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  • Stephanie wrote a new post, Question of the Week: 9/13/2017 2 years, 11 months ago

    While current events continually remind us that we live in a time of great divisiveness and conflict, the solar eclipse was for many that rare unifying experience as people of all beliefs, cultures, and ideologies […]

    • I would certainly further the interstellar drive technology research; it will take years before any viable system is ready, and any serious space travel/exploration can commence.
      For the rest: status quo.

    • If I were NASA’s Administrator, eh?
      As far as I can tell, we have a pretty good idea of what most of the solar satellites in this system are comprised of, materially. There is still much to learn, but I wouldn’t be quite as interested in the economic aspects of mining or terraforming any of these objects in the near future, as I would be in seeing several Earth-orbiting stations around the main Legrange points, that would provide us with bases of scientific research that might provide better answers to the problems we now face on Earth regarding global warming and asteroid detection.
      (think of the L5 Society from the mid-70s, of which I was a member)
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L5_Society

      Should we continue to experience continued warming of our atmosphere, due to greenhouse gas emissions, among other causes, it would be prudent to build solar reflectors in space, which could also be used to harness energy from the Sun in order to provide cheap and renewal energy on Earth.

      I think that would be my focus, because the fossil fuel industry is destined to become a fossil, itself, in the not-too-distant future. And long may those old bones rest…..

    • I should have said “major solar satellites”

    • I think that it’s time for our space program to concentrate upon becoming viable commercially. As we’re seeing already, it’s easy for NASA’s programs to seem like ivory tower nonsense to those setting budgets. By turning NASA into a profit center, we can resist those cuts and provide ongoing funding for new programs of interest to scientists such as the Asteroid Redirect Mission. NASA has to repackage itself because spending billions of dollars for the sake of science isn’t going to be enough of a justification given the man who sits in the White House.

    • If I were NASA’s Administrator, eh?
      As far as I can tell, we have a pretty good idea of what most of the solar satellites in this system are comprised of, materially. There is still much to learn, but I wouldn’t be quite as interested in the economic aspects of mining or terraforming any of these objects in the near future, as I would be in seeing several Earth-orbiting stations around the main Legrange points, that would provide us with bases of scientific research that might provide better answers to the problems we now face on Earth regarding global warming and asteroid detection.
      (think of the L5 Society from the mid-70s, of which I was a member)
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L5_Society

      Should we continue to experience continued warming of our atmosphere, due to greenhouse gas emissions, among other causes, it would be prudent to build solar reflectors in space, which could also be used to harness energy from the Sun in order to provide cheap and renewal energy on Earth.

      I think that would be my focus, because the fossil fuel industry is destined to become a fossil, itself, in the not-too-distant future. And long may those old bones rest…..

    • So, no science then, only technology?

      Space X does technology. Governments are the ones that can do long term open ended investment in knowledge. If not them, who?

      Understanding the climate is the science that will pay insanely large dividends, potentially.

      Everything possible must be done to defeat the forces of stupid.

      “Oh, alright then.” Isn’t an option. Co-operation isn’t a moral option.

    • In my opinion there are two organisations in the world that are world class and beyond… and they are NOAA and NASA. People around the world, trust them to have the best interest of humanity in mind. Changing their modus operendi therefore does not seem warranted.

      GL

    • Guy #10
      Sep 14, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      In my opinion there are two organisations in the world that are world class and beyond…
      and they are NOAA and NASA.

      Unfortunately there is another US organisation which is junk-class, and it is determined to make appointments to interfere with their running!

    • I remember listening to Burt Rutan when the first flights of his space craft was made and he was boasting about how much cheaper they had achieved this compared to NASA’s bloated expenditure. I remember being quite disappointed for a number of reasons.

      1) He had only achieved what Al Shepard had almost 50 years prior.
      2) He had done so off the back of many expensive failures that NASA bore the cost of in lives and expense.

      I would have liked to have seen a little more humility on a personal level and a little more respect for the hard won knowledge that he paid not a cent for, and risked nothing for. He took risks in his innovation but not as completely ground breaking as what NASA had to do to get men on the Moon.

      This to me strikes me as what NASA does best, it takes risks and explores the unknown, latter the new ground broken, other companies may come along and take those lessons and apply them cheaper and more efficiently – in terms of narrow defined goals. So what are the frontiers, this is what NASA should be doing, leave the commercialization of space the Musk and others.

    • Reckless Monkey #12
      Sep 15, 2017 at 2:20 am

      I remember listening to Burt Rutan when the first flights of his space craft was made and he was boasting about how much cheaper they had achieved this compared to NASA’s bloated expenditure.

      The same thing happens in civil aviation!
      Civil aircraft are produced using the results of state-funded military research and development – (often conducted by those same corporations working on “bloated” military contracts), – who then pocket the results and use them as their own assets, and for their own profits!

      Of course the resulting information is classified as secret, and withheld from scrutiny, the media, university research departments, and competitors!

    • …Jim Bridenstine wants to prioritize the commercial development of space…

      Huh? He wants to turn space into some kind of franchise?

      That’s the dumbest idea I’ve heard in a while…