It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Space - where did we go wrong?

page: 1

log in


posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 05:34 AM
This is a very interesting article about the economy of the world from an economist/sci-fan point-of-view. He uses Arthur C. Clarke's vision of the future as the basis for his essay. I found it very thought provoking:

Arthur C. Clarke died earlier this year aged 90. Known as “the colossus of science fiction”, Arthur became famous for his vision about futuristic communication satellites, the moon landings he foresaw, and much else.

Clarke though the moon landings and exploration of space would be very advanced by the 21st Century. What happened? Why does it seem as if we went backwards?

But why then, in 2008, aren’t we back again on the Moon, or already on Mars? Why are we still stuck with space shuttles and an ageing space station? Why is most space exploration done by robotics, and then frugally so, with perhaps a mission here, and a mission there, but certainly no blizzard of such activities overwhelming us, despite overwhelming technology becoming available? By the way, the US promise of getting man to Mars by 2030 may be just that, mostly only a Bush promise.

posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 07:30 AM
Probably because we saw a few things out there that we weren't exactly sure how to handle.

Not to sound like a UFO nut or something, but every time we've gone into space, something has been curiously following us along our journey. You can even watch some space shuttle footage where audio is suddenly switched over to the military frequency (which is also encrypted) right after something akin to "Houston, we still have visual on the ...."

I've often wondered what the hell happened, too. We should have fusion by now... though we can sort of hide behind the excuse of "it's hard" - but so were a lot of other problems that we conquered in a mater of a few years back in the early and mid 20th century.

And we should certainly be showing a bit more interest in the Moon and Mars than we currently seem to be.

The other explanation is that it simply doesn't get as much media coverage as it used to - the "new" has worn off. Many probes of various types have been launched - one is even going to go scope out the largest asteroid (which has now been classified as a dwarf-planet) in the Asteroid Belt.

I think it's a combination of the cost of manned explorations (not to mention risk) combined with national security concerns (NASA hasn't even confirmed the existence of Bacteria on Mars, let alone mentioned that we've had UFOs trailing all of our flights that, logically, would have a sentient origin when they demonstrate principles of awareness) and the limited use of manned explorations (especially if they couldn't stay there for any extended period) - just makes it all a pretty dicey field.

It's all a bit much to digest.

And we've already seen the diversified responses to the possibility of alien existence expressed on these forums and in classic historic examples such as the broadcast of "War of the Worlds." The more manned explorations into space, the more likelihood that leaks will emerge, and information of UFOs would spread to the masses. Immediately we would have cults dedicated to the worship of them, others ready to chase them out of the galaxy with a fist-full of nukes, and obvious fighting between the two groups.

That's just if headlines say: "NASA Confirms UFOs trailing craft; cite potential for ET origin." Much less anything more definite - such as leaked audio in an attempt at communication; close, detailed looks at the/a UFO, or some sort of encounter of the Third kind.

The world would go completely and totally bonkers. I'd rather be invaded by aliens without prior confirmation they exist than be on this planet when we actually have our first disclosed contact with an alien species.

I will say, though, that the complications with explorations to Mars are a little bit more involved than many seem to think. Mars is more similar to Earth than the moon is.... and many people forget the most important part of the trip.... getting BACK to Earth..... it will take almost as much fuel to get off of Mars as it will to leave Earth.... which means transporting absolutely astronomical amounts of fuel across the solar system. Which just isn't realistic.

We need a new fuel source and propulsion system before manned explorations to further planetary bodies can be carried out in a realistic manner. And the Moon has only recently become interesting again with it's potential to be used for construction of various stellar vehicles.

So that could be the "non UFO" explanation. Though I really think it's a combination of all of the above.

posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 08:28 AM
reply to post by Aim64C

Aim, great reply - I see you have also put a lot of thought into this. I am on this site because I am a marginal believer.
Sometimes I think I want UFO's to exist just so that I can say "I told you so". However, I also believe in empirical evidence to support the theory (the overused smoking gun theory), and so far nothing has been presented to the mass media or mainstream scientists.

