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Thread: Bush vs. V-ger

  1. #1 Bush vs. V-ger 
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Our fine president, George W., has it in for the Voyager space probe. Maybe he's seen Star Trek: The Motion Picture too many times and thinks that V-ger is nothing but trouble waiting to happen. Whatever his reasoning, he wants it dead. Finis.

    Ok. Ok. I'm sure he doesn't have anything against Voyager. But. What he does have is a vision for the future. He wants to send man to the Moon by 2020 and to use the Moon as a stepping stone to send man to Mars by 2030 (at the earliest). And to this end, he's shifted Nasa'a budget to place on emphasis on Human space exploration. And in so doing he is indirectly murdering an arbitrary number of unmanned projects. Voyager being one that is on the chopping block.

    Can you imagine? The Voyagers, noble space probes, 28 years in the service of Humanity. 28 years traveling farther than any other human-made object has ever traveled. Voyager One. 9 billion miles out. 46,000 mph. At the threshold of the Heliosheath, the outer boundaries of the Solar System where the last vestiges of the Solar Wind buffet the Interstellar Medium. The information that Voyager I is poised to send to us is unique in the annals oif space exploration. And, not only this, but it will be impossible for any mission to reach this state without traveling another 30 years... Now that's efficient...

    Voyager 2. 7 billion miles out. And 63,000 mph.

    To be axed to save 4.2 million dollars a year? A drop in the bucket. A pittance. Nothing.

    Bush has proposed to increase the funding of Nasa by 1 billion dollars. With another 11 billion dollars being shuffled (stolen) from other areas of research.

    Many other projects are also subject to the axe for this new initiative.

    Is it worth it?

    Man on the moon. Yes. It's a romantic notion and it is inevitable. It must happen. Man must spread out. Not only to the other planets, but to interstellar space.

    But must we sacrifice some of the most productive missions ever devised in the history of space exploration to do so?


    There was a lesson learned long ago in the field of intelligence gathering. James Bond has long been considered to be a romantic ideal. But the successes of espionage are not in human intelligence gathering. But rather in technological espionage. Spy satellites. Wire taps. Etc... The most efficient role of the human is in intelligence analysis. (And, coincidentally enough, is what was originally envisioned by the National Security Act of 1947 before it was hijacked by men with more romantic notions than good sense. But that's another topic altogether.)

    Could it be that the same could be said for space exploration?

    Yes. Man must get to these places. Man must return to the moon. Man must travel to Mars. Every planet, every moon, every asteroid, every place in this Solar System must know the tread of Man's feet.

    But must we sacrifice the efficient for a romantic notion?


    How can we forgive ourselves if we let such opportunities as Voyager's journey through the Heliosheath go by squndered.

    How can anyone even conceive the possibility of cancelling that program?

    And what is the efficacy of the whole manned mission incentive with next to no increased funding?

    I simply find it unbelievable.



    I must admit that some part of me wonders at Bush's sincerity in his proposal. In May of 1961, John F. Kennedy made his famous speech where he proclaimed the objective of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the decade. Already, in March of '61, he'd raised Nasa's budget to $1,235,300,000 by $125,670,000 more than the previous budget submitted by the Eisenhower administration. This was an increase of over 10%. Then, after the speech in May, he pushed through a budget raising the funding by another 549 million dollars for Nasa and 62 billion dollars for the DOD to develop a solid propellant booster (I'm not entirely sure if this was relevant to the moon mission. But am placing it here for completeness.) That's an increase of $674,670,000.

    Do you get the idea that Kennedy really wanted to get a Man on the Moon? (By the way, I found these numbers by a web search and am not 100% sure as to their veracity. If I'm wrong, I'd appreciate knowing the real numbers and the location of where to find such data.)

    Now. Bush raises Nasa's budget by 1 billion dollars. Almost twice as much as Kennedy's funding. But that's meaningless and we all know it. Bush places no confidence on the success of the mission. He places no monetary incentive for the mission to succeed. The mission, from Bush, is nothing but hot air. This is what I think by the numbers.

    And I find it disgusting that politics should play the role of murderer in this way.

    If Bush wants man on the Moon then Bush should pay for man to go the Moon.




    (A thought occurs to me. Could it be that Nasa did this on purpose? To propose cancelling Voyager merely to gain media spotlight? It is feasible. But I doubt it would get through the apathy of the majority. But, I wonder...)


    This thread is not about Bush's politics. It's not about James Bond. It's not about Nasa playing the media. It's not even about Voyager.

    It touches on all these topics, but the topic is space exploration.

    At what price must man travel once more to the moon?


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  3. #2  
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    The Bush unit appears to be having yet another Id10t error.


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  4. #3  
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    Little shrub is not one of my favorites. It seems his standard tactic is to begin a new program or enhance an old one but leave out the one important thing that would make it happen; money. His little world policeman act has cost so much that there isn't anything left to reasonable fund other things. Even his "Homeland Security" has had to take a back seat and take its funding spread over time to vest the new arm of government.

    In his best form was the doubling of the border patrols without any funding added. In otherwords a paper force increase and nothing else.

    As it is, our children will be paying off his debts that he has left for the nation to pick up.

    I too believe we must get off this planet if mankind is to have a future. There are simply to many records in the geology of this earth showing massive die offs of species. We are fools if we think this can't happen to us as well. As long as mankind remains solely in the basket of earth and now where else, we are extremely vernable.
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    In a speech, when the Russians sent out the first astronaut, JFK said:


    We will go to the moon.
    Not because it were easy.
    But because it is hard.



    I wonder how much of this logic persists with those in charge in America.
    Human exploration of space is a hard task. Maybe this is why they do it?
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    "We choose to go to the moon.....and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard!" - fine sentiments for 1961 when JFK said it. It was the height of the Cold War, and just sixteen years after the end of World War II (less than ten since Korea).

    Precisely the opposite ethic applies today - now it's a whole new generation, a generation who grew up without war and the striving and sacrifice that war entailed. It's precisely because space exploration is hard that the United States nor any other Western democracy no longer feels that the game is worth the candle. When any kind of dangerous activity, whether war or exploration, yields even a fraction of the death toll for "our" soldiers that previous endeavours did, it's considered excessive and politically unsound to pursue.

    What we do nowadays has nothing to do with real space exploration. We go up a coupla hundred miles, deploy the odd satellite, run zero G experiments the results of which don't even get published in the scientific journals (let alone lead anyone to set up a factory in space to take advantage of whatever benefits zero G is supposed to entail). The sole purpose of a space station in orbit is to act as a launch platform for large scale deep space ships that would be too difficult to launch from our enormous gravitational field (largest in the solar system for a solid body). But the ISS has not been built with that in mind, so what its purpose will prove to be is anyone's guess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    But must we sacrifice some of the most productive missions ever devised in the history of space exploration to do so?
    Forgive me, but I think the productive part of Voyager's mission is pretty much over. Now, regarding the journey through the Heliopause, when is that likely to take place? Exactly what is it that we on Earth do as far as Voyager's concerned? It's presumably running on automatic. Cancelling the program doesn't really affect Voyager at all, as far as I can see. Now, if we know it's going to go through the Heliopause at some point, then surely we can fire up something at this end to monitor that, if it's going to be in five or ten years time?

    On the other hand, it has been suggested by science fiction authors that a problem with interstellar exploration is that the early, primitive missions don't get a fraction of the way towards their goal, before they're overtaken by ships built by the technology of twenty years later! What's to say that Voyager similarly won't be outstripped by a better ship (in fifty years or so) that's designed and built specifically for the job of analysing the heliopause? That gets built and launched from our base on Ganymede where it can get as big a boost from Jupiter and then Saturn as it would need.

    I'm sorry, I don't particularly see the loss of this one project. It did sterling work in its day and its contribution to our knowlege of the outer solar system is incomparable and will never be forgotten.

    On the other hand, this whole Bush man-in-space ideal is just political hot air. Conversely, it's not entirely his fault. The American economy in the late 1950s and early 1960s was absolutely swimming with money. That is no longer the case, which is why Bush is not as free to pump enormous sums of cash into NASA as Kennedy was able to.. In fact, of course, the political will to have him do so simply does not exist. Deep Space exploration is something that private enterprise is going to have to do.
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    Do you not believe that sending a human team to the Moon is more important than Voyager? I don't have a problem with changing the focus to a more difficult task.

    Part of me does wonder why the Pres decided to push such a thing. I suppose this is apart of his no-b.s. approach to everything. I also think President Bush wants to be apart of a bigger discovery and is doing this to help his legacy.

