Return of the Space Age?

George Bush will reportedly announce plans for the U.S. to return to the moon, establish a permanent presence there, and move on. Break out the space snacks.

24 replies on “Return of the Space Age?”

  1. y42 says:

    Conjecture
    Now maybe this will be the kick in the pants needed to finally develop
    crucial jet-pack technology! ;- )

  2. Canthros says:

    Mixed opinions.
    I’m stuck being of two minds. On the upside, the investment involved should drive growth in various technology and industrial sectors, obviously aerospace will benefit the most. All of which should translate into more money in the U. S. Economy. Additionally, technology developed for the space program has traditionally filtered back to consumers, and is probably good for increasing the standard of living.

    On the other hand, there are valid complaints about more pressing issues at home and abroad that might be a more prudent expenditure of funds.

    • y42 says:

      Re: Mixed opinions.

      the investment involved should drive growth in various technology and
      industrial sectors, obviously aerospace will benefit the most. […]
      Additionally, technology developed for the space program has
      traditionally filtered back to consumers, and is probably good for
      increasing the standard of living.

      My point exactly! : )

      • Canthros says:

        Re: Mixed opinions.
        Heh. I’m more looking forward to flying cars.

        • Timeshredder says:

          Re: Mixed opinions.

          Know what you mean. I don’t trust George W. Bush (ok, I don’t trust governments as a rule, but still) and I know that the militarization of space is inevitable with this program. I also recognize that we’ve got some serious problems to attend to here on earth.

          But I am a child of the original Space Age, I watched the moon landing, and all the reasons that it seemed like a good idea then (many of them for long-range planners, only) still resonate with me.

          And Space Stations are cool. The kind that rotate to simulate gravity. Yeah.

          • Canthros says:

            Re: Mixed opinions.

            Oh, I’m not that old by better than ten years at least. And I mostly do trust Dubya (he’s a politician, but he seems straightforward as politicians go). The man ain’t perfect, God knows, but I have trouble coming up with those I’d rather have in the job. Militarily, I suspect space has another ten to thirty years or more before that’s really a major concern. In the meantime, it’s far too expensive to do that sort of fooling around, I’d guess.

            If they can come up with a couple more microwave or Velcroâ„¢-type advances, or can manage to produce cheap, reliable suborbital transportation to speed up travel, those would be pretty significant advancements on their own. But flying cars and hub-style space stations would be neater.

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: Mixed opinions.

      On the other hand, there are valid complaints about more pressing issues at home and abroad that might be a more prudent expenditure of funds.

      Strategically the U.S. can’t not go, unless we want to cede space to other countries. With both China and India moving rapidly forward, the U.S. is now faced with the choice of either leading in space, or ceding its role in space to nations which (rightly so) will look out for their own national interests first.

      We’ll benefit greatly from continued use of space. I can name several areas off the top of my head that will be advanced greatly by space exploration: waste reclamation, food production, energy generation, material sciences, medical radiology, medical instrumentation, visible light astronomy, radioastronomy, physics, robotics, energy storage, SETI …

      The skeptics will say “you have no way of knowing what benefits we’d get from further space exploration.” Precisely. Look at it another way, the great wars of the past 150 years have driven most of the advances of “modern” medical science. Most of us agree that war sucks, yet anaesthesia, antibiotics, treatment of trauma, treatment of burns, and prosthetics are some of the fields that have been advanced by war. Most of us will benefit at some time or another from one of these fields, yet wouldn’t it be nice to have something besides war to drive medical advances?

      Space can do it.

      -Joe G.

      P.S. Plus, the only way we’ll get from here to Firefly is up, not inward. :)

      • Timeshredder says:

        Re: Mixed opinions.

        P.S. Plus, the only way we’ll get from here to Firefly is up, not inward. :)

        Uh, I liked Firefly, too, but I think I want the version of the future that doesn’t require an “earth that was.”

        • joe__gee says:

          Re: Mixed opinions.

          Uh, I liked Firefly, too, but I think I want the version of the future that doesn’t require an “earth that was.”

          Heh, good point. :) But if they hadn’t been spacefaring there would have been no series. Would’ve been “humans that were.” :) I couldn’t use Trek as an example because although I have enjoyed quite a few shows over several series I’ve always thought that Roddenberry’s future was pretty unrealistic. Of course, we’ll never find out if we don’t try. :)

          -Joe G.

      • vanyel says:

        Re: Mixed opinions.

        Strategically the U.S. can’t not go, unless we want to cede space to other countries. With both China and India moving rapidly forward, the U.S. is now faced with the choice of either leading in space, or ceding its role in space to nations which (rightly so) will look out for their own national interests first.

        I’ll bet Bush’ll say that China and India’s announcements had nothing to do with his decision, to which I’ll respond *Bushshit*! If China hadn’t put a man in space and announced intentions of going to the moon, the most we’d still be looking at is how to limp along with a leaky space station.

