of moving humanity off the planet in order to escape the damage we have done here. That is a bit of a fringe claim made by people who either are ignorant of the science or are thinking hundreds of years in the future. The motivation behind robotic and manned space exploration are grounded more in the things I’ve discussed above . In fact I would argue that NASA has been a leading force in helping people understand the fragile nature of the planet we call home and in helping us understand the extent of climate change.

Your comment that ( and I assume you are referring to a trip to Mars) it’s like going to Atlantic city when your house is on fire is not really a fair analogy. It implies that you can not put your house in order while doing other things at the same time. Unlike an individual, a society can and must multitask. It wold be more like saying Columbus shouldn’t have set out to explore the world because Spain was having a war with Italy at the time. The fact is that a country or the world will always have many different concerns at any given time. We can’t stop everything we are doing to focus on just one problem no matter how important that problem may seem.

As I pointed out above, the amount of money spent on NASA is relatively small. At any rate I don’t believe the failure to deal with climate change is due to a lack of funds but instead a lack of conviction. Here again I think our investment in NASA will be a plus in the long term. NASA has been a great source of data to support global warming, but beyond the bland numbers, they provide images which dramatically drive home the concept. They also provide us with information that may help us determine the best way to attack the problem. Finally NASA’s bold initiatives inspire young people to want to become scientists and the more science literate we are as a nation the more likely the people of this country will be to see through the nonsense they hear from deniers.

[ Edited: 04 March 2013 11:03 AM by macgyver ]
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Posted: 04 March 2013 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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macgyver - 04 March 2013 05:49 AM
Lois - 03 March 2013 10:38 PM

It’s used up a lot of valuable resources that could have been better spent elsewhere.  How are we better off today for the space program? What did it tell us that is so valuable? I mean on a practical level.

Lois

The cost of the space program is a common misconception. NASA budget is about 18.5 billion dollars which may sound like a lot but its less than 0.5% of the U.S. budget. To put this in perspective though Americans spend about $1.9 billion on Halloween candy,  $10 billion/year just to go to the movies,  $106 billion per year on alcohol and at the height of the war we were spending $10 billion per month in Iraq.

If you still think the money we spend on NASA isn’t justified even after seeing how much money we spend on things that are far less worthwhile, then balance the cost against the good that the space program does. Most estimates come to the conclusion that the space program returns benefits far in excess of what we spend on it in terms of jobs, spinoffs, better weather forcasts and on and on. Take a look HERE for a blog on the freakonomics website that addresses this and HERE to read a copy of the 1989 Chapman Research Report which goes in to great depth to investigate this question.

All of this just addresses the money issue. There is more to space exploration than money though. It has worth in the same way that art has worth because it inspires the imagination. It has worth in the same way that anthropology and archeology have worth. It help us understand our place in the universe. And it has value because it is a big inspiration to many young americans who then go on to study in the STEM fields that are so important if America is going to remain technologically competitive.

Take a look at all of this before you form an opinion about the net benefit of NASA. You really need to understand the costs AND benefits before you can come to a conclusion about the value of anything.


I was only able to take a quick look at the Freakonomics website.  I notice that the first of the advantages listed by Hubbard was as follows

1. Space exploration will eventually allow us to establish a human civilization on another world (e.g., Mars) as a hedge against the type of catastrophe that wiped out the dinosaurs.

To me, this is pie in the sky, science fiction, wishful thinking. 
No matter what percentage of the budget the space program represents, imagine if $18.5 billion were spent on fixing our medical system or shoring up our failing infrastructure, or fixing our broken social services system so people are not living and dying in the streets!

I’m not trashing your whole argument.  There are advantages to any scientific program.  I simply think that the space program costs more than the results warrant.  I’ll read the other site soon.

[ Edited: 04 March 2013 01:01 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 04 March 2013 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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I tend to agree with Lois.  And, another hazard that I didn’t see mentioned is if we start off with an older couple, stick them in a space vehicle and they are there for many months, what do they do if one of them happens to die?  Does the other shove the deceased out an air lock, or would they even have a big enough ejestion tube?

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Posted: 04 March 2013 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Lois - 04 March 2013 12:58 PM

I was only able to take a quick look at the Freakonomics website.  I notice that the first of the advantages listed by Hubbard was as follows

1. Space exploration will eventually allow us to establish a human civilization on another world (e.g., Mars) as a hedge against the type of catastrophe that wiped out the dinosaurs.

To me, this is pie in the sky, science fiction, wishful thinking. 
No matter what percentage of the budget the space program represents, imagine if $18.5 billion were spent on fixing our medical system or shoring up our failing infrastructure, or fixing our broken social services system so people are not living and dying in the streets!

I’m not trashing your whole argument.  There are advantages to any scientific program.  I simply think that the space program costs more than the results warrant.  I’ll read the other site soon.

Regardless of that statement on the freakonomics website, establishing a colony on another planet to save humanity is not one of the primary goals of our space program and never has been. Your ignoring all the other benefits I mentioned though and if you read the document at the other link you will find that the space program probably costs us nothing because the financial rewards are far greater than the investment made.

Using $18 billion dollars to fix our broken medical system would do practically nothing since we already spend about $2 trillion per year on health care. The answer isnt to spend more, we have to figure out how to spend a whole lot less. Our infrastructure repairs are projected to require another $1 trillion more than we are currently spending and $18 billion won’t make much of a dent there either. In both cases we would have to decimate one of our most successful scientific endeavors and we would see little or no improvement in either of those areas as a result.

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