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Mars Mission, Space Exploration Money Better Spent on Earth?

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posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 02:51 PM
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I don't know. I understand that the total amount of money spent on space exploration is really not that much compared to weapons manufacturing or pharmaceutical advertising or healthcare billing. I suppose that money could be funneled into research to try and find a "cure for cancer," but there are already many more billions of dollars spent on that and for the most part, we have cancer surprisingly well under control. Besides, you cure cancer, and what do you get? More people on Earth. That's the problem with doing anything to "help mankind." It works, and you end up with more living, healthy people, which causes all kinds of other problems. It's not like the amount of money spent on space exploration is enough to end poverty and solve the existential misery of the human condition. Or even help that much.

Is there an immediate benefit from space exploration? Honestly, no. Not really. Other than providing a paycheck to over-educated scientists and technicians so they can pay their rent and feed their families, the only thing we really get out of it is some interesting images (thanks, Hubble!) and data. Does pure knowledge by itself have intrinsic value? I'm not sure.

Even if the most important thing in the history of humanity was found by the Curiosity Rover, which is that there used to be life on Mars and that we might not be the only planet in the universe with life on it, what does that actually get us? A somewhat different view of the universe and our place in it? So what? Big deal. Maybe as a consequence of that we start making different decisions about what we do with our money, and maybe spend more on space exploration rather than weapons. But day-to-day, it really doesn't change anything. It's just another thing to talk about at "church," which never accomplishes anything, anyway.

On the other hand, we're all just little brainy monkey critters crawling around on a damp space rock for a few years, trying to breed a little before we die. So we spend a bit of money to see if there are other critters out there, or maybe take colorful pictures of distant stars. It amuses us. It gives us something to think about or talk about while we wile away our days before death. Ultimately, who cares? What does it matter? As long as we can afford it, why not shoot a rocket into space? Why do anything?





posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by Blue Shift
 


Discovery of life, in any form, on another planet will change humanities entire outlook on life.

Plus, with dwindling resources here on Earth, and overpopulation problems, expansion into space and beyond is a necessity if humanity wants to survive more than a few hundred more years.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:00 PM
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I can understand where you're coming from. We do have plenty of problems here. But I'll tell you what, curb the rampant government fraud and misuse of taxpayer money, prosecute the living crap out of big-business and big-banking that have been getting away with victimizing the population and stop spending money on senseless, pointless wars and then get back to me about the Mars mission.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:00 PM
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32billion dollars are illegally stalled at foreingn banks..
with that money we could go to another galaxy....



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:02 PM
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The NASA budget is only 0.48% as compared to the entire federal spending, so your thread about "money better spent on Earth" is essentially not needed.

If i make a piechart with the 2012 federal budget, you wouldn't even SEE the tiny slice assigned for NASA.

On a funny and good note, i am happy seeing people on other sites like CNN etc. pointing all this out, maybe some people actually WAKE UP to realize where their money really goes. I like that this discussion is going on, because the one or the other MIGHT end up learning something from that. I am pretty confident that MANY people have no clue whatsoever where their money actually goes and i am also convinced that most people complaining about a $2.6B Mars project are only doing so because of IGNORANCE...because no one halfway sane would bring this up if they would know the real numbers and the actual microscopic tiny NASA budget.

edit on 9-8-2012 by flexy123 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:04 PM
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reply to post by Blue Shift
 


Some people think E.T. is visiting Earth. So i say to those people, let the Aliens bring the rock and soil samples from Mars back to Earth for us, and we would save a great deal of money.




posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:05 PM
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I think there is a vast ocean of waste that needs cut. Even NASA probably has more than a little waste here and there. Who doesn't? ......but when we're running budgets of multiple trillions of dollars and NASA's WHOLE package is pricing out at 17.7 billion? (2012 Budget on NASA site) I think they're being UNDER-funded to a rather sad level, even in these hard times.

How NASA Budget compares....

That was 1999 figures and NASA's budget increased by about 3 billion in the meantime. However, the second chart down says it all, IMO. Among the comparisons that year, Americans spent as much on seeds and potted plants as Space Exploration. If there are aliens around, I wonder how they feel about being the financial priority of potted plants?



