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Help Please

So, I promised myself I wouldn't use my journal for homework help as that is just tacky, however, I'm kind of in a bind. As I was thinking over these issues for my presentation I realized I needed some input. So any help would be appreciated.


ETA: Okay, I screwed up and used radio buttons instead of check boxes for the "Check all that apply" question, please leave other reasons either in the Additional comments box or in my comments. Thanks again!

Poll #259005 The Space Program - HELP!

Do you support the space program (NASA)?

No opinion

If you view yourself as a supporter of the space program, how strongly? (one lowest, ten highest)

Mean: 7.39 Median: 8 Std. Dev 2.34

What is the main reason you support or do not support NASA?

Which of the following do you see as valid reasons for supporting space research and exploration? (Check all that apply)

Benefit to humans via technology advances (ie. medicine and improved technologies for work and home)
Colonization of other planets
It is part of human nature to explore and discover new things as they are available
Important for our defense strategy as a superpower
Other (please leave a comment)

What is your biggest problem with the Space Program?

Additional Comments


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 6th, 2004 01:45 pm (UTC)
Hee! I am the ultimate tack-o-rama with the homework help thing, myself.
Mar. 6th, 2004 06:03 pm (UTC)
No you aren't!
Hee Thanks for the input.
Btw, I should have qualified the "tacky" statement, I was specifically referencing things like could anyone do my paper for me type stuff. Drives me bananas!
Mar. 6th, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC)
Re: No you aren't!
People do that? Man, I felt like the ultimate in shameless-ness with the asking for articles thing.
Mar. 6th, 2004 06:16 pm (UTC)
Re: No you aren't!
Yeah and it is soo obvious they are just lazy...

I cannot tell you how sad it is. Asking for help locating information, or bouncing ideas around is nothing really I think.
Mar. 6th, 2004 01:50 pm (UTC)
Hey, I came over from the Astronomy community. I just wanted to point out that your answers are going to be very biased unless you also publicize the poll in communities that are against space exploration. You probably already knew that, though. *shrug*

:) Nice poll, btw.
Mar. 6th, 2004 05:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah I know...
Thanks for participating and yes I do realize these results will show some bias. One of the reasons I decided to post in the Astronomy community (other than being a member who so rarely posts) is because I wanted people who think a good deal about the stuff (space and space exploration). Most people who read my journal, are a lot less interested, I think.

The paper is about the issues of rhetoric in support of the space program so its okay to have bias in that area. If this turns into a thesis or something I will make a better study and gather real data. Thanks for thinking about it though. Of course, that is a real issue with most polls and some peple don't consider it.

Thanks again! By the way, I love your icon!
Mar. 6th, 2004 03:49 pm (UTC)
Don't worry about it hon' glad to help.
Mar. 6th, 2004 06:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks luv. I freakin' adore Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle!
Mar. 7th, 2004 07:26 am (UTC)
MORE answers....
The comment box cut me off, so here's the rest of what I was going to say.

I could be wrong as I am not up on my space info...but from what I know. ALL the zillions we have spent, all the information we have gleaned have been for naught...What do we do with that information? What good is it? Sure, if it were really providing us with medical cures, I would support it, but I have yet to see a cure for the lowliest hangnail come out of space. All that money could be put into research right here on earth. I dare to say with as much money as the space program has used/wasted over the years, we might have cures for all the big ones if that money had been put into medical research.

As for the human nature aspect of "just exploring"--that's alot of bunk too. I think we pretty much know what's out there. Alot of rocks, and now we know they are rocks that USED to have water flowing around them. Big Deal.

Sorry if you are a big supporter of NASA, I didn't mean to offend. Just too much suffering, disease, hunger, and need here on Earth for us to be pilfering Outer Space just yet. When we get all this mess on earth in order, then we justly go screw up some other one.
Mar. 7th, 2004 04:05 pm (UTC)
Re: MORE answers....
Well Aimee, I have to agree that you're not up on your space info. If you were, you might know about the National Space Science Data Archive, where you and anyone else can study the results of the many space science missions that have flown and are flying now. There's also a huge archive of Space Medicine maintained by the Office of Human Spaceflight at the Johnson Spaceflight Center in Houston. If neither of those are sufficiently practical for you, you have only to turn on your evening news to see satellite images of North America from the GOES weather satellites, which have been improving weather forecasting since the 1970's. The GOES weather satellites in combination with the thousands of data collection platforms on the ground that communicate with them have resulted in an increase in the accuracy of weather forecasting the like of which hasn't been seen since balloons first became available during WW I.

You also seem to think that Congress sits down each year and says "OK, we have this much money, how shall we divide it up?" That's not how the Congressional budget process works. NASA is not taking funds away from health care or medical research. In fact, NASA is a very small portion of the entire Federal Budget. It comes under Independent Agencies, which means that it does have to compete with the Veterans Administration, which always gets a lot more in funding than NASA does. But NASA is not competing with Health and Human Services for funding.

NASA research into human spaceflight has produced a huge increase in our understanding of things like autoimmune disorders and ageing. So it's not as if the effort has been completely divorced from the problems of day to day life here on Earth. But that's not the justification for having a Space Program.

No, it's like Lyman Spitzer said when asked, back in 1949, what his (astronomical) research contributed to national defense: It makes the nation worth defending. If we let ourselves become so focused on the problems of the moment that we can not look beyond them, then we will have lost the exploring spirit that made us the people we are. That would be a sad thing indeed.
Mar. 7th, 2004 03:33 pm (UTC)
Hi there. I saw your post in the astronomy community and came by to answer your questions and add a bit.

I work for a NASA contractor. I've been a member of the mission operations team for three different missions, and I'm currently designing something that's going to launch in 2012. So I've been inside of the program for a while.

You'll find that the Space Program isn't some monolithic thing, where everyone is in agreement. Many of us who work in the biz consider some of the programs to be very important, and see others as parasites that detract from the quality work. Of course, not everybody agrees about which is which. The people in Manned Spaceflight insist that without Buck Rogers, there won't be any bucks, because Joe Taxpayer just isn't interested in what spiritrover and opportunitygrrl are doing on Mars. There are other folks, who work on the robotic missions, who will argue that Manned Spaceflight is the 800 pound gorilla that sucks all the money away from the rest of the programs, and prevents progress.

There's some truth in both of those positions, and there's also an argument to be made for permitting both manned and unmanned space exploration to continue.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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