No Right Answer: Is Going to Space Worth It?

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DRTJR:

TheMemoman:
-snip-

Our greed as you put it is our great engine of greatness. The drive to do and see more than anybody else is a central tenant of human existence. We should leave this God forsaken rock to do what we as a species where meant to, to conquer the galaxy.

All I can hear when I read that is "Greed is good" and "Manifest Destiny". We weren't meant for anything, least of all living on not-Earth, as evidenced by the lethality of the endeavor. We are unique, not great, not destined, but the end result of a very, very long natural process. The only "central tenant of human existence" is the drive to reproduce and possess more stuff than anybody else. What can be seen or done with it is secondary.

OT: I've already said this today, but I'll rehash: I like robotic space flight because it gives us a wonderful reason to develop advanced robotics, and prevents the risking of human lives while we develop more advanced rockets and research planets. I like Earth, but I'm not going to tell other people not to go out into space if that's really their dream, I'm just not interested in dedicating resources to it. I'd personally rather my money go to bio-tech, renewable energy and other such terrestrial affairs. Who knows, maybe we'll even discover something that makes space travel and colonization more viable. I'm pretty sure radiation-scrubbing bacteria could have some interesting applications for space travel.

Ya.. sorry Chris... Kyle totally won

ecoho:

Casual Shinji:
snip

I don't even know were to start with were your wrong. we can live in lower gravity we just have to work harder in it to keep ourselves healthy.

Unfortunately, no amount of extra exercise can help deal with a number of the health issues caused by low gravity environments.

The big one is bone loss, where astronauts slowly lose bone density over a long period in space. Presumably living on Mars would decrease the rate of bone density loss when compared to open space, but since Mars only has 40% of Earths gravity, the density loss would likely only stop once equilibrium is reached. Unfortunately this loss of bone density is apparently irreversible, and we aren't sure what mechanism is causing it.

Fluid redistribution, poor circulation and a weakened immune system compound the bone density loss problem further as we now have a person highly susceptible to injury, simultaneously lacking the normal circulation and immunities that would speed the healing process.

I'm siding with Kyle on this.
TO SPACE!!!

When we fuck up hard enough and die off.The Earth will be fine, better without us assholes fucking shit up. BUT the human race is pretty badass when it fucking wants to be, but we have been goose stepped by greed and selfishness. The amount we spend of killing each other is far far FAR more then what we spend bettering ourselves as a race. We still hold onto petty shit like skin colour and what "god" one worship's, when its FACT we all are the dam same, we all came from the same chunk of land. Its not that there is not enough food in the world its that there is not enough MONEY for poor places to PAY.

"We create, we fashion, we mold, we make. That is the essence of our race"
Look at the past we have done what was once thought impossible, a space station ffs tell that to somone 50 years ago they would have thought you mad.

It will happen but not until shit changes and we grow up and stop bickering over greedy bullshit.

Ok glanced at the debate in the video which was pretty bad. to live on the moon we would need to ship ice there, and unless an ice meteor comes by which we deflect to the moon and/or mars you can't live there. Europa has water, but its probably too cold.

it would honestly be easier to use Europa and warm it up, or god sakes even somehow TOW Europa to a warmer orbit.

If you could like get Europa, and tow it to Earth orbit like a month or so behind earth. you could just get in a space ship, stay perfectly still and Europa would be there in a month, second earth. WOOO. And we could DO that. would take like 50 years, and you'd need robots to go to jupiter, mine it for some HE-3 gas or something to use in the rockets we'd use to break Europa from orbit, but once its broken free and pointed in the right direction it may take 150 years but its a totally new planet (yes its moon but its got a radius of 25% of earth's apparently)

Or maybe we could take it and throw it at mars and make mars have water that way. once it gets water we feed it with microbes and plankton and whatnot that make atmosphere, 150, 200 years later we got a planet we can live on.

so we can do this, and yeah it will take like 500 years. but we can do it right now. and in like 100 years we might come up with ways to speed up the process, or some ice meteor could come along or something useful.

Regarding the Speed of light, I always felt that was alot of hooie astrophysicists hold sacred because Einstein said it, and that guy could break atoms with his mind. so if you want to talk about the light speed barrier which you assume exists because the same people who crash expensive probes into mars and say OOPS are confident it exists.

I'll post 3 things which are basically plot holes in why the light speed barrier does not exist.

