posted on Mar, 13 2008 @ 02:51 PM
reply to post by chromatico
I don't agree -- there is no direct profit motive in much of the Space Exploration that NASA is doing (Mars Sample Return Mission, Cassini-Saturn
Mission, Possible Missions to Jupiter's Moons). If NASA does not do this, then nobody will.
The U.S. government has a long history of giving grants for pure science purposes
that will have no DIRECT payoff for actual industry -- but
lead to a robust technological economy decades later. The government puts up the original money in doing the vital early research that will someday
lead to great commercial advances. Government science grant projects plant the seeds that will someday fuel our economy.
Take Particle Physics for example...who do you think provides most of the money for programs such as particle accelerators and such -- the government.
Particle accelerators don't directly produce profit-making results, but what particle accelerators have taught us about physics decades ago is what
helped fuel our recent commercial technological advances.
And if you want private industry launching rockets, you're getting it. NASA has a program called "COTS" (Commercial Orbital Transport Services)
that is hoping to get private industry to develop orbital crafts that can get a spacecraft to orbit to do things such as re-supply the Space Station.
NASA is hoping Priavte Industry (via the COTS program) will help take up the slack sometime after the Shuttle Fleet is retired in less than 3
[edit on 3/13/2008 by Soylent Green Is People]