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Will the new cosmology doom NASA?

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It’s worth asking. Americans may prefer trifle-of-the-week TED talks universes, portrayed with befitting postmod irony. Despite brave talk of humans living on the moon, if that happens, will NASA even be a part of it?

From Science Fictions

… NASA, by contrast, is on “a long downhill slide to mediocrity.” Exploration budgets have taken a hit. Neil Armstrong died in 2012, aged 82. Some propose a National Park on the Moon, to protect the artifacts of that bygone era. But as science fiction writer Terry L. Mirll notes, we haven’t been to the moon in forty years.

The agency has been directed instead by the White House to reach out to Muslims and make them feel good about their historic contributions to science. But making history, not recounting history, is the core NASA competency. No surprise, space veterans complain of “lack of any coherent leadership from Washington.” And astronaut commanders have warned of “a long downhill slide to mediocrity,” insisting that “America must decide if it wishes to remain a leader in space.” Former NASA administrator Michael Griffin believes the space agency has lost its way.

Has it lost its way? Or has it simply been redirected to the new way? NASA’s historic exploration of conventional “space” made sense in an age when the astronauts read Genesis while floating out there. But the agency could be a liability if its research continues to support the Big Bang or fine-tuning. We now live in an age when grand cosmic speculation about unresearchable multiverses satisfies our thinkers — and not only makes NASA’s real-world exploits look quaint but even renders Star Trek’s “Boldly go.” pointless. Not to worry, China and India, hardly energetic contributors to new atheist cosmologies, are picking up the slack anyway, with China aiming for a manned moon mission … More.

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The beginning of the end for NASA was showing Americans live on TV sets in their living rooms that the Moon is the coldest, driest desert the could possibly imagine. There is NOTHING there. As opposed to, say, Kansas, which has PRACTICALLY nothing there. The reason to go into space was to prove we could do it if we wanted to. Been there, done that. The reason to keep going back into space is... Um, to take weather photos of Earth and fine tune the communications satellites. The purpose of the Space Station was to have some place for the astronauts to go, since going to the Moon was boring and expensive. And incredibly dangerous. The purpose of sending astronauts to the Space Station is because it's up there. (That is, if we didn't have a Space Station, we wouldn't need astronauts. And the only reason we still train astronauts is because we have a Space Station...) But NASA can only get serious budget money, as opposed to the few billions needed to do Science, if it shows Space stuff that American voters like to watch on TV. So the budget is wasted on manned missions, and rovers to Mars. Again, the reason they need the money is to spend it in order to get even more money. If we dropped manned missions altogether, NASA could get along just fine studying the Earth from Space, which was the only reason to ever go up there. mahuna
NASA can't be 'doomed' Period. selvaRajan
I agree. What is interesting, even the present propulsion was considered impossible in the vacuum of space as late as 1920s in USA, under the dominant mass delusion of the era that an air was needed behind, to push against in order to move forward. nightlight
Both, the Russian and American space programs went quickly downhill after the Germans captured by the victors in WWII retired or died.
German scientists were instrumental in starting the rocket propulsion era. It was good enough to place things in orbit and send probes to the other bodies in the solar system but it is also slow, expensive and dangerous. One of the biggest problems with rocket propulsion is that the fuel is more than 90% of the cargo. What is needed is a new form of space propulsion, one that is not only fast, cheap and safe but eliminates the need to carry fuel on board. Let's face it, the idea that a spaceship should move forward by throwing stuff out the back is a tad primitive when you think about it. We need a revolution in propulsion physics. Unfortunately, the physics community is stuck in a rut of their own making. So we can expect nothing interesting coming from that bunch in the foreseeable future. Mapou
Both, the Russian and American space programs went quickly downhill after the Germans captured by the victors in WWII retired or died. I don't think there is much hope for the present NASA or their Russian counterparts, short of kicking off the new world war and capturing some more. :) nightlight

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