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DrBaltar

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About DrBaltar

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  • Location
    It appears to be a large hot flat area.
  • Interests
    physics, cosmology, spaceflight, music, computers, hiking, flying, scuba, skiing, and my kids<br /><br />I'm moving to Mars next week, so if you have any boxes...

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  • Occupation
    Rocket scientist
  1. An American On Mars By 2030

    LOL that is not our objective this time around. We are doing much more than planting flags.
  2. An American On Mars By 2030

    It's like a priest who uses the the lord's name in vein or doesn't love his neighbor, etc. Whether I am an atheist or not, I would consider him a hypocrite because his actions do not match his beliefs. We are finally in agreement.
  3. An American On Mars By 2030

    What do my beliefs have to do with whether you're a hypocrit or not? It's what you believe that counts there. I agree with you that policing is a proper function of government, as is the military. But you still believe you're a policeman who's paid with stolen money: Space exploration is a proper function of the government. It started because the Russians launched Sputnik - demonstrating that if they wanted to, they could lob a nuclear bomb anywhere on earth. Should the US wait until private industry decides that there may be some profit in space and wait until technologies developed by the private sector are good enough to top with a nuke? That might take a while. That compromises our military strength. So Nasa was formed to take on the threat of the Russians. If Eisenhower told the military to develop rocketry, then it would have resulted in a showdown like with the atomic age. Instead he made it a civilian program that was completely open to lessen criticisms that we were upping the ante militarily. But the technologies developed for manned space flight could be used to launch nukes, and were developed into weapons. Because of our space program, the Russians knew they couldn't launch nukes at us without being attacked as well. No problem there... good luck with that.
  4. An American On Mars By 2030

    Name a company in the 60s who had expertise in rocketry similar to the German rocket scientists and could have funded the research and and development and a mission to the moon. Not only did they not do it. I doubt they could do it on thier own. If you see the sarcasm, the argument should be obvious. Certainly you must see the hypocracy of working for the government, getting paid stolen money so you can catch theives. Not to mention harping on 'might makes right' when you are part of that 'might'.
  5. An American On Mars By 2030

    Do you tell them that on pay day?
  6. An American On Mars By 2030

    Great! Now back to discussion of the manned Mars mission plans proposed by Bush...
  7. An American On Mars By 2030

    Ok... just for this post, I'll go off topic for you and discuss rolls of governments, taxes, and democracies. I know the US isn't exactly a democracy, but I do support democracies. So yes, if the majority votes for a tax, then it is morally justified. If elected representatives determine that a program is in the best interest of the country for it's long term survival and competitiveness, then yes, it is morally justified. I do not, however, support any form of welfare. I do support a strong defense. Our defense is 18% of the budget. The government will have to impose a tax to receive that. Social Security is 22%. That can go. Medicare is 12%. That can go. Education is 4%, and in the best interest in the country, that can stay. Transportation is 3%. That funds the maintenance of a necessary infrastructure that most everyone uses, so it stays. Everything else is in the 1% range. Anything that is welfare related can go. General Science, Space and Technology is 1.04% and is required to stay competitive, and/or bolster our defence capabilities, and/or ensure the long term survival of our country. That's my answer. I know you don't agree with it. Consider it noted. Classify it as one of your 'fallicies' if you will. That's enough of this off-topic discussion (I believe that makes 2 more mentions of "off-topic"... make that 3). While you may not agree with me, at least follow forum etiquette and stay on topic, which is the discussion of the manned Mars mission plans proposed by Bush.
  8. An American On Mars By 2030

    If you'd like to continue with your off-topic hypothetical scenario, that's up to you. The degree to which you care about public support does nothing to my argument. Since the issue of manned space flight is supported by the majority of the public I will not lend anymore credibility to your argument other than to say you are off topic.
  9. An American On Mars By 2030

    Actually the company United Space Alliance was put together from parts of Lockheed, and Boeing to manage the Space Shuttle. The Space Shuttle is operated by a private company. Granted their money comes from the government though.
  10. An American On Mars By 2030