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:09 PM
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Technically that money was spent on earth. Any money that was spent went to those working or otherwise involved with the project. They then spent it creating cash flow for other businesses.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:13 PM
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I'm fairly sure that money was spend on earth. Or did they actually haul 2 billion into mars?



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
I think there is a vast ocean of waste that needs cut. Even NASA probably has more than a little waste here and there. Who doesn't? ......but when we're running budgets of multiple trillions of dollars and NASA's WHOLE package is pricing out at 17.7 billion? (2012 Budget on NASA site) I think they're being UNDER-funded to a rather sad level, even in these hard times.

How NASA Budget compares....



Yes in the early nineties it was about 1% for a short time, but it's below a half percentage now, 0,48%.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:21 PM
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I strongly support the US space program.

It creates a lot of jobs that pay pretty well.

Poor people have always been here and will continue to be here no matter how much we spend on programs to aid the poor.

We've just created an underclass here in the US that is dependent on the government for their paychecks.


What used to happen before welfare?
What used to happen before foodstamps?



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:25 PM
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reply to post by Blue Shift
 


Here's my argument.

The space race of the 60's created an entire generation of kids interested in math and science. Which then led to the largest technological development period in human history.

Money spent on space IS money spent here on Earthy my friend.


We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.
~Carl Sagan


~Tenth



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by Kryties
reply to post by Blue Shift
 

Discovery of life, in any form, on another planet will change humanities entire outlook on life.


Yeah, but what does that get us, if anything? We already have a lot of different outlooks on life. Some people see God in the sky. Some people already believe aliens are kidnapping millions of us in our sleep. On one hand, knowing that there is other life out there just makes us one planet among potentially millions crawling with life, and pretty insignificant. Or we just dropped a few notches on the food chain. Or we're part of a Galactic brotherhood of living things. The thing is, we don't really think all that highly of all the other life or people or cultures we have on Earth right now. Familiarity breeding contempt, I suppose. I imagine the discovery of ET life would set off a whole lot of soul-searching and debate in the short run, but eventually we'd come to view it as some dusty academic subject droned on about by college professors but of little use to the average guy trying to pay the rent and buy donuts.


Plus, with dwindling resources here on Earth, and overpopulation problems, expansion into space and beyond is a necessity if humanity wants to survive more than a few hundred more years.

I'm of the opinion that humanity is only a transient species anyway, with very little time left on Earth. We're either going to be quickly supplanted by artificial intelligence, which can be put into machines that can make the trip into space a whole lot easier than we can, or we're going to modify our genetics to such an extent that we'll no longer be human.

I've read articles about the possibility of human expansion into space, and it doesn't look like it will do much good for Earth-bound humanity. It's too expensive to transfer large numbers of people to other planets. Space is so very, very big. And by the time a significant human (or modified human) population establishes itself on another planet, the first thing they're probably going to do is breed, and the second thing is pass laws to keep other immigrants out. So you're not going to get much out of space travel other than the dubious satisfaction of keeping a quasi-human lifeform going elsewhere as a kind of safeguard against extinction. If that matters to you. Like I said, we don't care all that much for other people different than us on this planet, much less another one.

But I like the pictures. Mars looks like a very cold desert. Some of those Hubble images make nice screen savers. And if that's all we get out of it, along with keeping some scientist on the payroll so they don't sell their expertise to Iran or North Korea, I guess I'm good with that.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:39 PM
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reply to post by Blue Shift
 


The money is spent on Earth as we do not have aliens on another world building this stufff for us and billing us .



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:52 PM
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Originally posted by tothetenthpower
reply to post by Blue Shift
 

The space race of the 60's created an entire generation of kids interested in math and science. Which then led to the largest technological development period in human history.


I tend to think that World War II stimulated the creation and development of the technology, and the Space Race capitalized on it. But what did we ultimately get out of the Space Race? Except for a few exploratory projects, the U.S. space program is floundering. Without the drive of competition with the Commies, we don't know what to do with ourselves. How many times is talk of a manned mission to Mars floated out there to get the votes of the techno-geeks, only to have it yanked back after the election?

Sure space exploration stimulates technological development, but throwing money at anything does. How about using that same brainpower and money to develop and build a high-speed transportation system, analogous to the Interstate Highway System (originally known as the Defense Highway System)? Or how about a free communications network for everybody?

