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Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Mexi, Jun 18, 2012.
Mass Effect Trilogy
Revelation Space Trilogy (Alastair Reynolds)
Lol as if the national deficit wasn't already huge enough
See, I realize that it was designed and built to last a long time.. but so are other probes and satellites that NASA builds. And they rarely live up to expectations/ work for as long as their intended to. That's why I'm surprised about Voyager 1 making it that far.
Just an interesting bit of info from Wiki.. "On February 17, 1998, Voyager 1 became the farthest man-made object from Earth, passing Pioneer 10 at 69 AU from the Sun. From this day onwards to the present, Voyager 1 has been the farthest man made object from Earth, and no probe has passed its distance and there are no probes predicted to be launched in the next 20 years that will pass the probe."
That said, if it's batteries last until after 2020, what will it be recording? From what I understand, there's not much to learn about for a very, very long way after the solar system ends. It will come within a lightyear of a nearby star in 40,000 years, but obviously it won't be working by then. How far out is the Oort cloud and the Kuiper belt from where Voyager is now?
There are a great many mysteries to be learned in deep space. It isn't always about certain destinations either. For starters, it can record and take data on the particles that are hitting it at any given time. That could give great insight as to what it might be like to be able to do interstellar travel. After all, we don't actually know how our bodies would act that far out if exposed to whatever levels of whoknowswhat are out there. Besides, there are a few thousand people employed by the government that have the sole task of seeing what kind of important data they can collect from everywhere. I'm sure they'll think of something.
While I appreciate what a big milestone this is, and I myself am fascinated with the concept of time and space, I still think we need to get our own planet in order before we put too much funding into more projects like the LHC.
Like I've stated in my first post, there is no problem with too much money being spent on NASA or science in general. NASA's budget is one half of one penny on your tax dollar. Not even one penny. If you look at things like the bail out and the war, the spending on those have far exceeded the amount of money NASA has been budgeted for its entirety. And I'm not saying the amount of money spent on the wars since the early 2000's. I am saying in less than 2 years, the amount of money spent on the war on terror has exceeded the entire 50 year budget of NASA. The bailout did the same thing.
There is NOTHING wrong with spending more money on the STEM fields. If anything there is something wrong with not spending more money on them. That is where new innovations and technologies come from. If you want more money brought into the country or more wealth, invest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Don't spend billions of dollars a year on a war that can't be won. That is the biggest problem I see for advancing any scientific frontier today. People assume that insane amounts of money are being funneled into it and made priority over everything else when that is not the case. The US was supposed to have the LHC. Bill Clinton cancelled funding. Hubble was almost cancelled. James Webb Space Telescope was almost cancelled funding wise and NASA already had the fucking money to do it anyway. So you can't tell me that we need to focus more on making the world a better place when the world BARELY notices and acknowledges science to begin with.
Pointing out the obvious here, but spending money on war IS spending money on science, technology and engineering. Look in to wartime innovations throughout history sometime, you might be surprised.
Note that I'm not saying the current war was a good idea or trying to justify it or any other conflict. Just saying, if new innovations and technologies are what you're after, spending money on war isn't a total wash.
I could have been more specific in talking about the war we are in now. I will be the first to point out that without the Cold War NASA wouldn't have even been birthed. I know that innovation can come from war. My problem here is that we shouldn't need war to get us to do something positive in the STEM fields. I think it speaks a great deal about the kind of people we, as a nation and the worlds population, are if it takes something that serious to get any results. Especially today. I'd think by now the general public would value knowledge and innovation but they don't. At least not here in America. You look at all the countries doing things and none of it is motivated by war. LHC, the new European telescope in Chile, China's space program, the European space program. Hell, it took a billionaire starting his own company to get any promising space exploration put on the horizon.
War has been and can be the appropriate action against certain things and I agree going to war after 9/11 was the right choice then but I don't think we should be there now. That is a different discussion for a different place though.
Who knows, we might even find brown people in space, illegally immigrating on the planets we discover!
There's been a lot of great achievements in space lately; Gravity Probe B proving General Relativity true, WISE(Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer) has been making some progress, James Webb Space Telescope (in progress). Can't wait til we reach the Centauri triple star system.
The Centaurus constellation like 15-20k light years isn't it? Be quite some before we get there I'd personally love to see the Eagle nebula, the pillars of creation have fascinated me since I was a kid.
Unfortunately, the Eagle Nebula will be long gone before we get there, it's in the process of dispersing right now, thanks partly to a black hole. And we have research right now going to 'Project Daedalus" towards an unmanned, or (small chance), manned, trip to the Centauri system that would take about 50 years (Of course to the 'observer' it would only take a mere few years due to effects of Special/General Relativity). Why waste time and money on wars, when we could be investing into something so amazing?
also, Proxima Centauri is the closesed star and is about 4.2 light years away - chump change in cosmic proportions!
Its amazing to think how small of a distance that really is in relation to well anything in space...... Man we need to figure how to really travel in space lol
What I can't understand is how this 35 year old machine that's 18 billion km's away can still communicate with us while I lose half the bars on my phone when I go into my fucking basement...
Correcting an economy is a far more important thing than going to space. Not to mention they've made a ton of the money invested initially back. Its not a total black hole.
Correcting the economy is important. A great way to do that is invest in science! If you look at all the major scientific breakthroughs in the US over the past century I guarantee you will find a multitude of different technologies that came from it and helped benefit out economy. So much can come from the STEM fields but everyone seems to ignore that fact even though there is so much evidence backing it up.
The problem is correcting an economy doesn't occur at a government level. They are 3/4 the problem in a broken economy . These things take time, not meddling.
Yeah! My laptop shouldn't be dropping wifi connections from across my house when this 35 year old motherfucker is still broadcasting strong. I want NASA to build my next router.
Voyager 1 probably has a bit more lag than your laptop .
Yeah Unless it takes over 16 hours to load a 2 minute video I'd say your computer is doing just fine.