1.) The speed of light, when you go the speed of light or near it, light is still apparently going the speed of light RELATIVE TO YOU. So light is going faster than light. It strongly suggests a calculation error.

2.) When you go close to the speed of light mass and TIME ITSELF are affected. Time which apparently people can use said equations to go BACK IN TIME. so believing in the light speed barrier is like believing in robots from the future can come back in time to I dunno. but again its a point suggesting a calculation error.

3.) On Cosmos that series on Hulu with Neil Degrass Titan, the man stated if you look up at the stars no matter where you stand in the universe it looks like you are at the center of the universe because light from the distant stars has not reached us yet beyond a certain point. which either means the galaxies are moving faster than light away from each other and we are moving faster than light RIGHT NOW. or theres something fundamentally flawed with our perspection of the universe at large. Or we are actually at the center of the universe right now.

...so in short there is no light speed barrier. what we are experiencing is due to the 'local' effect of the milky way galaxy being inside a black hole in its center. we exist inside a bubble of space time which is inherently bent and misrepresented because of the gravity forces from its center which we do not fully comprehend.

I also think its highly possibly that this is generating some sort of field that is confusing our perception of the universe at large. How I'm not positive, I'm picturing it as a giant gravity lens thats altering the various things we percieve from the universe at large, Light, infared, anything that can be bent by gravity.

and would also postulate that the further we get from the center of the galaxy the faster we can go probably because light also goes faster. also a whole bunch of other things but they don't bear merit on the discussion at hand.

FINALLY regarding expense. NASA was stupidly expensive. it was pork, it was a bridge to nowhere. it was throwing money to cronies and not even caring what happened to it.

If you had a Monetary policy with an endgame in mind of MAKING money, it would be possible to do it cheaper.

we currently use rockets that lift thru the atmosphere that are huge heavy and expensive, both to repair/maintain and to fuel.

a ridiculous notion is to simply catapult the stuff into space with like a railgun (slingshot honestly)

but you can get the thing up to the upper atmosphere with a frigging balloon. and then you can just use a much smaller rocket, maybe launch from Everest if you need to.

Get Bill Gates on it, he'll find a way to make it make money if thats your goal. its merely expensive because you had the wrong people on it for making it not expensive.

making it not expensive was not their goal.

I'm sorry this debate was insulting. If you want to want have an argument for exploring space look into the numerous technologies developed from space exploration that are now utilized by other industries. Like i don't know the software that was developed to sharpen Hubble space scope images in the 90's that is now used to detect tumors.

Wow, it feels like Chris didn't study on his stance at all. I mean we already have great advances in printed food, recycled water, and generated oxygen. We honestly aren't that far from being space colonization ready. I mean I could see it happening within a century if we keep moving forward at this pace.

The same amount of money they could spend on living on the moon or mars which no sane person should want to live in, they could easily do it on some desert on earth, it will serve the same purpose. They're both hostile environments that no one wants to live in, but the desert is alot cheaper and safer.

How in the hell would putting a few million people on the moon help Earth?

Even ignoring the costs, technological requirements and logistics involved in doing something like (which are all pretty significant), then what? The population of Earth right now is what, 7 billion? Even moving the large sum of a few million is barely making a dent, you'll have stalled population growth on Earth for a week or two, great.

To any alcoholic who might not already be aware. Space has millions upon millions of year old space brews waiting out there as these giant gaseous clouds. The problem? Laced with heavily poisonous chemicals including but not limited to Arcenic. So, might want to learn how to filter the bad stuff but keep the millions(if not billions) of year old space brew alive and drinkable.

there are no trees, air, food, or water in low earth orbit... and we have an international station there... we can just take dat shit to the moon and BAM! moon station. but it's all still too expensive, but what about that ocean thing that nobody seems to be looking into. rapture looked like a cool place to live, if you can look between the lines.

youji itami:
Humans can't survive in space because of eye damage...And cancer due to radiation

It's worse than that. When we have a manned probe outside the Earth's magnetic field, one CME (Coronal Mass Ejection, or solar flare) will cook an astronaut thoroughly. We even had to worry during the Apollo missions because of solar activity during one mission that was indicative of a possible ejection. And without our magnetic field (or if we get a CME big enough) nothing short of eleven feet of concrete is enough to save an astronaut from getting baked.

But here's the thing: We're smart, and we do have guys (mostly funded by space agencies like NASA) working on making space-worthy materials that would keep astronauts safe from cancer and optic-nerve decay and solar flares and space madness and starvation and microgravity sickness and all the other crap that makes space a really unpleasant place to be.