        • joe__gee says:

          Re: Mixed opinions.

          I’ll bet Bush’ll say that China and India’s announcements had nothing to do with his decision, to which I’ll respond *Bushshit*! If China hadn’t put a man in space and announced intentions of going to the moon, the most we’d still be looking at is how to limp along with a leaky space station.

          I have been quietly praying for a decade that China, India, or someone would declare a moon shot. I figured this was the only way the U.S. would get serious about getting back up in space. Can’t have a red moon, ya know? Oh, the administration won’t openly admit that we want to be on the moon to welcome the taikonauts with cold Tsing-Dao’s when they land, but I’d bet hard currency that’s their thinking. :)

          -Joe G.

  3. davatar2 says:

    “politics is a 3rd class game for 4th class players”
    I hope this doesn’t come across as leftist, but rather analytical.

    Everything done by the bush administration is cold calculated politics. If they can come out of a situation with better polls, then so be it. Without regard for much of anything, except their personal agendas.

    Now in that light, the recent actions taken by the administration are purely to generate support for him from the people most likely to oppose him.

    He will make promises, pass new bills, but the projected dates of anything usefull will be well beyond his time at the office, and indeed like every other action taken by the administration, will do the exact opposite of what it claims, with 75% of the country no wiser, since they dig no deeper than a passing glance of foxnews.

    Fortunatley I think the demographic they are aiming for this time might actually have the wits to figure out what’s going on, unlike other of the one-two punch.

    Remember – if you can’t hold a politician responsible, he’s lying.

    • Vesh says:

      Re: “politics is a 3rd class game for 4th class players”
      I agree. I’m not an airhead lefty either, but I haven’t felt comfortable about anything done by the Bush administration since it’s been in power. Hell, even the spam bill is worthless. This moon schtick is as you stated – a shot at pulling over those straddling the fence who are stupid enough to be swayed by sweet descriptions of easily vetoed pipedreams.

      • joe__gee says:

        Re: “politics is a 3rd class game for 4th class players”

        I agree. I’m not an airhead lefty either, but I haven’t felt comfortable about anything done by the Bush administration since it’s been in power. Hell, even the spam bill is worthless. This moon schtick is as you stated – a shot at pulling over those straddling the fence who are stupid enough to be swayed by sweet descriptions of easily vetoed pipedreams.

        I hope you’re wrong, but I suspect you’re probably right. it’s my strongest belief that we (as humanity, as a species) have to move outward to survive, to survive extinction-causing planetary disasters. For the crop to grow, someone has to plant that seed, even if it’s a farmer I don’t particularly like (Bush). Maybe we can get a replacement who will continue the work for the right reasons, even if it was begun for the wrong ones.

        We won’t go anywhere if we’re not moving. I’ll give this the benefit of the doubt, although it won’t buy my vote. :)

        -Joe G.

        • rickyjames says:

          Re: “politics is a 3rd class game for 4th class players”
          The title to your post is now my favorite quote. Don’t even get me started on Dubya, there ain’t enough electrons in cyberspace to document my frustrations with the man and his Administration. Let me just offer these thoughts. One thing was really behind the Apollo program: a federal budget surplus in the early 1960s from the boom of the 1950s that vanished in Vietnam and that we haven’t seen since. A new Apollo II /Aries Program isn’t gonna happen til we see a Federal budget surplus again. Don’t hold your breath. This is election year feel-good BS and nothing else. Bush didn’t even have the guts to say it at Kitty Hawk in December, he had to wait until Spirit was successful to make sure space was a feel-good topic instead of another black-eye issue for NASA. Think he’d be talking about this at all if Spirit and Opportunity rovers crashed? Nope. And that’s a shame. It’s important enough to do in the face of failure and adversity and even death, and we need a leader who would stand up and say so. That leader ain’t Dubya.

          • joe__gee says:

            Do we shoot down a good idea …
            … because we don’t like who’s proposing it?

            First of all, you’re right, dangling a carrot is much more enticing in the light of a NASA success. We wouldn’t have heard a thing from the White House had Spirit gone kaboom. Not to jinx the whole thing, but I wonder what we’d get if Opportunity goes kaboom?

            Anyways, I say get behind the initiative, get the public excited about it, get them asking questions, get them bugging their congresspersons. Most polls show well over majority support for a bold space initiative. Perhaps what was proposed in cynicism can be brought to fruition by real optimism?

            We don’t have the full text of the proposal in front of us yet, but after next week, at the very least we’ll have a new dialog. It’s at least a start. Now whether or not I believe it’ll go anywhere is another story, but this is more than we had two weeks ago.

            -Joe G.

            • Icehouseman says:

              Re: Do we shoot down a good idea …
              If it cost a couple billion just to land a moveable object with no people in it on Mars, can you imagine the cost for sending people to the Moon or Mars? The cost, I believe is too much.

