Someone Wanna Tell Me Why Nasa? Spends 800 million on mars - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 06-07-2003, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok so that was a long title. hehe...

I was just listening to the radio and they were saying that someome (I think NASA ,right?) spent 800 millon dollars on two crafts to tour mars to see if their was ever life on Mars...

Why is this importnant?? and why can't they spend that money on something worth while like our planet.....???
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#2 of 27 Old 06-07-2003, 02:05 PM
 
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My personal theory is that they're looking for a new place to settle after we finally drive this one into the ground... :
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#3 of 27 Old 06-07-2003, 02:07 PM
 
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Well, you know....800mil....I could use a million or two. Maybe 2 thousand...that would be nice. Spread the d*mn wealth, ppl!
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#4 of 27 Old 06-07-2003, 02:18 PM
 
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I'm with dragonfly.

hmmm how much of our nations new debt could be paid off with the 800 mil??
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#5 of 27 Old 06-07-2003, 02:22 PM
 
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I disagree. My hubby worked for nasa for a few years and we are totally "nasa proud," and love space exploration.

Sahm mom to three lovely girls, and happily married to a great, sweet guy
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#6 of 27 Old 06-07-2003, 02:52 PM
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I would like to know how many children who go to bed every night with empty bellies could have been fed with that kind of money... or even a FRACTION of that kind of money. We have little children starving in our own backyards, yet this much money can be found for something like this? Makes me kind of ill.

Exploration is all well and good, but I think we need to have our priorities in order and make sure life on this planet (and in our country, and in our hometowns) is being well supported then to try to find out if another planet could support life.

I agree, they are probably looking for a new planet after this one goes to sh*t...

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#7 of 27 Old 06-07-2003, 03:12 PM
 
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I think they are also looking for alternative sources of fuel for this planet. We are hitting our oil peak, and the rest is downhill from here.
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#8 of 27 Old 06-07-2003, 09:03 PM
 
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I'd much rather have 800 million spent on space than 75 BILLION spent on that war.

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#9 of 27 Old 06-07-2003, 09:45 PM
 
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it would be nice if we were looking and found an alternate fuel source or something...? maybe that is the plan?

i think it is just a good way of hiding and moving money around so much they can use it for other things. as this might be a good "front". (my theory of paranoia)

id like it see spent for things like WIC and children's health concerns. i think our children should come before space exploration...

even though i do think it is very cool and interesting.
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#10 of 27 Old 06-08-2003, 01:13 AM
 
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With all the cuts in education lately--I would like to see more of this money being spent on having our children learn about space exploration!
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#11 of 27 Old 06-08-2003, 02:11 AM
 
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I think they are looking for water too - were you listening to Science Friday? I love that show...

I was totally conflicted listening to that... spending too much money on another planet when our is so f'd up and parts unknown...

OTH - the physical geographer in me was way fascinated that they have all these landforms that don't make sense that they get to study...
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#12 of 27 Old 06-08-2003, 12:27 PM
 
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I think we need to look for intelligent life on this planet first !!--before we start sending probes and spending $$$$ on looking for it elsewhere.

The problem is that I have been looking at my ballot at every election and I have yet to see any intelligent life there. ....Or anywhere else for that matter.
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#13 of 27 Old 06-08-2003, 01:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by miriam
I think we need to look for intelligent life on this planet first !!--before we start sending probes and spending $$$$ on looking for it elsewhere.

The problem is that I have been looking at my ballot at every election and I have yet to see any intelligent life there. ....Or anywhere else for that matter.
ITA!
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#14 of 27 Old 06-08-2003, 02:00 PM
 
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Moving this to Activism!
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#15 of 27 Old 06-08-2003, 07:41 PM
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Same questions (as Hilary posed) here, HeatherE.

Members of my family work on the Mars project for JPL and NASA and even they feel this obscene amount of money is nothing less than 'immoral' (to quote these members).