At this point, a lot of true believers will start frothing at the mouth saying look at the pics, the videos, etc. I have seem them all, and admit that there are strange things going on but how we can label them as an alien from Planet X, Y or Z, I don't know.
Some of the other believers are going to say its all out there, all the evidence - it has just all been suppressed.

One thing I do know, a rumour can only stay a rumour if 2 people know it, and the one is dead.

I don't see how all this could have been suppressed (the bases alone would have taken thousands of people to construct, thousands of people to man)... imagine the rumours flying around. The governments of the world are just too incompetent to keep these things secret.

We all want this to be true, we all want confirmation and acceptance ... it sucks being a fringe group, a person who belongs to a way of thinking that makes people edge away from you when you are happily discussing the latest smudged UFO pic.

We all want to be able to say, we told you so, we were the believers, we were the first. We are now the experts.

It's human nature.

posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 08:35 AM
Most of the countries barely manage to keep their citizens alive and well fed.
Space projects require money, tons of it. For most its not justified.

A few agencies, who are in space, are there for other reasons, like national pride and such BS.

The past achievements were mostly driven by wars and military (and military minded) guys were driving them, not the scientists having a lust for pure knowledge.

So the (true) journey into the space has not yet started, its taking the baby steps. Commercial satellites, robots, rovers etc and we know how much costly it is and failure rates are high, just like in every other budding field.

Unless and until private corporations take over this job, its not gonna progress much. It has to be linked with human needs.

Lets wait and watch.

posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 09:01 AM
reply to post by rocksolidbrain

rocksolidbrain, I too belong to the school of thought that every great achievement in human history has been preceded by a great war or conflict.

We humans seem to feel the need to nearly wipe each others out before we can progress further. War also seems to stimulate our Mad Scientist skills, which are only applied later to peaceful endeavors.

Isn't it amazing though, how some countries with hungry citizens still feel the need to spend billions of dollars on the latest weaponry? South Africa does this - why? The only invasion happening to us is by starving refugees from Zimbabwe.

Republic of South Africa Annual military budget: $3.69 billion (2005 estimate) What they’re spending on: Weapons and military readiness.
Why it matters: Regional stability. As befits sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy, South Africa wants to be the military powerhouse of the region. However, a 2002 report revealed that only 3,000 of the country’s 76,000 active-duty soldiers could be deployed for combat operations due to inadequate equipment and the fact that as many as 60 percent of the country’s soldiers could be infected with HIV.

posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 10:56 AM
When Arthur C. Clarke wrote most of his books not much facts were known about space. After the lunar missions we found out that space is a very harsh environment for man.

Sending satellites and robots to explore space is much safer and cheaper.
I don't think we went backwards, we just went in another direction.

posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 11:05 AM
reply to post by deltaalphanovember

I think you've hit the nail on its head.
Why can everyone afford costliest weapons but not space research ?

You need to look into the psyche of our "leaders" and humans in general.
Poor countries need them, because they wouldn't like to be enslaved by someone more powerful. They'd be hungry rather than slaves living in terror. Any nation without defense and strong leaders falls prey to another 'ambitious' nation very soon. Leaders means those who can defend and to defend you need weapons.

Rich countries need them because no one would like to lose their prosperity just because they couldn't kill hungry mad mobs of people attacking them. In fact they prosper well only because they are powerful.

No one will need leaders if there is nothing to worry about and its safe and secure everywhere. And leaders know that, they wouldn't like to lose their power over people by keeping them well fed and secure. Having a war now and then keeps them in top position. They make every effort to keep that military budget high and ensure that there is less peace and more war.

So basic needs and primitive human tendencies ensure that the weapons get first priority and everything else comes next. If your life depends on it, it becomes important and justified automatically.

When there is no war there is little motivation to keep things going. When our lives start depending on space research it will progress by leaps and bounds.

top topics


log in