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  #11  
Old 10-03-2008, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jerhanner View Post
You know, I never thought of it that way. My respect for astronaut's hutzpah just went up 100%.
"Chutzpah"

It's Yiddish - the 'unofficial' Jewish language, ironically derived from, of all things, German.

See: Schutzpaß, 'permission/ protected (permitted) action'
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  #12  
Old 10-03-2008, 09:09 PM
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This is off topic....but NASA has said we can't go to the moon now...

We could then, but we can't now.

What changed?

Technology is better, right? I mean, come on...1969 tech vs. 2008 tech....how could it not be better.

What changed is that we are no longer willing to put people out there on the launch pad when the stats say they have a very, very substantial chance of dying.

In 1969 that risk was accepted...now, not so much.
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  #13  
Old 10-03-2008, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Elizadolots View Post

What changed is that we are no longer willing to put people out there on the launch pad when the stats say they have a very, very substantial chance of dying.

In 1969 that risk was accepted...now, not so much.
Very good point - and telling in the old 'competitive' sense.

Back then, it was the 'Nasty Russkies' we HAD to beat... and we did, after some humiliation.

Maybe this latest round of Chinese successes in spaceflight will serve... oh, but wait, China has 'Most Favored Nation' status, doesn't it...?!

(Which, by-the-way-, brings us to the 'reality' philosophy of economics. I won't get into it here, but he short-form is this: we lose.)
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2008, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizadolots View Post
This is off topic....but NASA has said we can't go to the moon now...

We could then, but we can't now.

What changed?

Technology is better, right? I mean, come on...1969 tech vs. 2008 tech....how could it not be better.

What changed is that we are no longer willing to put people out there on the launch pad when the stats say they have a very, very substantial chance of dying.

In 1969 that risk was accepted...now, not so much.
What!? They actually said that? Why in the name of gobbledegook would they say that? I hope it's because they just don't have the money or a suitable launch vehicle or something like that. But if they're trying to say we don't have the technology when they've already supposedly done it, then I begin to wonder myself if we ever really did it in the first place! You must have heard wrong or taken them out of context. Say it ain't so!
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Old 10-04-2008, 09:15 AM
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Well NASA has had its own share of problems over the past few decades, most of which can be chalked up to politics and bureaucracy. The retirement of the STS is coming up in 2010 which is going to leave a huge void in US manned spaceflight. Replacement after replacement for the STS have been proposed over the years, but always get killed off in DC. Projects like the 1984 Space Station Freedom are another example of how NASA and Congress mishandle space exploration. The habbit of constant budget cuts and revisions in the designs late in the program always creates problems. Eventually political support was lost even after a lot of the hardware had finally been constructed. Even the ISS is only a shadow of what it should have been. One surefire way for political opponents to kill such programs is to cause constant delays and reviews for the purpose of "making a project more cost efficient". In reality it usually just raises the cost while preventing progress from being made. As a result political support for the project dies.

Lately the emphasis, particularly in the US has been unmanned space exploration as a cheaper and lower risk investment over developing manned space flight.
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  #16  
Old 10-04-2008, 09:43 AM
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Probably once other emerging powers start making larger inroads into space travel, the budget will become available, just as the 1960's space race was just that. Political and Ideological rather than purely exploration based.
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  #17  
Old 10-04-2008, 11:12 AM
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Well, now we simply can't afford to go to the Moon, period. We have so many huge, crucial gaps in our economic infrastructure to fix, that -- sad to say -- the money really should be spent elsewhere.

On the other hand, eliminating some of this institutionalized greed and corruption -- if true economic and political reform is pursued -- might well bolster our economy again to the point where we can spend billions less on war and a bit more on exploration.
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  #18  
Old 10-04-2008, 12:19 PM
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I have to agree with that - I think some space ambitions should be rethought until some of the problems here on Earth are fixed first. Not halted or stopped completely, but just scaled back for a time.
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  #19  
Old 10-04-2008, 02:14 PM
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We're pretty inefficient in terms of how we spend money on science and exploration as it is. A large percentage of the money spent on research usually gets lost in government bureaucracies.

On top of that, the post Cold War consolidation of the American aerospace industry has left the core competency in that sector in pretty bad shape. Unfortunately the ability to design and build not just space craft but even every day aircraft isn't something that you can just flip on and off like a light. When assembly lines get shut down in the aerospace industry, they get shut down for good. The facilities and equipment are usually dismantled and sold or converted for something completely different and you lose the knowledge base because people have to move on to other jobs or projects.
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Last edited by Akula2ssn : 10-04-2008 at 02:36 PM.
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  #20  
Old 10-04-2008, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin View Post
I have to agree with that - I think some space ambitions should be rethought until some of the problems here on Earth are fixed first. Not halted or stopped completely, but just scaled back for a time.
Well, to be honest, they have been scaled back, and NASA is trying to complete this mission is twice the time, but with a fraction of the funding as the last shot at the Moon. If anyone has read Deception Point by Dan Brown you may kinda know a bit into NASA's funding status.

One thing that is really sad is that after the Apollo missions were finished, almost all of the hardware connected with it was scrapped or sold of to trinket shops, and as of now NASA is on a scavenger hunt to find these pieces of technology that they would be hardpressed to back to the Moon without. You see, we have forgotten how to go to the Moon. With all of the hardware gone, and poorly kept records, NASA is trying to start from scratch on a fraction of the budget they had before. It's really quite pathetic. I respect NASA for giving it a shot though.
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