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Americans, how do you feel about the demise of NASA?

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posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 12:16 PM
reply to post by Larryman

Robots are great. They're what we've used to explore the cosmos, around Earth, Luna, and beyond for decades now. They do a fantastic job of relaying information back to people on the ground. And that's it. Humans in space can use their intuition and curiosity to search out new things.

Also, with the case of more and more distant missions, humans have the ability to make snap decisions. With probes you must wait for data to be sent back to Earth, wait for that data to be analyzed, wait for a decision to be made, wait for that order to be sent and received, and wait to see if the order was followed correctly. Now that's a lot of waiting! And what comes next? Repeating those steps over and over.

Robonaut is a step in the right direction for a more autonomous space probe, but still no where near the capabilities of a human.

posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 04:17 PM
reply to post by cmdrkeenkid

With all regards, humans need to eat, excrete, breath, and weigh quite a bit for a deep space payload. They also have emotions machines do not. They can be damaged by solar radiation that machines are nearly impervious to with a fraction of protection in lengthy missions, humans also like to be somewhere in the temperature range of about 50º F either way, (uncomfortably), machines have functioned 10X greater than that extreme, and beyond.

There is really little a human can add to what a machine sensor detects and transmits, other than 'eyed witness' the lowest revered form of proof in the forensic court of law and science.

Like telling your son during a drought looking down a well you cannot see the bottom of, "jump in", throw us up the water down there".

posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 05:12 PM
reply to post by Illustronic

Machines, just as humans, can be damaged by cosmic radiation. While the loss of a human life may seem more tragic than the destruction of a probe, on the grand scheme of things it is not. People accept the risks when they sign on for dangerous jobs. If people didn't find the risks acceptable we wouldn't have police officers, fire fighters, military personnel, astronauts, etc. The loss of a person will result in the same mission failure as the loss of a probe.

The emotional component of humanity is something that we need to explore the cosmos. If humanity lacked the passion, the curiosity, the need, and the drive to explore we would never have made it across mountains, deserts, wastelands and oceans that allowed humanity to spread their reach across the globe as it is today. The cosmos is just another gulf, waiting to be crossed.

Yes, machines have functioned in places where humanity cannot go without special protection. Most of those were one way missions. Also, the critical components of the probe were shielded from the extreme heat and cold. Like humans, machines can only function properly within certain temperatures. Granted, this range may be larger, but it still exists.

As far as providing "eye witness" testimony, it is hardly about that. Human explorers can make the snap decisions that machines cannot. Sure, some machines are fitted with basic decision making AI, but they are still several million (billion?) neurons (or silicon equivalent) short of the decision making power of a human.

Finally, space exploration should not be just about the exploration. We need to harness the resources of the Solar System to increase the quality of life here on Earth. The vast amount of resources out there should make the expense more than justifiable, with a nearly infinite return on investment, to send people into deep space.

posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 10:09 PM
reply to post by cmdrkeenkid

What a laundry-list of justifications! Neither individually nor severally to they make a convincing case for manned space exploration.

There is only one real justification for employing humans in the exploration of space, Commander. It is the human desire to go there and see for ourselves.

And it is more than sufficient.

edit on 30/7/11 by Astyanax because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 10:39 PM
reply to post by Astyanax

While I wholeheartedly agree that the only reason we should send humans into deep space is simply to see for ourselves, not everyone does. I cannot say that I appreciated your jab at my attempts for justification. Since not everyone can grasp the fascination that holds some peoples' heads high to the heavens, they must be convinced. This convincing may take place through passion and determination, but the more likely route, as I attempted, is through their pocketbooks.

edit on 7/30/2011 by cmdrkeenkid because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 10:45 PM
I have to agree with many posters as well as commentators about this topic, the shuttle was long past due to retire. It lived probably a good twenty years longer than it should have, and was a huge cash inhibitor for many other projects. One of which was the predecessor to the X-47b, which the air force said there was no way they were going to let that go when it got canned by NASA. In my mind as well as others it was a huge waste of money for too long of a time.

That being said NASA isn't going anywhere they are still at work on a whole host of other projects, but good riddance to the money hog known as the shuttle.

Edit to add here is a great article about some of the projects cancelled:
edit on 7/30/1111 by Golithion because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 10:55 PM
NASA started out originally as an extension of the US military. The original astronauts and people who works for NASA were from the US Air Force, and they pushed the boundaries of science and technology to the limits. Competition between the US and the former Soviet Union, allowed for the greatest of all achievements, placing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. As former astronauts would say, it was like riding a bomb, that could potentially explode. The frontiers of science and the understanding of the solar system, galaxy, and universe was pushed to exceed any one persons wildest expectations and imagination. It is a sad day that the space shuttle fleet will be mothballed, as it was the dream of a President and a country some 20 years earlier to have a reusable vehicle to continue the exploration of space. While some would say that the private industry will now have a fair shot, the reality is that it will take a bit longer for us to visit or even revisit the moon, or Mars, cause those who have the skill, drive and technical know how are either retired, or just getting out of the space game all together to follow other interests. Of all of the potential for all of mankind, it was one of the greatest of such, and it is a shame that the end of an era, has come. It is indeed a sad day for the United States, where we will have to go on hiatus, and potentially lose years and technological advancements from following the dream of achievement and explorations that has pushed so many from around the world to follow.

posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 10:56 PM

Originally posted by woodwardjnr
I watched an amazing documentary on the NASA Shuttle missions over the weekend. It looked at all of the NASA space Shuttle missions over the years. What struck me was the amazing ingenuity, bravery and dedication of those who worked on those missions. From the astronauts, to those who worked on the ground. Seeing astronauts repair the Hubble space telescope was a highlight for me. Watching men climb inside a huge telescope and manually fix it while being in space.