    #1. Cleaned up and implemented democracy in Afghanistan.
    #2. Cleaned up and implemented democracy in Iraq.
    #3. Started a new age in space exploration that eventually lead to the discovery of alien life.

    I know #3 is far out there, but don't Presidents think about this kind of legacy stuff? Furthermore, President Bush the Senior (if eti exists and is hidden) knows about the alien threat.

    My point, though riddled with conspiracy, is that humans will be working alongside ETI ruins on the Moon. The same locations we will be interested in, were being harvested by ETI. Think about it. Just a fun hypothesis.
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    Money's always the problem.............*sigh*...

    Can't they just print more money??? i mean ..thats all it is..peices of paper..
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    Money is supposedly backed by gold. If they were to just print more money and use it, the american dollar would lose it's value. Or currency.

    It's kind of complicated, but I think thats why. :wink:
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    doesnt make much sence to me, but i'll take it
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    off topic, but money is no longer backed by gold, and hasn't been since the 1930s. The value of the currency is the value put on it by currency speculators, and the price of stuff depends on a variety of economic factors, one of which is money supply. If you print money it loses its value, that is true.

    btimsah, if even you can admit that your posts are "riddled" with conspiracy theory, why don't you just post the same things without the conspiracy parts and sound as intelligent as I think you really are?
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  13. #12  
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    (Please bear in mind that this is not intended to be a 'bash Bush' thread. But, I couldn't resist from bashing him a little as we are in a situation of 'the buck stops here'.)


    I've dug up an article in Nature which lists more of the programs under threat:
    <blockquote>Faced with the shortfall, division officials last month informed the managers of seven missions that are past their prime lifetime — Voyager, Ulysses, Polar, Wind, Geotail, FAST (Fast Auroral SnapshoT) and TRACE (Transition Region and Coronal Explorer) — that there is no money to keep them operating after the current fiscal year ends in October.</blockquote>
    I'm not familiar with all of these programs, but according to the article, there are valid reasons to reconsider shutting down these programs in particular. The review process which placed these programs last on a list, back in 2003, did so based on a specified budget to work with. They recommended these programs continue for a specified amount of time (for various reasons) and then be shut down after their usefulness has diminished. Voyager was suggested to continue until 2006 and then be reviewed again.

    The decisions made to simply shut these programs down are being faced with harsh criticismsm, and the most likely scenario is that at least some of them will survive a while longer.

    Voyager will most likely be a survivor.
    But, still, the thought that some dickhead, penny-pincher could even consider for an instant the proposition of shutting down Voyager... now. Is ludicrous.
    Fucking bureaucracy.



    Cleft,
    It seems his standard tactic is to begin a new program or enhance an old one but leave out the one important thing that would make it happen; money.
    This does seem to be a standard technique for a certain type of person. One who is not truly concerned with the outcome of any particular action, but rather about the effect which might be cultivated in a gullible audience through effective propaganda.

    And it is this that worries me. Consider Lysenko's effect on the Soviet biological sciences. I'm not saying that the US is subject to the same conditions which ensured Lysenko's success over such a long period of time, but in the short term we can lose much invaluable research and motivation and the potential loss of Voyager is a beacon demonstrating this danger.

    I find it somewhat ironic that Bush is 'championing' this 'man in space' initiative but in other fields of science has taken on a sinister role. Not only for his role in stem cell research, but also in a number of sciences in which he has taken Nixon's lead and set up 'scientific' committees that tell him exactly what he wants to hear rather than promoting impartiality. Bush would perform Lysenko's task admirably were he in a political system which would allow it.

    There are simply to many records in the geology of this earth showing massive die offs of species.
    Exactly.
    We can't keep our eggs in one basket and expect anything less than eventual disaster. Man must spread, not only throughout the Solar System, but also throughout the Milky Way, and throughout the entire universe. And even then we may be guilty of keeping our eggs in one basket.

    This brings up the issue of the ethics involved in man's desire for a new Manifest Destiny. What is so valuable in man that he should be considered vindicated in his desire to spread his species in this way?
    The answer to this is simple.
    Man is the singular life form, that we know of at present, that has acquired the intelligence to be able to look towards, to plan, to enact, such a proliferation. The thought of such intelligence blooming only briefly, like a candle in the dark, and then dying out is one of the most depressing thoughts I can imagine.

    Life exists for life's sake.
    But intelligence justifies itself in a much more significant manner.

    Now. In the course of this proliferation, it is highly likely that man will encounter other lifeforms similarly ennabled. When this occurs, the imperative to proliferate will lessen somewhat. But, nature demands that life struggles for its own existence. If we didn't struggle to survive then we wouldn't be worthy of life. Our intelligence cannot (should not) change this. If there should come a time when our species no longer fights for survival, then that is the time our species will cease to exist. And rightfully so.


    Water,
    We will go to the moon.
    Not because it were easy.
    But because it is hard.
    Umm. That was actually code. He was giving Joe Dimaggio shit about Marilyn Monroe. I thought everyone knew that...
    Kidding.

    I wonder how much of this logic persists with those in charge in America.
    Human exploration of space is a hard task. Maybe this is why they do it?
    I'd say... yes. But not exactly.

    It's a well-accepted fact that JFK's initiative to put a man on the Moon was an extension of the Cold War. And there's really nothing wrong with that. Competition and envy is not the monster it's always made out to be. The space race is an excellent example of this. The Soviet Union and the US both had their own share of success and failure in the process. I think it's safe to say that neither side 'won' the space race (even though the US won the Cold War). The technological and scientific advancement derived from the space race benefited both sides of the competition and even those not involved.

    Consider that without this competition, the world would be a very different place today. I suspect that much of the technological advancement of the past 50 years would not have occurred at the pace it did. And it all depended upon (not so) friendly competition between the two superpowers. Had there been no Sputnik, then there would have been no Neil Armstrong. Had there been no Laika, there would have been no Voyager.

    A delicate web is history. Thank God there was no physics equivalent to Lysenko in the Soviet Union (or the US.)


    Anyway. Back to the reasons why I say, "Not exactly." The difference lies in that which is being competed against.

    JFK was motivated by competition with a competing superpower.
    Bush is motivated by competition with history.

    I believe that Bush realizes that the odds that his presidency will be looked upon negatively are high. Not only is he engaging in unpopular wars and championing civil liberty violations, but he has become known in scientific circles for an anti-science stance. Education suffers under Bush's reign. Scientific research suffers under Bush's reign. Hell, I think that if he thought he could get away with it, he'd start book burning parties. I'm not kidding.

    But. To counteract this problem of prestige, he has embarked on this 'brave mission' to send man to the stars.

    In name only, of course, but that's good enough for him. He's a simple man and is satisfied with short-term rewards. Perhaps he expects someone else to do the work for him. Either delegated under his authority (although the lack of vision involved in the decision to axe Voyager at this time is... unbelievable and speaks volumes of the chances of success of any mission requiring vision) or after he has left the scene.

    If only he had the courage of his convictions.


    Silas,
    Precisely the opposite ethic applies today - now it's a whole new generation, a generation who grew up without war and the striving and sacrifice that war entailed. It's precisely because space exploration is hard that the United States nor any other Western democracy no longer feels that the game is worth the candle.
    You've made a fatal error of judgement in your scenario.
    Who is this generation that has grown up without war? The 20 somethings? Early 30's?
    Setting aside that the Cold War (which is what inspired the original space race) ended in the late 80's (thus making the generation you're talking about even younger than this), what do they have to do with decisions on space exploration?

    While this age range might well be considered to take part in congress and perhaps some managerial responsibilities within the system, I should think that the majority of those who are involved in these decisions are not of this generation but rather of older generations which know well (and remember well) the lessons of war and hardship. In fact, they most likely remember the original man on the Moon from first hand experience rather than as merely an aspect of history.

    No. While your scenario is cogent, I think it's flawed. It would seem to me that he fault lies with those who grew up with war and were prepared to sacrifice much in the name of that war, but with the absence of war and with the absence of short term, tangible rewards (such as beating the Ruski's to the Moon), then they can think of no reason to do so.

    I believe that the younger generation is of a more adventurous type and would love to go to the Moon and beyond merely for the adventure and also because of the long-term rewards of eventual diaspora. I believe we'd sacrifice much to begin to advance man's destiny once more towards the goals set long ago and set aside by those who lost track of the worth of such endeavours.