We know that space sucks (proverbially as well as literally), and we just need to develop technology to counter all that suckyness.

Because even better an idea than colonizing planets (which will only get us so far), would be technology that allowed us to colonize space, that is, create self-sustaining habitats that comfortably exist in the void of space, without relying on terraforming a chunk of rock.

238U

Guys, not going to pick apart all your arguments here because i see its already being done, but just like to point out one big one - NASA has invented things that added more value to human life more than any other institution in human history, cheaper than any other instutution in human history. their "costly ops" is NOTHING compared to their benefits.

TheMemoman:
Earth is such a rich planet, just fit for sustaining higher life forms such as ours. Yet mankind's primitive, egocentric and greedy economical organization has pillaged and sullied Earth's very rare and delicate life support equilibrium. With no concern for other species', nor our own, survival. Do we really want to spread out this venomous, cannibalistic society through the universe? Is it not a development plan always meant to fail? To cause disparity, injustice and poverty? To end in territorial war?

The exploration of space needs a more socially evolved mankind to have any kind of success.

I would counter that argument by saying we are an adaptable species and that expanding to less hospitable climates would force us to adjust at least outbound segments of our society to survive. Society has an inertia, and until something of sufficient force makes us change, we won't. Would it not be better then to proactively create such conditions artificially through outward exploration and eventual habitation than to wait until our only current refuge itself falls into such a state as to demand change?

Yeah... this one really seems like a no-brainer, the anti-space argument pretty much boils down to: "But it's haaaaaaard"

Yes, we don't have the technology to feasibly live in space or on a planet without an earth-like atmosphere... yet. Given enough time and money, science has in the past achieved a great many things thought of as impossible, I firmly believe it can do almost anything, at the very least, oxygen-recycling systems are plausible given the precedent trees set in nature, once that's sorted, you just need to set up a sustainable food source and a sealed environment, fuel and travel times are troublesome issues as well, but surmountable.

EvilRoy:

ecoho:

Casual Shinji:
snip

I don't even know were to start with were your wrong. we can live in lower gravity we just have to work harder in it to keep ourselves healthy.

Unfortunately, no amount of extra exercise can help deal with a number of the health issues caused by low gravity environments.

The big one is bone loss, where astronauts slowly lose bone density over a long period in space. Presumably living on Mars would decrease the rate of bone density loss when compared to open space, but since Mars only has 40% of Earths gravity, the density loss would likely only stop once equilibrium is reached. Unfortunately this loss of bone density is apparently irreversible, and we aren't sure what mechanism is causing it.

Fluid redistribution, poor circulation and a weakened immune system compound the bone density loss problem further as we now have a person highly susceptible to injury, simultaneously lacking the normal circulation and immunities that would speed the healing process.

your assuming of course there is not artificial gravity which has been shown to prevent this its just not a viable option on a space station or shuttle, but on the ground were you have more options(and a more stable site) you can use it your hearts content. Hell we even have a gravity simulator designed to increase gravity by .0001pounds (this is in a large room so that's a big deal.) so it shouldn't be hard to make one that creates earths normal gravity.

Did anyone else feel like Kyle was trying to make an argument in favor of Weyland-Yutani?

ecoho:
I don't even know were to start with were your wrong. we can live in lower gravity we just have to work harder in it to keep ourselves healthy. Yes if we lost the magnetic field around us without warning wed all die, but we have structures and suits that block the radiation in space (suits less so). Humans as a species are the very definition of adaptability that is how we function, we don't rely on our environment we make our environment.

I guess what im trying to get across to you is that humans as a species are not that easy to kill off, even the earth which has tried many time to kill us off cant do it as well as you think.

Unless people want to live in a centrifuge for their entire stay in space, this is most definately an issue.

And there is no shielding as of yet to keep out the radiation from space. A common thing astronauts apparently have while in space is flashes of light when they close their eyes. That's the radiation beating in on them. And an all encapsulating radiation shield is pretty impossible since there are too many unknown variables out there.

We can make our own environment, yes, but only to a certain extent.

I couldn't make it through the video, this is the reason NASA has no budget and the particle collider was not made in the U.S.

There is no reason not to go to space and keep exploring research into space, it's not even arguable. It is a fact that space exploration furthers us technologically, medically and as a race.

