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View Diary: Kepler Rises (134 comments)

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  •  If only (1+ / 0-)
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    If only we weren't in this bad recession.  We could do so much more in the way of space exploration.

    •  We could greatly expand our space effort (2+ / 0-)
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      hamletta, DarkSyde

      We could double our space exploration/technology effort at a cost of just $15B more per year.  If we could wrangle some of the money away from Air Force efforts to weaponize space, we'd be even better off.

      Right now we're doing space science and exploration on the dirt-cheap.  NASA has to go before congress year after year and grovel for a few shillings.  The money they do get routinely has galling earmarks and proscriptions put on it.  Example: they might get an extra $20 million dollars for school outreach...and be directed to ONLY spend that money on a space and science museum in someone's district.  Now, that's great for the people and (particularly) the kids of that small town.  It's bad, though, for the overall effort.  

      They'll also get continuing funding to plan missions or design specs for hardware...but then be barred from pursuing some of the most promising hardware, not because it's too risky or speculative, but because it's ideologically opposed or because a certain type of solution excludes a big donor to a congressperson.  

      The TransHAB inflatable module is a good example from back in the late 90's.  A great innovation, killed because Dana Rohrabacher didn't like the thought of a publicly funded (NASA) mission to Mars.  He personally put that in there and killed it.  That technology is now being used by Bigelow Aerospace in their plans...but it's an amazing concept that could have already been in service and (duh) sold on license to people like Bigelow for their efforts.

      A left-of-center blow-harded member of the goose-stepping blog-stapo since 2004.

      by floundericiousMI on Sun Mar 08, 2009 at 10:07:24 AM PDT

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