    Bush is trying to tap that romantic and adventurous ideal with his proclamation. But, he does so in name only. His heart's not in it. His 'adventure' is rounding up terrorists. Not ensuring the future of humanity.

    What we do nowadays has nothing to do with real space exploration.
    Depends on your definition.
    Are the Mars probes 'real' space exploration? I'd say so.
    Is SOHO? It is about gaining an understanding of an object in space (the Sun).
    What about repairs to the Hubble? (Which had to be begged for, by the way. More short-sightedness.)
    Even the Earth-looking satellites could be said to be about space exploration (the Earth is an object in space...)

    Now. You bring up the ISS. And you're right. It's worthless. It's just a pretty to show the people ("Look. We've got a space station!" I always think of that scene in Armageddon where the astronauts are approaching the Mir and that crazy (most likely drunken) cosmonaut drawls out, "Weeeelcome to the Ruuussian Spaaaaace Staaation." HIlarious. I don't know why.) But, we have a committment to the international community and shouldn't just abandon it. We've enough PR problems on our hands without that. I forget which country... China? that defaulted on its part of the station and had to keep getting bailed out by other countries building its portion. America should make good on its promises.

    But. We can work out contracts with foreign governments and send up our parts of the station with rockets rather than the Space Shuttle. The Shuttle is a lemon and I wish it had never been conceived. According to the Perspectives article in the July issue of Scientific American (which inspired this thread), the shuttle and the space station will use at least 40 billion dollars before they are both phased out of operation (the shuttle in 2010, the station in 2017). That's 40 percent of Nasa's budget. If they could negotiate deals to have the Shuttle payloads delivered by other means then this would save billions. But, it would be a loss of prestige, wouldn't it? How dirty is the thought of having the Great US being taxi'd to space by other countries. Inconceivable!

    Another excellent point made in the article is that, in light of the new trend toward human space exploration, then the space station is doubly useless as zero-g experiments are not really the issue, what needs to be worked out is ion bombardment which the ISS will not be able to study as it is too close to Earth's magnetic shield.

    Efficiency is the key word. And what we have now is not efficient. It's almost the antithesis of efficiency.

    In a way, perhaps Bush's impossible demands might serve to bolster efficiency. Perhaps I shouldn't be so quick to condemn after all. I have little faith in that argument though.

    Forgive me, but I think the productive part of Voyager's mission is pretty much over. Now, regarding the journey through the Heliopause, when is that likely to take place?
    This is one of the things that we don't know. Can't know. It is this question that only Voyager 1 is in a position to answer.

    It could happen tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month. Or next year. The simple fact is that we don't know. That's why Voyager's exploration of this area of space is so vital.

    An interesting event might well provide some answers and even cause the crossing of the Heliopause occur several times. According to this press release, in 2003 there were massive solar storms which bombarded the Earth. They didn't stop there, of course, and progressed out into space. Many of the probes flying out there reported the wave as it passed over them. Voyager 2 is the last one to report it back in April and is expected to reach Voyager 1 any day now. Any day. Of course, the wave might miss Voyager altogether. But, even if it does, it will hit the Heliopause and this will cause a radio burst in the 2 to 3 kHz range (similar to one caused by a similar event which occurred in 92 which gave scientists their first taste of the Heliopause). Another thing that this might do is push the Heliopause outward away from the sun as much as 600 million kilometers. And then it will bounce back. And then wobble back and forth for months. And if we're lucky, Voyager would be right in the area of the wobble.

    Or, if not, I should think that there should be some method of deducing the distance of the Heliopause by the radio burst. This wasn't mentioned in the press release and is my own idea, but I don't see why not. It would most likely require the shock wave to hit the Voyager as it goes outward though. Which is not a certainty.

    But. Regardless, to shut down the program. Now. When it is so close. For a paltry 4.2 million dollars a year.
    Is. Insane!
    Utterly and completely insane.

    Exactly what is it that we on Earth do as far as Voyager's concerned? It's presumably running on automatic. Cancelling the program doesn't really affect Voyager at all, as far as I can see. Now, if we know it's going to go through the Heliopause at some point, then surely we can fire up something at this end to monitor that, if it's going to be in five or ten years time?
    I'm not sure about all these particulars. I know I read in one article or another (which I can't find right now) that we missed the crossing of the Termination Shock because of some reason or another. I forget exactly what. Not receiving signals or something. I'll keep digging and try to find it.

    But, I suspect that much of the budget is actually involved in radio time. We don't just hang an aerial out the window and get Voyager's telemetry. Time must be reserved to receive it. Staff must be on hand to manage the download. I imagine that some money could be saved if they simply went into a 'automatic data collection' mode. Simply logging in every now and again. Downloading data. And then waiting until some sunny day to analyze it. But, if we do this, then how are we going to know if the craft has passed the Heliopause? How are we going to know if vital instruments have been damaged? How are we to know if this that or the other thing needs looking into? How are we to prepare for the unexpected? The radio bursts received in 92 were a surprise. They were unexpected. And we would have missed our first taste of the Heliopause had she been flying blind.

    What a shame to fire up the monitor in 5 or 10 years time to find out that the whole thing was over. Sure, we'd be still be able to get data from a whole new region of space, but the transition zone would be missing. Surely there's something there to see.

    What's to say that Voyager similarly won't be outstripped by a better ship (in fifty years or so) that's designed and built specifically for the job of analysing the heliopause?
    Voyager will die in 2020.
    And I have little doubt that someday a more suitably equipped craft will study the heliopause. Of course.
    But. Don't you think that Voyager's experience and data might allow us to equip that craft even better?
    And for 4.2 million dollars a year?
    In 15 years, that'll be 63 million dollars.
    Efficiency. Efficiency is the word of the day.

    On the other hand, this whole Bush man-in-space ideal is just political hot air. Conversely, it's not entirely his fault. The American economy in the late 1950s and early 1960s was absolutely swimming with money.
    This is true.
    One must consider that Bush is stuck in his times. But. If so. If Deep Space Exploration is something that is not feasible. Then why waste the effort to make the motions?
    Public relations?
    Yup.
    And in the process lose valuable programs because Bush wants a prestige bonus.
    Nice.

    Anyway. The economy is a sore spot with me. I remember we were in an economic boom right up until Bush's first campaign, and suddenly, from nowhere, we were in a recession.
    Politics. A recession spun from whole cloth.
    That's another topic altogether though.


    Btimsah,
    Money is supposedly backed by gold. If they were to just print more money and use it, the american dollar would lose it's value. Or currency.

    It's kind of complicated, but I think thats why.
    Yeah. What Silas said. The dollar's been off the Gold Standard since the Depression. You can thank our other 'initial' president for that. Good old FDR.
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    I've found the article I was mentioning that talks about how the transition through the termination shock was missed. It was in the May 27th issue of Science.

    From the article, "Voyager 1 Crosses a New Frontier and May Save Itself From Termination."
    <blockquote>Now that they are in it, researchers are eager to understand the heliosheath. They missed recording the actual passage through the shock because it occurred during one of the gaps in Voyager monitoring by the big radio telescopes of the Deep Space Network. But they will be studying the heightened turbulence within the heliosheath and how the turbulence helps deflect galactic cosmic rays. The spacecraft’s reports from the heliosheath should also help scientists understand similar shock-bounded “astrospheres” seen around other, more energetic stars.

    Researchers are also looking outward toward the next Voyager milestone: leaving the heliosphere entirely. Estimates of the distance to the heliopause—where solar wind ends and the interstellar medium begins—vary widely. Gurnett’s interpretation of radio signals emanating from that frontier place it anywhere from 116 AU to 177 AU. But Voyager 1 will run short of power from its radioisotope thermal generator as early as 2020 and go silent about 147 AU out.

