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Space station

  1. Mar 2, 2006 #1

    wolram

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    I admit i do not have a clue, does any one know what experiments have
    yielded some advance for humankind, and if the cost of said experiments
    is worthwhile.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2006 #2
    your concern is a common one.

    before anyone should try to answer your question, i think they should ask you to specify what the "right answer" is.

    do you have a threshold, above which "experiments are too costly"?
    do you have a threshold, above which "advances have been made that benefited humankind"?

    otherwise, nobody should touch this question. it begs for an answer, which will be refuted easily by replying "yes, but that wasn't really worth it."

    experiments are experiments. if their outcome were known, they wouldn't be experiments. if their outcome were known, their benefits and cost-effectiveness could be easily estimated. therefore your question would be moot.

    if you want guaranteed results from experiments, please avoid the areas of science, politics, humanities, math, etc., etc.

    +af
     
  4. Mar 2, 2006 #3
    I know radiation detection devices are sent into space on some mission to help measure the effect cosmic rays have on humans.
     
  5. Mar 10, 2006 #4

    Phobos

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    I'm not familiar with the ISS experiments either, but my impression is that the best experiment it can do is to test human reactions to long-term space travel. It may also be a good "experiment" in political cooperation (something that is likely necessary for further human exploration of the solar system).
     
  6. Mar 10, 2006 #5
    The ISS is already being used by polticans to attack each other.It seems like that whenever some poltican(more specifcally the exective branch)gives NASA couple billon dollars the other party attacks them by saying "We can send robots instead"or"The experments are useless there two effectiv" or "It's unsafe and uneccery" and the other pary gives the money to get support.Can't we just fogot about poltics when going to space?
     
  7. Mar 10, 2006 #6

    wolram

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    I think one must understand that the politic (maffia) has to look after its
    self first, any thing that boosts its street cred is good.
     
  8. Mar 11, 2006 #7
    Due to the loss of the Shuttle the activities on the ISS have been cutback a great deal. With only two crewmembers aboard they spend all their time just keeping the thing running. A very few experiments get done now, but occasionally they fit one in.

    Perhaps the biggest experiment they conduct will prove to be the most practical farther into the future: construction in space.

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
     
  9. Mar 12, 2006 #8

    SpaceTiger

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    Well, if you're demanding an exact criterion, then this is a perfectionist fallacy. If you're asking whether the scientific community has a means of guaging the potential value of an experiment, then the answer is a very clear yes. The vast majority of discoveries in astronomy come from experiments that were designed to push us into new and interesting regimes. If the space station experiments aren't doing that, then I think it's safe to say they were a waste of money.

    I can't say whether or not they were, though, since most space station experiments have very little (if anything) to do with astronomy.
     
  10. Mar 12, 2006 #9
    Has it made any big contributions to engineering? The building and planing of ISS must have advanced engineering??
     
  11. Mar 12, 2006 #10

    wolram

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    I guess it must have, in some way, but then has it retarded engieering
    for other satalite missions, the ones that (must stay in a budget).
     
  12. Mar 12, 2006 #11

    wolram

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  13. Mar 17, 2006 #12

    Phobos

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    No way to divorce politics from this unless you want to fund it privately. (even then...) Better to work out these differences now rather than in the midst of an interplanetary mission.

    Of course, other multi-national projects are working out very well (e.g., Cassini mission to Saturn).
     
  14. Mar 17, 2006 #13
    You misunderstood me.I didn't mean to not let the goverment fund the space program I ment to not let polticans use it to gain support so they can get elected.Polticans should fund the space programe for for seicence not for poltics.
     
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