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Aethon

2015 budget. NASA gets a raise! Wooo Hoo!

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The text from an E-mail I received from The Planetary Society this morn:

Just a few days ago, the President signed into law a spending bill for the United States' 2015 fiscal year. NASA will get its best budget since 2011, and the Planetary Science Division will receive $1.44 billionâ€â€just shy of our goal of $1.5 billion. This is the best budget for Planetary Science in three years.

The $1.44 billion is $157 million above what the President requested this year for planetary science. The difference will go towards a Europa mission concept development (though we still don't have an official mission), critical planning activities for the Mars 2020 rover, and guarantees continued operation of the Opportunity rover and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. (I have a detailed breakdown of the budget on our website).

These crucial investments in NASA would not have happened without your help. Together, we sent over 50,000 messages to Congress and the White House. The Planetary Society was a constant presence in D.C. throughout the legislative year. Along with tens of thousands of fellow space advocates and Society members, we made planetary exploration funding an important issue. And we're seeing the benefits of that focused effort now.

I'm excitedâ€â€this is just beginning of our efforts to advocate for space. Next year will present us with new challenges to NASA and planetary science, but we will have a large coalition of individuals like you ready to act.

But for now, let's savor a job well done.

Thank you.

[TABLE]

[TR]

[TD][/TD]

[TD]Casey Dreier

Director of Advocacy

The Planetary Society[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

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It cost $14mil just to run the Opportunity rover a year? O_o Science is sure damn expensive.

That's super cheap compared to the ISS. NASA spends way to much on manned spaceflight. We need more Cassini like missions.

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It's about time they pumped some funds into NASA. Far more are needed. Pet projects of special interest groups should be funded by interested individuals donations... not public funds.

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That's super cheap compared to the ISS. NASA spends way to much on manned spaceflight. We need more Cassini like missions.

Even so...

I'm all for Cassini like missions, but NASA was forced in this expensive situation. Manned spaceflight is a necessity. A person can think, make up ideas, and can cover more ground. Humans are also very useful. A human hand can do a lot, wielding a weapon, a science tool, can hit a button, etc.

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That's super cheap compared to the ISS. NASA spends way to much on manned spaceflight. We need more Cassini like missions.

Well, I know it would be cheaper than manned missions, but still, even without launching anything new and just operating that rover from Earth, it still cost us $14mil a year. Having a number like that sure put things to perspective of how expensive space missions are. We really need more budget.

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But a lot of corporations have even BIGGER budgets, and you say space is expensive? Providing calling services all across North America is expensive... Not only doing it, but doing it in a way that really isn't great...

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Manned spaceflight is a necessity.

A human hand can do a lot, wielding a weapon, a science tool, can hit a button, etc.

Which is the odd one out?

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Which is the odd one out?

None, really. They all involve button pushing in one way or another.

Personally, I think the world would be a much better place if we had big red buttons and giant Frankenstein switches.

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Even so...

I'm all for Cassini like missions, but NASA was forced in this expensive situation. Manned spaceflight is a necessity. A person can think, make up ideas

Certainly, but physical presence is not necessary. Teleoperation is a thing, so are drones.

and can cover more ground.

No, multiple probes/rovers can cover more ground in several years than humans in a one month expedition.

Humans are also very useful. A human hand can do a lot, wielding a weapon, a science tool, can hit a button, etc.

Machines can do that to.

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Well.... Let's see. A few meters a day compared to a dozen kilometers a day...

A one month exploration could possibly give you just as much exploration. If not more. Although I think that a permanent base is needed...

Yeah. Probes can do that too... But they take skilled labor hahah.

Seriously though, I would just like to see people suck it up and send people to space. The chances of your ship screwing up and killing you are less than you getting killed just by driving your car. Especially with multiple craft that could assist each other in-transit.

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Well.... Let's see. A few meters a day compared to a dozen kilometers a day...

A one month exploration could possibly give you just as much exploration. If not more. Although I think that a permanent base is needed...

Yeah. Probes can do that too... But they take skilled labor hahah.

Seriously though, I would just like to see people suck it up and send people to space. The chances of your ship screwing up and killing you are less than you getting killed just by driving your car. Especially with multiple craft that could assist each other in-transit.