    Was I talking about government programs that the public did not support? No. You're bringing up unrealistic scenarios that have no bearing on this discussion.
  11. An American On Mars By 2030

    No, no and no. I do not consider the money stolen. Yes the government is supposed to protect us, and arguments could be made that controlling space does protect us, but the government can do more than that - especially if the general population endorses it. As I had said before, manned spaceflight is supported by 73% of the American population. Based on those numbers, funding for Nasa should be much higher than it is now. Economically, private industry could not support the number of people in the government run space organization. And scientific purposes do not pay the bills. Private industry will not be ready to send anyone to Mars in my lifetime. No one is going to cancel manned spaceflight in the US. It is now a part of our national image. By the time the next president comes into office, the retirement of the shuttle in 2010 will be unavoidable (one or two shuttles will have already been retired by then), and the CEV (Crew Exploration Vehicle) will have already flown or be very close to flying demonstration flights. It would be much more expensive, and insane, to cancel the CEV and do the upgrades that the shuttle needs to fly for another 20 years. Even before Bush announced that we are going to the Moon and Mars I wouldn't have said Paul Allen could have made it happen first. Trust me, the general public has no idea what an undertaking the trip would be. Oh really? I looked into that, and I found that he wrote "The meek shall inherit the earth, a 6 foot plot above them" in Time Enough for Love. But if you have the book and that's what it says, let me know.
  12. An American On Mars By 2030

    Have you considered how long it would take for private industry to start a space business without the focused research that Nasa provided? In the 60s, private industry did not have access to the German scientists like Von Braun who helped us get started. They did not have access to the captured V-2 German rockets. In the 60s, what would the business plan be for private industry? There are currently 14,000 civil servants employed directly for Nasa, and almost 100,000 (I think) contractors. Maybe in the future private space industry can support this number of people, but certainly not for a long time. And BTW... I don't care if I work for a government space program, or a private space program. If they're doing manned exploration, I'm there. The private space industry is in its infancy though, and they haven't even orbited a human yet. Daedalus, what are your thoughts on going to the Moon before going to Mars? Do you support that as well? Just curious.
  13. An American On Mars By 2030

    50% of Americans support a MMM. 73% support sending humans to space. So the majority of Americans do at least support manned spaceflight. The majority of those who support manned spaceflight support a MMM. Even if there was little support for it, I do not see that Nasa's budget keeps anything they are interested in from happening. And I do feel that exploration is in the best interest of the country. Also it becomes hard to listen to the objections of those who don't support the space program when their reasoning is flawed (i.e. "no resources in space", "no benefits to exploration", "not possible" etc).
  14. An American On Mars By 2030

    Actually it was necessary. The alternative was to send robotic sample return missions to the moon. Russia did this, and their robots returned a few hundred grams of random moon dust and rocks. Little was learned from that. Apollo astronauts learned geology (especially from Apollo 15-17, and on 17 a full fledged geologist went) and were able to land in places that were too rugged for robotic landers to land in (like Hadley's Rill) and brought back a piece of the original crust of the moon. That is not easy to do, and was impossible for robotic explorers to do at the time. Based on what astronauts found, and not what robotic explorers found, they did in fact find where the moon came from. The purpose for going to the moon was not to create spinoffs. But you cannot deny that there were spinoffs, notably in the field of medicine, and computing. I didn't say 'computers' were an offshoot of the space program. I said 'personal computers'. IBM recieved a large contract from Nasa for the computers and new computational technology used in the Apollo program. That money enabled IBM to do the research required to go from mainframes to PCs.
  15. An American On Mars By 2030

    So you want either a government program which allows access for all to space, and/or welfare? Both these concepts are pretty socialistic. If someone wants to get into space, they can do it. Either by paying their own way, or by putting in the effort to get into the astronaut program. Even if your country does not have a space program, if you are motivated enough, you can get into space. I'm pretty sure that's an Objectivist concept which most people here should be able to identify with. There was a benefit to scientists in finding out where the moon came from. There were all the technological spinoffs (like that computer you're using) that were generated. Money went to highly educated people who worked hard to get where they were for a change. It provided inspiration for other forward looking people to make something of themselves.
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