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Thread: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    some nebulous future benefit
    if you want to justify many $billions in expenditures at this time when we are broke, you are going to have to do better than that


    and i suspect that is similar to the point Obama made when telling NASA he was cancelling the program
    We wouldn't be broke if we fixed entitlements! Dammit, you're hard of hearing.

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Personally I think scientific achievement and exploration are things always worth funding. There is never going to be a point where we can say "Ok, we've solved ALL the problems on Earth, now we can move onto exploration and related scientific advancement."

    Humans have a manifest destiny to explore and populate space, and America should be at the forefront of that endeavor.

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    Antibiotics, most cancer drugs, oil, natural gas, coal, virtually all building materials, everything you eat, everything needed for life itself is brought to you by the organisms living on the surface of this planet and the resources that are either on its surface or no more than a few miles into its crust.....this versus velcro, tang, and teflon.
    Computers, electronics, material science, fuel technology....

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    For what, other than to say we did again?

    Fiscal 2010 NASA had a 18.7 billion dollar budget.

    The National Parks Service had a 2.7 billion dollar budget. The National Parks Service has been underfunded for years now. The budget for the entire Department of Interior, is 12 billion dollars, which manages 500 million acres of parks and wild lands, is still less than NASA, and it has been chronically underfunded for years now.

    U.S. Department of the Interior - About the Department - Quick Facts

    Should we do a better job preserving our national treasures for future generations, or build a base on the moon? If we are prioritizing here, what is more important?
    The moon because the technological leaps associated with such endeavors will increase our quality of life more.

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    Personally I think scientific achievement and exploration are things always worth funding. There is never going to be a point where we can say "Ok, we've solved ALL the problems on Earth, now we can move onto exploration and related scientific advancement."

    Humans have a manifest destiny to explore and populate space, and America should be at the forefront of that endeavor.
    Social Democrats would rather cancel science and exploration programs and spend all our money on welfare and healthcare for everyone.

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    A good start would be kicking out all of the illegals....
    The savings would fund NASA & then some.....

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    So that one can see the difference between an expense and investment, a hypothetical example follows for illustrative purposes.

    Definitions:
    1. Expense: Money is spent and all benefits are consumed immediately
    2. Investment: Money is spent and the project yields long-term benefits
    3. Revenue: Income stream associated with the long-term benefits
    4. Expenditure: Outlays

    Program 1: Expense
    Assumptions:
    - Spends $1,000 per year at the beginning of each year
    - All spending is consumed and has no future benefit
    - The timeframe in question is 5 years
    - There is a 5% discount rate

    Net Cashflow:
    Year 0 -1,000
    Year 1 -1,000
    Year 2 -1,000
    Year 3 -1,000
    Year 4 -1,000
    Year 5 -1,000

    The net present value is -$5,329.48

    Hence, cutting this program by 20% yields a saving of $1,065.90 (present value basis)

    Program 2: Investment

    Assumptions:
    - Spending:
    ...Year 0: $4,000
    ...Year 1: $2,000

    - The project generates the following revenue:
    ...Year 2: $500
    ...Year 3: $1,500
    ...Year 4: $2,500
    ...Year 5: $3,500
    - The timeframe in question is 5 years
    - There is a 5% discount rate

    Net Cashflow:
    Year 0 -4,000
    Year 1 -2,000
    Year 2 +500
    Year 3 +1,500
    Year 4 +2,500
    Year 5 +3,500

    The net present value is +$643.61

    Hence, cutting this program by 20% yields a loss of $128.72 (present value basis), if the net benefits are reduced proportionately.

    However, in real life, there is typically a critical threshold for investment. Investment below that threshold can lead to a loss of most or all of the future benefits. If all the benefits were foregone, the actual loss would be:

    NPV of Project with No Spending Reductions: +643.61
    NPV of Project with 20% Spending Reduction/Loss of All Revenue: -4,723.81
    Economic loss: $5,367.42

    Therefore, in this case, rather than trimming investment spending by 20%, one would minimize one's economic loss by killing the entire project. That way, the loss from killing the project would be $643.61.

    Nonetheless, when comparing the two scenarios, it would make sense to reduce program 1 (only savings would result) rather than program 2 (one would gain savings but lose future benefits).

    Of course, politics is not purely economic. Non-economic factors are involved. Hence, more than just an economic perspective needs to be considered. Nevertheless, policy makers should be informed about tradeoffs. There may be cases where the non-economic benefits justify cutting the investment. But, that is not always true, especially if the preserved program is a cause of structural fiscal deficits. Then, cutting the investment produces not only foregone benefits, but it delays necessary reforms to the spending program responsible for the structural deficits. Such delay has its own opportunity costs.

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Computers, electronics, material science, fuel technology....
    1. The bulk of those would have came about regardless of whether we went to space or not (we had computers, electronics, material science, and fuel technologies prior to the space program).

    2. The bulk of those advancements that have resulted from the space program did not necessarily result from manned space flight. We need those technologies for unmanned flight as well.

    We can accomplish 99% of what we want to accomplish scientific wise with unmanned space flight as we can with manned spaceflight, but at a fraction of the cost.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Social Democrats would rather cancel science and exploration programs and spend all our money on welfare and healthcare for everyone.
    That is simply untrue. Basic scientific research has received a lot more funding over the years from Democratic Administrations than Republican ones. The right wing in America has been at war with science for decades now.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    This is a link to a report of technological advances on board the ISS from 2000 to 2008, it does make a several references to now canceled programs but does provide a list of what those people have done in the last 8 years.

    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/ca...2009030907.pdf

    The majority of the experiments are not going to change anything for us on Earth, at least not alone, they may lead to further developments that will. You find from reading this that the entire purpose of the ISS was a research facility to development technology primarily for future space programs. How to grow food in space, how traditional building methods work in space (for the day we build space craft entirely in space), etc...

    Its not a question of building some kind of space factory for the development of medicines or whatever that can be shipped back to Earth, or discovering technology which could only be discovered in zero gravity. For something to work in Earth gravity it must be composed of materials that exist and can be manufactured on Earth, in our gravity. Its just not economically viable to haul stuff into space, build something outta it, and then ship it back.
    This is about future exploration, to move beyond the Moon to Mars and further its going to be more complicated than strapping three men to a rocket and blasting them off into space. If we rode to Mars on an old Lunar module, it would take months to reach while the men lived in a tiny box.

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