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Poll: The Space Program, a way to help?

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Pingieking:

Sleekit:
what do think we are doing "the science" for ?

because i always assumed we were doing "the science" to find out where we could go and what we could make use of.

And I'm going to pull out one of the best quotes ever.
"Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it." Richard P. Feynman.
Now replace the word "physics" with the word "science".

But to your general argument, I'm fine with opening up space with restrictions. This is a massive topic that involves a lot of politics, since just opening it up and letting it become a free-for-all between private companies isn't going to do anyone any good. For example, who would own what piece of the moon and which court and police force would enforce those property rights? What about the issue of light pollution in space? Who cleans up space garbage (this is much more important than it sounds, because space garbage are basically flying cannonballs that if left uncontrolled might destroy our ability to maintain satellites and destroy civilization as we know it)?

ty but i made a typo lol (missed out "you") *blush*.

clearing up space garbage is actually a topic quite close to my heart (anyone remember an 70s Andy Griffith show called "Salvage 1" ? i loved that show. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvage_1 apparently Isaac Asimov was its scientific adviser :o ) and actually has a business potential if you can basically set yourself up as a space scrap man/refuse collector.

setting up globally agreed agencies to seriously sell surveyed rights to entities who will seriously make use of them will probably be one of the first real steps to getting Humanity off the planet.

i am not making an argument against NASA (or for a "free for all").

indeed you would need government in some form in these places.
maybe even self government eventually.

even if all my dreams came true and there was a government/corporate run base/mine/shipyard on the moon full of "working men" types rather than solely scientists and explorers there would still be a case for say paying for the private construction of government funded pure science vessels and having bases/laboratories for certain things alongside that. i imaging quite a lot of countries might want a custom made ship...

i'm only saying that once certain types of business (ie resource gathering and basic production facilities which are what have to come first) get up there and it becomes "just another thing" much like working on an oilrig that'll be when the whole thing takes takes off.

because once its like that, that's when the human races eyes will widen and we'll start seriously looking at undertaking projects like terraforming Mars and sourcing raw materials from other plants/moons and asteroids to provide the raw materials to enable us do it (and soup up Earth) as things that we could actually do.

after that (very possibly with the help of government funded R&D conducted in space) we'll hopefully figure out how to make new craft to us take even further and we'll hopefully have our space colonization and terraforming badges :P...

imo we can't just go and eternally poke around (although we will be poking around as we go).
we have to go build stuff and edge our way out.

we need a horizon (or fronter :P) to push back.

and we already have a pretty good roadmap.

not an argument against NASA or government involvement in space.
just a comment on the whole thing in general. sry if i went off topic.

If you really want to see how well government funded private industry research does, just look at the drug manufacturers.

you would be better off sticking the money into the european space agency instead. the frnech make a profit from every launch of the ariane rockets

Xeorm:
If you really want to see how well government funded private industry research does, just look at the drug manufacturers.

Those aren't directly government funded. And for all that may be wrong there, they're doing a ton of research.

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Strange: The forum displays this discussion to have more than two pages. It displays the topic has 143 pages, but of course none of the pages beyond nr 2 will load.

nikki191:
you would be better off sticking the money into the european space agency instead. the frnech make a profit from every launch of the ariane rockets

That's because they only use small rockets to deliver small payloads and no people. If NASA only did what the ESA did, their budget would actually be as oversized as their critics say it is.

Esotera:

The private sector is very good at getting costs down when there is competition and regulation to make sure they don't price-fix or anything like that. This is exactly what space travel needs right now, for the reasons I've listed above. If we can get arbitrary material up to space for about 10% of the current cost, we would see a lot more people doing space tourism, getting satellites in orbit, and maybe some really wealthy individuals attempting to form colonies on the moon/mars/asteroids.

People keep saying this, but what basis does it have? It may cost less for the corporation themselves, but how are we supposed to determine if they will pass that saving on? I know, lets look at historical precedent. Here in the UK, we privatised: gas and electricty(went to shit, more expensive for consumer), the trains(went to shit, more expensive for the consumer), the buses(on a local level, so some are still good, but most went to shit, and are more expensive for the consumer), the NHS cleaning service(why hallo thar MRSA), the domestic water infrastructure(went to shit, more expensive for the taxpayer). We opened up the Post Office to competition, and what happened? The private companies took all the easy, cheap to operate, or really really profitable options, and then left the Royal Mail with a millstone around its neck trying to do all the same things as the private companies, while also providing the basic domestic mail service, with an ever decreasing budget. The much-touted "Public-Private Partnerships" and "Private Finance Initiatives" have all ended up costing us an arm and a leg. Every time the private sector involves itself, it's a litany of budget overruns, incompetence, delays, and corruption, so you'll forgive me if I don't buy into the bullshit idea of "private sector efficiency" - I've never fucking seen it.

