# Here's that Video of Space Shuttle Endeavour I promised

Yes there are American citizens that need help, but I think that people should truly be equal and should receive help on equal priority. And no, I'm not saying provide universal healthcare for all the world from our pockets, just helping, like with clean water, malaria prevention, AIDS.
No, I dont think getting rid of science programs is good either, its just that when there are only such and such percentage of helpful information coming back from something that brings back huge amounts of information, there should be emphasis on expanding the more helpful research. I know its a bad description, but my descriptions always suck.
The simple fact is, people are not equal: American citizens take the top of the list. I dont want to derail this thread though, so we can start one on the side if you want to go into this topic.

Id be curious to know in what capacity astronauts were absolutely necessary to launch some of these satellites into orbit.
I don't know. Look it up.

Im sure they did experiments. Im saying could those same experiments be done today with a robot?
No, or else they would have been done with robots.

Im not complaining about spending less on NASA. Im saying is it worth having NASA blow the money it does have on something that does not deliver on its promise? The shuttle was designed with the goal in mind to be going up into space very regularly. Instead, the down time between launches is much, much, much, longer. I saw a program about this on the history channel. I think they bought the shuttle hoping to send one up almost every other week or something. (Though I could be wrong on the down time). The point is; however, that its much longer today than it was supposed to be, and hence a bad investment.
Some people do see the Shuttle program as a disappointment. I'm an optimist; I find the good in the program, what it actually did accomplish and what it continues to deliver even now. Could it have been better? Yes. Hopefully we can learn from mistakes and not repeat them with the next manned space program.

The simple fact is, people are not equal: American citizens take the top of the list. I dont want to derail this thread though, so we can start one on the side if you want to go into this topic.
In terms of American tax dollars, yes. In a morality sense, I disagree with you, but that really is a whole other thread topic.

Edited to add: Sorry, I misread you. Could past astronaut experiments be done by today's robots? Maybe some of them, but at the time, no. Future technology has endless possibilities, but that doesn't stop us from acting today.

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I don't know. Look it up.
Fair point.

No, or else they would have been done with robots.
Im not sure if I can buy that argument though. It would look very bad if NASA had a fleet of $1.7 billion dollar space shuttle sitting on the ground because they could do it via. robots. Some people do see the Shuttle program as a disappointment. I'm an optimist; I find the good in the program, what it actually did accomplish and what it continues to deliver even now. Could it have been better? Yes. Hopefully we can learn from mistakes and not repeat them with the next manned space program. Im not sure what a manned space program would accomplish, given the advancement of robotics since the first shuttle was built. Edited to add: Sorry, I misread you. Could past astronaut experiments be done by today's robots? Maybe some of them, but at the time, no. Future technology has endless possibilities, but that doesn't stop us from acting today. Sure, at the time I'll agree with you on that. But thats why Im not a big fan of sending people into space today. A robot can be in space for years doing research. An astronaut is there for a week or two. But thats why Im not a big fan of sending people into space today. A robot can be in space for years doing research. An astronaut is there for a week or two. Astronauts on ISS Expeditions are up there for 100 – 200 days, lots of time to get experiments done! The current plan for the future is to create a permanent manned presence on the Moon. Unlike the Apollo missions, which really were just a few days, astronauts living on the Moon for months at a time will be able to accomplish a lot. It should be noted that robots and astronauts will work together, with robotic missions probably preceding manned missions. But why do you need a$1.7 billion dollar space shuttle to get there, when you can do it with a russian capsule.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_spacecraft

Says "Currently, the Soyuz spacecraft family is still in service and has launched more manned space missions than any other platform."

http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/library/news/2005/space-050818-rianovosti03.htm

Thats a huge price difference, $65 million to$1.7 billion. Of course, its less capable, but if you want to get to the ISS, it works.

