Your tax dollars at work

Microsoft Office xp professional
July 18, 2012 at 18:56:32
Specs: Windows XP SP 3, P-III 550/384
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012...

It says NASA is spending $1 million a year developing a menu for a 2030 Mars mission. I guess they never heard of MRE's.

Well maybe after they get the important stuff like that figured out they can start on the more mundane task of BUILDING AN INTERPLANETARY SPACESHIP!


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#1
July 18, 2012 at 19:41:49
You spend three years eating nothing but MRE's and get back to us. For bonus points, prepare and consume half of them in 0-G. Like it or not, building a viable menu is part of building an interplanetary spaceship.

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#2
July 18, 2012 at 19:45:08
Yeah, while I'm all for pursuing the benefits that space travel may have brought us, this is just plain ludicrous. Didn't we make it to the moon on Tang, cocoa and dehydrated peas?:

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-368/p454...

And FWIW, I lived pretty much on MRE's and peanut-butter the last semester of college. Never had a problem with them...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#3
July 18, 2012 at 21:41:28
MRE's serve their intended purpose but this has little relevance to a mission to Mars. They are designed to be used for a maximum of 21 days and even then they have some known deficiencies. The proposed mission to Mars is much longer than that and the requirements much more strict. One being that the diet must be vegetarian as meat and dairy products cannot currently be preserved for the necessary time period.

The comparison to the moon missions is ludicrous. The Apollo 11 mission (first manned landing on the moon) lasted only 8 days. The length of the Mars mission is on the order of 900 days. Things that are of little or no consequence on a short mission can be enormous issues with a mission this long.

The health and well being of the astronauts, of which their diet is an important part, is far too important to leave to chance. A serious problem here and the billions spent on the rest of the mission could all be for nothing.


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#4
July 19, 2012 at 00:42:25
I don't question their desire for good food--just the cost. It's not a total of $1 million; it's $1 million per year with the hope, it says, of a bigger budget as 'the mission gets closer'. I think it's going to end up being one of those $400 hammer-type boondoggles.

It wouldn't suprise me if the whole 'manned mission to Mars' thing gets cancelled before then. All it takes is a politician who wants to spend the money elsewhere.


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#5
July 19, 2012 at 06:08:54
And FWIW, I lived pretty much on MRE's and peanut-butter the last semester of college.
Well good! You're what, 14% of the way there? Don't slack off now! Only 774 more days to go!

There are also other considerations; food takes up space and has mass, so you need to know the weight of the food before you know how the size of your thrusters and how much fuel you'll require. Food is also a resource that'll be consumed, so you need to know the rate of consumption, because you're still affected by gravity. Could it be done cheaper? Maybe? I don't know. I've never had to come up with an interplanetary menu before. Is it the biggest expense? Not by a long shot. (Or: We'll easily spend 1000 times that amount if we get some explosions.)

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#6
July 19, 2012 at 23:49:03
$1 Million a year for takeout? Maybe?

While I am very intrigued by the idea of space exploration and I am sure there are some kinds of benefits we get from it, with the way things are on earth at the moment I really don’t think we should be throwing money in this pit. As far as I know to date we have not seen a return of more than one eighth a penny on the dollar. I may be way off but that’s the way it seems. Approaching seventy years and we are still dumping way more than we could possibly ever see into this endeavor. I think it’s time we stop. Not cut down on spending or cut back but stop completely.

Instead of making foods that can be freeze dried for two to three years how about we look at producing food during a drought? Instead of investing over a $1 trillion by the time we get there to make a few persons lives a bit better for a few years how about investing that money to make hundreds of thousands of lives better long term?

I think we should at least step back until we would have the chance of making it as far as the next planet that could possibly sustain life in a single lifetime. Someday I am sure the technology will be there. For now though what we have is just not cost effective.

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#7
July 20, 2012 at 09:53:34
Time for counterpoints, because that is the only way I can communicate, or something.

$1 Million a year for takeout?
If this site had images enabled by default, I'd use MS Paint to poorly paste a picture of McDonald's onto a picture of Mars' surface. It doesn't and I'm lazy, so pretend that I did do it, and it was funny, and you laughed.

Approaching seventy years and we are still dumping way more than we could possibly ever see into this endeavor.
Are you talking about going to Mars? Because I thought NASA didn't get serious until 2004, per a directive from President Bush. If you're talking about the Space program in a more broad sense, then I'd have to bring up satellites, which are used for: the public GPS system used to build bridges, snow removal, and to inform me that I missed my off ramp (or get directions to a car wash); modern communication systems, which allow me to debate the merits of NASA's research budget with strangers on the Internet; monitoring satellites that can face the Earth and provide weather information, or they can face away, and give me pretty pictures. Plus, they're a key part in ANTI-MISSILE SPACE LASERS! program, and just try to say ANTI-MISSILE SPACE LASERS! with a straight face. You just can't do it.

Instead of making foods that can be freeze dried for two to three years how about we look at producing food during a drought?
But what if it's cheaper and it would inflict a smaller environmental impact to consume the surplus food from bounty years during the lean years? Then we would have more consistent food prices.

I think we should at least step back until we would have the chance of making it as far as the next planet that could possibly sustain life in a single lifetime.
So . . . never? :V

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#8
July 24, 2012 at 16:12:46
then I'd have to bring up satellites

My problem with this is us the tax payers foot the bill to put these up there and major corporations get the monetary benefits. Sure we get a little fun, a little convenience but the tax money we shell out doesn’t seem to get paid back. Maybe I am looking at this all wrong. Bridges were built, snow was removed, and directions were acquired for many years without the use of satellite GPS. Not to mention the swelling of the old man’s knees that lives down the street has always been better at guessing the weather than the information given to us by meteorologists from their satellites.