              • joe__gee says:

                Re: Do we shoot down a good idea …

                If it cost a couple billion just to land a moveable object with no people in it on Mars, can you imagine the cost for sending people to the Moon or Mars? The cost, I believe is too much.

                With this rationale humanity will never be able to afford to go into space. Although I respect your view, I hope it doesn’t prevail. If it does, I’m afraid that science fiction will remain exactly that, and the only future we’ll be able to give our children is one wherein larger and larger wars are fought for dwindling resources on one overpopulated, overused, tiny world. :(

                -Joe G.

                • Vesh says:

                  Re: Do we shoot down a good idea …
                  That rationale – while still damning – isn’t the worst in the way of a space-faring future. I live in [and definitely clash with] the bible-belt and a couple years back, I was talking with a kid who’d just come back from church on a wednesday afternoon and he was talking about the sermon for the day. One of the main points the sermon was hinged on was the “pointlessness of space exploration.” The whole concept was that within faith (at least how this person was preaching it), there was no room for life outside “God’s Earth”, so space exploration was a complete waste of money and resources.

                  But that wasn’t the most horrible part of the mess. This kid – who was maybe 13 or so at the time – was completely fine with the idea and felt NASA was the “stupidest thing ever” and that in comparison, spending money on war was absolutely more important than science. Since he wasn’t going to live long enough to see it [humans commonly inhabiting space], any money spent on sciences having to do with aerospace would be a waste. Even worse, is that he isn’t alone and I’ve met several other people – in person and online – who feel the same way.

                  Ladies and gentlemen – the youth and faith of America.

                  And people wonder why I’m bitter at 23.

                  • joe__gee says:

                    Re: Do we shoot down a good idea …

                    The whole concept was that within faith (at least how this person was preaching it), there was no room for life outside “God’s Earth”, so space exploration was a complete waste of money and resources.

                    Not to dog-leg too far into theological debate, but to me that god has always seemed so small, and so vain. The universe is an awfully huge place to be hung as an ornament in the blue bowl of Bible-belt humanity’s sky. What a wasteful god creates such a massive, huge, beautiful creation just to let it sit empty, unappreciated, and dismissed by an ignorant thirteen year old as a useless trinket? :)

                    From my own personal belief I do believe in a universe created by a divine being, and I believe that it was created for more than a pretty light show. Think about it, we look inward, we find mysteries within atoms. We look outward, we find mysteries in the heavens. The universe is an unbelievably huge vast thing, the Thing that contains all things, that no one mortal being can ever encompass, in reality or in thought. Maybe our purpose is to appreciate God’s creation?

                    I have a much easier time with an atheist saying the universe is just a big accident than I do with a true “believer” saying it’s meaningless. When I look around me, I just see the works of man. Michelangelo painted the Mona Lisa. On the other hand when I look up to the sky, or when I look into a microscope I see the works of God. To me God painted the universe that contained Michelangelo. :)

                    Carl Sagan’s word for the feeling that a mystical higher order exists was “numinous”. :)

                    Peace,

                    -Joe G.

                    • GrimSean says:

                      Re: Do we shoot down a good idea …

                      Michelangelo painted the Mona Lisa.

                      Ummm… not to nit pick, but Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa. Were you perhaps thinking of the Sistine Chapel?

                    • joe__gee says:

                      Re: Do we shoot down a good idea …

                      Ummm… not to nit pick, but Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa. Were you perhaps thinking of the Sistine Chapel?

                      Heh, ya something like that. I’ve had too much on my mind lately.

                      Peace,

                      -Joe G.

                  • rickyjames says:

                    Bitterness

                    And people wonder why I’m bitter at 23.

                    Dude, I’m double your age and right there with you on the Bible Belt bitterness. But you MUST NOT let it get you down. Do whatever it takes to develop a finely honed sense of humor and laugh when you are alone. Laughter is evolution’s finest survival gift to humans. Use it. Accompish great things. Good luck.

                • Icehouseman says:

                  Re: Do we shoot down a good idea …

                  With this rationale humanity will never be able to afford to go into space. Although I respect your view, I hope it doesn’t prevail. If it does, I’m afraid that science fiction will remain exactly that, and the only future we’ll be able to give our children is one wherein larger and larger wars are fought for dwindling resources on one overpopulated, overused, tiny world. :(

                  -Joe G.

                  Whoops, I forgot about that comment. You misread my intention. I am not opposed to space exploration. I’m not opposed to making science fiction reality. My problem is with how much money NASA takes to do anything. Overall, my problem is with the government doing space exploration. The US government has banned any private attempts by companies and individuals to journey in to space. They have put a monopoly on space travel and have probably halted space travel that we are up to 50 years behind where we should be.

Comments are closed.