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Felix Baumgartner Jumped From . . . the Moon?

  1. Oct 18, 2012 #1
    At least, that's what one individual would have us think:


    So at what point did the education system really go wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2012 #2
    If we could have went to the moon in a balloon, why would we have spent millions to send people there on a rocketship?
  4. Oct 18, 2012 #3


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    The other day I was talking about this to some friends, all of us are graduates and one (who I consider particularly intelligent) was shocked to find out that the majority of rocket launches are unmanned. She was further shocked to learn that astronauts haven't been to other planets and don't do so regularly.

    When it comes to space especially it ceases to surprise me that the average person is uninformed, not just because of the education system and the understandable lack of interest in space but because the narrative of space travel in western culture is such that most people just assume we've been getting bigger and better since the moon landings. After all, we're clearly going to be living in space in the future...right??

    An interesting blog post on this issue by a lecturer who raised this with his students
  5. Oct 18, 2012 #4


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    Jimminy Christmas!

    "Where is New Mexico?" :rolleyes:
  6. Oct 18, 2012 #5
    I took the picture from this blog post and included it as part of a trivia night I occasionally host at a local student bar, basically asking the same question Murphy did.

    None of the groups answered correctly, and its mostly international graduate students.
  7. Oct 18, 2012 #6


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    That's sad and worrisome.

    Back in the 1980's, I was one of a group of nuclear engineering grad students who were part of a USRA/NASA program looking at nuclear propulsion systems for missions to Mars and power plants for the Moon or Mars. Back then the objective was to get my generation interacting with those from the 1950s-1970s who developed such technology, and hopefully transfer the technology, and if possible enhance the technology based on the state-of-the-art in the mid 1980s (particular with access to greater computational resources). At the time, many were retired and some had already died.

    I also watched as ISS was downsized (while the budget skyrocketed) and then the Challenger disaster.

    It's one matter to go from LEO to the moon or Mars. It's quite another matter to deliver the necessary infrastructure (mass) from the Earth's surface to LEO.
  8. Oct 18, 2012 #7


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