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Obama's Curiosity

Obama's Curiosity

Postby Choppercrazy » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:31 pm

Comment on this note here.
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Re: Obama's Curiosity

Postby Sandilynn » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:19 pm

We may never know how many things we take for granted in our daily lives came as a result of the space program. After reading Dwight's note "Obama's Curiosity" (what the President and his cronies really needs is imagination so they don't have to claim responsibility for someone else's success), I did a little research on what we have gained from the space program to date. Here are just a few things:

scratch resistant lenses for glasses because a little nick from a piece of space debris can do a lot of damage to a spacecraft
technology from the mechanical robot arm used in the first Voyager mission to Mars has been utilized in implantable insulin pumps
memory foam used in mattresses was designed to pad spacecraft seats for hard impact landings
smaller, more compact remote control ventilators for use in emergency rooms and ICUs, developed in 2011 through a partnership with Impact Instrumentation Inc., in New Jersey. The ultimate goal is for ventilators to be fully automatic.

The list is way too extensive to go into here but if you are curious, go to http://spinoff.nasa.gov/spinoff/database
The link is to a database which you can explore to see the technologies that have come from the space program. NASA puts out a publication called Spinoff and has since 1976. It shows some of the advances in different areas like safety, communications, medicine, etc. that were developed through partnerships with private companies and NASA. Ever wonder why our technology seems to be advancing so rapidly you can't keep up? A well-funded space program has made much of it possible.

But the vision seems to be to shift much of NASA's development of new spacecraft to the private sector. Something from NASA's own site summarizing a small part of a speech President Obama gave in April 2010: "The president said it will be quicker and less costly to let private companies develop new spacecraft for astronauts rather than continue with NASA's Constellation Program, which was deemed too expensive and behind schedule." (Link: http://www.nasa.gov/about/obamaspeechfe ... #backtoTop )

The reference to the high-speed train scheme in California reminded me of an excellent YouTube video about a space technology company, the high speed train and why the company moved its base of operations to Midland, Texas. It is part of the Afterburner series of programs with Bill Whittle. The link is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9HzwA7Oi6M

And President Obama and John Holdren did not build that.
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Re: Obama's Curiosity

Postby KaizokuShojo » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:08 pm

The very first thoughts I had when Obama started digging into the space program is that he doesn't want us to be able to defend ourselves. If you've got good eyes and locations above everything else, you're...well, better able to defend yourselves (i.e., the high ground). I'm not terribly into space myself (even though I'm a trekkie :lol: ) but even I can see that the technological advantages alone are a good reason to support the space program.

It calls to mind also when Obama wanted to cut all those positions at the NWS to 'save money.' It's an incredibly baffling notion--the death toll from storms has decreased exponentially as meteorology has improved warning time. But I thought, perhaps that's just it--if more people and property gets harmed in storms that "came out of nowhere" (which is how storms can be when there's no advance warning, or when people ignore the forecasts, like they seem to be doing more) it could easily be spun to make it seem like global climate change is a very present and real danger. All the while, the people would begin even more to believe it, not knowing that it was simply because the meteorologists that used to watch out for them had been fired.

Maybe I'm just paranoid. Maybe he isn't this manipulative and devious, and is just a simple-minded idiot. But you know, a lot of things he's done point toward his being a devious little creep, willing to harm people to get his vision of how things should be to come true. Of course, it could also be that he's just stupid and getting manipulated by someone else. *insert eerie music here* Either way, he's dangerous.
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Re: Obama's Curiosity

Postby Bix » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:17 am

As a side note, President Bush had a hand in NASA's changes as well: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1887/1

In January 2004, the Bush administration issued the Vision for Space Exploration. The Vision had four main policy points. The first dealt exclusively with the Space Shuttle:

Return the Space Shuttle to flight as soon as practical, based on the recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board;
Focus use of the Space Shuttle to complete assembly of the International Space Station; and
Retire the Space Shuttle as soon as assembly of the International Space Station is completed, planned for the end of this decade.


The Vision For Space Exploration (February 2004): http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/55583main_visio ... ation2.pdf
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Re: Obama's Curiosity

Postby hla » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:06 am

Congratulations to the magnificent effort of those at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and all involved.

It is sad to see their moment being diverted by politicians and burocracy for their own agendas.

What I do find heartening, is the Morse code on the wheels of the unit so that JPL will be imprinted on Mars surface. What a brilliant way to give credit to those involved and not to the politicians.

http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/a- ... e-on-Mars-
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Re: Obama's Curiosity

Postby bcbdrums » Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:11 am

i remember a day just a few months ago, when i stomped up to my dad and declared vehemently, "why does it matter what's on the surface of mars when there are starving people in the world!? if we ended the space program, couldn't we feed millions of people??" (and i love studying space, personally) to this my dad smiled and told me he liked how i was thinking, but explained that like many people of my generation, i wasn't seeing the complete picture. we then talked about the advancements the space program has made and their impact on people's lives, be it a simple thing like that foam mattress you sleep on, or your cell phone communications. not to mention weather predictions, and the vast amount of jobs NASA has created, both directly within its company, and through connected companies. the space program does in fact benefit our daily living in more ways than we realize, and while it may not really matter what's on the surface of mars, the technological discoveries made while we try to find out will be a great benefit to society.

congrats to JPL, and i hope we can see more great things out of the space program in the future!
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Re: Obama's Curiosity

Postby KaizokuShojo » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:41 am

I think actually the military has made more contributions to weather prediction, hasn't it? ...That's kind of irrelevant. Anyway.

As far as starving people go, technically in the USA there's enough money circulating under normal circumstances to put machines on Mars (which I do think is silly, personally) AND to take care of much of poverty, if only people weren't self-absorbed and tried to help others. But they have to want to do it--even if we cut NASA, what would we do, leave it in the gov't's hands? THEY can't solve anything. Even when you give them lots of money, they waste much of it. Even when they TRY to help the poor, they end up failing. Things like that need to be done by many individuals, not a collective.

But my head hurts badly, so that's all I'm going to say about it.
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