posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 12:55 PM
Too many words, but...
Anything when compared to the defense industry is going to appear small. That doesn't mean it's important that we rework the budget in a different
direction. People highly value the defense industry.
I don't think we've stopped dreaming. In fact, I'm not sure we ever started.
I do kind of agree that the whole space program is kind of fake. It does seem as though Apollo was just an excuse to beat the Soviet Union to space
militarily and in the public's mind via the moon shot program. Militarily, it was a great strategic advantage of have satellites in earth orbit. But
why would we spend billions of dollars to put a man on the moon when having a man on the moon didn't necessarily give us a military advantage??? Far
as I know, we didn't put a man on the moon after Apollo for military reasons. So the whole moon shot thing seems weird to me. It's a lot of money to
spend solely for public relations.
Bottom line, we need ecoomic reasons to venture into space. What we need are smart people to explore our options and figure out what space has that we
need and then develop the needed industries and excitement to spur it forward. I'm not sure what things in space are viable, but I've heard of putting
telescopes on the backside of the moon, mining helium-3, beaming energy to the earth from the moon, mining rare elements in the asteroid belt,
manufacturing parts in zero-g, etc. But I'm probably wrong about a number of those and I've barely scratched the surface.
So we can't really start dreaming until there's a viable economic reason to go into space. The costs are just too high for anything else aside from
the military reasons and the unmanned space probes.
We need a breakthrough in propulsion. One idea I saw mostly used conventional technology, but it put fuel depots at key locations between earth and
the moon. Somehow, this decreases the costs. The main arguments against this are that it's too prone for error and that it won't become very effective
until extra-terrestrial fuel can be produced. A few links suggest we could produce fuel on the moon or mars:
None of these ideas dramatically reduce the costs, though. Costs need to come down to justify things like space hotels or other less meaningful
reasons. Even the "exploration" reasons are dependent on it.
edit on 5-4-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)