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Elric13
Well, billions of dollars are spent on funding Space programs. What's your opinion on this?

My opinion: I think it is a waste of money that is spent purely on our own curiosity. I mean, so what if humans do discover life on far away planets? How will that physically help our well being other than knowledge? There are so many other ways to use the the tax payer's dollars, such as feeding the poor, and finding new cures to fight deadly diseases.

I talk about things like this with my friends sometimes. I'm curious to know what your opinion is.
Popogeejo
In the long run it will be helpful. No one can say what discoveries will and won't aid humanity.
Humans are explorers and travellers by nature, one day we are going to try and go to a new planet. Hell, if humanity wants to avoid extinction then space travel is the only choice available.
Kenji
The universe is such a huge place....We might not know whats lurking at some corners of the universe... perhaps there might be another planet more beautiful than earth... With space research we only will be able to know whats lurking at some corners of the universe...
Nepharski
It's important in its own way, but should definitely be put on the back burner when compared with other, more pressing financial issues.
ἀρχή
QUOTE(Kenji @ Feb 7 2007, 07:42 PM) [snapback]502278[/snapback]
perhaps there might be another planet more beautiful than earth...

Or alien overlords looking for another pathetic planet to conquer.

The space program has significant potential and does in fact bring discoveries to real life. There are many experiments that are best done in orbit, which could lead to other advances.

Of course, this is a gamble every way you look at it. There's nothing saying we won't hit a brick wall and have to stop the whole program due to some unforseen underlying problem. In fact, there still is the problem with our astronauts not having protection from any of the radiation out in space. For all we know, we could be creating long term dangerous mutations that will spread througout the gene pool from those astronauts exposed to radiation.

We can't use this money to solve poverty. No one supports one central viable plan to redistribute wealth. Plus eliminating poverty just isn't as cool as space exploration.
Slashrose1010
More money on space exploration means less money for Bush to spend on foreign wars tongue.gif

No, but seriously, I don't see how anyone can consider space exploration and experimentation a complete waste of money. I can see how one may think that too much is funded towards space, but it is not an utter waste. You know how many existing things people use today are here because of space exploration experiments? Lots.

Aside from practical items on earth, building off of what Arche said, there are certain experiments better done or can only be done in space. Some of which can be applied to improve the earth as we know it. Either way, a better understanding of the universe can't hurt. Understanding outter space will help us understand earth and other celestial bodies.

Besides, we may need to advance space travel within the near future, just in case we eff up this planet and feel the need to infect some other space body.
Carnal Malefactor
I think we need to start building luxury condos on Mars, pronto.

We're gonna have a lot less land on which to develop real estate, once Global Warming takes effect.
ἀρχή
Waterworld
Vash_the_Gunslinger
On-topic:

I think that the Space Program is important and is not a total waste, but I sometimes think the serious cash that they dish out could be put to slightly more important issues.

Off-topic:

Global warming would not flood the earth like people think. Think of it like a glass of water. Fill the glass with water, I am talking about near the brim. You can measure it with a marker or something just to make sure where the water is. Then, take ice cubes, two or three, and put them in. Let the cubes melt and see how much water is gained. Not very much. The glass would not overflow. I do agree that global warming is a serious issue and has many effects on the environment, but I do not think that the earth would flood.
Carnal Malefactor
First of all, the earth is not a glass of water.

Second of all, the earth doesn't have to be flooded 'a lot' for there to be a ton of damage done. A small rise in sea level [I'm talking 4 or 5 feet] would submerge 3/4 of the world's coastal cities.

Also, the Antarctic icecaps that are melting are set ON LAND, so if they flow into the sea, that alone would add a great deal of water to the oceans.
ἀρχή
Off-topic:

My home is underwater according to some estimates of the effects of global warming sad.gif

On-Topic:

Apparently being an astronaut has been known to turn to violence. I think we need a social program to help cope with this potentially growing epidemic
esrz22
I very much thing space exlporation, for knowledge and practical purposes, should be well funded. I rather like science. tongue.gif


On the ce thing: the Anarctic ice is not floating like the ice in water, and as such would add far more than the ice floating in water, such as the Arctic ice cap. I believe the peer-reviewed articles that for the most part state that, if things continue as they are going, global warming will do Bad things.
Vash_the_Gunslinger
QUOTE(Abstruse Eulogy @ Feb 8 2007, 05:25 PM) [snapback]502620[/snapback]
First of all, the earth is not a glass of water.


