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The Chamber of Politics World politics To brave the cosmos or to stay at home?
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To brave the cosmos or to stay at home?
I'm torn. On space travel, not like Natalie Imbruglia. (Though I have no problem admitting I love that song). Anyway, I think it would be awesome if we made it to the stars. It would be more amazing if we harnessed their powers and made friends with aliens. But still, Mars would be pretty awesome too. But I feel like people should talk about this more. This might be the defining debate of our time and it might be a global reconciler. Why should one country push for the stars and have an advantage out there? (Well, why should anyone do that on Earth too, but in any event).

But what are the issues at stake really? If we are to have a debate about the subject matter what should we focus on? What seems most obvious to me is that there are so few benefits. Why should we explore space except for the sake of exploring? The money and technology being pushed into space travel could be so better spent improving the planet we already have. Right? But a moonbase would be sick. The idea of it anyways, I wouldn't want to live there. 

What else? Private or public? Should space agencies be private based or funded by the government? It would skeeve me out if the government was solely involved. I would just become convinced it was for defense or offense or military or whatever. It makes more sense that they should be given grants from the government but be mostly private groups so the interests stay in the pursuit of the science.

What other issues need to be confronted in space exploration and pursuit? Is it naive to think that in the global collaboration of science peace might be achieved to a higher degree? I would hope so.
Based on my past Internet meanderings, it turns out that NASA, in collaboration with space agencies around the globe, have planned to build a lunar station by the year 2025 or so. This will be done as a means of exploring mars. Today, it would be impossible to launch a mission to mars because the fuel required to get the shuttle out of earth's atmosphere and travel for about three months would cost a hell of a lot of money. Thus, the aeronautical masterminds have devised a plan to launch the mars shuttle from the moon because the pull of gravity is significantly less than that of earth's, in that way allowing for a much cheaper and efficient voyage. The mars adventure should be in effect by 2030. AWESOMENESS!
Clever idea with the gravity.
On the issue of public vs private: there is a third option, academic. I do not think private money is any less prone to becoming a military contractor than government money (to the contrary in our age of mercenary warfare). The problem is the scale involved in building infrastructure for this sort of research. You cannot simply ask everyone to submit a bid. There is a great inertia and a great incentive to give another bid to a company or university to whom you have given contracts in the past simply so that one can use what has already been built.

Universities do not always work well, but at their best they manage to be substantially free of the politics which plague business R&D.

I will be interested to see what happens with space travel. I really don't think of it as something viable for myself though it is likely it will come in my time.
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Latest Post: December 19, 2009 at 5:10 AM
Number of posts: 3
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