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Look Out, Mookie!!!

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Re: Look Out, Mookie!!!

Postby StlSluggers » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:08 pm

Tavish wrote:
StlSluggers wrote:
Tavish wrote:Not content with blowing up a dying satellite, now we are going to attempt to destroy the moon.

I'm confused. What does this have to do with Mookie? Are we going to slam him into the moon?

:-?

Just about as much as the original article did.

It was a joke, Art. :-C
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Re: Look Out, Mookie!!!

Postby Tavish » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:25 pm

StlSluggers wrote:
Tavish wrote:
StlSluggers wrote:I'm confused. What does this have to do with Mookie? Are we going to slam him into the moon?

:-?

Just about as much as the original article did.

It was a joke, Art. :-C

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Re: Look Out, Mookie!!!

Postby knapplc » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:38 pm

They're doing this because they're looking for water, which will be essential to the creation of long-term bases on the moon. Or, if they find hydrogen they can just transport oxygen up there to make water, which will be cheaper than carrying water itself.

Basically the project will have a large slug with a rocket strapped to its backside that will impact a crater they suspect harbors ice. A following satellite will fly through the plume of dust and debris kicked up by the impact and sift through looking for traces of H2O, or hydrogen alone, if that's all they can find. They're targeting polar craters for the same reasons as Earth has polar ice caps (angle of the sun, etc).

So if they find water or hydrogen, they can start planning their bases, which will in turn allow them to plan for future manned missions to other bodies, including Mars.
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Re: Look Out, Mookie!!!

Postby Madison » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:46 pm

Tavish wrote:This one is a shuttle that is designed to simply crash into the moon. I guess it is cheaper than giving some astronauts a couple pick axes. :-b


I vote for the pick axes. :-b

With inflation, gas prices, homeless people, the environment, etc, it just seems we've got better things to spend the money on. At least to me anyway. I like space and all, but just can't justify an expense like that to myself when so many things are wrong right here on this planet that money would either solve, or help to solve. :-?
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Re: Look Out, Mookie!!!

Postby knapplc » Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:51 pm

You've got a point about the homeless, taxes, etc., Madison, but if we waited for those problems to get solved we'd never explore space. Or, to put it in other terms, if Columbus had waited for those problems to get solved before he took off in from Spain, he never would have arrived at the New World hundreds of years after Leif Ericsson discovered it.

Space exploration is our next logical step, and something we as a curious species are going to accomplish. It is not in our nature to wait around for Humans as a whole to figure out how to coexist peacefully or how to solve problems created by poverty, because those issues are as ingrained into our species as deeply as is our desire to explore.

It's a noble thought, and one I wholeheartedly agree with, but it's not going to happen that way.
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Re: Look Out, Mookie!!!

Postby Madison » Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:40 pm

knapplc wrote:You've got a point about the homeless, taxes, etc., Madison, but if we waited for those problems to get solved we'd never explore space. Or, to put it in other terms, if Columbus had waited for those problems to get solved before he took off in from Spain, he never would have arrived at the New World hundreds of years after Leif Ericsson discovered it.

Space exploration is our next logical step, and something we as a curious species are going to accomplish. It is not in our nature to wait around for Humans as a whole to figure out how to coexist peacefully or how to solve problems created by poverty, because those issues are as ingrained into our species as deeply as is our desire to explore.

It's a noble thought, and one I wholeheartedly agree with, but it's not going to happen that way.


Normally I wouldn't say anything about where the money could be better served, but for me it just seems like an awfully large expense for basically nothing. Exploring space is cool and all, I fully understand wanting to know more about it and all of that jazz. What most people don't seem to realize is just how small and insignificant Earth is in the universe. I think it was Moonhead who posted up a really good .gif (?) of a ton of planets that really showed how miniscule Earth really is. So knowing that, why spend money exploring something we'll never explore all of? Odds are the human race will be extinct long before we could even make a dent in exploring what's out there, so why not focus on the here and the now? Exploring the Earth like in your example was cool back then and understandable because the Earth is a limited body. We have no clue as to where space ends, none, but we do know it is larger than anything we'll be able to fully explore for several generations. So to me it seems a bit silly. Would be like picking up one speck of dirt from your rug instead of using a vaccuum to really clean your rug. Nothing worthwhile in picking up that one speck of dirt, no benefit from it, and a waste of bending over. Bending over and pulling out a weed from your garden would be infinitely more valuable as a whole. Really no difference here.

The thought might be noble, but I hope no one mistakes me for a nice guy. :-D I'm evil. I swear. O:-)
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Re: Look Out, Mookie!!!

Postby knapplc » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:17 pm

I posted those pics first, actually. Moonie posted the animated version later on. I'd probably rank as the Cafe's astronomy guru, so I know quite well how speck-ish we are.