I would love to see this all continue but in a time when many are worried about their next meal I see this as failed priorities. Is floating a meatloaf in zero – g going to show us a way to feed five families with that one pound meatloaf? If it does would it be worth billions to us not the corporation that gets the patent?

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#9
July 26, 2012 at 09:13:13
My problem with this is us the tax payers foot the bill to put these up there and major corporations get the monetary benefits.
Your citation(s)?

Certain ventures, like GPS and weather satellites, are the property of the US Government, and the benefit of these satellites are either free, or available for a nominal fee by the US Government. If you're paying a company for a GPS "service" (vs. hardware required for receiving and interpreting the signals) or for satellite photos, you're paying too much.

Commercial satellites are developed by private corporations, and they can hire NASA for a launch, but it's not done pro bono.

If you're so insistent on a direct correlation between food and satellites, fine. Modern farming uses GPS to increase crop yields, and NASA's Aeroponic techniques stands to increase the reliability of germinating plants. Higher, more reliable yields mean more food to go towards multi-billion dollar government-backed food waste to feed your theoretical five meatloaf craving families.

Also, if the research is done at a federal government site, let's say NASA, they're the ones who get the patents. If the research is done by a private company they'll probably get the patents, because lobbyists.

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#10
July 26, 2012 at 10:09:30
I think we should at least step back until we would have the chance of making it as far as the next planet that could possibly sustain life in a single lifetime. Someday I am sure the technology will be there. For now though what we have is just not cost effective.

Personally, I think we should build a manned base on the moon that we can use in the future as a stepping off place for travelling in space.

While I personally love the idea of another habitable planet the simple fact is, even if we could, in one lifetime, reach a star that could potentially have a planet that could potentially support life as we know it. We have NO way of knowing ahead of time if there is a habitable planet.

So, who is going to jump on that ship? Who would want to spend their entire life locked in a sterile tin can? Knowing it's a one-way trip. Knowing you can't ever come back. Knowing you may arrive at your destination only to discover there is no habitable planet at said destination. Then what do you do then? Honestly, you won't get any volunteers and we all know that.

Now I've been a SciFi fan forever. I think we should be working on space travel. I believe man will one day achieve faster-than-light travel. And before you laugh, if you had told anybody 100 years ago we'd be travelling faster than the speed of sound, they'd have locked you up in a loonie bin.....so keep that in mind. What is improbable (not "impossible") today is possible tomorrow. Once mankind can travel faster-than-light, then we can begin expanding and exploring other planets. Until then, we're pretty much limited to our own galaxy.

So why not explore Mars now? I think it's a great idea if it keeps us in outer space. Because if we don't achieve faster-than-light travel, if humanity doesn't expand into outerspace, the day will come when our population will exceed our planet's ability to produce enough food to feed it. Then where will we be?

If I were alive and able, I'd be the first to line up for colonizing a distant planet.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#11
July 26, 2012 at 15:36:01
@ Curt R
I'm not laughing at your idea of breaking the light speed barrier. I think it's that we should be working on rather than investing a lot of time and money to get across the street shall we say. When we can make the trip to Mars and back in a few hours rather than a year or so it seems it would be a much more worthwhile endeavor. I am sure to work out the technology to do this we need to be in space but I feel we need to be a lot closer than we are now before we have to be in space.

@Razor2.3
I understand each of your points, I really do. I spend time reading about space travel and see that it costs X amount each time the shuttle is launched. Then come launch time I hear that multinational multibillion dollar Communication Company is paying less than 1/3 of X to have their satellite sent up. Now I realize this satellite is not the only reason the shuttle went up.

As for GPS and weather satellites this still appears to be a money losing venture to me. NASA’s sponsored growing techniques sound good but here again seem to be falling way short to me. I am sure this is due to my lack of education. What I see is a month without rain causes my food budget to increase by 20% while farmers are complaining of drought conditions. I guess the “trickle down” has not gotten to Earth yet.

My lack of an Ivey League education forbids me from looking past what happens right in front of me. Don’t get me wrong. I to a point agree with what you have said. I am sure at some point most if not all you have brought up will catch up to the point I can see it. Where it all rubs me the wrong way is this all started before I was born and every year the costs have gone up. They have also gone up on my vegetables, anything that has GPS, my satellite tv (this is where I view the weather channel to get my weather). Maybe in ten years this will all come around but for now my local farmers market has a problem getting me tomatoes and green peppers. I guess they did not grease the right astronauts’ palm.

I am not Anti NASA. I just think we should have different priorities right now. I see it as more of a luxury than a necessity. When I got laid off I cut down on what I spent on our internet service with the idea “we can still do what we need at lower speed/cost”, I cut off our DIRECTV thinking “we can still watch TV for free from an antenna and save money”, my wife and I quit smoking. There were other things as well. We just felt that the house note and utilities should be a priority over luxury things we wanted.

Considering the United States is now the most in debt nation in the world and it seems to be getting worse every day I feel the our government should be doing the same thing we did. There are things we need in this country and it appears the government will waste an ungodly amount of time debating spending money on them. When it comes to things that while they may be nice and we may get something out of but they will not keep this country above water there is no debate just a check handed over.

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#12
October 17, 2012 at 07:09:15
I dont think they have ever heard of Mc Donald's. what the **** are they eating? it's probably absolutly covered in gold flakes and chucked a couple of diamonds in thier chips. LOL

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