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Value of space science questioned
Associated Press ^ | Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Posted on 05/28/2003 10:09:10 AM PDT by presidio9

Edited on 04/29/2004 2:02:36 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Some experts say microgravity research conducted by astronauts in space doesn't appear to produce much value for scientists.

Academics and scientists on both sides of the debate over scientific value of human spaceflight have disagreed for decades.

Differing opinions have erupted in the aftermath of space shuttle Columbia's disintegration over Texas on February 1, leaving seven astronauts dead.


(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: nasa; space
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To: RightWhale
The real experiments have not started flying.

How do we tell the real experiments from the not real experiments -- by how many tax dollars they chew up?

51 posted on 05/28/2003 11:39:09 AM PDT by Moonman62
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To: presidio9
Of course the main thing of value is studying new and better ways to deliver welfare in its various forms.

I'll agree to private funding of space science if the communists will agree to private funding of all the giveaway welfare programs. Deal?

52 posted on 05/28/2003 11:39:31 AM PDT by jimt
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To: RightWhale
"...watch the 'Survivor - None' show."

LOL!! Pretty Good! And you're right, at the moment, a person doing what I describe would just dry up, I suppose. But the economy won't always be this way, and when launch costs drive down, resupply will be easier.

If lunar or any other space tourism takes off in a big way, the customers will drive those costs down. At that point, unless the governments start shooting down private craft, or impounding earthly launch sites, then the viable land grabs will begin.

Will this all fall into place next week? Of course not. But there are some folks (hopfully not you) who think that only the magical NASA and its ilk can go into space, ever. It is simply not true.
53 posted on 05/28/2003 11:40:11 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (It's not nice to fool Mr. Rumsfeld!)
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To: LiteKeeper
SPOTREPs and SITREPs

Sounds scientific. Analysis of data, critique of existing theories, synthesis of new model. There is a shortage of practitioners of this science at all levels from lab tech to cosmologist. Do you see anything falling out of the data that we might find interesting?

54 posted on 05/28/2003 11:43:42 AM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
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To: LiteKeeper
Thanks. I can't have been the only one wondering.
55 posted on 05/28/2003 11:47:57 AM PDT by gcruse (Vice is nice, but virtue can hurt you. --Bill Bennett)
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To: Frank_Discussion
Oh, one more thing on this subtopic: Success of the space squatters notwithstanding, it would still kill the treaty, since it would establish no desire and/or ability of the signatories to enforce it.
56 posted on 05/28/2003 11:49:03 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (It's not nice to fool Mr. Rumsfeld!)
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To: Moonman62
How do we tell the real experiments from the not real experiments

It's a matter of scale. So far the experiments flown have been the small drawer- or cabinet-sized modules. They draw little power and measure one or two things in a small volume. Real experiments would come later when entire ISS lab modules are attached to the station. Minor league versus Major League. Correct, real experiments = serious dollars. To those who are operating the small experiments: stick with it, you may get to the Big Show eventually.

57 posted on 05/28/2003 11:50:30 AM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
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To: RightWhale
"To those who are operating the small experiments: stick with it, you may get to the Big Show eventually."

Exactly. The theory of relativity started when a young Austrian patent clerk thought about a couple trains moving at different speeds.
58 posted on 05/28/2003 12:02:10 PM PDT by Frank_Discussion (It's not nice to fool Mr. Rumsfeld!)
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To: RightWhale
They won't have to lift a collective finger to watch the 'Survivor - None' show. Call it the Cuba technique.

You are right on the mark with this....but, because of this, your previous comment to "junk" this treaty is mute. The same would happen.

It's a jealous world out there and they are not going to stand by while the US takes advantage of our lead in space exploration.

59 posted on 05/28/2003 12:03:35 PM PDT by MarketR
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To: Frank_Discussion
it would still kill the treaty, since it would establish no desire and/or ability of the signatories to enforce it.

The 1967 Treaty was born of the nukes in orbit fears back in the late 50s. The weaponization of outer space. The collectivists at the UN and in seems like most of the 2nd and 3rd, and probably 1st world, too, have this idea of our societal evolution, like Pres Clinton, that does not encourage individual initiative to the extent of any one company or capitalist getting a monopoly in space. The entire world is painfully aware that America is so far ahead of everyone else in continental shelf development technology [outer space for most countries] that America could run away with everything, pick all the plums. So they extrapolated to actual outer space and there is the Treaty. America signed it mostly to stop the Russians from orbiting nukes. But the Treaty has to go, now, so we can bust out into outer space. Others are gearing up to develop celestial resources, treaty or no treaty. Others being China, ESA, NASDA, Russia [maybe, but they have a lot of undeveloped resources already], and last and still not least, NASA. Toss in some others who will follow along as soon as possible such as Brazil and India, and you will see that the private entrepreneur will easily get overwhelmed and become insignificant and may be safely ignored ast the Hitchhiker's Guide says.

60 posted on 05/28/2003 12:08:00 PM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
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To: MarketR
It's a jealous world out there and they are not going to stand by while the US takes advantage of our lead in space exploration.

Bullseye!

