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Thread: US turns their back on NASA space program

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    Politics.ie Member Malbekh's Avatar
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    Default US turns their back on NASA space program

    More worryingly the 'greatest nation on earth' will be borrowing Soyuz spacecraft until 2015 as it will no longer have the means of reaching the International Space Station. Indeed, the perspective now is to use private companies to develop the technology to get NASA astronauts into Space.

    While I understand the economic reasons to do so, this ties in with the recent US modus operandi that risks are no longer acceptable when it comes to breaking new boundaries. Exploration of Space needs to be under the auspices of governments, particularly governments which are accountable.

    As a race, we are at our best looking forward onto new horizons using our brains and talents to get us there. These days we seem to be regressing into ourselves on the web and other conduits of nothingness.

    Implications of budget cuts - Times Online
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    where does this leave theFAS space cadets?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malbekh View Post
    Indeed, the perspective now is to use private companies to develop the technology to get NASA astronauts into Space.
    That doesn't count as turning its back on space, merely trying a new approach.

    Exploration of Space needs to be under the auspices of governments, particularly governments which are accountable.
    Private activity in space is a good idea. The exact balance is open to question, but having private companies design and build the systems seems perfectly reasonable. Does the fact that airlines aren't government made mean that they have turned their back on air travel?

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    Politics.ie Member jcdf's Avatar
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    I think this is a good idea! As far as I can see a human base on the moon would serve no practical basis and cost a fortune.

    Space exploration will continue the way it should via increasingly sophisticated robots. Outer space is not a human friendly place.

    One of the greatest most expensive obstacles to current space exploration is our own atmosphere. We need to find away to get objects a few hundred miles up more cheaply and reliably than we can now. The private sector, which is more innovative, is most likely to accomplish this.
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    ah, a moonbase, space 1999 ,jeez the 70s were sh1t

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    Quote Originally Posted by charley View Post
    where does this leave theFAS space cadets?

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    Well thankfully the proposed moon landings have been put on hold. I hear the aliens who live on the darkside of the moon are a tad touchy.....
    “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” - Friedrich A. Hayek

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    Politics.ie Member Malbekh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivnryn View Post
    That doesn't count as turning its back on space, merely trying a new approach.



    Private activity in space is a good idea. The exact balance is open to question, but having private companies design and build the systems seems perfectly reasonable. Does the fact that airlines aren't government made mean that they have turned their back on air travel?
    Flying has either been a military or commercial activity, space exploration has many military uses (satellites for example), but primarily it has been about the advancement of mankind, civilisation or for national worth.

    There are potential commercial uses in reusable spacecraft as an advance on current aircraft technology, but when it comes to space programs that involve exploration of the moon or Mars for example, that should be left to the likes of NASA.

    You've seen The Right Stuff as a movie? That's what I'm talking about here, turning your back on what once made the US. For me, this is a defining moment for that country, and it ain't a good one.
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    Politics.ie Member Malbekh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcdf View Post
    I think this is a good idea! As far as I can see a human base on the moon would serve no practical basis and cost a fortune.

    Space exploration will continue the way it should via increasingly sophisticated robots. Outer space is not a human friendly place.

    The private sector, which is more innovative, is most likely to accomplish this.
    There are many practical uses for a base on the Moon or even Mars as only achieving these (modest) goals can mankind hope to evolve into a space-faring species. The benefits from being able to mine and refine minerals, gases and other elements within our own solar system is a obvious one.

    Private sector is interested in 1) money and 2) their shareholders. Not therefore the benefit of mankind.
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    Surely it's good that any government focus its (at the moment quite limited) resources on improving matters within its own terra firma rather than spending money on a project such as moon-landing, the most deliverable benefit of which is national pride / vanity?

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