Goodbye Hubble, hello Mars…

Perhaps the most useful tool in stellar astronomy is going to be allowed to degrade in favor of Dubya’s election year grandstanding idea of colonizing the Moon and sending a manned mission to Mars. Both would be interesting ideas if they were not motivated by the desire to appear as a visionary shortly before November, I mean why not spend that money on education so NASA will have qualified engineers, scientists, and theoretical mathematicians in the coming decade? Not quite as flashy but a lot more necessary.

And why write off an invaluable telescope, which has no peer or replacement as of yet, in favor of what…building a resort facility on the Moon? Besides a potentially unique and profitable vacation spot for the absurdly wealthy what will we really gain from this venture? I am all for funding NASA, what we learn of our universe because of their diligence and our tax dollars is a good trade off. A political stunt designed to heap favor on our Debtor in chief is NOT worthy of our (and our children’s) tax money. Want to increase NASA’s funding, that’s cool but let NASA decide how best to spend the money. They are the ones who have the experience in the cosmos after all.

Hey George, do us all a favor and back away from the checkbook before you drown us all in red ink! We know you are desperate for approval but you are destroying this country.

11 thoughts on “Goodbye Hubble, hello Mars…

  1. Hubble was only supposed to have something like a 10 year lifespan. It’s already gone longer than originally plaaned. I agree that it’s great, but there comes a point where it’s not worth fixing anymore. This has been planned for a long time.

    And yes, there are replacements for Hubble already in the works. The article you link to says:

    Without servicing missions, he said, the Hubble should continue operating until 2007 or 2008, “as long as we can.” NASA was already planning to replace the Hubble with a new, improved version, called the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2011.

    So, yes, it’s already in the works and it will be better than Hubble. Is this

    I don’t understand why people are so upset about this Moon/Mars stuff. Kennedy (a favorite of the liberals out there) did this back in the 60’s and it was OK then but it’s not now? What better way for NASA to learn more about materials, physics, etc. than to have to have long term missions on alien surfaces?

  2. I suppose JFK wasn’t grand standing when he announced a mission to the moon. 

    I’m all for this… and so are others outside of the liberal Detroit and its filth and corruption.

  3. When JFK did it, it was effectively a proxy war
    i.e. since a nuclear war was (and thankfully still is) unwinable an alternative competition was needed to show off technological might.
    Kennedy chose the “spacerace” and the soviets played along.Since the soviets could never really afford this,this was probably the beginning of the end of the cold war. A job finished by, it’s gotta be said, Reagan (or whoever was pulling his strings).
    Now george w. is in a totally different situation:
    No soviets to scare and no world to impress, he is doing this purely to get reelected.And he is gambling Americas prosperity on it, since the USA is already running a huge deficit.Also considering that most of the american debts are held not by Europe or another “friendly” country but by the chinese recently. It looks like george w. is selling Americas future wealth to China so he can get a second term.

  4. Oh boy…Phark again. What a treat.

    You said - “Blah, blah blah, blah, blah, blah, liberal, blah, corruption, blah.”

    You got me Phark, there’s a whole coven of filthy corrupt liberal Detroiters all sacrificing small animals to our atheist master satan trying to bring down Bush’s’ BRILLIANT scheme to erect Moon Base Alpha and keep us off the RED PLANET. We are all Reds you see so we want you to stay away from our communist home world. You caught us Phark you clever dillhole, now we will have to reschedule our invasion until a Democratic administration is in power. Ass.

    Now Chris, I guess I will need to make an analogy to clarify my main concerns using myself as an example:

    I am currently unemployed and living off my meager savings because of a snafu with the Unemployment Commission which has held up my checks for about three months now. After running the numbers in my checkbook I can make it until the end of March but April will be dicey unless I get my tax refund before then. Now let’s say my car breaks down, perhaps a defective master cylinder. My car IS old (17 years old to be exact) and is probably on borrowed time already. The car is indispensable to me for reasons I am sure I do not need to go into here, I mean we all have a vehicle right?