This was surely one of America's greatest achievements. It seemed to encompass all that is great about America and it's pioneering spirit. Yet the end of the documentary was quite sad. To think that America now has to rely on the old enemy to get their astronauts into space. The NASA employees in the documentary seemed very upset by the prospect that now Russia, China and even India will be back on the moon before America.

It just seems so sad that the noble pursuit of getting man off this planet, has been replaced by endless wars and bailouts. All that money, think what could have been done for the betterment of mankind.

Over the past three decades, the agency’s shuttles have played a crucial role in constructing the International Space Station (ISS), launching the Hubble telescope and sending astronauts and millions of tons of hardware into space.

Since Columbia’s maiden launch in April 1981, the five shuttles – Atlantis, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery and Endeavour - have completed 134 flights between them, and travelled a combined total of 537,114,016 miles (864,401,218km), spending 1,320 days in orbit.

I cant find a direct link to the documentary, so I guess this will have to do fo now. Hopefully the doc will be on youtube soon.

Hubble space walk.

NASA was never a useful private agency to begin with. The Space Act of 1958 explains it all. Particularly, Sec. 20116 subsection C, "Classified Information.--No information that has been classified for reasons of national security shall be included in any report made under this section, unless the information has been declassified by, or pursuant to authorization given by, the President."

So from the get go NASA was never on our side....

a source:

They wasted a lot of money when India does what it did for wayyyyyyyy cheaper.

posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 11:53 PM
reply to post by cmdrkeenkid

I cannot say that I appreciated your jab at my attempts for justification.

Hardly a jab, surely? Barely a pinprick. As for the reason why...

Since not everyone can grasp the fascination that holds some peoples' heads high to the heavens, they must be convinced. This convincing may take place through passion and determination, but the more likely route, as I attempted, is through their pocketbooks. is that I recognised the ploy, and disapproved. I used to work in advertising and public relations, so attempts to manipulate public opinion are rather obvious to me. And since I am a part of the public you are addressing, I am, I think, entitled to be a little resentful.

This is a social network, Commander, not a platform for lobbyists.

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 07:17 AM
reply to post by sdcigarpig

People from the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency resent that the U.S. Air Force is credited with the establishment of NASA. Sure the pilots and later the astronauts came from the Air Force but the first launch rockets came from the Army.

The von Braun team worked to develop what was essentially a super-V2 rocket, named for the U.S. Army arsenal where it was being designed -- the Redstone.

In 1956, the Army Ballistic Missile Agency was established at Redstone Arsenal under von Braun's leadership to develop the Jupiter intermediate range ballistic missile. A version of the Redstone rocket, known as the Jupiter C, was used on January 31, 1958, to launch America's first satellite, Explorer I. Three years later, Mercury Redstones launched Alan Shepard and Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom on suborbital space flights, paving the way for John Glenn's first orbital flight.

In 1958, NASA was established, and, two years later, von Braun, his team, and the entire Army Ballistic Missile Agency were transferred to NASA to become the nucleus of the agency's space program.

Just keep in mind if you meet a rocket scientist from Huntsville his lineage may be from the U.S. Army and not the Air Force, just so you don't piss him off.

Other citations

A direct result of the Sputnik crisis, NASA began operations on October 1, 1958, absorbing into itself the earlier National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics intact: its 8,000 employees, an annual budget of $100 million, three major research laboratories-Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, and Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory-and two smaller test facilities. It quickly incorporated other organizations into the new agency, notably the space science group of the Naval Research Laboratory in Maryland, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory managed by the California Institute of Technology for the Army, and the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, Alabama, where Wernher von Braun's team of engineers were engaged in the development of large rockets. Eventually NASA created other Centers and today it has ten located around the country.

Other link from About

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 08:23 AM
I have seen the new space ship that travels from the US to Taiwan frequently using Nazi technology.

America's Space Operations haven't ceased. Rocket engines are 20th Century technology. The new SpaceCraft are cheaper to fly.

Ask India or China or Japan or Russia if they will show you their images of the moon. They won't.

You can see some really low resolution pictures they will show you, but you could take better pictures with a Kmart telescope and a $50 digital camera duct taped to it.

What did they see up there we have? Why aren't they sharing mere pictures of the moon in high resolution???

You find that out and you might find out about our REAL space program.

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 11:33 AM
reply to post by Pervius

If you're so confident combination of the optics in a cheap telescope and a cheaper digital camera, I beg for you to try what you suggested. I have a 12" Meade LX200 and a Nikon D5000 that I use, not as often as I'd like, for astrophotgraphy in Northern Michigan. I doubt I could achieve the resolution of the images taken by some of the orbiters we have around Luna. The Moon's albedo is just too high for anything detailed.

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