How observant. It is an example.

QUOTE
Second of all, the earth doesn't have to be flooded 'a lot' for there to be a ton of damage done. A small rise in sea level [I'm talking 4 or 5 feet]would submerge 3/4 of the world's coastal cities.


That is why we have levees and are building better ones. But some would get a water.

QUOTE
Also, the Antarctic icecaps that are melting are set ON LAND, so if they flow into the sea, that alone would add a great deal of water to the oceans.


Enough to flood?

I don't want to start an off-topic arguement, but the earth will not be flooded. Before global warming, we had trouble with global cooling. It is a back and forth battle.
Molecular Alchemist
I think space exploration should be looked at later, mainly bc there are soo many things here on earth that we dont understand. I mean, yeah...now we know how quickly a hankerchief will float away in Zero-gravity when given a push with a Force of 10Neutons...but seriously....why the hell would we need to know that?

I think we should be focusing on underwater research...there is soo little we know about the oceans. Or better yet, give the funding to cancer research...granted NASA does give money to cancer research...but we can find treatments faster if we had ALL their money...or at least a good portion.

And then they went and made Pluto not a planet anymore...like they have nothing better to do at their meetings than sit and decide how to change textbooks by something as retarded as a new naming system for planets. Why dont they go do something more useful, like find a cure for AIDS.
Bluewish
Well...if it's something your interested in doing sure give it a shot!
Elric13
Thanks for your replies. I do hear the "global warming" thing a lot. It makes me think more. There wouldn't be a need to find another livable planet just yet, if we actually stopped global warming before it was too late. The U.S. should be putting more money into finding a replacement to fossil fuels than trying to find other planets or teraforming Mars. So, I don't really see the fact that you added Global warming into the thread off-topic. I actually think it somewhat fits in this thread.


QUOTE
Well...if it's something your interested in doing sure give it a shot!


I don't understand :/
Carnal Malefactor
Only way to stem the tide of climate change is to plant more trees to soak up the CO2 in the atmsophere.

Too bad we're deforesting at an alarming rate.
Elric13
QUOTE(Abstruse Eulogy @ Feb 13 2007, 07:52 PM) [snapback]504840[/snapback]
Too bad we're deforesting at an alarming rate.


Yeah, that brings me to share a quick personal story. My family used to live in the in the mountains. Just a year ago we visited back there, and it was bare... sad really.

And about reversing global warming - It's not just the fact that we need trees, it's also the fact that the color white reflects the sun's heat radiation. The ice and snow are white. If they melt, there would be no more rays reflecting off of the planet, and earth will warm up. The warming of the planet will cause the Oceanic Belt to slow down, and there will be no more warm water/cold water circulation in the oceans. Once that happens, the planet will go into an Ice age, and we will all freeze to death since Humans can't survive in temperatures under -45(I am not exact on that. I think that is correct though) without special Equipment. Even if we didn't freeze to death, there would be no more crops to feed the world and we will starve.

Edit: Eeek! I somewhat just hijacked my own thread! ohmy.gif I should probably hold off on posting for a while.



Kenji
There is alternatives to fossil fuels now...

Take automotive sectors for instance, which consume a lot of fossil fuel,
We have hydrogen powered cars that produce water clean enough to drink as emmision,
We have hybrid cars, electric+petrol
We have ethanol, some cars runs 100% ethanol, while some runs on E85 ethanol [85%petrol, 25%etanol]
We have cars that runs on solar power, which still on test
We even have electric cars...

While some of the above mentioned still depends on fossile fuel [hybrid, E85], the amount of miles per gallon [mpg] those cars achieved is far greater than their 100% fossile fuel engined counterparts...
Popogeejo
QUOTE(Abstruse Eulogy @ Feb 14 2007, 01:52 AM) [snapback]504840[/snapback]
Only way to stem the tide of climate change is to plant more trees to soak up the CO2 in the atmsophere.

Too bad we're deforesting at an alarming rate.