    Now I will need a new car, in I am guessing no later than a year or so, but remember that I am also currently unemployed and getting much butt-love from the Unemployment Commission. What should I do? Replace the master cylinder knowing that I will be buying a new car relatively soon or forgetting my financial situation go out and hit the show rooms in search of a new car? Remember that unlike Bush I can not pass the cost along to future generations and also unlike him I am not looking for a flashy new toy or I wouldn’t be driving an 87 Buick.

    Why am I so upset? I guess I need to ask why aren’t you? Republicans have historically been all about the fiscal responsibility and accusing the Democrats of wild overspending. Of all the things you could steal from the Democrats you decide to take THAT?!?

    Now I know I didn’t expound on just how much respect I have for NASA and believe that it is one of the few things my tax money goes to that I have no objection to, hell give them more! But a politician is NOT a trained scientist (okay, maybe Jimmy Carter was) and when I want my science I go to a scientist, when I want fertilizer…

    Anyhow, Golix touched on Kennedy and while I could spend another hour putting 1961-63 in context and then compare it to 2000-04 but I am not a historian and it is too late for me to research the information for “fun”. Suffice it to say there is much information out on the web and in libraries so you can undertake that job yourself if interested. If I thought that Bush was pushing this agenda for noble reasons I would not be against it, but look at the man. He lied about WMD, he has given us the largest national debt EVER, he hasn’t caught Osama, He is flown onto an aircraft carrier playing pilot declaring ‘mission accomplished’, and serves rubber turkeys to servicemen and women for heart warming photo ops. Again I could go on for the next hour but I must end this.

    A mission to Mars one day will be nice, a base on the Moon fantastic. Right now we have a sub-compact budget and Bush wants the biggest SUV on the market with fly rims and a tricked out sound system. I hope this helps you understand why I might have a problem with this folly.

  5. “You caught us Phark you clever dillhole, now we will have to reschedule our invasion until a Democratic administration is in power. Ass”

    I have nothing to add that is as funny as this. 
    dillhole…I haven’t even heard that one before. 
    Very cutting, I really laughed. Way to tell him/her/wtf.

  6. Bang on Les.  And how convenient that none of the deadlines fall in his term.  I’m all for supporting NASA, but they have had some screwups lately.  How about funding them to come up with a new, safer, and cheaper to launch shuttle?  He’s putting the cart before the horse.  Or how about working on a joint mission to the moon with the Chinese?  We are sending enough jobs over there anyway, we might as well get something from it in return.

  7. NASA would love to improve its safety issues but let’s face it there is no funding.  You want outer space exploration then you’re going to pay astronomical fees.  Also, I love to see how each side uses the economy as a way to bash a president.  Want to insult the Commander in Chief but don’t know how?  It’s the economy, stupid!  Every politician spends to win a vote.  Check out the multiple web sites devoted to Congress’ funding of Congressmen pet projects.  Bush spends with more flare, true, but I’d rather see NASA benefit than some stupid pet project.

  8. Okay Robert, IF he wins another term (unlikely) let him propose the funding at the BEGINNING of the next term instead of at the END of this one. If he is sincere that shouldn’t be a problem now should it? If it isn’t a smokescreen to direct our attention away from his failure to fund No Child Left Behind, or his selling out Medicare so his big pharmaceutical contributors can benefit from the restrictions on people who have to go to Canada or Mexico so they can actually AFFORD the medication they need to live, then he can wait nine more months. Do we really need a multi-billion dollar bit of election time grandstanding? Can’t he just blow another couple of million tax payer dollars and put the fucking flight suit back on and spout a few more “patriotic” lies about how the mission is over in Iraq? Maybe he can bring a REAL turkey for the troops with him this time.