No- do not click that quote button to tell me how it doesn't help us down here on Earth. You know all those cellphones you got in your pockets? That's thanks to space exploration. Advanced imaging devices for medical scanners? Space. Advanced lasers and optics, space- there's LISTS of things that has been possible thanks to us just LOOKING out there. Exploring space has brought incredible technology to us that you likely use in daily life and you didn't even know it. Exploring and overcoming obstacles is how we further ourselves as individuals and a race, ignoring this because of ...ignorance of those who do not understand is why NASA is the way it is today.

All of this and we need to leave this planet, eventually- likely not in our lifetime this planet will not sustain us and we will need to get our dopey asses off this rock. Which is sad since it's basically been abused from the star.

red255:
I'll post 3 things which are basically plot holes in why the light speed barrier does not exist.

So glad this finally got solved. I knew all it took was one guy on the web who thinks things through.

While we stay on Earth we run the risk of being completely wiped out by an asteroid with not a lot of notice. Having a space presence would be like redundant organs. Aside from that, lots of resources in space, which we'll need. Although I do expect we'll be building far above and beneath before we manage to populate space. While we have wars and disparity it's going to be hard to make a concerted effort at anything of this scale, but we're going along slowly.

Snotnarok:
You know all those cellphones you got in your pockets? That's thanks to space exploration. Advanced imaging devices for medical scanners? Space. Advanced lasers and optics, space- there's LISTS of things that has been possible thanks to us just LOOKING out there. Exploring space has brought incredible technology to us that you likely use in daily life and you didn't even know it.

You don't need to go to space for any of that.

And there's no telling what kind of things we could have if the trillions poured into space flight were directed at research for terrestrial things.

This argument is just an extension to the "War has benefits" argument, because after all, most space efforts were driven by the military. We only have GPS or the Internet because of military efforts. Or do we?!?

I want to be a fan of space exploration, but it's just so bleak up there. So what if we put people on the Moon or Mars. Those are frickin' deserts. We know what they look like and it doesn't make me think "We should live there!"

Our solar system has but one nice place and we're already there. Alpha Centauri is beyond reach. Sure, there is something to be said for laying the groundwork. But I can't get excited to put money into a space exploration effort that will maybe see results in 200 years.

(Best Prof. Farnsworth voice) I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

ecoho:

EvilRoy:

ecoho:

I don't even know were to start with were your wrong. we can live in lower gravity we just have to work harder in it to keep ourselves healthy.

Unfortunately, no amount of extra exercise can help deal with a number of the health issues caused by low gravity environments.

The big one is bone loss, where astronauts slowly lose bone density over a long period in space. Presumably living on Mars would decrease the rate of bone density loss when compared to open space, but since Mars only has 40% of Earths gravity, the density loss would likely only stop once equilibrium is reached. Unfortunately this loss of bone density is apparently irreversible, and we aren't sure what mechanism is causing it.

Fluid redistribution, poor circulation and a weakened immune system compound the bone density loss problem further as we now have a person highly susceptible to injury, simultaneously lacking the normal circulation and immunities that would speed the healing process.

your assuming of course there is not artificial gravity which has been shown to prevent this its just not a viable option on a space station or shuttle, but on the ground were you have more options(and a more stable site) you can use it your hearts content. Hell we even have a gravity simulator designed to increase gravity by .0001pounds (this is in a large room so that's a big deal.) so it shouldn't be hard to make one that creates earths normal gravity.

I can't find any evidence that what you claim actually exists, so unless you have a source I'm going to chalk this up to misremembering a fact. Unless you're talking about a centrifugal system, but that would only work during the actual trip from Earth to Mars, there would be no way to institute it while actually on a planet because for half the cycle you would be moving in the same direction as local gravity.

Firefilm:

errorwrong:
Is it just me, or was this the angriest debate on No Right Answer? Admittedly, it is a more important debate than Ninja Turtles V. Power Rangers.

Kyle was passionate due to this being his thing. He wrote a novel on it!

What's the name of the novel?

Both of your arguments were terrible and nobody wins. I'm a little disappointed with you both, see me after class.

Space? we don't even have hover cars.

RubyT:

Snotnarok:
You know all those cellphones you got in your pockets? That's thanks to space exploration. Advanced imaging devices for medical scanners? Space. Advanced lasers and optics, space- there's LISTS of things that has been possible thanks to us just LOOKING out there. Exploring space has brought incredible technology to us that you likely use in daily life and you didn't even know it.