Actually trees aren't responsible for most of the oxygen produced and would have little effect on lowering the amount of CO2. It's algae (or possibly plankton) on the oceans surface that creates most of the oxygen from CO2.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae
QUOTE
All algae have photosynthetic machinery ultimately derived from the cyanobacteria, and so produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis, unlike non-cyanobacterial photosynthetic bacteria. It is estimated that algae produce about 73 to 87 percent of the net global production of oxygen[1]--which is available to humans and other terrestrial animals for respiration.
Kenji
QUOTE(Wikipedia)
It is estimated that algae produce about 73 to 87 percent of the net global production of oxygen[1]--which is available to humans and other terrestrial animals for respiration.


The ocean is bigger than the land...

Since algae/planktons needs water to survive, we resort to planting trees because trees can live on land...and trees is the only living thing on land that convert CO2 to O2
Popogeejo
I don't see what location has to do with anything...Oxygen, being a rascally little gas, can disperse quite freely.
Kenji
QUOTE(Popogeejo @ Feb 14 2007, 07:38 PM) [snapback]505002[/snapback]
I don't see what location has to do with anything...Oxygen, being a rascally little gas, can disperse quite freely.


What I mean is the ocean is bigger than the sea...thus the number of planktons obviously outnumbered the trees on land. This factor makes plankton produce the most O2 on earth...

Its this simple.. laugh.gif
Popogeejo
QUOTE(Kenji @ Feb 14 2007, 11:44 AM) [snapback]505003[/snapback]
What I mean is the ocean is bigger than the sea...thus the number of planktons obviously outnumbered the trees on land. This factor makes plankton produce the most O2 on earth...

Its this simple.. laugh.gif

Yes but it's not just trees that photosynthesis. Nearly all plants do and they don't do nearly as much as the Algae. Planting more trees won't help climate change that much. Also, it's not only that there is more Algae (I can't even make a rough estimate of the amount of plants on land v the amount of Algae) but tree and other plants don't photosynthesis nearly as efficiently.
Kenji
QUOTE(Popogeejo @ Feb 14 2007, 08:05 PM) [snapback]505008[/snapback]
QUOTE(Kenji @ Feb 14 2007, 11:44 AM) [snapback]505003[/snapback]
What I mean is the ocean is bigger than the sea...thus the number of planktons obviously outnumbered the trees on land. This factor makes plankton produce the most O2 on earth...

Its this simple.. laugh.gif

Yes but it's not just trees that photosynthesis. Nearly all plants do and they don't do nearly as much as the Algae. Planting more trees won't help climate change that much. Also, it's not only that there is more Algae (I can't even make a rough estimate of the amount of plants on land v the amount of Algae) but tree and other plants don't photosynthesis nearly as efficiently.


Yeah...trees does photosynthesis...but not 24/7
Photosynthesis only occur when there is sunlight. So at night they actually breath in a little O2...
travisbmoore
The whole point of going into space is to make a profit. If the U.S. Program can't stand on it's own two feet and make a profit, there may be no point in having a space program. It takes lots and lots of money to use old solid propellant boosters and the large chemical storage tank of liquefied hydrogen and oxygen just to launch a vertical launch vehicle. And the Reusable launch vehicle called the space shuttle is out dated. You need something that uses less fuel and that can land and take off in the atmosphere like a airplane. Some kind of new space glider may work. That would be a glider that can carry a few tons to space and glide up and down into space on only an equivalent amount of fuel as a Boeing 747.
Carnal Malefactor
QUOTE(travisbmoore @ Feb 16 2007, 11:14 AM) [snapback]505895[/snapback]
The whole point of going into space is to make a profit. If the U.S. Program can't stand on it's own two feet and make a profit, there may be no point in having a space program. It takes lots and lots of money to use old solid propellant boosters and the large chemical storage tank of liquefied hydrogen and oxygen just to launch a vertical launch vehicle. And the Reusable launch vehicle called the space shuttle is out dated. You need something that uses less fuel and that can land and take off in the atmosphere like a airplane. Some kind of new space glider may work. That would be a glider that can carry a few tons to space and glide up and down into space on only an equivalent amount of fuel as a Boeing 747.

