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Will mankind ever set foot on Mars... if so, when?
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Mars… in honor of the approaching “close approach.”
Posted: 28 August 2005 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Maegan - 28 August 2005 02:02 PM
Citizen Premier - 25 August 2005 11:47 PM

I vote we take money away from the army and from the rich before we take it away from NASA.  If the rich were taxed as much today as they were in the 70’s, America wouldn’t have a national deficit.

Well, maybe by army you mean military…b/c just taking it from the Army wouldn’t help that much.  And maybe instead, we should put less money into the DOD, b/c the military personnel themselves make very little money.  Sure, if you’re an officer you make a little more - but the majority of our volunteer military is enlisted men.  I also think that more taxes on the rich are a good idea.

I agree, I think we should keep more people in the military, pay and train them more, rather than spending more money on military technology and war machines.

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Posted: 28 August 2005 11:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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The problem with the space program is that only the long-term benefits are really known.  Short-term ones tend to be harder to predict, or else are complete surprises.  You have to think of the space program like an infant:  what use is a newborn baby?  You have to spend a lot of money on it, and the newborn doesn’t really seem capable of doing anything particularly useful (unless you like squirming, smelly doorstops and paperweights).  But eventually the newborn grows up, and all the money and effort you put into raising it can pay off.

Instead of cutting back on the results of the government, such as space exploration or a workable military, we need to cut back on the government itself.  There is an inordinate amount of bureaucracy just for the sake of bureaucracy.  I remember reading a report where in the Department of Education (I think that’s the one it was), something like 85% of all the tax money allocated to education actually goes into paying for the bureaucracy in the Department.  Only a few cents out of every dollar actually goes to the schools.

We currently have both the resources and the technology to start colonizing Mars.  We just lack the initiative.  If mankind really decided to devote ourselves to it, we could be there ten years from now.  It wouldn’t take much more time to make some sort of colony there, although we wouldn’t be taking casual strolls outdoors through the flowers and trees for a long, long time.

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Posted: 29 August 2005 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Well, good, we’ll put YOU on the first ship out.  wink

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Posted: 29 August 2005 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Citizen Premier - 28 August 2005 07:36 PM
Maegan - 28 August 2005 02:02 PM

Well, maybe by army you mean military…b/c just taking it from the Army wouldn’t help that much.  And maybe instead, we should put less money into the DOD, b/c the military personnel themselves make very little money.  Sure, if you’re an officer you make a little more - but the majority of our volunteer military is enlisted men.  I also think that more taxes on the rich are a good idea.

I agree, I think we should keep more people in the military, pay and train them more, rather than spending more money on military technology and war machines.

Right, my whole thing is, if a power source for military technology (regardless of what type - gasoline for jeeps, electricity for computers) gets messed up in the middle of a friggin’ war - what are the soldiers gonna do?  They’re gonna have to rely on their own SKILLZ.  You gotta have skillz.

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Posted: 30 August 2005 12:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Accipiter - 29 August 2005 03:19 AM

Instead of cutting back on the results of the government, such as space exploration or a workable military, we need to cut back on the government itself.  There is an inordinate amount of bureaucracy just for the sake of bureaucracy.  I remember reading a report where in the Department of Education (I think that’s the one it was), something like 85% of all the tax money allocated to education actually goes into paying for the bureaucracy in the Department.  Only a few cents out of every dollar actually goes to the schools.

That’s another thing—high ranking administrative officials should be paid LESS than the teachers themselves! Also, schools should get the same amount of money regardless of how well they do on meaningless tests.  But in our wonderful capitalist system, money goes where it’s needed the least.

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Posted: 30 August 2005 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Citizen Premier - 30 August 2005 04:04 AM

That’s another thing—high ranking administrative officials should be paid LESS than the teachers themselves! Also, schools should get the same amount of money regardless of how well they do on meaningless tests.  But in our wonderful capitalist system, money goes where it’s needed the least.

Exactly.  How can a school do more, when it has less?  We have a state lottery that is supposed to help fund education.  In 17 years, just over 13 million has been given to schools.  That’s less than $1mil a year for ALL Floriday schools.  Instead of rolling over a jackpot when no one wins, that money should go to the schools.

As far as the space program goes, I can’t see that even the long term effects are known.  Can we get oil from Mars?  Will sending a space probe into the great beyond allow Chinese people to have more than 1 child per household?  We don’t know, so we send things out in hopes of knowing.  But I’d rather be wrong about oil on Mars, than spend a billion dollars to find out if it’s there.  B/c if it IS there, we have no way to mine it at this current time.  (Well, I bet Bruce Willis could drill on Mars and not have a problem.)

And there is so much to learn still, about our own planet - the hours and hours spent on learning about space…if people put that same energy into solving our problems HERE, we would be much better off.  Put those MIT kids to work on earth, instead of Mars.

