Very, we should be sending men back to the moon, to Mars, and beyond
Somewhat, but we should stick to sending probes
Not very important now, maybe in the future
Not at all, it's a distraction and a waste of money
Space is boring.
We have to agree first on what exactly is " a national interest".
Is it (1) our best approximation of cumulative "interests" of actual, real people who constitute "the nation" - or is it (2) some mystical idea demanding that those real people keep making blind sacrifices to promote "the nation's" glory and dominance?
I am definitely inclined to endorse (1) over (2).
I am all for space exploration, but is it in our "national interest". to make a citizen of this nation who could not care less about space probes orbiting Jupiter pay for all that orbiting and probing?
It's not like he is given options, as a taxpayer...Nothing speaks louder about the arrogance of self-appointed elites than this "I have a grandiose dream, you pay for it" attitude.
If we care about our long-term chances - not as an abstract "great nation", but as a livable liberal democracy - no, it is not in our "national interests".
Leave space projects (beyond the unavoidable defense infrastructure) to the likes of Jeff Bezos and Robert Bigelow, to the big private money. At least until we pay off the national debt, solve all our serious structural problems, replace every blighted neighborhood with a fragrant garden - and then totally run out of ideas, what to do with our uncontrollably growing budget surpluses.
Last edited by Cyrylek; 09-08-13 at 05:20 PM.
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"
Cicero Marcus Tullius
Think of the size and weights of the vehicles we've designed to re-enter the earth's atmosphere (thus far)
Which one still holds the record re-entry speed? (Apollo command module) 25K
and the Shuttle which is goin' real slow creeps down from orbital speeds 17.5k
so how ARE you gonna plop down a monstrously large Iron cargo freighter without it becoming a fireball?
spacecraft 'Hayabusa' - spectacular re-entry
New Hope for the Wretched era
Few companies can boast revenues worth tens of millions of dollars before actually delivering the "ultimate experience" promised - but that is what Virgin Galactic has achieved with its sales pitch that fulfils the dreams of the Apollo generation's wealthier members to carry them beyond the Earth.
Last edited by jonny5; 09-08-13 at 07:23 PM.
From what we have seen recently, Russia is not anxious to work with the US so I would consider it in the national interest to keep a presence in space.
jonny that's a buncha Zinc
until 1982, when the composition was changed to 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper (copper-plated zinc)
New Hope for the Wretched era