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Here we go again!
The shuttle is about to launch, and I must admit I'm just as nervous as I ever was when I saw my first Shuttle launch!
here's a link to it's current delay:
There was a poll to name the prototype Space Shuttle (back in the late 70's early 80's?) and overwhelmingly the public demanded it be named Enterprise.
Despite the fact that it would never fly, American's didn't care. The name Enterprise was part of American pop culture due to the whole 'Star Trek' phenomena and we would not be denied. There could be No other name for our first Shuttle!
But over the year's, more and more, it seems that the Space Shuttle itself has transformed from just an American endeavor into an actual worldwide event.
Being an American, I would be lying if I didn't say I take a certain amount of pride in our shuttle program, and other space missions.
But it pretty much ends right there. We may have started NASA, and we may fund it, but I honestly don't believe it belongs to America anymore!
In fact I honestly don't believe any of NASA's missions can be construed strictly from the point of view that it is purely 'American'. Neither do most of my friends or co-workers.
In fact I haven't found anyone I talk to that subscribes to the idea that anything NASA does (short of sending American taxpayers the bill :p ) is solely for America.
And that's a good thing.
Quite frankly I would be amazed to find anyone that has that attitude, American or not!
The Mars rover project is another example. here's a link:
Space belongs to everyone, and I firmly believe that Any efforts made by any Nation actually belong to humanity as a whole.
It makes me feel just as bad when a rocket in another country fails, or astronauts from another country lose their lives; as it does when American's make the ultimate sacrifice.
Space exploration is probably one of the most unifying events for this world that there is IMO.
I find myself rooting for the Chinese Space program to make successful headway, even though I disagree with their government, politically speaking.
But how does the rest of the world feel?
Do you share our pride in Humanity when ever NASA has it's success's?
Do you lean towards the, 'There go those damn American's, punching another useless hole in our atmosphere again!' ^_^ point of view?
Or do you have another point of view towards this that you want to share?
I like NASA's and all other Space Exploration Programs' great proggress and everything, and it has taught us alot.
But, don't you think all the money they spend on one mission to space could be spent improving Earth, rather than exploring other planets. Now, I know the world will never be perfect or anything, but one space mission's cost could do alot for less fortunate people!
NASA's budget expenditure last year was about 16 billion dollars and they will steadily increase until 2010(the last posted budget) to about 18 billion dollars.Originally Posted by Pierced53
Here' the link, download the high resolution pdf for the full story:
That's alot of money, true.
But given how much money we spend in aid and on other things inside and outside of this country, sometimes it's ok for us to say ,"Hey, wait a minute. Why can't we spend a little on something that benefits Everyone."
I mean, we are spending 20 billion in aid to Africa this year, and no other country will benefit from that.
But investing the same amount in NASA every year benefits everyone somewhere down the line.
So I have to say it's justified in that respect.
But if had 20 billion dollars of my Own money to spend, it wouldn't be on humanity!
Can you say, 'Private Island!' :lol:
But I'd invite you all over for a picnic, you just have to make it there yourselves and not all at the same time! And bring your own food! I mean Damn, do you know how much hot dogs cost for 7 billion people!!
Last edited by Joker; July 14th, 2005 at 18:22. Reason: adding links
I think the NASA should receive even more money. Space is the future and humanity has it in it's genes to go forth and explore. I feel like we, earth as a whole, are on the brink of a new age of discovery that will start with establishing a base on Mars. Space has so much to give us and to teach us! Think of all the resources that are lying there, just waiting that someone drops by and drills a hole in some asteroid completely made of Platinum. Also, humanity might start anew with a colony of international explorers and scientists. It will take milennia to unite Earth (if it ever happens), on other planets we can do that right from the start! Terraforming Mars is not as hard as most people think - melt the ice caps and you've got water and air, to put it simply. And Mars would only be the first step.
Also, we have only one planet, and we're about to mess it up. And if we don't blow it up by ourselves (be it by an ecological disaster or some large scale war) we might as well get hit by a large meteorite or some other catastrophic space incident. We MUST colonize space, even if only to make sure that mankind is able to live on when Earth is no more.
Plus, there's still the chance to discover other sentient beings out there. Wouldn't it be arrogant to claim that we are the only intelligent species in the whole universe ...? We have not even really stepped out of our own solar system.
Money gets wasted in so huge dimensions on Earth, it's a shame that there are still people claiming there's not enough for space explorations.
I'm still waiting for the second generation of space shuttles (I think the project was called X-34 or something like that). If I remember correctly they want to equip it with ion engines, enabling the starship to travel much greater distances in much less time and with much less fuel.
"Do you want your heretic rare, medium or well done, Lord Inquisitor?"