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  1. Default To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    Obama budget would cut moon exploration program - CNN.com

    Obama budget would cut moon exploration program
    By John D. Sutter, CNN
    February 1, 2010 1:26 p.m. EST

    (CNN) -- American astronauts will not return to the moon as planned if Congress passes President Obama's proposed budget.
    Obama's budget -- which aims to tighten the nation's purse strings in certain areas while increasing money used to create jobs -- would cancel NASA's Constellation Program, which had sought to send astronauts back to the moon by 2020.
    Pretty disappointed to see this, but I understand NASA has a horrible record for staying on time and on budget. The comments from NASA say that they should be able to still do it with their expanded budget, but its not for sure.

    Honestly, I think it is time for all space agencies globally to consolidate and work together to push these type of missions along faster. Yes this will probably raise security concerns if we involve China and Russia...but at least combining the ESA and NASA should be the first step. Getting multiple nations to help fund space exploration would likely allow us to get to the Moon sooner, Mars as well, and eventually get the technology developed to allow for deep space exploration.

  2. #2

    Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    Quote Originally Posted by venture79 View Post
    Pretty disappointed to see this, but I understand NASA has a horrible record for staying on time and on budget. The comments from NASA say that they should be able to still do it with their expanded budget, but its not for sure.

    Honestly, I think it is time for all space agencies globally to consolidate and work together to push these type of missions along faster. Yes this will probably raise security concerns if we involve China and Russia...but at least combining the ESA and NASA should be the first step. Getting multiple nations to help fund space exploration would likely allow us to get to the Moon sooner, Mars as well, and eventually get the technology developed to allow for deep space exploration.
    We need more scientists affiliated with astronomy to better educate the public on the importance of space exploration. Carl Sagan did a pretty good job when he was alive but nowadays, the most prominent public outreach astronomer is Neil deGrasse Tyson. Dr. Tyson does a good job but in this generation of low attention span, NASA needs more public outreach and international relations.

  3. #3

    Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    Sorry to be dense, but excluding enjoying the occasional sci-fi show/movie, I'm not a space devotee. So for those of us who don't follow the news on such matters, why is it we need to go back to the moon, or put peeps on Mars, or send peeps rather than good quality gear into deep space? I understand there is a desire to do so, but is there a need?

    You have my attention and your chance to win a new convert.

  4. #4

    Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    I wish they'd do deep sea exploration. And space, too.

  5. #5

    Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    He's going with private contracts so he can advance our military prowess out further into space--the real Star Wars, lol...

  6. #6

    Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    I think that it is a shame that the cuts are coming there. There are so many new business ideas and technologies that are spin offs as a result of space exploration as well as the research that comes from the experiments that transpire there. It impacts all aspects of our lives, medicine, structures, engineering, photovoltaics have been largely refined and enhanced because of the need for thinner, smaller and more effective ones being deployed in space. It is those programs that funded the research that has led to solar panels vast improvements. The list goes on. I will say that there are certainly lost efficiencies that come with it being a government run institution. In a perfect world I would like to see the program run more like a business. Private companies will through competition provide better quality in the products that are produced, but they are also less likely to take on the challenges of some of the more aggressive projects, Lunar base, mining operations and then Mars.

  7. Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    I think Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is probably the first major stepping stone for the common man into the space. He has the money and the dream. We need more dreamers like him at NASA though.

    @Kevin ... Some of the things that space has given us that we see directly - infrared thermometers that every doctor's office uses now, dialysis pumps, heart pumps, the hand held breathing pumps paramedics use, new equipment for firefighters, a lot of today's typical fitness equipment...just to hit on a few medical benefits.

    Not to mention deep space exploration will require better propulsion systems, new fuels, and improved communication devices. All of which could find their way back to Earth to provide faster modes of transportation or cheaper every day fuels. I would also take a step away from the material improvements and go back to what we are - a species that wants to grow our knowledge but also explore. Many would probably say similar things of - Why do we need to sail across this vast ocean? Do we really want to cross this big river? etc.

    @PQ. I'm right there with you. There is so much we don't know about the deep areas of our oceans and what is going on there. So many lifeforms we haven't even discovered yet due to the challenges of dealing with the immense weight of the ocean on anything we build. However, it is something that might become more doable with advances in space transport design and sensor/radar technologies to scan what is down there easier.

    Who knows...maybe eventually we will have the equipment that is able to provide x-ray images of what the earth (and other planets) look like all the way to the core. We have a good idea of whats under our feet, but being able to really get a good scan and image of the formation of the crust and various layers will be huge in so many ways.

  8. Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinpate View Post
    Sorry to be dense, but excluding enjoying the occasional sci-fi show/movie, I'm not a space devotee. So for those of us who don't follow the news on such matters, why is it we need to go back to the moon, or put peeps on Mars, or send peeps rather than good quality gear into deep space? I understand there is a desire to do so, but is there a need?

    You have my attention and your chance to win a new convert.
    In my opinion...We go because that's what's next.

  9. #9

    Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    I'm kind of glad the Constellation program is about to be defunded. I always thought that a return to the space-capsule era was such a letdown. I understand they wanted to go that route because it was cheap and safe, but I mean come on it's the 21st Century. Give us a space plane already. :-)

  10. Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    Quote Originally Posted by dismayed View Post
    I'm kind of glad the Constellation program is about to be defunded. I always thought that a return to the space-capsule era was such a letdown. I understand they wanted to go that route because it was cheap and safe, but I mean come on it's the 21st Century. Give us a space plane already. :-)
    Yeah I agree. We should be able to build off the shuttle and develop a true reusable vehicle by now. VentureStar held promise, but it didn't live up to the hype - although Lockheed Martin is still developing it an testing the design using a smaller 1/5th scale model.



    For now, I guess we rely on Branson's Galactic fleet. Though, the VSS Enterprise (and under construction VSS Voyager) is pretty cool looking.


  11. #11

    Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    I always thought the Delta Clipper had a lot of potential. Sad that one crash killed the program.


  12. #12

    Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    I'm all for space exploration.

    But, I'm not for forcing the financial burden of it on taxpayers.

  13. Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke View Post
    I'm all for space exploration.

    But, I'm not for forcing the financial burden of it on taxpayers.
    First time in months, he's back!

  14. #14

    Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder View Post
    First time in months, he's back!
    I'm back indeed.

    I got a job promotion to Tampa, Florida. Woo hoo!

    Now that I'm settled, I'm back to harass you, Thunder.

  15. Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    Where I come from "harass" is two words.

  16. #16

    Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    Welcome back, Luke. I've missed you and wondered what happened to you. Give 'em hell, bro.

  17. #17

    Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    Quote Originally Posted by USG '60 View Post
    Give 'em hell, bro.
    Ah, my calling in life...

  18. Default Re: To the Moon? Maybe Not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke View Post
    I'm back indeed.

    I got a job promotion to Tampa, Florida. Woo hoo!

    Now that I'm settled, I'm back to harass you, Thunder.
    Good to know my stalker isn't in the state.

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