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Space Movement June 9, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in conventions, gummint, space.
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A nice term, I suppose, but it hardly has the sweeping grandeur it deserves. This article in the Atlantic gives a great summary of the new space program, the one not conducted by NASA. After reading through, I wondered why we should continue to fund NASA at all. If they promise to keep doing deep space probes? To continue to monitor the probes already out there? After all, this is the difference between basic research and applied.

NASA’s deep space probes would be the basic research. No idea what the payoff might be, but just lookin’. The push for getting men back into space seems more of an applied science–a definite goal that might or might not require new technology. There’s a payoff obviously in the near future, whether it be leaving more dusty footprints in the Moon’s regolith or inflatable space stations in orbit.

I’ve been going back over some of the Tom Swift Jr books, sorta doing homework for the 100th Anniversary Tom Swift convention next month (see con schedule) and it occurred to me that the only invention Tom Jr had that ever made a dime for Swift Enterprises was the solar battery manufactured in orbit at his outpost in space. This in spite of atomic piles capable of powering submarines and airplanes. Manufacturing space, and not just cute little pandas filled cadmium, looks like a potential source of revenue over and beyond space tourism.

But NASA can keep finding possible life on Mars or Titan. Any day now. Please.

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