Long-term, there will be benefits to humanity from exploration of space that we wouldn't have by sitting here on our speck. I don't know exactly what those are, but neither did Columbus when he sailed West. There's no way he envisioned the America that would result from his journey, or the innumerable benefits Americans have given to Humanity, he was just exploring with the hope of finding a better way to get to India. America was the by-product of that, but it was one heck of a by-product.

And sure, we're never going to explore even a recognizable fraction of the whole of the universe, or even our own galaxy, before humans are on the brink of extinction, but the bits that we do get to see, and the wealth we attain and the breakthroughs in science we garner along the way are more than going to pay for the cost of the programs today.

You've kind of answered your own question when you talked about the finite system that is Earth. Sooner or later (sooner if you listen to some people) our mineral resources are going to be tapped out. Sooner or later we're going to need to look off-planet to fuel our growing economies, our growing industries, etc. Space exploration coluld pay for itself after we capture the first iron-based asteroid and mine it. The mineral wealth of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter alone will make the cost worth it. Gold is out there (it comes from inside stars, originally) and just about any other metal ore you can think of. By taking baby steps now we're setting the stage for that day, sort of dipping our collective toe into the water of space, just to see what it's like. When we need to look elsewhere for minerals in earnest it'll be too late. We'll need to have made that move sooner, and that's one of the reasons we're out there now.

Yeah, it's really, really expensive, but think of the cost to the species if we didn't make that investment now. And even though it costs unreal amounts of money to explore space, NASA's budget is tiny compared to Defense, or Health and Human Services, to name just two departments. In 2006 NASA got $16 billion dollars for its budget, compared to $419 billion for Defense and a whopping $642 billion for Health and Human Services. NASA's 2006 budget comprised just .006% of the total United States budget.

So yeah - $16 billion dollars is more than you and I and all of our ancestors have ever earned combined, but it pales in comparison to the spending we're putting out in other areas, and in the grand scheme of things it's not all that much money.
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Re: Look Out, Mookie!!!

Postby Mookie4ever » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:41 pm

knapplc wrote:I posted those pics first, actually. Moonie posted the animated version later on. I'd probably rank as the Cafe's astronomy guru, so I know quite well how speck-ish we are.



Don't beat your chest too hard there dilbert or you might break your pocket protector.

Any way that we can get part of this sattelite to fall on knapple? :-?



Just poking a little fun k-nap. You grab your telescope and get your space on to your heart's content.
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Re: Look Out, Mookie!!!

Postby Madison » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:52 pm

Bah, my apologies about the credit on the pics. ;-D

And I know you know how tiny the Earth is ;-D , but most people don't have the foggiest clue. Space just isn't their thing, or they don't care, or whatever, it's cool, to each their own. Was just pointing it out that we'll never fully explore even a tiny bit of what's out there is all. ;-D

Good point about the by-products of it. I didn't really think too much of that part, so that is a very good point. ;-D

I do disagree about it being worth it though, at least on the scale of knowledge. I believe at some point with the way the human race is moving, we will become extinct. So with that said, what difference does it make if we go extinct knowing just what we currently know about the universe, or if we know 100X that amount? To me, it seems irrelevant. To bring it down to scale, if I die right now, would it make any difference if I could list the planets in our galaxy? Of course not (and I can - other than Pluto - last I heard it wasn't a planet anymore 8-o :-b - so maybe I can if I'm up to date on that :-b ). No difference than thousands of years from now. If people know 100X more than what we know now about space, it will be irrelevant. The focus should be on the species not going extinct. That would be finding ways to cure disease, increase people's lives, make the world a better place. Don't have to leave the planet to do that. :-D Then at that point move forward, expand, explore the galaxy, etc. ;-D

And true, it's a tiny bit of the government's budget, but part of that is because we overspend on so much else. Would be like buying a car for $1 million and then buying $50,000 tires. May not look silly to spend $50K on tires if you compare it to the car's price, but it's still $50K for rubber. ;-)
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Re: Look Out, Mookie!!!

Postby knapplc » Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:09 pm

Mookie4ever wrote:Just poking a little fun k-nap.

It's cool. You hadn't called me knapple for so long I was beginning to think you didn't care anymore. :,-(

;-)


And Madison, your points are well taken, and certainly we are both right to some degree. If you look at it from one point of view there's no way it's worth it, and it's $16 billion dollars that we could be putting towards schools or cancer research or whatever, so it's hard to justify that way.

This is actually one of the reasons I'm bummed to live when I do. I want to know what's out there; I want to see other horizons. The exploration we're going to do is going to be so cool, so mind-blowing, and I'm not going to see it because even if I live to see 100 we're not going to be very far yet. It's like getting to see the feast but having to sit outside while it's served.
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