Not that I'm arguing for that, either. But even if we didn't have a space exploration program, the money would still be spent on something.


Money spent on space IS money spent here on Earthy my friend.

Yeah, I understand that. It's all money that gets re-circulated. And I'm not arguing against a space program. But I also understand that any benefit we get from it is like what the Egyptians got from building the pyramids. What real good are the pyramids? Realistically, they're useless. Interesting to look at and contemplate, but really of no value other than that. Does that mean the Egyptians shouldn't have built them? I say, hey, why not? What else were they going to do?


edit on 9-8-2012 by Blue Shift because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 04:01 PM
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Originally posted by Max_TO
The money is spent on Earth as we do not have aliens on another world building this stufff for us and billing us .

Okay, I understand that I should change the title of the thread so it specifies "Earth focused projects" so it doesn't confuse people like yourself.

EDIT: Eh, why bother? Let's see how many people make the same "joke" you did.


edit on 9-8-2012 by Blue Shift because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 04:06 PM
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Originally posted by Kryties
reply to post by Blue Shift
 

Discovery of life, in any form, on another planet will change humanities entire outlook on life.


But will it really? Scores of people believe in life elsewhere anyway. Its not going to change a lot if its confirmed.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 04:10 PM
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reply to post by Blue Shift
 

There are 4 posts (not all in joke form) pointing out the fact that the money was spent on earth.

Not directly at easing the burden of other humans but still providing cash flow.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 04:30 PM
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reply to post by Blue Shift
 



I tend to think that World War II stimulated the creation and development of the technology, and the Space Race capitalized on it. But what did we ultimately get out of the Space Race? Except for a few exploratory projects, the U.S. space program is floundering. Without the drive of competition with the Commies, we don't know what to do with ourselves. How many times is talk of a manned mission to Mars floated out there to get the votes of the techno-geeks, only to have it yanked back after the election?

Sure space exploration stimulates technological development, but throwing money at anything does. How about using that same brainpower and money to develop and build a high-speed transportation system, analogous to the Interstate Highway System (originally known as the Defense Highway System)? Or how about a free communications network for everybody?


It is a difficult concept for some, but there is such a thing as "intellectual capital." The "Space Race" fomented a great revolution in education. Many young people received an education in science and technology who otherwise might not have. These young people grew up to be the math geeks who founded Silicon Valley. The peaceful exploration of space is a whetstone for the nation's intellectual edge. The "pure knowledge" that it is gathering now may turn out to pay enormous benefits later. In learning about Mars' history and environment, we are also learning about Earth's. It has lessons to teach us, if we have perspicacity to learn.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 04:41 PM
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reply to post by Blue Shift
 



I tend to think that World War II stimulated the creation and development of the technology, and the Space Race capitalized on it. But what did we ultimately get out of the Space Race? Except for a few exploratory projects, the U.S. space program is floundering. Without the drive of competition with the Commies, we don't know what to do with ourselves. How many times is talk of a manned mission to Mars floated out there to get the votes of the techno-geeks, only to have it yanked back after the election?


So you are saying that the inability of our politicans, to see the requirement ( as put forth by the ACADEMICS in the United States, not "techno-geeks") of a healthy space program, that means we should not have one?


Sure space exploration stimulates technological development, but throwing money at anything does. How about using that same brainpower and money to develop and build a high-speed transportation system, analogous to the Interstate Highway System (originally known as the Defense Highway System)? Or how about a free communications network for everybody?


Well the High Speed Rail has begun development in some parts of the US as far as I know and again, that was the result of your politicians ignoring America's infrastructure for the last 30 years. It has nothing to do with how much funding went into those techs, it's been available for decades.


Not that I'm arguing for that, either. But even if we didn't have a space exploration program, the money would still be spent on something.


But you would have FAR less advancements in propulsion, physics, optics and whole other wide range of sciences that derive their advancements from exploring space.

Like I said, space, as a means of encouraging learning and moving technology forward is one, if not the best way to go about it. IMO anyway...

You don't get that with any other industry, and no other industry has encouraged such a large ammount of children to focus into academic sciences since.

~Tenth


edit on 8/9/2012 by tothetenthpower because: (no reason given)



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