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NASA's Betrayal: Going Metric

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posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 06:19 PM
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When NASA returns astronauts to the Moon, the mission will be measured kilometers, not miles.
The agency has decided to use metric units for all operations on the lunar surface, according to a statement released today.

The change will standardize parts and tools. It means Russian wrenches could be used to fix an air leak in a U.S.-built habitat. It will also make communications easier, such as when determining how far to send a rover for a science project.

NASA has ostensibly used the metric system since about 1990, the statement said, but English units are still employed on some missions, and a few projects use both. NASA uses both English and metric aboard the International Space Station.

The decision comes after a series of meetings between NASA and 13 other space agencies around the world, where metric measurements rule.


SOURCE:
Space.com


I am, as can be seen in the title, not a fan of this change.

I do see how it's useful, but NASA is an a\American agency,
and should therefore use the American measuring system.

Actually, I don't mind them using metric for tool size, when
they're working one International projects, but when it's a
purely American project, they shouold use the American
system.

Honestly, I hate metric, not only does most of it make little
sense to me, but I've never been good at conversions.


Comments, Opinions?




posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 06:22 PM
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They lost an mars mission because one group used standard and the other Metric.

Increasingly you are going to see international efforts in space exploration IMHO as the US cannot afford to foot the bill for Cold War esq. type programs anymore. Its alot easier to go metric to be more compadable than the other way around.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
They lost an mars mission because one group used standard and the other Metric.


True, but I think that's sort of funny though, since it was NASA's
fault since they were using Metric, and the manufacturer had used
the American system.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 06:27 PM
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How many of your American cars use exclusively American parts? The same goes for just about everything you use on a daily basis. This is no big deal. NASA is just keeping it real. The metric system is very easy.

I use inches all day long but working with meters, centimeters etc., is not dificult.

Nostalgia has no place when peoples lives are at stake. The Moon is a harsh mistress.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 06:54 PM
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We are the only industrialized nation on earth that does NOT use the metric system.

I cannot use it effectivly and I blame the education system for teaching me miles and not kilometers.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 06:55 PM
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OH

AND

Heaven forbid a frikin Russian wrench work on an American part.

I am sure the Russians and everyone else up there gets pissed when an American part breaks.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 07:04 PM
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I agree with the change. I know the metric system, but really don't naturally think in it, like I need to think what a celsius temperature would be in farhrenheit to realize whether it's warm or cold, etc. But still standardization on one system should be done since as said we lost a craft before due to two groups using different systems. While I don't see really much of an inherent advantage in the metric system, since most of the rest of the world uses it, we probably should use it in such missions.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 07:09 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
They lost an mars mission because one group used standard and the other Metric.


Yeah I think it would've been wise form NASA to standardize measurements decades ago.


Originally posted by FredT
Increasingly you are going to see international efforts in space exploration IMHO as the US cannot afford to foot the bill for Cold War esq. type programs anymore. Its alot easier to go metric to be more compadable than the other way around.


Sure we could, we just can't do it and the "Cold War" or "War on Terror" at the same time. We've got to choose now or correct that we can choose now.


jra

posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 08:15 PM
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I don't get what the big deal is really. NASA has been using a mix of both for a long while now. Science in general tends to use metric, so switching over to metric completely seems to make the most sense.


Originally posted by iori_komei
Honestly, I hate metric, not only does most of it make little
sense to me, but I've never been good at conversions.


What about metric do you find confusing exactly? And you don't need to be good at conversions. Just get a unit conversion program or use google. Example, write this into google, "1 mile in km" and it will convert it for you. It works with tons of different measurements.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 08:25 PM
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Originally posted by jra
I don't get what the big deal is really.


Well, I suppose it's not a huge deal, but it bothers me that they're
switching to Metric on all things, I don't mind if they're working with International partners, since it's more helpful, but when it's a purely American project, I don't see the point in using Metric, especially considering most people in America can't calculate metri without
using computers or tables.


apc

posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 08:31 PM
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It's about friggin' time!

Now if only we can make everyone spell it metER... I can die a happy man.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 08:42 PM
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If you can't beat them, join them. Even as pro-America as I might be I think that we should probably start teaching the metric system in schools and gradually phaze out the old system. There is nothing to lose in switching over and everything to gain.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 09:10 PM
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mwhaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaa and soon the Americans will drive on the left hand side of the road. The plan is working.