61 posted on 05/28/2003 12:09:31 PM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
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To: RightWhale
Real experiments would come later when entire ISS lab modules are attached to the station. Minor league versus Major League. Correct, real experiments = serious dollars.

I'm skeptical. I'd like to see some corporate investors, or sponsors other than Pizza Hut.

62 posted on 05/28/2003 12:09:32 PM PDT by Moonman62
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To: RightWhale
I think the key to getting rid of this treaty is being "second" to break it.

We have to be prepared to expand rapidly into space as soon as some other country breaks this treaty...i.e. Russia, China, et al. We will assume the scorn if we do it first, but in response to a clearly aggressive move by another?

The treaty is history and our way is clear. We just have to be ready to take advantage. That's why I see the new innitiatives at NASA as so important. The most important thing is going to be the engines and their intra-planetary specific impulse!

63 posted on 05/28/2003 12:17:47 PM PDT by MarketR
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To: Moonman62
Japan has a science module ready to be attached to the ISS. The EU has a science module. China is thinking about a science module. National science modules. That's participation in their eyes, after America [Canada, too, of course] and Russia finish building the station.
64 posted on 05/28/2003 12:20:08 PM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
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To: MarketR
The treaty has a withdrawal clause. Give notice and it's done. No need to break it.
65 posted on 05/28/2003 12:21:36 PM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
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To: Jeff Gordon
Okay.
66 posted on 05/28/2003 12:28:40 PM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus, Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: Jeff Gordon
Target practice.
67 posted on 05/28/2003 12:29:16 PM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus, Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: Frank_Discussion
An average of $5 billion a year to maintain a foothold in space is pretty frickin' cheap, considering it is a government program.

Not when you consider how trivial a level of activity it supports. It's outrageously expensive. For that kind of money we should, could have hundreds, even thousands of people in orbit.

68 posted on 05/28/2003 1:10:00 PM PDT by NonZeroSum
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To: NonZeroSum
"For that kind of money we should, could have hundreds, even thousands of people in orbit."

Think about what you are saying:

$5 billion divided by 100 people = $5 million per person
$5 billion devided by 1000 people = $0.5 million per person

If you can find a way to make that happen, you'll be rich. Seriously. And I think that level of money will be marketable in the next decade.

But for the moment, it's a better bang-for-the-buck than most other big governmental projects. I want it to be a lot better myself, but NASA runs pretty lean for what it is.
69 posted on 05/28/2003 1:16:40 PM PDT by Frank_Discussion (It's not nice to fool Mr. Rumsfeld!)
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To: Frank_Discussion
OOOOOPS! BAD MATH - MY BAD!

$5 billion divided by 100 people = $50 million per person
$5 billion devided by 1000 people = $5 million per person

The lower end is still very profitable, and gets a whole lot better if you go to "thousands".
70 posted on 05/28/2003 1:23:16 PM PDT by Frank_Discussion (It's not nice to fool Mr. Rumsfeld!)
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To: Frank_Discussion
Think about what you are saying:

$5 billion divided by 100 people = $5 million per person
$5 billion devided by 1000 people = $0.5 million per person

Yes, that sounds about right. Perfectly doable if it were the goal. It's called economies of scale. But NASA (and the nation) has never had a goal of large-scale activities in space.

71 posted on 05/28/2003 1:25:52 PM PDT by NonZeroSum
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To: Paul Ross; Jeff Gordon
Chicoms in orbit won't motivate Americans to fund space programs. Been there done that. We'll watch them float around and be amused. Anyone who has the sums needed to invest in exploration might do it for fun but not as a serious investment. NASA squandered the postive image it had by engaging in gimmicks in a futile attempt to gain support. So.....that leaves the one motivating force which has not yet been mentioned:

Sex.

The first zero gravity porno film will make a quadrillion bucks. But what about the second? Perhaps the genre was not smut as intended but ended up as a slap stick comedy.

72 posted on 05/28/2003 1:32:41 PM PDT by DPB101 (The first Lawyer elected Speaker of the House of Representatives was arrested for treason.)
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To: NonZeroSum
Well, the government may not be too crazy about the economy scale idea, but the public sector (industry and citizen level) sure is. Imagine if the army labs were still building our computers!

EoS will come with time, it's just hard to wait. So don't, I always say. If you want to see the USA in space, and the government is moving too slow for you, or seems too expensive find a better way.

I am looking for a way out of the problem myself, so I assure you it's not an empty challenge. OTOH, while I'm looking for that way out, helping to build the only existing and expanding space station seems pretty good right now.
73 posted on 05/28/2003 1:46:20 PM PDT by Frank_Discussion (It's not nice to fool Mr. Rumsfeld!)
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To: DPB101
The first zero gravity porno film will make a quadrillion bucks.

You are an enconomic genius. It is too bad Dan Golden was an economic and managerial idiot. I would rather you see as the NASA Administrator than either Dan or that current boring wimp. Let me know if you need me to email the White House on your behalf.

74 posted on 05/28/2003 5:14:54 PM PDT by Jeff Gordon
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To: LiteKeeper
Thanks for the answer to that riddle.
75 posted on 06/24/2003 6:34:56 PM PDT by watchin
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