Were the Apollo Missions a waste of money?

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  • #51
phinds
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its pretty hard to clean up some forms of poisons especially if we make the water a genetic soup that can't be recovered as potable. desalination is only useful if the water hasn't turned toxic beyond recovery. yes we may be able to come up with some antigens but with the amount of medical waste and super bugs water could become our biggest problem. in England a study of some rivers points the finger at the polymer industry for the break down of X chromosome in the fish living in those rivers the companies bank on.(regardless of this studies voracity or not) its an example of how water can be made unsafe to consume and less likely to be cleaned by current means.
I agree this is an increasingly serious problem but I just can't see us making the entire ocean that bad without pretty much killing the entire planet.
 
  • #52
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True, but the hype is for a manned mission to mars and I just don't see that happening any time soon. Too dangerous, too expensive. I hope we DO get serious and send more unmanned missions and drop this nonsense about sending people in the next couple of decades.

I completely disagree with this. A manned mission to the moon was also too dangerous and expensive in the 60's with the limited technology we had then, but somehow we were able to pull it off and inspire an entire generation of humanity in the process. It's never going to be "safe enough" to go to Mars. With a concerted effort similar to the moonshot, I think it's entirely reasonable to believe that we could put ourselves in a position to have the same chance of success at a Mars mission in 10-20 years as we did with the moon in the 60's, and it would be well worth the money to do so.

In light of that, I just want to ask one question: Does anyone here really believe that, had we diverted the funds used for the manned mission to the moon into other government programs, we'd be sitting around here today saying, "Ya know, it's a good thing we didn't blow all that money on that silly moon mission Kennedy almost got us into, look at what we got out of that money instead. In any case, space is for the asteroids anyway, not humans, just as flying is for the birds."

As far as the unmanned rovers, haven't we had enough of these already? There's where your hype is. Every new generation of these bring on a lot a fanfare but where are the results? All I see is new bot that can drill into a rock a few inches farther than the previous one, yielding not very different findings. I mean, yeah, keep the unmanned programs going too, of course, but I'd personally not mind seeing a couple generations of rovers put on hold and divert the funds to support a manned mission.
 
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  • #53
Ryan_m_b
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again I disagree you imply I mean that cancer research did nothing to advance its research. which is not what I said. I said cancer research although very well funded in the billions of dollars per year only generates so much variety in technology. where as the Apollo missions created especially with the need to include men in space a much broader quantity of technological advances.

I still don't understand your criticism, you seem to be saying that because cancer research only produces treatments for cancer it is somehow an inferior investment/accomplishment compared to the variety of apollo spin offs. Is that correct?
 
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I still don't understand your criticism, you seem to be saying that because cancer research only produces treatments for cancer it is somehow an inferior investment/accomplishment compared to the variety of apollo spin offs. Is that correct?
general research does not guarantee that the bang for the buck will be greater. cancer research has a huge budget its so big its in the same league as NASA for research. which of the two produces the widest variety of technical advances? the Apollo program had immense influence on many fields of research taking the same money and passing it around is in no way a guarantee to get comparable results.much less better ones.
 
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I agree this is an increasingly serious problem but I just can't see us making the entire ocean that bad without pretty much killing the entire planet.
the problem with a genetic variant is we can't be sure we'll be able to reverse the effects. in the hypothetical event that we let loose a particular variant thats toxic in some way to humans (lets use the fish thing where the male genes are being flushed from the reproductive line) this event wouldn't wipe out life on earth. plants and some organisms would be unaffected to some extent while mammals would be decimated. if the cause is somehow self reproducing or spread by organisms it could pollute all connected waterways.
 
  • #56
phinds
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the problem with a genetic variant is we can't be sure we'll be able to reverse the effects. in the hypothetical event that we let loose a particular variant thats toxic in some way to humans (lets use the fish thing where the male genes are being flushed from the reproductive line) this event wouldn't wipe out life on earth. plants and some organisms would be unaffected to some extent while mammals would be decimated. if the cause is somehow self reproducing or spread by organisms it could pollute all connected waterways.
Yep, but if our only solution is to bring water from space 99% of us are going to die of thirst.
 
  • #57
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Yep, but if our only solution is to bring water from space 99% of us are going to die of thirst.
unfortunately that's probably true. unless we develop a standing practice of getting things in space which so far has been underwhelming at best. the landing on the comet was a huge leap forward compared to the last 40 years.

Let me edit the above: die of thirst maybe not. but suffer the consequences of the toxins would be more accurate.
 
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  • #58
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Yes, if you drink deadly polluted water because you are so thirsty you die.

How much money do you think would have to been invested into the Apollo or other space programs to generate the insight focussed research on cancer has given in the preceding decades? People survive today because of that research, which is a crucial reason why is it done at all. My point is that there are of course some scientific insights and applications from the space programs, but only if these applications somehow accidentally touch the areas the space agencies and their researchers chose to focus on.
 
  • #59
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how many fields of study does this site post as sections which are DIRECTLY related to fields the Apollo program advanced ?
 
  • #60
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how many fields of study does this site post as sections which are DIRECTLY related to fields the Apollo program advanced ?
What site are you referring to? I think there may be a misunderstanding. I didn't say they didn't advance scientific fields or that their research focused on a too narrow field. I'm saying the cost of these advancements was probably higher than it needed to be - and there even are fields or even not directly science-related undertakings which may be considered more important by many, but on which the impact of space programs was in comparison very small.
 
  • #61
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What site are you referring to? I think there may be a misunderstanding. I didn't say they didn't advance scientific fields or that their research focused on a too narrow field. I'm saying the cost of these advancements was probably higher than it needed to be - and there even are fields or even not directly science-related undertakings which may be considered more important by many, but on which the impact of space programs was in comparison very small.
certainly we could consider however many billions went into the space program as food which could have saved tens of millions of lives during some of the famines in recent history. but as i posted in an earlier response the advances in plastics alone created the environment necessary for the mass production of computers which became the personal computers ...etc... how many related advances would have not occurred had those conditions not been there at the time?

PS: this site "Physics forum"
 
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