Seriously though, coming from a metric country, the imperial measurements irritates me to no end. I can't wait to throw out my imperial toolset. Cmon, who uses a 3/8th spanner anyway



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 09:29 PM
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From a scientific and practical point of view is makes sense but they better not be broadcasting something lie like "that is the lunar capsule traveling at 26 thousand km per hour and it is about 120,000 thousand km from the Moon". Most people in the US won't know how to convert that into units they understand. So for in house use stick to SI but for PR it better be standard or else they will lose even more interest from the general US population.

As for the US converting, it's not going to happen, tried and failed, certain specific organizations and professions use SI but the general population never will. Money, time, tradition, conditioning, etc... Even though metric is easier to understand ans use I still love my feet and inches.

[edit on 8-1-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 09:30 PM
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I really don't see what the big deal is. The rest of America needs to follow in their footsteps.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by iori_komei

Honestly, I hate metric, not only does most of it make little
sense to me, but I've never been good at conversions.

Comments, Opinions?


The imperial measurement system is the one that makes absolutely no sense. The Mile is (or was) based on a totally arbitrary value, and the terms Furlong, Rod, Cubit, etc, mean very little when compared to each other. There's 8 of one in another, or 11, or some other value. Take the Cubit for instance, which was defined as the length of the average person's forearm...I mean come on, these measurements, while standardized now, are of such abstract origin as to be mostly worthless in high-precision measurements.

Take metric. While its distance units were originally based on the circumference of the earth, they have since been standardized to the speed of light and basically every unit in the metric system is a derivative of this. For instance, a cube 10cm on a side (1/10th of a metre) will hold 1 litre of water. A litre of water usually considered to be 1 kilogram in weight. Speaking of water, it freezes at 0C and boils at 100C...and 1 calorie will raise the temperature of 1g of water by 1C. Very simple. Calling the change a "betrayal" is a terribly uninformed statement. The title of the thread should have been "NASA: Getting with it, going Metric".

As an aside, I have to point out that the strangest thing I recall from my first trip in the US was the road signs. 3 1/4 miles to the next exit? Fractions on a road sign? That, for some reason, stuck with me for quite some time. It was a very alien concept.

[edit on 8/1/2007 by Thousand]



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by lizziex3
The rest of America needs to follow in their footsteps.


Not really. I've never been a fan of conforming for the sake of it or going with the crowd. We have always used standard in the US and I see no reason why people outside the US have a problem with it. After all I don't complain that most European countries use SI nor do I think that they need to convert to standard, it's just fine the way it is.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 09:53 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Not really. I've never been a fan of conforming for the sake of it or going with the crowd.


Then you're missing the point of making the change. It's not to "conform or go with the crowd". It's for the sake of interoperability. It's so russian tools can be used on american machines, to lessen confusion and to maybe even save lives. The imperial system of measure is outdated, and America is one of the last countries on Earth still using it as a basis for the majority of its measurements. It only makes sense to make the change.

If you don't want to conform, fine. Stay with apple pie, cheese steak, big cars, baseball, all that. That's America to me, that's your identity. But don't go with an outmoded, complex, and hard to use measurement scheme for the sake of "being different". It's counterproductive at best.


MBF

posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 10:06 PM
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When I was in college, we would beg our physics and thermodynamics professors to give our tests in metric. Metric is so much easier than our standard once you know the system.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 10:26 PM
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Originally posted by Thousand
...Stay with apple pie, cheese steak, big cars, baseball...


Oi, don't tell us to stay with the stuff that actually is bad, well I
suppose baseball's not that bad, but you get my point.


I'm no saying that NASA should use imperial on everything, I think
that they should use Metric on International projects.

What I have a problem with is them using Metric on a satelite that is strictly
American, that's made in America, and will only ever be ser-
iced by America.

Plus, I have the feeling they'll convert there data to metric completely
as well, so when I go to the NASA website, which honestly I do very
little, instead of sdayin such and such a satelite is 15 ft. long and 5 ft.
tall, it will be in Metres, in which case I have no way of visualizing that,
as I think in feet, not metres.

[edit on 1/8/2007 by iori_komei]

[edit on 1/8/2007 by iori_komei]



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