    Now, knowing where the termination shock is, researchers are suggesting 125 AU as a best estimate of the distance to the heliopause. “That’s a comforting number,”says Gurnett, because it would get Voyager 1 there around 2014. Perhaps NASA managers will be equally comforted and remove Voyager 1 and its lagging companion Voyager 2 from the list of space physics missions to be considered this fall for termination.</blockquote>

    I don't have access to the November 5, 2003 issue of Nature where the two papers showing that the termination shock had been crossed was published, but I'd be interested in seeing it if anyone has access to them in pdf format... (Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink...)
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    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    Precisely the opposite ethic applies today - now it's a whole new generation, a generation who grew up without war and the striving and sacrifice that war entailed. It's precisely because space exploration is hard that the United States nor any other Western democracy no longer feels that the game is worth the candle.
    You've made a fatal error of judgement in your scenario.
    I think you've made an error in understanding what I was saying!
    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Who is this generation that has grown up without war? The 20 somethings? Early 30's?
    Well, it certainly includes me, and I'm 40. I was born 20 years after WWII. And don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those advocating no space exploration, I'm talking about the mood of the general public.
    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Setting aside that the Cold War (which is what inspired the original space race) ended in the late 80's (thus making the generation you're talking about even younger than this), what do they have to do with decisions on space exploration?
    The Cold War was precisely not the kind of war I was talking about. It was called Cold because barring a few agents murdered or executed by each side, not a shot was fired. Everybody involved in Apollo was old enough to have either served in Korea or even the Second World War (the astronauts themselves and the older guys administering, like Chris Kraft, Gene Kranz and Deke Slayton), whereas younger guys in their 20s had at the least grown up during the Second World War and were therefore used to hearing about heavy casualties in major battles. Now, the exploration of space is going to be very dangerous, and in order to achieve it many people will die. Centuries ago, people set off in ships to go to America, knowing that their chances of surviving the voyage was one in three. Now an accident causes the regrettable deaths of seven people, and the shuttle is grounded for two years. Twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    While this age range might well be considered to take part in congress and perhaps some managerial responsibilities within the system, I should think that the majority of those who are involved in these decisions are not of this generation but rather of older generations which know well (and remember well) the lessons of war and hardship. In fact, they most likely remember the original man on the Moon from first hand experience rather than as merely an aspect of history.
    That simply isn't true. I am not talking about the space administrators, I'm talking about public sentiment. And it was during Apollo that public sentiment began to turn against sacrifices made for a supposed "greater good" - during the Vietnam War.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    No. While your scenario is cogent, I think it's flawed. It would seem to me that he fault lies with those who grew up with war and were prepared to sacrifice much in the name of that war, but with the absence of war and with the absence of short term, tangible rewards (such as beating the Ruski's to the Moon), then they can think of no reason to do so.
    No, again, I'm more talking about the fact that previous generations understood that great undertakings were dangerous and might require the sacrifice of a lot of lives, and in a time of peace people today don't even understand those kinds of thought processes. Today absolutely everthing in life is hedgebound with extra safety and warnings because God forbid you should burn your tongue on a fruit pie, people will sue. Of course the people suing are getting compensation for a specific complaint, but the effect on the culture overall has been disastrous, because people expect to be cotton-ball wrapped from crade to grave.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    I believe that the younger generation is of a more adventurous type and would love to go to the Moon and beyond merely for the adventure and also because of the long-term rewards of eventual diaspora.
    No-one doubts the adventurism of the young, which is obviously a given. But, pardon me, the young are not paying the bills. And the young are not in fact prone to look ahead to long term rewards. Just getting enough personned space exploration going so that we can actually put the rest of the Solar System to some actual investment-returning use is long term enough of a goal even for experienced policy-makers, let alone humanity's diaspora which is not likely to be necessary for millions of years at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    I believe we'd sacrifice much to begin to advance man's destiny once more towards the goals set long ago and set aside by those who lost track of the worth of such endeavours.
    But that's precisely my point - the current coddled generation (and I mean the majority of people of all ages, not just one generation of 20 year olds) are not actually interested in sacrificing anything. Not human lives, not money, not even any personal comfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Bush is trying to tap that romantic and adventurous ideal with his proclamation. But, he does so in name only. His heart's not in it. His 'adventure' is rounding up terrorists. Not ensuring the future of humanity.
    Forgive me but we need to explore and expand in order to increase our knowledge, to test the (in my view almost non-existent) limits to human endeavour, and to exploit the resources of lifeless worlds to make life on Earth better and more rewarding if at all possible.

    Space flight is the one and only solution to one and only one disaster scenario, the inevitable death of the Sun. Anything else is achievable without it, even if we have give up our technology and return to an agrarian society. In any case, George W. Bush is not the be-all and end-all - neither is any US President. All those things you dream of are not going to happen under the aegis of the United States taxpayer (of which I am not one, in case you didn't know) and one united Government body. It has to be private enterprise that makes the break away from Mother Earth.
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    Silas,

    Well, it certainly includes me, and I'm 40. I was born 20 years after WWII. And don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those advocating no space exploration, I'm talking about the mood of the general public.
    Interesting. So. You consider yourself to be part of a generation that doesn't know war or the need for sacrifice because you didn't live through WWII?
    Interesting. And... somehow... British.
    I see your point, of course. Because you are British, you've been raised on stories of the London Bombings and such. How everyone had to pull together and lived in the subways and made tea and served kippers (fish for breakfast?!!). But, you might consider something here that is different between the US and Britain.
    We, in America, have never had to suffer through such direct consequences of war. Not for quite some time anyway. I suppose if you want to talk about the direct consequences of war in such a way, we'd have to go back to the Civil War about 140 years ago. And. Mostly the Southern states suffered such damage as it was the North that invaded the South. (Coincidentally, most, if not all, Nasa organizations are in the Southern states...)


    Anyway, as I said, your idea is cogent but suffers fatal flaws.

    For instance, this:
    Everybody involved in Apollo was old enough to have either served in Korea or even the Second World War (the astronauts themselves and the older guys administering, like Chris Kraft, Gene Kranz and Deke Slayton), whereas younger guys in their 20s had at the least grown up during the Second World War and were therefore used to hearing about heavy casualties in major battles.
    We seem to have a disparity between Korea and WWII. With WWII, it was enough to have grown up during those times and hearing about it. With Korea, it seems it was necessary to actually fight in Korea to learn the 'lessons of sacrifice'.
    Why the disparity?
    And why is it that Vietnam didn't impart the same lessons?
    And you? How many other wars has the UK been involved in? The Falkland Islands War comes to mind. I'm sure there were more. Why do you consider yourself to be part of a generation that hasn't know war?

    And it was during Apollo that public sentiment began to turn against sacrifices made for a supposed "greater good" - during the Vietnam War.
    Supposed 'greater good'.
    Exactly.
    And it happened during the Vietnam War. So, you can't say that it's the lack of war that caused this change. It's something else.

    Consider the civil rights movement and other protest movements that were going on during this time. Those involved weren't averse to sacrifice. Many were killed and injured during protests. It wasn't the 'sacrifices made for the greater good' that were being done away with. It was the 'supposed' part. People were becoming more aware of themselves and their environment. They were becoming more civicly minded. They were wanting to shape their own destinies rather than have them shaped for them. They wanted to choose which wars to fight. They chose, for the most part, to not fight Vietnam. They chose to fight wars closer to home.

    The Cold War was precisely not the kind of war I was talking about. It was called Cold because barring a few agents murdered or executed by each side, not a shot was fired.
    I disagree. The Cold War was exactly the kind of war that fueled the Space Race in the first place. It was the paranoia that the Ruskies were going to get there first. And God knows what they were going to do with it when they get there, but it can't be good.

    Can you imagine the terror that people felt when Sputnik was orbiting the Earth? A stupid satellite that did nothing but beep. But people were terrified at the thought. To them it was a threat of annihilation by a foreign and alien power. A monster in red that loomed high over head, peeking from behind an iron curtain. And they feared the Iron Curtain becoming not a curtain, but a cage. On all sides.

    That is what fueled the Space Race. That is what got man to the Moon. That is for what people sacrificed. And that is what is missing in today's age. And has been missing since the mid 80's. We have a new enemy. But they're not going to the Moon. They worship the moon.

    Now, the exploration of space is going to be very dangerous, and in order to achieve it many people will die. Centuries ago, people set off in ships to go to America, knowing that their chances of surviving the voyage was one in three.
    And their opportunities in life at home virtually nil...

    Now an accident causes the regrettable deaths of seven people, and the shuttle is grounded for two years. Twice.
    Let's look at the Apollo missions.

    Apollo 1: January 27, 1967.
    Apollo 7: October 11, 1968.

    Apollo 7 was the 1st manned Apollo mission after Apollo 1.
    Look at that. Not quite two years. But close.
    And consider the investigation. Apollo 1 burned up on the launchpad. Both the Challenger and the Columbia blew up in midair. It was a bit more trouble investigating the Shuttle accidents. Don't you think?
    You'd think that it would take even longer to go through the investigation and bureacracy than it did for Apollo 1. And it did, but not much longer.

    Consider also the objectives. Apollo had less than 3 years to fulfill Kennedy's pledge. The Space Shuttle really isn't doing much. Zips around in orbit. Carrying grade school science projects. Its most valuable task is repairing satellites. It's inefficient and uncostly. Not in human lives but in dollars.
    It's a lemon. It should be grounded. Make way for the new and let's try to get it right this time.