They feel strongly that this project as well as the unsuccessful Explorer could have been done much, much more economically.

It is injust, immoral and a sin to spend this much money on space exploration when such great Planet Earth suffering remains untouched, imo. The height of arrogance.
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#16 of 27 Old 06-08-2003, 07:45 PM
 
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I think that space exploration is awesome! The information that is being gathered is incredible.

BUT... that seems like an awful lot of money that could have been put to better use. It seems like education is ALWAYS getting cut, but we don't hear too much about NASA having a lean year. I haven't seen any signs for NASA's bake sale to raise money for a trip to Mars.
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#17 of 27 Old 06-08-2003, 08:08 PM
 
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Quote:
I'd much rather have 800 million spent on space than 75 BILLION spent on that war.

ita! i don't have nearly as much of a prob. w/space exploration as i do w/the military budget... i wish i could remember the quote exactly, but if i've got it right, if the u.s. cut it's pentagon budget in half, there'd be enough money to house, feed, and medical care for every person in the us for 10 yrs. (it could have been 5 yrs. - it's been a few years since i heard it)...i'll see if i can find the source...

well, i'm not finding the source very quickly - but, also, there's the infamous "black budget" of the pentagon - which we don't even know how much that is!!
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#18 of 27 Old 06-08-2003, 09:23 PM
 
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ITA with the space vs war comments.

In addition, it is not like there is not enough food to go around--- we just don't give it to those in need. If cutting $ from NASA meant that every child in the world went to bed w/ a full belly I'd cut in a heart beat. Instead, though, it would be an extra million for every billionaire and a couple torpedos.

Kay

 

 

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#19 of 27 Old 06-08-2003, 10:57 PM
 
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First of all, I don't appreciate your tone, Hilary. I wasn't looking for a freakin fight here, just proud that my husband used to work with a fine group of people. And what exactly do you mean by gravy trail? Do you think we were rolling in freakin money or something? Because let me assure you, he didn't have a big wig job. Just a low on the totem pole tech assistant job.

I'd be happy to explain why I'mproud of Nasa- they took wonderful care of me and my family when we moved to another country to work for them. It's a tight knit group of people working together, much like how the military families feel about each other. The way it sounds here, nasa is taking food from the mouths of starving babies in order to go to mars. Understand that they are part of the government's budget, just like any other gov. program, and have had cuts as well. The war has cost a LOAD more money, and the spy satillites alone sent up for this war have cost much more than the mars project- 2 billion for ONE satillite.

How sad that you feel the need to make this personal. I was just expressing my opinion, in a nice and RESPECTFUL way.

Sahm mom to three lovely girls, and happily married to a great, sweet guy
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#20 of 27 Old 06-09-2003, 07:45 AM
 
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Erm Hilary it was 800 Million to go to Mars. Not 800 Billion.

Well, it is a goverment program that provides jobs in the scientific community. I do feel that it is important for the government to support scientific research. Well some of it, I am sure someone would come up with a program that most of us wouldn't agree with.

Some of the information they have been getting back from the Mars probes has been very interesting. Several countries are now either working on sending probes to Mars or currently have one.

If they could be more economical in their spending it would be nice but I really don't know enough about it to criticise.

Gravy train is how it is phrased here, here could be meant derisively as a cush job that pays big bucks.

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#21 of 27 Old 06-09-2003, 10:40 AM
 
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NASA is more military R&D funding in sheep's clothes.

While we still have homelessness, hunger, lack of decent medical care, and a host of other social woes for many in our countr, NASA spending is immoral.
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#22 of 27 Old 06-09-2003, 11:39 AM
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FWIW, I had a friend who, until she retired, was an editor at one of the big defense firms. She was a tried-and-true Republican, and had class 5 security clearance at her job. She was also a really cool person.