    This IS the economy stupid, and there are SOOOOOO many ways to insult the current commander and thief that this is just one more drop in an overflowing bucket. Sure, every politician does it…that makes it right? Let him actually fund some of the thing he has already proposed like money for AIDS in Africa or maybe go back and try to keep a few of his original campaign promises (to us, not his rich buddies) like being humble in our dealings with other nations.

    If you want him to spend your tax money on his idiotic plans then maybe you will step up and be a leader, you know, show us all the way. Sign over your tax refund to the government. Refuse to accept any more tax cuts.

    Show me the way.

  9. “Hubble was only supposed to have something like a 10 year lifespan. It’s already gone longer than originally plaaned. I agree that it’s great, but there comes a point where it’s not worth fixing anymore. This has been planned for a long time.”

    There are a couple of ways to approach these things.  One is to pay attention to the facts in the posted article,  and another is to start with an ideological agenda,  say, “defend GWB no matter what”, and then make up plausible sounding crap like the above by Chris—i.e.,  to lie.  “this”, meaning the decision to let Hubble degrade at this time, Jan 2004, has most certainly not “been planned for a long time”; see, for instance,
    http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=9911

    “And yes, there are replacements for Hubble already in the works. The article you link to says:”

    We read what it says, but not being ideological lying cretins, we notice that 2008 falls 3 years short of 2011.

    “I don’t understand why people are so upset about this Moon/Mars stuff. Kennedy (a favorite of the liberals out there) did this back in the 60’s and it was OK then but it’s not now?”

    That you don’t understand the reasoning of people smarter, better informed, and more intellectually honest than yourself is hardly surprising, and carries no rhetorical force.

    One thing you might note is that the wiser “liberals” are highly critical of Kennedy, esp. in regards to war and military spending.  But it’s inconvenient for those who use the word “liberal” as a bludgeon to recognize that there’s no single monolithic political position that corresponds to the word, but rather a whole nexus of views and positions that are held to greater or lesser degree by various individuals.

    “What better way for NASA to learn more about materials, physics, etc. than to have to have long term missions on alien surfaces?”

    It is apparent that you know very little about materials science, physics, “alien surfaces”, or the NASA charter. For your edification (well, not yours, Chris, since facts aren’t your guiding lights), see http://www.hq.nasa.gov/ogc/spaceact.html

  10. Has anyone considered the posibility that the Hubble’s demise is just one more consequence of having a Chistian fundementalist administration in power.  Most cosmologist and astrophysicists are atheist, agnostic or, at the least, unsupportive of Chistian fundementalist beliefs.  The Bush administration has a hisory of supressing or manipulating scientific evidence that is contrary to any of its policies.  Scientific exploration of the cosmos that may bring us closer to the truth of the origin of the universe is unlikely to have any mention of god’s input.  Cutting the repair mission to Hubble is, plain and simple, rervenge on all those godless astronomers.

  11. An upgrade/repair package for the Hubble is already built, paid-for, and waiting for launch.  Yes, Hubble was designed for a 10-year life but a mandatory retirement for such a productive instrument makes no sense at all.

    If you want to dump anything, how about the ISS, which produces almost nothing scientifically and is in the wrong orbit for a moon trip?  What a friggin’ albatross… (did you know the US section of the ISS uses inch-measurements including all fasteners, while the rest of the station uses metric?  Seems the US designers couldn’t cope with millimeters.)

    The “replacement” for the Hubble is a much narrower-purpose instrument.  But the proposals to repair the Hubble using robots may have one great effect if it works.  That is: everyone will know the robots would be so good that then we really CAN send them to explore the moon and Mars.

    The safety argument against fixing the Hubble is idiotic.  Most human lives end basically for no reason other than just having been around too long.  The risk of dying for something of personal interest - science, exploration, and so on - is an honor above most human experience.  Granted, there are some people who can’t understand that, and if they want to die in nursing homes, it’s OK with me so long as they don’t ask me to pay for it.

    We will go to Mars someday but maybe after space travel (to high orbital space, for example) becomes economically self-supporting.

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