    Today absolutely everthing in life is hedgebound with extra safety and warnings because God forbid you should burn your tongue on a fruit pie, people will sue. Of course the people suing are getting compensation for a specific complaint, but the effect on the culture overall has been disastrous, because people expect to be cotton-ball wrapped from crade to grave.
    Exactly. You've just named one of the real causes for this weakness. It's not the lack of war. But a lack of something else. Lack of the good sense to not sue for frivolous bullshit. It's the lack of ethics in the legal system which entertains such bullshit. And the lack of courage in politicians to go against the latest gallup poll.

    There was a time when people stood up and said what they believed. Now they hedge words like minced meat. They hem and haw and by the end of a long speech, you're sitting there wondering what the hell they're talking about.

    Political correctness is a disease in this country and presumably throughout the world. Political correctness is a symptom of the same ill that manifests in frivolous lawsuits. Man sees himself as inviolate. "No one may stand upon me lest they suffer my wrath. I'm just some stupid little shit who never did anything for myself, but by God, I'll fucking sue!"
    "Don't Tread on Me" has been carried to an extreme that makes it ludicrous.

    Political correctness is about fearing to hurt someone's feelings by saying the wrong thing.
    Words hurt.

    The youth of our country is killing each other for issues of 'respect'.

    Everyone feel's they're owed respect. Everyone feels that they're so special despite the fact that most of them are nothing but parasites.

    It's all about human dignity.
    You don't even need to earn it any more.
    It's now become a right.
    And that means that it is empty...

    I digress.
    But this is what you are talking about. It is this that manifests in the fear of sacrifice. It's not that we actually fear sacrifice. It's that we fear the repercussions of sacrifice. If someone makes a sacrifice and they are honored for that sacrifice, then that is a direct punch in the face to those who didn't make any sacrifice.

    It's this that is the problem.
    Humanity ground down to a common gruel.

    No-one doubts the adventurism of the young, which is obviously a given. But, pardon me, the young are not paying the bills.
    Right. But it's the young who are the only ones who haven't lived through war. But, even that isn't true, as they have lived through war. Living through it right now, in fact.

    And the young are not in fact prone to look ahead to long term rewards. Just getting enough personned space exploration going so that we can actually put the rest of the Solar System to some actual investment-returning use is long term enough of a goal even for experienced policy-makers, let alone humanity's diaspora which is not likely to be necessary for millions of years at least.
    I think it is the youth who are looking forward to the exploration of space. The youth feel the effects of being a rat in a cage very well. They know that they must spread out. They feel it in their bones. It's the old rats that grow comfortable with their prison and seek to maintain it. The young seek to escape. But there's nowhere to escape to. Until space is opened up.

    But that's precisely my point - the current coddled generation (and I mean the majority of people of all ages, not just one generation of 20 year olds) are not actually interested in sacrificing anything. Not human lives, not money, not even any personal comfort.
    I think you'd be surprised.
    The problem is one of choice.
    Our spirit to 'sacrifice' is currently being channeled (through fear-based tactics) to war rather than a solution to more deeper problems.

    Forgive me but we need to explore and expand in order to increase our knowledge, to test the (in my view almost non-existent) limits to human endeavour, and to exploit the resources of lifeless worlds to make life on Earth better and more rewarding if at all possible.
    Forgive? No. I curse you for your sentiment...
    Kidding. What's to forgive?

    Anyway. What if the worlds aren't lifeless?
    And. You seem to have an emphasis on bringing resources back to Earth rather than colonizing and spreading out.
    The Old World had similar ideas about 'colonizing' the New World. It worked for them for awhile too. Until the settlers got tired of it.

    Space flight is the one and only solution to one and only one disaster scenario, the inevitable death of the Sun.
    Not exactly. There's a large number of other things that could occur that would wipe out humanity and leave the Solar System intact. Supervolcano. Meteor impact. Greenhouse effect. Plague. The list goes on and on. The death of the Sun is incentive to leave the Solar System. Not the Earth.

    In any case, George W. Bush is not the be-all and end-all - neither is any US President. All those things you dream of are not going to happen under the aegis of the United States taxpayer (of which I am not one, in case you didn't know) and one united Government body. It has to be private enterprise that makes the break away from Mother Earth.
    I tend to agree. But there is an issue. Space flight is so cost prohibitive that at present the only possible source of such exploration must be goverment. Private corporations don't have the funds to accomplish it. They will make it more efficient and cost-effective. But, we're still a ways out before they can step in. More technological hurdles must be passed before the torch can be passed. We're getting there though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    off topic, but money is no longer backed by gold, and hasn't been since the 1930s. The value of the currency is the value put on it by currency speculators, and the price of stuff depends on a variety of economic factors, one of which is money supply. If you print money it loses its value, that is true.

    btimsah, if even you can admit that your posts are "riddled" with conspiracy theory, why don't you just post the same things without the conspiracy parts and sound as intelligent as I think you really are?
    Because I believe it's a reasonable (and sometimes somewhat evidential) conspiracy.

    In fact, I just put down the book about how the stealth bomber was made. The book is riddled with conspiracy - A TRUE CONSPIRACY.

    I guess I just see the UFO/ETI issue as potentially another top-secret issue. We have covered-up much less.

    Maybe I'm brilliant?
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    a) there is a difference between conspiracy and secrecy. The Stealth bomber was kept secret for excellent reasons. On the other hand, you and I are talking about it in the certainty that it exists. In fact, I've actually seen one in the flesh.

    b) You have to make a convincing case for the existence of aliens either in the past or the present to remain a secret, and this is what you've failed to do. I argued this with you before. If we want alien technology, obviously that will be secret. But the fact that there are aliens (I mean, provably) would not be kept secret.
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    Alien technology would be easier to be kept secret than actual aliens.
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    Shut up with your ETI and conspiracy bullshit. You have your own threads to rattle on that. Keep it in your own.
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    Im innocent!!! wait...was that for the Silas guy????
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    a) there is a difference between conspiracy and secrecy. The Stealth bomber was kept secret for excellent reasons. On the other hand, you and I are talking about it in the certainty that it exists. In fact, I've actually seen one in the flesh.
    Yes, but I am suggesting that perhaps evidence of ETI is kept secret. I've never really thought it was a conspiracy. More of a top-secret classification. When I wrote about being "riddled" in conspiracy I was being sarcastic.

    b) You have to make a convincing case for the existence of aliens either in the past or the present to remain a secret, and this is what you've failed to do. I argued this with you before. If we want alien technology, obviously that will be secret. But the fact that there are aliens (I mean, provably) would not be kept secret.
    You can't make a convincing case for the existance of aliens, perhaps because the evidence has been hidden. You know, for secrecy?

    As I've said before the only way to prove ETI exists is if the evidence was not classified. Unlike you and some others I don't see the difference between covering up the Stealth or a UFO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Shut up with your ETI and conspiracy bullshit. You have your own threads to rattle on that. Keep it in your own.
    Wow you are nice!! Thanks!!

    When ETI is proven to exist finally, you will feel stupid when we discover;

    #1. They fly in silver saucer-shaped disks.

    #2. Have gray bodies, big heads and big black eyes.

    #3. Their saucers have been seen in space by Astronauts before.

    Even when all of this is proven - YOU WILL STILL SAY IT'S A COINCIDENCE.

    Abscence Of Evidence is not an evidence of absence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flying_kiwi
    Im innocent!!! wait...was that for the Silas guy????
    Kiwi, I believe it was for me. No need too worry, he's just an angry, bitter and arrogant old man.
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    The bottom line is that President Bush wants to give NASA a goal that will get tangible results. Get to the Moon. Get to Mars.

    You have to be crazy to think he is not interested in being responsible for finding evidence of ETI. Or even microbial life.

    That's not conspiracy bullshit, that's just reality.
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    When ETI is proven to exist finally, you will feel stupid when we discover;
    Whatever. Take it to your own thread. This isn't a thread about ETI.


    Kiwi,

    Take no offense. Just trying to prevent the thread from turning into another ETI conspiracy thread. Plenty of those already. This is one about humans not aliens.
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    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    When ETI is proven to exist finally, you will feel stupid when we discover;
    Whatever. Take it to your own thread. This isn't a thread about ETI.


