Angry Scientists Confront NASA Officials at Conference

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Telepath
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Angry Scientists Confront NASA Officials at Conference

Post #1by Telepath » 16.03.2006, 08:55


Malenfant
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Post #2by Malenfant » 16.03.2006, 15:18

Ah, I miss LPSC :(.

Good that the scientists there tore NASA a new one though. We're paying the price for Bush's crazy, pointless manned mission plan, that will get dropped like a hotcake after he leaves office anyway.
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Post #3by selden » 16.03.2006, 17:37

Malenfant,

Please don't post political statements to the Celestia Web forum. There are plenty of other Forums where such discussion is appropriate.
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Post #4by BlindedByTheLight » 16.03.2006, 22:15

Malenfant wrote:Ah, I miss LPSC :(.

Good that the scientists there tore NASA a new one though. We're paying the price for Bush's crazy, pointless manned mission plan, that will get dropped like a hotcake after he leaves office anyway.



Hey, Selden:

For a clarification on policy, would the statement: "We're paying the price for that crazy, pointless manned mission plan that will get dropped like a hotcake when the next administration takes over anyway" have passed muster?
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Post #5by selden » 16.03.2006, 22:22

It wouldn't pass my reading of it.

Emotional and opinionated statements about controversial topics are what are known as "flame bait." They do little more than encourage heated responses and accomplish nothing useful.
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Post #6by Malenfant » 17.03.2006, 00:22

This is exactly why the scientists are so angry though. NOBODY in the scientific community thinks Bush's space "plan" (if you can call it that) is any good, and it's quite obviously killing the real science that people are trying to do.

There's nothing political about this at all - I couldn't care less if it was Bush, Clinton, or any other politician doing it. It's just totally impractical, poorly thought out, and utterly pointless regardless of who comes up with it. That's not inflammatory, it's not flamebait, it's just the plain facts of the matter. And the people getting screwed over by all this are the very people that NASA *needs* to keep on board, and they're finally voicing their disgust at them. I'm not against manned space travel, but this is very obviously the wrong way to go about it.

And what are we supposed to do here anyway if we can't discuss this? Just say "huh, well I guess they're annoyed about it" and leave it at that? :roll:
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Post #7by Telepath » 17.03.2006, 02:56

Maleinfant,

I think you are misunderrepresenting Dubya.

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Post #8by BlindedByTheLight » 17.03.2006, 03:10

selden wrote:It wouldn't pass my reading of it.

Emotional and opinionated statements about controversial topics are what are known as "flame bait." They do little more than encourage heated responses and accomplish nothing useful.


Thanks, Selden. Though, I guess my re-worded statement - coming right on the heels of Malefant's statement - still smacked of a political commentary. I guess what I meant to say was, is it fair game to discuss the merits (or lack thereof) of the current trajectory NASA is on in and of itself?

True, the conversation could be conducted with blame in mind (by derogatorily bringing up the policy-makers behind the choices being made). But cannot the merits (or lack thereof) of the choices themselves be brought up and discussed irrespective of the policy-makers themselves?

An actual debate on the pro's and con's of the choices being made?

I post this just because I remember reading many moons ago some disagreements between our early pioneers about whether or not we should be sending a man to the moon versus unmanned missions, etc. Without agenda, I would be very interested in what the people on this board think of the current choices being made.

S
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Post #9by selden » 17.03.2006, 11:15

Unfortunately, the pro-space community is sharply divided between those who favor manned exploration and those who favor robotic exploration.

Sadly, all the discussions that I've seen of the merits of both sides quickly degenerate into name-calling, so I have to discourage it here.

My personal belief is that we need to do both. At the moment, however, there simply isn't enough money available for that.
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Post #10by Ynjevi » 17.03.2006, 19:10

Yeah, the division between pro-space community is especially unfortunate because the real enemy is common to both factions.

Human spaceflight is obvious investment for future, but it is pointless without unmanned missions, which in turn provide much better science/money ratio.

Main problem (lack of money aside) with manned flights is the lack of perseverance. There should be detailed plans that spans for several decades and commitment to realize them.

Space tourism is obviously one way to get the costs down, but it'll far from certain that tourism really starts to thrive and benefit the exploration of space. We'll see.

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Post #11by BlindedByTheLight » 17.03.2006, 19:45

selden wrote:Unfortunately, the pro-space community is sharply divided between those who favor manned exploration and those who favor robotic exploration.

Sadly, all the discussions that I've seen of the merits of both sides quickly degenerate into name-calling, so I have to discourage it here.

My personal belief is that we need to do both. At the moment, however, there simply isn't enough money available for that.

Thanks for update. I guess in my romanticized version of scientific debate - it involves people rationally (and openly) stating their positions to work together for a common solution - without all the B.S. that permeates other so-called debates (aka fights).

Of course, I know people are people.... though perhaps I can hang on to a little of my romantific views? All it would take is for you to say something like, "Well... sure scientists can get bitter about their position but generally, they're usually a little better able to have a rational debate than others." Or no? :)

My personal belief is that we need to do both. At the moment, however, there simply isn't enough money available for that.


Sounds reasonable to me. Though I would think (working in a business where we have to "capture the imagination" to get $$$) that manned spaced missions, above and beyond their science, are probably better at capturing the public's imagination (aka wallet) than unmanned probes. After all, probes can't return to earth and go on press junkets...

So... the manned mission would be the equivalent of "Mission Impossible IV: The Ultimate Mission" -- giving the studio (aka NASA) the financial wherewithal to fund the more artistic and pleasing "To Pluto And Beyond: One Probes Journey"....

:)
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Post #12by Scytale » 18.03.2006, 12:33

A while back I opened a topic on this forum about the kind of infrastructure you need to do real space exploration. You need Space Age industry and technology to do Space Age stuff, and the point in case is, no matter how fantastic manned exploration is, it can't get us the technological and industrial infrastructure we need to do real exploration.

It's really pittyful that the (once) mighty NASA is now used as a mere publicity device by the administration. If we could open a debate on "weak-minded space populism" (excuse the name calling), what would be a better example than Mr. Bush's speech on the brand new Moon program?

IMHO the primary objective (by far) should be the ISS and its successors - because that's where the very tip of space research lies, then the deep-space probes, and a solid infrastructure on the ground, to help the white-coats design better stuff, and to help the hard-hats put that stuff into high orbit. We may not quite get to the Utopia Planitia Shipyards, but this would be a real investment into a long-term, firm, space program.

Someone should tell dubya that it's about damn time we should be thinking how to crack M-type asteroids and mine them, evaluate the resource base and challenges in putting permanent robots up there, and do all that Arthur C. Clarke stuff, not worry about putting people on the Moon in mud brick huts!
Einstein would roll over in his grave. Not only does God play dice, but the dice are loaded. (Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang)

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Post #13by selden » 18.03.2006, 12:57

I was very tempted to point out some of your misconceptions, but decided it would be inappropriate in this Forum.

If you want to discuss space policy, you should subscribe to the Web Forum "NASA SpaceFlight"
Despite the name, it is completely unaffiliated with NASA. Many of the people there are professional rocket scientists and can answer your questions with accuracy.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/category-view.asp

I'm locking this thread.
Selden


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