Further, you talk about regulation as if it occurs in a vacuum; who do you think is responsible for poor regulation? Corporatist politicians, and the businesses who "lobby" them.

Like I say, if the private sector think they can make money in space, and they can secure their own investment; have at it, and good luck to them. But we should not divert one single penny of public money away from our scientific and research projects in space in order to subsidise their profit-making.

Magichead:

People keep saying this, but what basis does it have? It may cost less for the corporation themselves, but how are we supposed to determine if they will pass that saving on? I know, lets look at historical precedent. Here in the UK, we privatised: gas and electricty(went to shit, more expensive for consumer), the trains(went to shit, more expensive for the consumer), the buses(on a local level, so some are still good, but most went to shit, and are more expensive for the consumer), the NHS cleaning service(why hallo thar MRSA), the domestic water infrastructure(went to shit, more expensive for the taxpayer).

While I don't dispute your original point (in fact, I'm standing on your side on that particular topic), I have to say that the MRSA example is possibly the WORST one you could have picked. I did some research into the MRSA topic for one of the papers I wrote for class last year concerning scientific misinformation, and that case was like a perfect storm of people jumping at non-existent threats. Everything I could find points to MRSA being essentially not a threat at all. All the positive MRSA test samples seemed to trace back to one lab while everyone else got negatives. I could find nothing to suggest that it was a problem in the hospitals. Now I might be totally wrong since my field of study is physics and not medicine, but I suspect that the whole MRSA thing is something the media made up to fuck with people.

Aside from that, I agree with you completely. It's just that the whole MRSA thing kind of bothers me.

Sleekit:
*spaced*

And I believe we have reached common ground.
Private involvement in things outside of earth's atmosphere is basically just a matter of time and availability of infrastructure. And in that sense it's the same as everything else in the economy. Once the tech gets to a point where it makes economical sense, the market will naturally move to utilize the resources there. I really like NASA's current direction of moving away from manned flights to focusing on robotic missions and experiment based objectives. Let the private firms deal with getting humans up there because human presence in space isn't a vital necessity for conducting science and the money can be better spent elsewhere.

Pingieking:

Magichead:

People keep saying this, but what basis does it have? It may cost less for the corporation themselves, but how are we supposed to determine if they will pass that saving on? I know, lets look at historical precedent. Here in the UK, we privatised: gas and electricty(went to shit, more expensive for consumer), the trains(went to shit, more expensive for the consumer), the buses(on a local level, so some are still good, but most went to shit, and are more expensive for the consumer), the NHS cleaning service(why hallo thar MRSA), the domestic water infrastructure(went to shit, more expensive for the taxpayer).

While I don't dispute your original point (in fact, I'm standing on your side on that particular topic), I have to say that the MRSA example is possibly the WORST one you could have picked. I did some research into the MRSA topic for one of the papers I wrote for class last year concerning scientific misinformation, and that case was like a perfect storm of people jumping at non-existent threats. Everything I could find points to MRSA being essentially not a threat at all. All the positive MRSA test samples seemed to trace back to one lab while everyone else got negatives. I could find nothing to suggest that it was a problem in the hospitals. Now I might be totally wrong since my field of study is physics and not medicine, but I suspect that the whole MRSA thing is something the media made up to fuck with people.

Aside from that, I agree with you completely. It's just that the whole MRSA thing kind of bothers me.

Not having researched the topic as extensively as yourself I can't speak to your assertion regarding the lab, and I certainly don't doubt that the media has hyped the issue(as they always do with health), nor that some of the increase in MRSA cases is due to improved diagnosis/testing; there have been verifiable cases of people who are killed/disabled by it after going to hospital for an unrelated issue, and from what I have read on the matter, more than would be expected to be the case when you account for additional factors(drug resistance, new diagnostic techniques, misreporting etc etc).

My main point in including it in my little list is that I've seen people argue that the MRSA "epidemic"(thanks Daily Fail) is because of the evil bureaucratic NHS and would never exist in the private sector, when in fact the phenomenon only began after the well trained and reasonably paid dedicated in-house cleaning staff were sacked, and replaced with overworked, underpaid private agency workers, many of whom are temps. Why were they replaced? Because the private sector is more efficient of course! Bah.

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