NASA's trip to Mars - glorious undertaking or White Elephant of unprecedented size? 36 replies

Please wait...

Safe-Keeper

Aw, c'mon Cyan, it's quality!

50 XP

29th September 2004

0 Uploads

1,225 Posts

0 Threads

#1 14 years ago

I've been thinking of making this thread for a while now, and with SuperStartAsh's When we Get up There thread showing itself, I thought now might be the time.

As most of you know, the controversial President of the US of A has announced that he feels it a good idea to spend 400 billion US dollars on a manned landing on Mars. You read that right: The nation that has a debt of over eight trillion dollars, a social-security system in crisis, and public services (incl. schools) barely up and running, wants to spend four hundred billion dollars on a project that is inherently useless.

Yes, there's "national pride". Yes, there's "mankind's inherent need to explore and learn". Yes, space travel is awesome. I agree (with #2 and 3, that is). But no, it won't help the US one bit to go to Mars with its taxpayers' money. Or can you tell me how John Doe benefits from it?

According to the National Priorities Project, for 229,3 billion dollars, we could have paid for 30,3 million children to attend a year of head start. That's half of what Bush wants America's tax-payers to pay to land a spaceship on Mars with astronauts in it (and let's not forget that NASA has a very inbred habit of underestimating what its projects will cost).

I'm not saying that going to Mars is going to be a total waste. On the contrary, it'll be a very rewarding experience in terms of scientific gain. However, the average supporter for the project seems to believe that it's a black-and-white either-or question: Either NASA goes to Mars, or no one goes to Mars.

However, anyone who's been following the advances of private space ventures know that is not so. It'll be many years still, but sooner or later, private corporations will have the means to start building tourist centres on the Moon and in orbit. In fact, there's this billionaire who's announced a pretty handsome monetary reward to the company that manages to build him a space shuttle that can take people to the little orbital tourist centre he's planning on building.

And as for "national pride", believe it or not, but there's a certain pride in ear-marking 400 billion dollars for a useful purpose, too.

Let the private sector explore space, and the public sector explore ways of helping the public.

[COLOR=Sienna]Source material[/COLOR][COLOR=DimGray] [/COLOR] [COLOR=DimGray]"White Elephant" - The term explained. The US National Debt Clock - How deep America is in the hole. NASA - The North American Spendtrifth Association. Bush announces "New vision for NASA" www.costofwar.com - tells you what we could do with 200 billion dollars (read: Half of what it will cost us to go to Mars).[/COLOR]




Y-Soulja

Newbie

50 XP

27th December 2005

0 Uploads

117 Posts

0 Threads

#2 14 years ago

eight trillion damn lmao b/s




Delta Force

Revenge was here.

50 XP

23rd June 2005

0 Uploads

1,622 Posts

0 Threads

#3 14 years ago

That is the cheapest way of knowing for sure if alien life does exsist. I am a fan of going to Mars, but I think it's a waste to go back to the moon. We went to the moon on 1960s technology, for crying out load, if I gave them my CELL PHONE they would be amazed, and I could probley have run misson control on it. Now we have to slow down and actually studty what we are doing, spending more to GO BACK than we spent to get there in the 1st place on obsolete technolgy! It's amazing.

And what kind of things do you think that money could be spent on, anyways?




Safe-Keeper

Aw, c'mon Cyan, it's quality!

50 XP

29th September 2004

0 Uploads

1,225 Posts

0 Threads

#4 14 years ago
eight trillion damn lmao b/s

Look, I respect your opinion, but this happens to be a serious debate board. Can you please be a bit more respectful? See, I'm not going to shove red rep points up your hindquarters, but someone else eventually might, so just... Watch it, 'kay:p?

Check my source, for example. If you believe it's in error, I have to say you're obliged to show me a more believable, reasonable source that proves me wrong.

And what kind of things do you think that money could be spent on, anyways?

Anything that needs money, I'd say. Social security and schools are doing bad, as I already pointed out. The Department of Homeland Security's a joke, hardly able to do anything.

(...) if I gave them my CELL PHONE they would be amazed, and I could probley have run misson control on it.