But why do you need a $1.7 billion dollar space shuttle to get there, when you can do it with a russian capsule. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_spacecraft Says "Currently, the Soyuz spacecraft family is still in service and has launched more manned space missions than any other platform." http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/library/news/2005/space-050818-rianovosti03.htm Thats a huge price difference,$65 million to $1.7 billion. Of course, its less capable, but if you want to get to the ISS, it works. The Space Shuttle is its own program, created before the International Space Station, even before Mir. Why do we use such an expensive vehicle to get astronauts to the ISS? Because that's all we currently have. That being said, NASA's plan to retire the Space Shuttle by 2010, along with the binding international agreements we have to complete the ISS, the U.S. will do just as you say: the Russians will fly Soyuz exclusively to the ISS. Why didn't we do that years ago? I don't know, probably because we didn't want to rely on the Russians. Integral Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Actually the current NASA funding levels is a drop in the bucket compared to what needs to be spent on alternative energy sources etc. What we need to do is spend the available money as efficiently as possible. This should mean that we leave the men on the ground and send robots, as Cyrus said, to explore the solar system. There is a LOT we can, and need, to learn this way. Currently a man in space is a liability, he can not do anything that advances our knowledge. Keeping a man alive is space costs way more then any possible benefits we may gain from his actions. Leave the flyboys on the ground, let the scientists explore the solar system with robots while going home to their family every night. Space ships ROCK!!! BobG Science Advisor Homework Helper I'm not an expert on the science accomplished by the manned space program or the contributions to Earth science by the space program, but I do know that my ignorance doesn't mean those contributions don't exist. NASA does an impressive amount of science with the little funding it's given. I agree it's expensive, and more should be done to lower the cost. I read once that for every$1 the government gives NASA, NASA brings back $3 into the economy. That's far better than some of the money-draining gov programs out there. It's a worthwhile investment. Aside from providing some real research on our environment (both on Earth and the Solar System): NASA is basically government subsidized research that often gets incorporated into the commercial world. Some of the things originally developed by NASA that spun off into commercial products are on NASA's spinoff page. The contributions of the manned space program range from improved dialysis machines to imroved adult diapers. Likewise, a military space program provides a steady customer that sparks a commercial industry - to the point that the military space program no longer drives the satellite industry. The military's starting to buy commercial 'off the shelf' satellites that are modified to carry military payloads. That said, the Shuttle is a pretty poor product for the money. The vision was a cost effective reusable space vehicle. The original goal was to save money. Somewhere along the way, the idea of a reusable vehicle became more important than cost effective. At least currently, expendable space vehicles are a lot cheaper than reusable. That's not entirely bad if the technology developed eventually leads to developing a cost effective reusable space vehicle, but the Shuttle definitely doesn't meet the goal. D H Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Space exploration is cool and all, but with all the problems on EARTH we could seriously use some of that massive funding the space programs get to help with ummm war, world hunger and disease, global warming and climate change, etc. You echoed the opening remarks in http://www.thespacereview.com/article/898/1" in The Space Review, I think we should solve our problems here on Earth before we go into space. This line, or some facsimile of it, has probably been heard countless times by just about every advocate of space exploration. For many people, it seems to sum up the totality of their thinking on the subject. Not a few politicians invoke it on those rare occasions when space exploration comes up in political discourse. It’s important for space advocates to understand that this opinion is held by people not because they are hostile to space exploration, but because they lack sufficient information about it.​ Most Americans vastly overestimate the amount of money NASA receives. From http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1000/1" in The Space Review, Americans in general have no idea what NASA’s “cost” is. In fact, most members of the public have no idea how much any government agency’s budget is. What we do know—and have recently documented—is that the public perception of NASA’s budget is grossly inflated relative to actual dollars. In a just-completed study, we asked respondents what percentage of the national budget is allocated to NASA and to ... other agencies. NASA’s allocation, on average, was estimated to be approximately 24% of the national budget. ... In other words, respondents believed NASA’s budget approaches that of the Department of Defense, which receives almost 38 times more money. Once people were informed of the actual allocations, they were almost uniformly surprised. Our favorite response came from one of the more vocal participants, who exclaimed, “No wonder we haven’t gone anywhere!” Back to the first article, For every$1 the federal government spends on NASA, it spends \$98 on social programs. In other words, if we cut spending on social programs by a mere one percent, we could very nearly double NASA’s budget.​

Whacking NASA's budget and applying it to education (Obama's plan) would do very little for the education. Most education funding arises at the local and state level; the federal government merely augments that. Moreover, the federal education budget is several times that of NASA's budget.

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Kurdt
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