    Kiwi,

    Take no offense. Just trying to prevent the thread from turning into another ETI conspiracy thread. Plenty of those already. This is one about humans not aliens.
    Yes and I responded ON TOPIC. Too bad if you don't agree with everything I said - this is a forum.
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    I guess you see ETI as always on topic when the subject is space exploration?

    It's not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    I guess you see ETI as always on topic when the subject is space exploration?

    It's not.
    lol - Yes as a matter of fact I do. Of course it is.

    "The new" Bush vision could yield just those kinds of discoveries.
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    what did this madness start with anyway???
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    Quote Originally Posted by flying_kiwi
    what did this madness start with anyway???
    My rude mentioning of a conspiracy





    :P
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    My rude mentioning of a conspiracy
    No. Your rude attempt at threadjacking. I was willing to entertain a modicum of conspiracy talk because, after all, my opening post could be said to be slightly conspiratorial. But, when you tried to change the topic from Voyager to the Gold Standard to the Stealth Bomber to ETI. That was too much.

    This is not a thread about ETI. It has nothing to do with ETI. NOTHING.

    The topic is broad enough that we don't need to bring in Bat-Boy(TM) to make the topic even broader.

    The topic is about the disparity between manned and non-manned exploration of state. In terms of practicality, efficiency, expense, and long-term benefit.

    It's about the state of mind of those who would cancel productive and unique programs to push an agenda that is not even remotely funded enough to succeed.

    It's about the politics of manipulation of romantic impulses.

    It's about a lot of things.

    But it's NOT about ETI/Aliens/anal probes/bat boy/goofy jpg's/blah blah blah. If you want to talk about any of those things TAKE IT TO YOUR OWN THREAD!

    It's just that simple.
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    skip it.
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    Silas,

    What part of "ETI is not part of this conversation" do you not understand? A full page has already been wasted on this off-topic tripe. Now you want to further it?

    Want me to start a thread on Voyager, ETI, and Bat-boy that you and Btimsah can talk in?

    http://www.thescienceforum.com/viewt...hp?p=7593#7593
    Enjoy.
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    Aliens and other stuff sound more promising to me at the moment than politics ...no offence...

    By the way what does manipulation of romantic impulses mean??
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    Aliens and other stuff sound more promising to me at the moment than politics ...no offence...
    None taken. You're free to discuss it all you want.
    IN THE OTHER THREAD OR ONE OF YOUR OWN MAKING.
    Maybe you can have a good time posting about ET and blah blah blah. But all I ask is you not pollute my thread with it.
    Is that so difficult?
    You don't find the topic of my thread interesting?
    Then DON'T POST.

    By the way what does manipulation of romantic impulses mean??
    Guess you don't like to read much, do ya?
    Ok. I'll explain it. Again.
    Bush is trying to manipulate the romantic impulses involved in space exploration by making his "Man to the Moon and Beyond" speech. He shows that he's only using it for political purposes rather than actually trying to go to the moon and beyond because he doesn't see fit to properly fund the program. All he wants to do is go through the motions and garner the psychological credit for it from a gullible public that can't remember things that happened more than a month ago.


    And. In case you're wondering. Yes. I'm getting fucking irritated by this crap. Can you blame me?
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    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Aliens and other stuff sound more promising to me at the moment than politics ...no offence...
    None taken. You're free to discuss it all you want.
    IN THE OTHER THREAD OR ONE OF YOUR OWN MAKING.
    Maybe you can have a good time posting about ET and blah blah blah. But all I ask is you not pollute my thread with it.
    Is that so difficult?
    You don't find the topic of my thread interesting?
    Then DON'T POST.

    By the way what does manipulation of romantic impulses mean??
    Guess you don't like to read much, do ya?
    Ok. I'll explain it. Again.
    Bush is trying to manipulate the romantic impulses involved in space exploration by making his "Man to the Moon and Beyond" speech. He shows that he's only using it for political purposes rather than actually trying to go to the moon and beyond because he doesn't see fit to properly fund the program. All he wants to do is go through the motions and garner the psychological credit for it from a gullible public that can't remember things that happened more than a month ago.


    And. In case you're wondering. Yes. I'm getting fucking irritated by this crap. Can you blame me?
    Did JFK manipulate our romantic impulses involved with landing a man on the Moon? Hell yes he did.

    Did JFK properly fund the program to get us to the Moon? Hell no.

    Also the public is not exactly excited about the Moon-To-Mars mission, so I don't think there is any sort of manipulation here.

    He wanted to give NASA some great goals, I for one applaud that.
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    Do you want to discuss ETI?
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    Did JFK manipulate our romantic impulses involved with landing a man on the Moon?
    Absolutely he did.

    But there's a difference:

    Did JFK properly fund the program to get us to the Moon? Hell no.
    You obviously don't read so well either. Why am I not suprised? I'm not going to repeat myself. You can either read my opening post or not.

    Kennedy did properly fund his Moon initiative. He did it for reasons that are less than altruistic, it's true. But so what? I don't care if he only did it to beat the Russians. The point is he did it. He didn't just make the motions and wait for the thunderous applause.

    Also the public is not exactly excited about the Moon-To-Mars mission, so I don't think there is any sort of manipulation here.
    I don't know about that. It's not big news, no. But it is something that people talk about. People often wonder why we abandoned the moon and the thought of going to Mars is a real popular dream.

    Is this something that appeals to everybody? No. But it does appeal to the scientific minded. And it is exactly those who he needs to save some kind of face for. Because he's practically a book-burner in his relationship to science.

    He wanted to give NASA some great goals, I for one applaud that.
    Yeah. Great. Wonderful. Give Nasa goals. Give them impossible goals. And tell them that to accomplish the goals that they're going to have to cancel programs that are on the verge of giving us knowledge unique in human history.

    Real great goals.

    If he meant it. If he really wanted to push through this initiative and make it work then he'd fund it properly.

    Like JFK did back in the day.
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    Invert, I agree with you that the Voyager missions are too valuable to simply terminate. Much new physics is being empirically catalogued. Here
    is a link to a recent meeting where data from the voyagers is being discussed, especially Voyager 1's collection of data near the heliosphere.
    This is not an inactive region, among other things, three different catagories of particles are being formed in or near the heliosphere. A cut
    and paste and link:
    As we approach mid-2005, we mark the end of three years during which Voyager 1 (V1) witnessed extraordinary particle events as it traveled through a region, beyond 85 AU from the Sun, which is strongly influenced by the solar wind termination shock (TS). V1 has traveled 10 AU since entering this region and appears to be near the TS throughout. This suggests either that there is a chance relationship between the speed of V1 and that of the expanding TS or that this TS-dominated region is large, but variable. We report on up to three populations of energetic particles observed in this region, with sources at the termination shock. (1) Above 40 MeV is the classical anomalous cosmic ray (ACR) component, accelerated across the global TS. The ACR intensities are modulated at lower energies, forming a spectral peak---an unmistakable feature of transport---but exhibit only small variations during this period. (2) Particles from ~50 keV -- 40 MeV have intense, falling shock-accelerated spectra that vary greatly throughout this period and show no evidence of transport down to ~50 keV. Therefore, it appears that V1 is intermittently magnetically connected to a nearby region of the TS, which is the source of these particles. (3) There is evidence of a third particle population, which may be due to particles accelerated at a nearby deformation of the shock with a local radius of curvature that is much smaller than that of the global TS. This population's source appears not to be magnetically connected and is distant enough for transport effects to be obvious, but the small radius of curvature results in a spectral peak at ~5 MeV, well below that of classical ACRs.

    http://www.agu.org/meetings/sm05/sm0...m05_SH23A.html
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    To be fair to Bush, if he's aware and in favour of Nasa's capabilities to expand manned exploration of space I've no doubt that if it really was entirely up to him he'd snap his fingers and spend the money.

    The real difference between 1961 and today is not between Kennedy and Johnson on the one hand, and the two Presidents Bush on the other (George Sr. having also mumbled something about Mars missions, I recall). It was far easier to persuade Congress to spend the money in 1961 when the entire concept of space travel was entirely new and there was a real danger that the Soviets would take an unsurpassable lead in an area of strategic importance.

    Today that is no longer the case. The Americans are pre-eminent in space technology and in fact are completely unrivalled in manned space travel. If that were not the case we wouldn't even be discussing a Mars trip versus Voyager in these terms and of Bush's personal responsibility. He's not my President, after all!