You don't need to go to space for any of that.

And there's no telling what kind of things we could have if the trillions poured into space flight were directed at research for terrestrial things.

This argument is just an extension to the "War has benefits" argument, because after all, most space efforts were driven by the military. We only have GPS or the Internet because of military efforts. Or do we?!?

I want to be a fan of space exploration, but it's just so bleak up there. So what if we put people on the Moon or Mars. Those are frickin' deserts. We know what they look like and it doesn't make me think "We should live there!"

Our solar system has but one nice place and we're already there. Alpha Centauri is beyond reach. Sure, there is something to be said for laying the groundwork. But I can't get excited to put money into a space exploration effort that will maybe see results in 200 years.

No, that's the problem- you can have all this money for research but you need to explore and overcome things to advance things. So many things came from just observing space, never the less going there- that it's more than paid for it. Ever fly in a plane? Well anti-ice and ice detection technology was created because of NASA and space exploration. Shoe insoles? NASA.
It's not the same as war has benefits, that's an insane comparison. One is warring sides killing people with a insane budget, the other is something that takes up less than a 16th of a penny in taxes and furthers science with the only casualties being failures.

http://www.wtfnasa.com/

^ Go here, explains everything NASA alone has given people from invisible braces to GPS devices to better breast cancer check-ups. Space exploration helps advance science because we have to overcome incredible things that aren't even a thought down here, things that when applied down here help everyone live better. It's because of space exploration the modern world has advanced so far, and it should be a focus to not put just put a human on mars, but to advance the world, hell maybe unite us.

Pills_Here:
Both of your arguments were terrible and nobody wins. I'm a little disappointed with you both, see me after class.

Isn't there something we can do to raise our grade? (Dan unbuttons shirt)

Saying we should't invest in space technology because we cannot truly habit it yet is like if the people way back would have said "this so called electricity is pointless and of no use, all we can make it to do is few sparks and make someones hair go stick up."

RubyT:

red255:
I'll post 3 things which are basically plot holes in why the light speed barrier does not exist.

So glad this finally got solved. I knew all it took was one guy on the web who thinks things through.

Are you making fun of me? or agreeing with me.

Point one from a math standpoint you have C which is a constant and a very large number, your speed. which is maybe variable but very high and very close to C (lightspeed)

and the math apparently works out to C = C + your speed, Because Quantum. which is basically saying Because magic.

and a similiar math proof is looking at .9 repeating = 1. because it it doesn't you can have a proof that ends up with 1=2 or something clearly false. so if you have an end result of C = C + something you have something initially that you were trying to prove being False.

alternatively if it WAS true that would mean that you couldn't go faster than light because light just goes faster than you, either way you should not worry about it.

Point 2. um they took this from like the superman movie. Anything involving time travel is generally wrong.

Point 3. I'm willing to retract since I only heard one guy say it and am not even sure its true. it does seem to be the one thats easiest to check though so I assumed it was true. but if you have evidence that the observable universe is not a circle at lightspeed from us which does seem to suggest what I said, or if you can come up with a different conclusion.

so if you want to debate it point 3 seems to be the easiest to do. Haven't really thought about point three that much.

I know it's been mentioned, but I cannot stress this enough: Technological advances developed for space travel very, very often have practical applications. Research for 'space arms' are used for prosthetics. Re-entry shielding is used for fireproofing. Extreme-environment suit technology is used in firefighters' outfits and emergency hypothermia blankets (you know, the thin silver ones you find in first-aid kits). Air fitlers, memory foam, heart pumps, baby food...

...and the payout to keeping space exploration publicly funded, which many people don't seem to realize, is that NASA doesn't withhold technology for fear of competition, or price-gouge when they have a monopoly on the technology. Do you think that the life-saving technology to emerge from research conducted for the privately-owned McRocketRib (the McDonald's pod mentioned in the debate) will be shared freely, or sold for a metric buttload of profit?

Look at it this way: NASA is Tesla, innovating for the sake of innovation, working for the sake of science and the benefit of all mankind. Private space corporations are like Edison, who see invention with big cartoon dollar signs in their eyes.

I'm done with this show. As far as I'm concerned, Chris is absolutely wrong. It's never going to be "the right time" for space travel, but it needs doing. It's just physics. It's not urgent in terms of human lifetimes, but it needs doing! The spin-off benefits we get from space travel should be enough to convince even the most backwards of luddites!

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