Thursday, February 18, 2010

From left field

Today I have a semi serious question that I really hope you take a second to chime in on.


Do you care about America's program of manned space exploration? Do you think it's worth paying for or do you think we should let other countries take our place as the leaders in space? Are you concerned at all about the future of our space program and all the related ramifications?


Thanks

15 comments:

Maggie said...

I think the fact that I know nothing about our space exploration, or its related ramifications seriously diminishes my concern for the situation. I personally think NASA needs to do some serious PR because the average US citizen doesn't know much about what's even going on and why it would be important.

Megan said...

Basically, I'm one of the kind that wonders if we ever actually have been in space or if it's just something we've been lying about for so long that it seems real.

I don't really think though, that we need to keep it up. Let's let Russia have it's day.

Did I just sound really stupid? Does Russia even care about space anymore? They used to, right?

Anonymous said...

I read your blog on and off....as a fellow aerospace engineer, I think I know what you're referring to and I think manned space exploration is worth paying for.

As stated in a previous comment, the public needs to be more aware about the space programs and why they are worth money in the budget.

Reb said...

Politics. I am finding more and more our lives are so very much affected by politically driven policies.

Man on the moon, that was huge. What have we done in the last fourty years since then? We haven't had a manned mission to Mars, NASA isn't selling their programs well to the public, and there isn't anyone we are racing against to get there first.

So, I think America is hard pressed to pay for these programs because there isn't the drive, the political drive as before.

Personally, I am a sci-fi girl. I love the thought of space exploration. And I love my tax dollars going towards it.

I think our resources could be better utilized if we combined minds from around the world and had a World Space organization, a NASA but bigger and encompassing all who have a common goal.

Now that I have writted a book, there you go. Thanks for asking.

TRS said...

I did think of you Katie when I heard that the Obama (gag) Administration was going to cut funding for space programs. The local news promo'd a story about how Colorado's aerospace engineering firms might be affected.

My first reaction to your question was to worry that if other nations took over the exploration, maybe we'd have to worry about them exploiting what they find. You know, building Jetson's style condos and strip mining mineral resources. (Ha!)

But I like Reb's idea of combining resources... and all nations working for the greater good.

And sometimes I wonder if the giant leap for mankind was real, or if it happened in a studio in Area 54. (do I have that # right?)

I am conflicted about the value of exploring the final frontier when that funding could be used for our public schools and nutrition programs.

jani said...

just happened to stop by today... and sheesh, I must be much less enlightened than all your other readers.

I hope you don't take this as me not caring whether or not you have a job, and maybe if NASA did work on their PR a bit more I'd feel differently, but in light of all the other CRAP going on in this country, I don't really care a hill of beans about space exploration... I'm quite confident that my 5 year old would beg to differ.

However, as a kid I played simcity and civilization enough to realize that these and other types of public works projects are important to the economy and such... and that the in reality the amount of spending on space exploration and the like (are they alike?) while a massive amount to average Joe, is probably not even worth cutting out in consideration of the overall budget (and wasteful spending) of the US Government.

I'd better stop, I'm rambling... not to mention pretty ignorant on the subject!

Robyn said...

I think it will be a sad day when we can't look forward (and outward) towards new frontiers. So many of the amazing new technologies that we take for granted now were discovered during research and development happening to forward our presence in space. Our country has historically been defined by our drive to discover, be first, and go farther. It seems like we will lose a huge part of our national heritage if we let that fall away just to become a bigger military presence. The main reason I was not sorry to leave the aerospace industry behind is because funding for science is so diminished since when I was a kid. When we let that go completely it will feel like we've given up. Maybe we have?

Wow do I sound defeated or what?! It's not all that bad... maybe the private sector will take it over, and it will become more of a world effort that way. There's sure to be money to be made out there somewhere that's worth someone's while.

MrsEm said...

I wish...wish!...we could have the same focus and reach on space as we have in the past. But when you look at the state of our schools, our roads, our cities, etc - it seems reasonable to focus on fixing the smaller things instead of sending a couple people to mars.

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Dan's mom said...

There are people on the space station (an international endevor) as we speak. NASA is responsible for so much more than Tang. It was the agency that gave us satellites, leading to wireless communications; it was a driving force in the development of computers; bio-medical research into many areas including bone density, exercise physiology & remote monitoring equipment; even high-tech fabrics that we now take for granted. The space shuttles have made space seem more everyday than when each launch was a major news event. I think the bloom came off the rose when the 2 shuttle accidents reminded us that it is dangerous & we are in a time when danger is only acceptable as entertainment. We seem to have forgotten that everything comes at a price. We have changed more than NASA.
When we close down the shuttle program, we will have to depend on Russia - yes, it does still have a space program- to get our astronauts up and down to the space station. We are schedlued to have folks up there with no way to return when the shuttles are retired. Do we want sattelite functions or other space science to be solely in commercial hands? Look at how we judge pharmaceutical companies where much medical research is driven by commercial viability.
As for the moon landing - I watched it live the summer I graduated from high school. Special effects weren't advanced enough at that time for it to have been faked. Don't beleive me? - watch some original Star Trek reruns.....

dad said...

Science is very important. In the sixth grade I remember John Glenn's first trip into space and it was exciting. I almost cried when the first Space Shuttle returned to earth and landed. We were all proud to be Americans.

The Space program gave us all relief from the drag of the Vietnam War and gave us something to be proud of, we were leaders in science, not just in warfare.

Mr. Obama lives in a technical world surrounded by technoligy provided largly from the Space Program. His attempt to abandon that effort must be stopped.

I agree that NASA needs to step up and educate the American people about what that program really contributes to our way of life as leaders in a global economy. Mr. Obama has it backwards, let market forces control health care and invest in science to further our global advantade as World leaders.

lisa said...

Apparently no one liked my comment so it got deleted. Whatevs....

Anonymous said...

Not sure. I know many inventions have come from the space programs. However, that being said the question I have can we afford it :(

Katie said...

Oh, Lisa, I didn't delete any comments! Are you sure it published all the way? I only ever delete comments that are really mean spirited. I even kept the Indian London Escort spam comment above....

Anne said...

I live in Houston so I hear about this all the time. I know zero about the advancements that would come from space exploration (although I do see that you did post a nice long list of things above this post) but what really bothers me is in a time where jobs are hard to come by and the administration is trying to create more of them, they would remove funding for the space program, thus effectively eliminating thousands of jobs here in the Houston area and beyond. Seems a little backwards to me.