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Posted: 30 August 2005 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Maegan - 29 August 2005 02:10 PM

Well, good, we’ll put YOU on the first ship out.  wink

I would volunteer for that assignement in a minute!!!

*And yes, I know Maegan, you’d be more than happy to push the button on the rocket sending me there!*

raspberry

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Posted: 31 August 2005 01:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Maegan - 30 August 2005 11:27 AM

As far as the space program goes, I can’t see that even the long term effects are known.  Can we get oil from Mars?  Will sending a space probe into the great beyond allow Chinese people to have more than 1 child per household?  We don’t know, so we send things out in hopes of knowing.  But I’d rather be wrong about oil on Mars, than spend a billion dollars to find out if it’s there.  B/c if it IS there, we have no way to mine it at this current time.  (Well, I bet Bruce Willis could drill on Mars and not have a problem.)

There are plenty of long-term benefits that are quite plain.  For example, one big one that’s been considered often is the asteroids.  We know that there’s a lot of nickel and iron, at the very least, floating around out there.  Instead of strip-mining Idaho, we could get more ore from the asteroids than we could use in a hundred thousand years.  All we need to do is figure out how to get to them, and how to get the ores here.  Which would take some considerable effort.  Hence, it’s a long-term benefit.

And for a long long long term benefit, we know that the Earth won’t be habitable for ever, even if we manage to stop all pollution, repair all the damage we’ve done, learn climate control, etc.  If nothing else, the sun will eventually fry the planet, and it’s quite likely that before that happens we’ll get pummeled by some giant meteors or something fun like that.  If we want our species to continue, we’ll need to spread out a bit more.  As it is now, all of our eggs are in one basket.

I like your idea of sending Bruce Willis to Mars to look for oil, though.  Do you think NASA would agree to that?  It would be some good publicity for them. . .

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Posted: 31 August 2005 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Accipiter - 31 August 2005 05:12 AM
Maegan - 30 August 2005 11:27 AM

As far as the space program goes, I can’t see that even the long term effects are known.  Can we get oil from Mars?  Will sending a space probe into the great beyond allow Chinese people to have more than 1 child per household?  We don’t know, so we send things out in hopes of knowing.  But I’d rather be wrong about oil on Mars, than spend a billion dollars to find out if it’s there.  B/c if it IS there, we have no way to mine it at this current time.  (Well, I bet Bruce Willis could drill on Mars and not have a problem.)

We know that there’s a lot of nickel and iron, at the very least, floating around out there.  Instead of strip-mining Idaho, we could get more ore from the asteroids than we could use in a hundred thousand years. 

And for a long long long term benefit, we know that the Earth won’t be habitable for ever, even if we manage to stop all pollution, repair all the damage we’ve done, learn climate control, etc.  I like your idea of sending Bruce Willis to Mars to look for oil, though.  Do you think NASA would agree to that?  It would be some good publicity for them. . .

Okay…If I go into the grocery store and see that beef roast is available for $1/pound, and I have exactly $80 to spend on my whole grocery bill - I can either buy 1 or 2 roasts, and continue filling my cart with flour, milk, eggs, bread, and other items I can eat for an ENTIRE week - OR - buy $80 worth of roast, b/c LONG TERM, I’ll have 80 nights of meat for dinner (saving potential hundreds of dollars).  Now, I won’t have the things that I would be able to survive on…unless I really like beef shoulder.  I won’t starve to death in a week, but I won’t be too healthy after it, either.

So, we can plan FAR FAR ahead…to be sure that EVERYONE ELSE has ore and nickel, and let people go hungry and homeless now.  OR, we take care of things now, to prepare future generations for lives of education, hope, and perserverance.

I as thinking though, if we just watch a lot of Star Trek, we can figure out what our people did to have a great society - and just follow them.  Sure, sure, we’d have to get in touch with some Vulcans first - but I’m sure we can put that off for a few hundred years.

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Posted: 01 September 2005 06:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Maegan - 31 August 2005 01:14 PM

Sure, sure, we’d have to get in touch with some Vulcans first - but I’m sure we can put that off for a few hundred years.

Maegan,

I got news for you… we’re already in touch with the Vulcans. They are already here and running the show!!!

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Where do you think stealth technology, microchips, and bio-engineering came from… as well as those little Chupacabra’s (Vulcan lap dogs) that are trying to eat you alive, come from??? And now you know why they want to eat you alive… you’re exposing the whole conspiracy!!!

smirk

Seriously though, I wouldn’t hold it against the Chupacabra’s that they want to eat you… can’t say the thought hasn’t crossed my mind once or twice!

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J/K… Don’t kill me please!

cheese

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Posted: 01 September 2005 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Pervo Mark,

Ahem.  raspberry

Anywho.  No, the Vulcans are logical.  There’s nothing logical about the way things are going now.

Although…my husband’s ears are a little pointish.  There may BE a connection.

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