Why send people to a planet where they might die, when you can send a probe for much less with no risk of human death?

They don't need food, water, or any morale. They just do the job.

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It cost $14mil just to run the Opportunity rover a year? O_o Science is sure damn expensive.

One F-35 jet costs ~300mil$. That's excluding all the maintenance and fuel costs+testing+development.

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Why send people to a planet where they might die, when you can send a probe for much less with no risk of human death?

They don't need food, water, or any morale. They just do the job.

And when Earth starts dying we'll send a probe which will continue humankind? It will wipe its solar panels by itself and fix itself? Learn how to utilize Mars' resources?

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Mars is such a friendly place to continue humankind. /*Sarcasm and lol

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And when Earth starts dying we'll send a probe which will continue humankind? It will wipe its solar panels by itself and fix itself? Learn how to utilize Mars' resources?

I was fairly certain we're talking about space exploration here, not how to save humankind.

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And when Earth starts dying we'll send a probe which will continue humankind? It will wipe its solar panels by itself and fix itself? Learn how to utilize Mars' resources?

In what context are we talking about "the Earth dying"? Current estimates are that the Earth has between 500 million and 1 billion years of habitability left for macroscopic life. To put that in context, the Cambrian explosion (the emergence of most animal phyla in the fossil record) only happened about 540 million years ago. We have a lot of years yet before evacuating the Earth is even remotely necessary. Even if we screw it up horribly with some sort of environmental disaster or are hit by a big space rock, we've got a better chance here than anywhere else we can reach.

Rome wasn't built in a day. There are only so many financial resources that the world community can afford to dedicate to space exploration. While they may not be as glamorous as manned missions, robotic missions are a proven means of maximizing scientific ROI.

Edited by PakledHostage

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Well.... Let's see. A few meters a day compared to a dozen kilometers a day...

A one month exploration could possibly give you just as much exploration. If not more. Although I think that a permanent base is needed...

A manned mission is limited to a small radius around the MAV/base. Astronauts need to be able to either walk back or be rescued by a second vehicle if their SEV is incapacitated.

And if you can land a manned SEV that can cover a dozen kilometers per day, there is no reason why you couldn't land an unmanned one, for a fraction of the cost.

But again, where is the advantage in going fast? Only a manned mission has a limited time. Unmanned missions can last for a decade or more, and you can send dozens of them for the same cost as a manned mission. And there is really no point in being quicker anyway. Those rocks aren't going anywhere. There is no hurry.

Yeah. Probes can do that too... But they take skilled labor hahah.

The point is, robots don't need to wield tools, weapons, or press buttons.

Seriously though, I would just like to see people suck it up and send people to space.

And that is unfortunately the only real, honest, reason for manned spaceflight at this stage. Because it looks cool. Unfortunately, that's not enough to justify the cost.

Trying to justify it by higher science returns or some sort of economical return on investment isn't going to work at this stage. The only reason to do it is political prestige.

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But what if one of these rovers drives right by a great discovery? How do you make a rover that's genuinely curious and can pick out oddities on its own without us telling it too?

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Well.... Let's see. A few meters a day compared to a dozen kilometers a day...

Apples:Oranges. For the mass requirements of putting a manned mission on Mars one could put a small army of unmanned rovers there instead.

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But what if one of these rovers drives right by a great discovery? How do you make a rover that's genuinely curious and can pick out oddities on its own without us telling it too?

A rover doesn't notice anything. The people driving it do. There is no reason the driver inside an SEV would have more awareness than the driver of a robot, given the appropriate sensors. And there are also things that a robot's sensors might detect (especially if it moves at a slower pace) that a human wouldn't.

Edited by Nibb31

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A rover doesn't notice anything. The people driving it do. There is no reason the driver inside an SEV would have more awareness than the driver of a robot, given the appropriate sensors. And there are also things that a robot's sensors might detect (especially if it moves at a slower pace) that a human wouldn't.

Time delay, bandwidth. You don't notice, nor can you check as many things when you are (for all practical purposes) passively watching video feed as if you are actively moving around in real time, searching.

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