    In a very real sense it is precisely this absence of serious competition which has resulted in the smallness of ambition and lack of significant progress that we see in the current Shuttle program. Nothing is forcing us to go to Mars, and consequently there will be no money forthcoming from Congress in order to facilitate it.
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    Silas,

    You been on drugs or take a hit to the head in the past few days?
    Or is it stress over the bombings perhaps? (IF the last then I'm not joking around when I say I can understand that.)

    This thread is going in circles. You chose not to respond to my response to your earlier post back when you thought it was the lack of war in people's formative periods that drained the willingness to sacrifice and to do hard things out of them. And, now, it seems you've directly contradicted what you said earlier.

    This:
    The Cold War was precisely not the kind of war I was talking about.
    Pretty much contradicts this:
    It was far easier to persuade Congress to spend the money in 1961 when the entire concept of space travel was entirely new and there was a real danger that the Soviets would take an unsurpassable lead in an area of strategic importance.
    I suppose you're talking about the will of Congress rather than the will of the public on this one, but still...

    That was you, wasn't it?
    Yup. That was you.

    Anyway.

    To be fair to Bush, if he's aware and in favour of Nasa's capabilities to expand manned exploration of space I've no doubt that if it really was entirely up to him he'd snap his fingers and spend the money.
    I'm sure. He'd also do it for all his other dreams and fantasies. I'm not saying that Bush is immune to that same romantic idealism which infects most of us (if not all.) But, there's a difference between us and him. His romantic idealism is going to leave with neither the Moon nor Voyager (although Voyager will most likely be saved. Other projects won't be. And, in the end, unless more funding is applied to Nasa, then the whole thing will come to nothing.

    That's disgraceful.

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, they say.

    In a very real sense it is precisely this absence of serious competition which has resulted in the smallness of ambition and lack of significant progress that we see in the current Shuttle program. Nothing is forcing us to go to Mars, and consequently there will be no money forthcoming from Congress in order to facilitate it.
    I agree. And said as much on the first page of this thready...
    Anyway.
    Our current 'competition' is a bunch of semi-primitive terrorists. They've no wish to go the moon. Unless they could plant a bomb there.

    But, it seems there are plans in the works to attempt to make a new Cold War (if not a Hot War) partner in China. And they do have a space program. Maybe that'll get us there. But, first we'd have to ditch this inane War on Terror.



    2inquisitive,

    That's an interesting cut-and-paste you have there. It's odd in that it seems to still denote the presence of the Termination Shock rather than already being beyond it. The paper's hypothesizing that Voyager had progressed beyond the Termination Shock were in November of 2003. It seems that it's still not an accepted fact that this is the case. Perhaps Science and other publications put more emphasis on the idea just to hype Voyager's importance? If Voyager has passed through the Termination Shock, then the odds are good that it will reach the Heliopause before it's battery runs out. If it's still in the Termination Shock, then all bets are off.

    Hmmm.

    Damn politics.

    4.2 million dollars a year. Is that too much to ask? That's nothing. That's probably less than it costs to have the White House toilets cleaned and sanitized per year. Let's teach Mrs. Bush how to use a toilet brush and save the money there instead.
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    I remembered watching "From The Earth To The Moon" series on HBO and NASA's chief was scared shitless about JFK's declaration to land a man on the Moon. I coulda sworn he was bitching about the cost and dangers... There were naysayers then, just as there are now.

    There will never be enough money today. We don't have the space-war between the Russians that we had back then.

    Also I thought NASA was going to become more commercial? That's what they need to do - get some Microsoft dollars.

    My question to you is this; If it was properly funded, would you still support the mission? How much is properly funded?
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    I remembered watching "From The Earth To The Moon" series on HBO and NASA's chief was scared shitless about JFK's declaration to land a man on the Moon.
    Ah. That's good learnin'...

    Anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if Nasa's chief was scared shitless. But, if you'll read my first post, you'll see that your claim that JFK didn't fund the program is ludicrous. In 1961 alone, he raised Nasa's budget by $674,670,000. That's a raise of about 50% of their budget. 50%.

    Bush raised it by a billion. Which, while higher than the amount raised by JFK, is worth less because of inflation. Much less. It was kind of an insult.

    Nasa's chief was scared because of the technical challenges. Not because he thought he was being given a possible goal with an impossible budget.

    There will never be enough money today. We don't have the space-war between the Russians that we had back then.
    Third time is the charm on this particular comment. Yes. The cold war with the Russians is over. However, China is still on the way.

    And. This is kinda the point anyway. Why make the motions when the incentive is not there? He's murdering good programs for a pipe dream on an impossible one. We'll end up with neither and Bush will be off in retirement writing his memoirs by then.

    Also I thought NASA was going to become more commercial? That's what they need to do - get some Microsoft dollars.
    Yeah. Won't it be great when we can't even look up to the night sky and escape advertising?

    And Microsoft would only be willing to license space travel.

    My question to you is this; If it was properly funded, would you still support the mission? How much is properly funded?
    Absolutely. In fact, I'd support it now exept I find it disgusting that all these other programs are being murdered by it and the fact that Bush is only going through the motions.

    I'd support a real initiative. One that is intended to succeed. And funded to show it.
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    So, in the end you don't feel the cuts are a good thing because the mission (moon to mars) won't succeed anyways.

    I hope your wrong.
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    When I say commercial, I am not talking about space billboards.. Although that would be kinda cool. Opening things up so NASA is not just reliant upon the GUB-MENT.

    Letting billionaires pay to go up in space - generate revenue, not just spend it.

    Hopefully the funding can be raised later on (new administration and no war).
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    invert_nexus, I had been sidetracked and never saw your original response.
    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Silas,

    Well, it certainly includes me, and I'm 40. I was born 20 years after WWII. And don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those advocating no space exploration, I'm talking about the mood of the general public.
    Interesting. So. You consider yourself to be part of a generation that doesn't know war or the need for sacrifice because you didn't live through WWII?
    Interesting. And... somehow... British.
    I see your point, of course. Because you are British, you've been raised on stories of the London Bombings and such. How everyone had to pull together and lived in the subways and made tea and served kippers (fish for breakfast?!!). But, you might consider something here that is different between the US and Britain.
    We, in America, have never had to suffer through such direct consequences of war. Not for quite some time anyway. I suppose if you want to talk about the direct consequences of war in such a way, we'd have to go back to the Civil War about 140 years ago. And. Mostly the Southern states suffered such damage as it was the North that invaded the South. (Coincidentally, most, if not all, Nasa organizations are in the Southern states...)
    I wasn't really talking about direct experience of war on the homefront, because obviously that does did not happen in America. Although I may not have made it clear, I am talking about the general public's willingness to have any kind of sacrifice of "their sons", even if the sons themselves are perfectly willing. No accident goes by without anti-Nasa bod in Congress saying, "Is this endeavour really worth the lives lost?"


    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Anyway, as I said, your idea is cogent but suffers fatal flaws.
    I believe I'm contributing to the debate and explaining a view point. It's not really an "idea" that has flaws or doesn't have them.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    For instance, this:
    Everybody involved in Apollo was old enough to have either served in Korea or even the Second World War (the astronauts themselves and the older guys administering, like Chris Kraft, Gene Kranz and Deke Slayton), whereas younger guys in their 20s had at the least grown up during the Second World War and were therefore used to hearing about heavy casualties in major battles.
    We seem to have a disparity between Korea and WWII. With WWII, it was enough to have grown up during those times and hearing about it. With Korea, it seems it was necessary to actually fight in Korea to learn the 'lessons of sacrifice'.
    Why the disparity?
    And why is it that Vietnam didn't impart the same lessons?
    I was stating facts about the experience of the men involved. There was no "disparity", the astronauts happened to have served in Korea and the older admin guys (and the Mercury astronauts, and Chuck Yeager) had fought in the Second World War. We've gotten off the point there, you were talking about why space administrators might or might not committ to a dangerous Mars mission today when they did for the moon in the 1960s, and I was answering that today's space administrators are not really the same people, however full of the dreams of spaceflight they may be.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    And it was during Apollo that public sentiment began to turn against sacrifices made for a supposed "greater good" - during the Vietnam War.
    Supposed 'greater good'.
    Exactly.
    And it happened during the Vietnam War. So, you can't say that it's the lack of war that caused this change. It's something else.
    Yes, general comfort and prosperity in a time of peace.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Consider the civil rights movement and other protest movements that were going on during this time. Those involved weren't averse to sacrifice. Many were killed and injured during protests. It wasn't the 'sacrifices made for the greater good' that were being done away with. It was the 'supposed' part. People were becoming more aware of themselves and their environment. They were becoming more civicly minded. They were wanting to shape their own destinies rather than have them shaped for them. They wanted to choose which wars to fight. They chose, for the most part, to not fight Vietnam. They chose to fight wars closer to home.
    Again, those sacrifices in the civil rights movements were back then in the 1960s when the same sacrifices were being made in the space program! What about today's protesters? Admittedly there is less to protest about, but people today do not put their necks on the line in the same way! Even cops have been known to sue their police departments. Even in Britain we suffered from this "litigationitis" only recently. A madman shot some people in a suburban street, and the police put barricades up and created a "siege situation", despite the fact that the madman had already shot himself and the police were repeatedly told this, and were being begged to come into the street and get the wounded to hospital, something they refused to do for four hours, and one of the victims died as a result. "He might be making them say that, we can't risk our officers or any other lives." So much for (as they say in America) "Protect and Serve". And don't deny that this is a symptom of an American disease, not something that we home-grew in the UK.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    The Cold War was precisely not the kind of war I was talking about. It was called Cold because barring a few agents murdered or executed by each side, not a shot was fired.
    I disagree. The Cold War was exactly the kind of war that fueled the Space Race in the first place.
    YES, THE COLD WAR FUELED THE SPACE RACE. THE COLD WAR WAS NOT THE KIND OF WAR TO ENGENDER THE FEELING OF THE WORTHINESS TO RISK SACRIFICE! TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M SAYING.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Can you imagine the terror that people felt when Sputnik was orbiting the Earth? A stupid satellite that did nothing but beep. But people were terrified at the thought. To them it was a threat of annihilation by a foreign and alien power. A monster in red that loomed high over head, peeking from behind an iron curtain. And they feared the Iron Curtain becoming not a curtain, but a cage. On all sides.