In any event, she believed space boondogles (her comments were directed specifically at Reagan's Star Wars program, which she was in a position to know quite a lot about) are intended as much to instill a sense of national pride ("gee, look what we can do!") as anything else. She believed that, other than any scientific or other alleged value they might have, they were largely one form of a hugely expensive PR campaign. She frankly did not approve of them, though she thought they did serve well in their PR role.
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#23 of 27 Old 06-09-2003, 12:20 PM
 
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I'm in the camp that finds this obscene. We've had many, many people in our town suddenly unemployeed and our public school system is hurting BADLY. Much more useful ways to be spending this money.
We can also find alternative fuel sources here, can't we? Why aren't we looking into wind, solar, etc. power and finding ways to make that work for us?

Marcy
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#24 of 27 Old 06-09-2003, 01:37 PM
 
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ITA agree that there are more impt thing than Mars exploration, but...

Just because Mars was scrapped would NOT mean that that $800 million went to the needy. I can guarantee it wouldn't

I'm sorry, but this argument seems to me like when people say, "Well I didn't bfeed, but it is more important to read to your child/love them/etc..." I'm not arguing with the impt of the second, just saying we *could* have both! What, the current war has already spent 100 (or is it 1000) times that much money!!! There are soooo many resources available, it is just alloting them correctly, and with all the govt waste that goes on (and corporate welfare) it seems odd to attack a 800 million program that at least is not actively killing people. There are so many other things that need changed. I am totally positive that with a readjustment of values ALL people could have food, housing, medical care, education *and* the NASA program.

Kay

 

 

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#25 of 27 Old 06-09-2003, 03:38 PM
 
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"I am totally positive that with a readjustment of values ALL people could have food, housing, medical care, education *and* the NASA program."

Kay...ITA...Joyce in the mts.

CD Labor/Postpartum (MSTM), Doula trainer (BAI), Midwifery Student/Apprentice, CPS Tech
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#26 of 27 Old 06-11-2003, 01:51 AM
 
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I haven't posted here very much, but space exploration is a topic I feel strongly about, so I thought I'd jump in.

First, I have to say that I have a number of significant disagreements with the way NASA spends its money and what priorities it chooses. I think manned space flight is highly overrated, or at least the sort of manned missions that NASA focuses on. This has been true ever since the Apollo missions, when the purpose was not to establish any sort of foothold in space, but simply to beat the Russians to the moon. Similarly, the Space Shuttle program has been an expensive boondoggle that has produced very little of any permanent value. The original vision was for a cheap, safe, reusable vessel that could take off weekly or daily, shuttling people and equipment up to orbit. Instead, we get a hugely expensive and apparently quite dangerous vehicle that has retarded the development of genuinely useful spaceplanes.

That said, I think NASA also does a lot of good. Planetary exploration missions like Mariner and Voyager and Galileo have produced a lot of excellent scientific data for a relatively low cost. The Hubble telescope has done as much for cosmology in ten years as was done in decades before its launch. The International Space Station may be hugely expensive, relatively useless, and decades behind schedule, but at least it represents some attempt at a human presence in space.

I also don't understand the attitude that we should not fund pure research when there are practical problems to be solved. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive, and pure research often leads to completely unexpected ways of solving problems. The view that only the practical is important is, of course, a long-standing American view with a proud history, but I think anti-intellectualism is an ultimately unproductive way of thinking. Also, while it is obviously important to address immediate needs and problems, it also seems wise to me to invest in the future.

Also, the total NASA budget for 2003 is $15 billion dollars. A lot of money to you and me (though not to Bill Gates) but only about 2% of the total discretionary spending of $755 billion, and about .7% of the total outlays of $2.1 TRILLION. I am all for reallocating our spending priorities, but NASA is far from the first place I would look for such things. Consider that we spend more than ten times the NASA budget just on interest on the national debt. But since Mars is far away and pure research rarely yields immediate practical results, it's an easy, though in my opinion unjustified target for outrage.
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#27 of 27 Old 06-13-2003, 11:01 PM
 
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In answer to the opening post, ...because it is there.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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