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  • Topic: Funding the International Space Program

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    • September 9, 2014 8:54:19 PM PDT
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      Funding the International Space Program

      It has been many years since men landed on the moon. More recently astronauts have entered space, orbiting the Earth. This was accomplished with the use of powerful, multi-stage rocket propulsion and exit and re-entry vessels such as the now retired Space Shuttle. The Cold War is over. The space race between the Soviets and the Americans is in the past. Hence, what is the incentive for humanity to return to manned space exploration and the continued development of the International Space Station?
      I believe there are many incentives. These include but are not limited to the continued development of satellite and communications technology, diplomacy between astronauts of different national origins, the testing of super computers and microprocessors at zero gravity and the peace of mind of knowing that homo sapiens live beyond our planet.
      The Hubble telescope (which was repaired in space by astronauts) and now the Kepler telescope have provided us with invaluable knowledge about the physics, chemistry and otherwise previously unknown features of the deep cosmos. We now know there are hundreds of Earth-like planets orbiting sun-like stars in neighboring solar systems.
      --There may be other phenomena close to us such as dark stars or nemesis stars along with radically elliptical orbit-holding gaseous, rogue, giant planets in our own solar system similar in constitution to Jupiter.--R.Dean
      I feel that a large-scale permanent space station would better assist astrophysicists in early warning and diversion of asteroids and meteor showers approaching our planet. Even better would be a infrared or radar array that surrounds the earth. The same goes for small settlements on the moon and Mars. We have a long way to go to reach the level of technological advancement theorized in the Star Trek TV shows and movies. I heard on YouTube that if astronauts approached one half of light speed and maintained their velocity at that degree for one year, they would return to an Earth several decades ahead of the time that they departed. Einstein argued that surpassing light speed is impossible. I think a space craft could still travel extremely fast without breaking his axiom. What does this mean? I'm sure that humanity will return to the moon and eventually Mars. But I hope they do it in a big wave of international teamwork, guaranteeing that it won't be a limited expedition like the original manned space program. It is amazing to see the images brought back by Hubble and Kepler. I can only imagine what secrets the deep universe and its conglomeration of various shaped and colored galaxies holds for us.

      This post was edited by MattD at September 9, 2014 11:13:52 PM PDT
    • October 23, 2018 4:16:30 AM PDT
    • Funding the International Space Program

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