Have you watched Apollo 13, by any chance? It always cracks up whoever watches it when that guide brags that NASA's got "a computer that can fit inside a single room". Heh, I snicker just thinking about it:D.

By the way, as for costs then compared to costs now, there is such a thing as inflation, too. Are you sure it's really more expensive, and not just inflation (I really don't know, that's why I'm asking:o)?




LIGHTNING [NL]

FH2 Developer

50 XP

30th May 2003

0 Uploads

9,811 Posts

0 Threads

#5 14 years ago

I do not think mankind should even attempt to do anything with Mars, before it's problems are solved. As long as we are still devided in many nations, races and believes, what can we achieve on another planet? Bring more misery, war and death to the universe?

Delta ForceThat is the cheapest way of knowing for sure if alien life does exsist.[/QUOTE] Alien life does exist. Alien intelligence? Perhaps, but certainly not on Mars.

[QUOTE=Y-Soulja]eight trillion damn lmao b/s

Please, for the sake of arguement, be more constructive and clear.




Safe-Keeper

Aw, c'mon Cyan, it's quality!

50 XP

29th September 2004

0 Uploads

1,225 Posts

0 Threads

#6 14 years ago
I do not think mankind should even attempt to do anything with Mars, before it's problems are solved.

Not to mention the cost in human lives. How many people died trying to get to the Moon again? How many brave men have died in space shuttle catastrophies?

Alien life does exist. Alien intelligence? Perhaps, but certainly not on Mars.

Alien life has to exist, I agree. And yes, there are some people who say there might be microbes on Mars. If they're right, I'd love to hear reports on how what similarities, if any, they have with Earth's microbes.




marvinmatthew

Tech is where you'll find me..

50 XP

13th April 2005

0 Uploads

3,627 Posts

0 Threads

#7 14 years ago
Safe KeeperNot to mention the cost in human lives. How many people died trying to get to the Moon again? How many brave men have died in space shuttle catastrophies?

Yes, but these people knew that the risks of space exploration are very high when they took jobs as astronauts/space explorers. P.S. I far as I know, very few people died trying to reach the moon. But I guess that depends on how broad your deffiniton of "died trying to get to the Moon" is.




Dreadnought[DK] Advanced Member

Grumpy Admin

202,715 XP

7th March 2003

0 Uploads

19,294 Posts

0 Threads

#8 14 years ago
Safe KeeperYes, there's "national pride". Yes, there's "mankind's inherent need to explore and learn". Yes, space travel is awesome.

you answered your own question.




Pethegreat Advanced Member

Lord of the Peach

70 XP

19th April 2004

0 Uploads

20,892 Posts

0 Threads

#9 14 years ago

The US goverment has always had a debt, get over it. 400 billion is a few drops in the bucket compared to 8 trillion. I am all for spending the money. Do you know how much new technology we need to get to Mars? If a fraction of that is pratical enough for everyday use then it will help everyone on earth, not just the space men. If they get hybernation thing down(which would make the mission pratical) then that could help badly hurt people heal.

I am all for spening 400 billion, it will help the world more. NASA spent something like 2 trillion to get to the moon in today's dollars. And the public was Ok with it. Private enerprise won't get close to Mars untill 2050, nations need to blaze that parth since it far to expensive and slow for private business to do so.

The Moon: if we could get a base there that would quiken the trip to mars and save millions if not billions on the budget. You would not need to build the lander and space capsule on earth and shoot them to Mars(which is about 10 grand a pound). you send up the facilites to mine minerals on the moon, generate fuel, and build the ship it would be much easier to launch from the moon than from the earth.




M!tch Advanced Member

intermittently erratic

130,372 XP

12th March 2004

0 Uploads

11,777 Posts

2 Threads

#10 14 years ago

who knows what the results of spending money and probably a few people dying to make something like this possible. i dont know what the world gained by men landing on the moon in practical terms, let alone the thought that "if we could get to the moon then we do anything", gave people the inspiration to try and achieve something that they previously thought impossible. spending that amount of money may benefit all of us, who knows. then again how would Rose in GreatGrizzly's thread benefit from just a miniscule amount of that pile of cash?


Thinking about it.