...are you high?
travisbmoore
QUOTE(Abstruse Eulogy @ Feb 16 2007, 11:55 AM) [snapback]505905[/snapback]
QUOTE(travisbmoore @ Feb 16 2007, 11:14 AM) [snapback]505895[/snapback]
The whole point of going into space is to make a profit. If the U.S. Program can't stand on it's own two feet and make a profit, there may be no point in having a space program. It takes lots and lots of money to use old solid propellant boosters and the large chemical storage tank of liquefied hydrogen and oxygen just to launch a vertical launch vehicle. And the Reusable launch vehicle called the space shuttle is out dated. You need something that uses less fuel and that can land and take off in the atmosphere like a airplane. Some kind of new space glider may work. That would be a glider that can carry a few tons to space and glide up and down into space on only an equivalent amount of fuel as a Boeing 747.

...are you high?

No I am not high. My point is there are technologies that can get us into space cheaper than the space shuttle. I have read about a new rocket technology that allows the uses of microwaves to make thrust and the engine makes about 600lbs. It would be possible to use in space and the new liquid methane rocket prototype makes 7,500 pounds of thrust. A glider may be the cheapest way. The less fuel used the cheaper the flight. Example the x-prise plane. Anything that a model can do engineering can scale up. Why do I even bother to explain something that no one can comprehend.
Popogeejo
QUOTE
Why do I even bother to explain something that no one can comprehend.
Wow...
Can you try and be more arrogant please?
travisbmoore
QUOTE(Popogeejo @ Feb 16 2007, 01:24 PM) [snapback]505926[/snapback]
QUOTE
Why do I even bother to explain something that no one can comprehend.
Wow...
Can you try and be more arrogant please?


Algae is the fastest growing plant on the earth. One day huge algae farms will make all the earths oxygen and fuel and maybe hydrogen for space flights using cold fusion or Focus fusion that uses decaborene fuel.
Carnal Malefactor
Algae are not plants.
Molecular Alchemist
QUOTE(travisbmoore @ Feb 16 2007, 12:40 PM) [snapback]505943[/snapback]
QUOTE(Popogeejo @ Feb 16 2007, 01:24 PM) [snapback]505926[/snapback]
QUOTE
Why do I even bother to explain something that no one can comprehend.
Wow...
Can you try and be more arrogant please?


Algae is the fastest growing plant on the earth. One day huge algae farms will make all the earths oxygen and fuel and maybe hydrogen for space flights using cold fusion or Focus fusion that uses decaborene fuel.

Umm.....the day we have algae farms will be the day all of the oceanic life dies....bc there wont be any sunlight to reach the lower levels of the ocean. Aside from that, umm...where were you going to put these "farms" if not in the ocean? Wouldnt they do more harm than good? lol. Oh, and Void is right, algea isnt a plant, its a protist. And the scientific community doesnt call it "algea" anymore...they're now just "protists" happy.gif
Popogeejo
QUOTE
Umm.....the day we have algae farms will be the day all of the oceanic life dies....bc there wont be any sunlight to reach the lower levels of the ocean.

It's the worst idea. Algae does produce 2/3 of the worlds oxygen already. A bit of careful farming could prove useful against climate change.
I don't know anything about marine biology though, just thinking out loud.
travisbmoore
Kelp can be raised in the oceans. But did you know that supper blue green algae is being farmed now as a food supplement. So the algae could be grown in desert areas by keeping a lid on evaporation. Also Algae can be nutritious and provide a good source of fuel. Some forms of Algae contain 50% oil. The rest could be made into feed stock or fermented to make alcohol or some kind of fertilizer. This just popped in my mind. Also any hydrocarbon fuel can be cracked or processed to make hydrogen.
Chiyo
*Chi looks for what that has to do with the thread*...perhaps I'm missing the point
travisbmoore
@ Chiyo

Well for any long term space flight or station the crew needs oxygen. Algae is posibly one of the best sources for oxygen on a shuttle or moon base because it can be made to fit into any container or maybe even hydrogels to have a self sustaining hydroponic oxygen source one type of Algae could fuel a generator while cleaning the air by means or a storage vat on the moon for mining of a fusion fuel. The other thing, Hydrogels could aborb nutrients and water and the algea could grow into them forming a green gel like substance that could be used in clear containers where air is circulated through to remove carbondioxide. Currently metal canasters on the shuttle remove the CO2 and that is expensive. So saving money where posible would good for anyone going to space.
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