    That is what fueled the Space Race. That is what got man to the Moon. That is for what people sacrificed. And that is what is missing in today's age. And has been missing since the mid 80's. We have a new enemy. But they're not going to the Moon. They worship the moon.
    Oh, so you do agree with me, entirely, and in every point, then!

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Now, the exploration of space is going to be very dangerous, and in order to achieve it many people will die. Centuries ago, people set off in ships to go to America, knowing that their chances of surviving the voyage was one in three.
    And their opportunities in life at home virtually nil...

    Now an accident causes the regrettable deaths of seven people, and the shuttle is grounded for two years. Twice.
    Let's look at the Apollo missions.

    Apollo 1: January 27, 1967.
    Apollo 7: October 11, 1968.

    Apollo 7 was the 1st manned Apollo mission after Apollo 1.
    Look at that. Not quite two years. But close.
    And consider the investigation. Apollo 1 burned up on the launchpad. Both the Challenger and the Columbia blew up in midair. It was a bit more trouble investigating the Shuttle accidents. Don't you think?
    You'd think that it would take even longer to go through the investigation and bureacracy than it did for Apollo 1. And it did, but not much longer.

    Consider also the objectives. Apollo had less than 3 years to fulfill Kennedy's pledge. The Space Shuttle really isn't doing much. Zips around in orbit. Carrying grade school science projects. Its most valuable task is repairing satellites. It's inefficient and uncostly. Not in human lives but in dollars.
    It's a lemon. It should be grounded. Make way for the new and let's try to get it right this time.
    I really don't know what point you're trying to make here. Let me make the analogy clearer to you. An aeroplane crashes, and as a result every single aeroplane in the world (or at least the United States) is grounded for two years. A car crashes, and every car is banned from the roads for two years. There's one shuttle flight every couple of months, so a two year hold up is nothing - except in whatever miniscule progress we are making towards large scale space flight!

    Any human endeavour is based upon a build up of experience and know-how. There can not be a single other endeavour of humankind in which the people who do the job have to wait more than a year between their actually doing their job. Then when you have every single such person in that particular employ having a two year hiatus, a not insignificant portion of their careers, it really makes the entire programme a waste of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Today absolutely everthing in life is hedgebound with extra safety and warnings because God forbid you should burn your tongue on a fruit pie, people will sue. Of course the people suing are getting compensation for a specific complaint, but the effect on the culture overall has been disastrous, because people expect to be cotton-ball wrapped from crade to grave.
    Exactly. You've just named one of the real causes for this weakness. It's not the lack of war. But a lack of something else. Lack of the good sense to not sue for frivolous bullshit. It's the lack of ethics in the legal system which entertains such bullshit. And the lack of courage in politicians to go against the latest gallup poll.

    [..huge amount of stuff, with not one word of which did I disagree..]

    No-one doubts the adventurism of the young, which is obviously a given. But, pardon me, the young are not paying the bills.
    Right. But it's the young who are the only ones who haven't lived through war. But, even that isn't true, as they have lived through war. Living through it right now, in fact.
    Not remotely to the same extent. Anyway, the whole point was that the loss of the innate understanding and acceptance of sacrifice was the root cause of the "Keep me ultra-safe" ligitious politically correct society we live in today. That was my thesis. If you disagree, fine, but I think it's a factor worth considering.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    And the young are not in fact prone to look ahead to long term rewards. Just getting enough personned space exploration going so that we can actually put the rest of the Solar System to some actual investment-returning use is long term enough of a goal even for experienced policy-makers, let alone humanity's diaspora which is not likely to be necessary for millions of years at least.
    I think it is the youth who are looking forward to the exploration of space. The youth feel the effects of being a rat in a cage very well. They know that they must spread out. They feel it in their bones. It's the old rats that grow comfortable with their prison and seek to maintain it. The young seek to escape. But there's nowhere to escape to. Until space is opened up.

    But that's precisely my point - the current coddled generation (and I mean the majority of people of all ages, not just one generation of 20 year olds) are not actually interested in sacrificing anything. Not human lives, not money, not even any personal comfort.
    I think you'd be surprised.
    And I'd think you'd be surprised. And yet you agree with me about the coddled generation and political correctness and the blight it is on modern society. But apparently you believe that the youth (who are growing up with those kinds of attitudes absolutely in-grained) are going to throw off all that, and push humanity into space without any regard to the risks involved. This is where I think you are mistaken.
    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Anyway. What if the worlds aren't lifeless?
    Then we'll wipe out what life there is.
    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    And. You seem to have an emphasis on bringing resources back to Earth rather than colonizing and spreading out.
    I'm emphasising the things that will get the job done.
    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    The Old World had similar ideas about 'colonizing' the New World. It worked for them for awhile too. Until the settlers got tired of it.
    Exactly - so what was your point? I was talking about the initial impetus to go, not the actual make up of the eventual diaspora. Of course the space colonists will cut their ties to Old Earth, that's something you and I agree on.

    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Space flight is the one and only solution to one and only one disaster scenario, the inevitable death of the Sun.
    Not exactly. There's a large number of other things that could occur that would wipe out humanity and leave the Solar System intact. Supervolcano. Meteor impact. Greenhouse effect. Plague. The list goes on and on. The death of the Sun is incentive to leave the Solar System. Not the Earth.
    That's where I disagree. All of those other scenarios are preventable, and in any case would not cause a 100% wipe-out of humanity.
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    So, my answer to this:
    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    Silas,

    You been on drugs or take a hit to the head in the past few days?
    Or is it stress over the bombings perhaps? (IF the last then I'm not joking around when I say I can understand that.)


    [...]

    This:
    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    The Cold War was precisely not the kind of war I was talking about.
    Pretty much contradicts this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    It was far easier to persuade Congress to spend the money in 1961 when the entire concept of space travel was entirely new and there was a real danger that the Soviets would take an unsurpassable lead in an area of strategic importance.
    I suppose you're talking about the will of Congress rather than the will of the public on this one, but still...

    That was you, wasn't it?
    Yup. That was you.

    Anyway.
    No, what I said still applies. The Cold War was not the kind of war I was talking about. I was talking about the kind of hot war where there are large numbers of casualties, both military and civilian. And that these wars be in the background of peoples' experience and upbringing. And that the people who were in favour of taking the risks of going to the moon had all that kind of war in their experience, but the people who are today not willing to take the risk of substantial loss of life for any reason only had the no-casualties Cold War in their upbringing - people like me.

    So, no drugs nor extraneous stress need apply, there's nothing wrong with my head. You only need to get your head round what a particular generation is, what it experienced and what it is willing to put up with, and not get the generations' different aspirations and motivations mixed up. Like your citing of the Civil Rights movement, as if they were somehow engendering the spirit of today. They were not, they engendered the spirit of forty years ago, precisely so that their children would not have to undergo the same traumas.
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