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NASA Cancels Missions After All

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the can't-go-if-the-money-isn't-there dept.

256

jd writes "Barely a day after NASA chief Dr. Griffen swore blind that projects might be frozen but not cancelled due to the new priorities and budget constraints, news comes of a new asteroid mission that has been cancelled due to the new priorities and budget constraints - something Dr. Griffin did not mention in his earlier comments. The visit to two asteroids, short about $90 million, was completely abandoned according to NASA, with no possibility of revival. In consequence, smaller missions are reportedly feeling at much greater risk."

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256 comments

Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852064)

Just kidding, they're actually not cancelled.

No, that was a lie, they are.

Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (4, Insightful)

RedHatLinux (453603) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852072)

Probably not, because history has soon that whenever a president is in some form of political trouble, they will often trot out "visions" of American returning to space with such regularity you would think they were smoking Peyeote, but they are shelved once the crisis passes or a new president takes over.

Re:Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (1, Insightful)

TwentyQuestions (945020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852093)

NASA is a blackhole of funding. People should have caught on to that years ago.

The space station will be outdated years before its even built, the shuttles have been outdated for years and all these amazing space exploration projects just give us hints at the good info. they never really reveal the outstanding stuff.

We really need to abandon NASA and create a new organization with new managment and new ideas.

Re:Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (2, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852112)

Well the Shuttles were a bad idea.. And attempt to look new and modern, while trying to meet cold war requirements. If you've looked up the info on the upcoming replacement its very cost effective and well thought out.

Re:Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (3, Insightful)

diagonalfish (724371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852154)

The shuttles were a great idea, when they were made. Nowadays they're gigantic, dangerous, unwieldy things with ancient technology. We need to stop wasting money trying to fix them and just abandon the whole thing, working on this replacement instead.

Or come up with some other neat, small, and cheaper things like Stardust. Now that was cool.

Re:Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (4, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852189)

Actually no, a good bit of the shuttle design went to the airforce requirement that it be able to pluck soviet satallies out of orbit then do a quick landing onto a runway strip. This requirement was never actually used (atleat according to all records public today) and ended up costing us unimagined amounts of money in the long run. Most accounts state that the shuttle would have had a completly different design otherwise.

Re:Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (3, Interesting)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852538)

They probably never used that feature when they realized the Soviets like to booby trap their satellites with explosives.

Re:Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852184)

If you've looked up the info on the upcoming replacement its very cost effective and well thought out.

That's interesting, because NASA hasn't selected the replacement yet. Lockheed's lifting body and Boeing's "apollo on steroids" are vying for the title. Of course, you would know this if you've looked up the info.

Re:Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852198)

Yes, but NASA did most of the specifications, from what I understand little is being left up to Boeing or Lockheed except small specifics.

Re:Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852613)

No, Air Force/CIA came along with their own set of requirements too, which caused some redesigns, compromises in other areas, etc.

Re:Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (1)

georgewilliamherbert (211790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852336)

Actually, the lifting body and Boeing's original proposed design are both off the table; the NASA internal concept Apollo on Steroids version is being designed by both vendors to the same general specification of size, weight, etc.

Re:Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852217)

all these amazing space exploration projects just give us hints at the good info. they never really reveal the outstanding stuff.

I'd love to know what you consider the "outstanding stuff" to be. The answer to life, the universe, and everything, maybe? Aliens with pointy ears? Most astronomers, astrophysicists, cosmologists, and planetary scientists would tell you that the progress that's been made just in the last decade has been nothing short of stunning.

Re:Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (1)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852171)

Yes, we will go to the moon. Bush wants to get to all that green cheese [uncoveror.com] before the Chinese do. As for the asteroid missions, they would just end the way CONTOUR [uncoveror.com] did.

By the way, I think peyeote is generally drunk like a tea, not smoked.

Re:Relax, We're still going to the moon, right? (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852228)

Bush wants to get to all that green cheese before the Chinese do.

Heh... And you can bet that if he announced such a program, the mainstream press would be talking about the "controversy" over the composition of the moon, as if it were a legitimate debate.

You have to pay for the Iraq war (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852073)


and that increased funding for the Military (killing) machine
this regime is currently spending 5 billion a month on just Iraq, that has to be paid for somewhere and there is no way that anybody is cutting the half a trillion dollars from the pentagons budget

i thought it was pretty obvious by now, killing people or developing new ways to to do it is more important than anything else, judge a nation and its people by what they do

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (3, Insightful)

dsheeks (65644) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852085)

How much of the US GDP goes to health care vs. the military? Eliminate cigarettes and alcohol and you end up with a heck of a lot of money not being spent that could be used for any number of better things.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (0)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852120)

I think the government should not have to pay medical expenses for alcohol or cigarrete related medical issues, because they are 100% preventalbe and it is common knowledge, if not common sense that they are not good for you. To put it another way, I don't want taxpayer money (read: my money and your money) should be spent to help those who are in the hole because of a dumb choice that they made. When I rule the world that's one thing I'm going to change. For victims of secondhand smoke, they still get support because it wasn't their fault.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (3, Insightful)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852243)

Absolutely. And you can throw in people who eat unhealthy diets, people who don't get enough exercise, and people who engage in accident-prone recreational activities, as well...

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (2, Insightful)

p2sam (139950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852343)

That, or eliminate taxes on tobacco and alcohol. Pick one.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852534)

You realize most State Governments are practically addicted to cigarette and alcohol tax dollars?

State (and Federal) budgets would fall apart without the massive sin taxes on certain products.

I think the government should... (0, Troll)

MacDork (560499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852608)

I think the government should not have to pay medical expenses for alcohol or cigarrete[SIC] related medical issues, because they are 100% preventalbe[SIC] and it is common knowledge, if not common sense that they are not good for you.

I think the government should not have to pay medical expenses for obesity related issues, because they are 100% preventable and it is common knowledge, if not common sense, that weighing more than livestock is bad for you. On a related note, I think downhill skiers should not receive medical attention when they break bones, because it's 100% preventable and it is common knowledge that downhill skiing commonly leads to fractures. I also would like to add that I don't think dog owners should receive treatment for having their faces chewed off, because they were just asking for it by owning a dog. However, other people who are attacked by the mangy mutts should still receive treatment, because it was not their fault that someone else's dog chewed their scalp off.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (4, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852137)

Eliminate cigarettes and alcohol and you end up with a heck of a lot of money not being spent that could be used for any number of better things.

Such as law enforcement?

Get this very clear: ANYTIME you ban a substance or object you will ALWAYS create a blackmarket for said substance or object. Why do you think kids are killing each other on the streets today? Video games? No, it's drugs... a blackmarket that is ripe for the kind of thugs who can play the game... Do you recall prohibition at all?

Currently smokes and alcohol are a windfall for the US government considering the level of taxation as well.

But whatever, ban them, let's go back to bath tub gin (which probably caused more health problems in speak easies than what factory made alcohol causes in today's society.)

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (1)

mrpeebles (853978) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852519)

The money would also go into propping up organized crime. The original prohibition gave us the Mafia. The ban on marijuana/cocain/heroin has given us the South American based organized crime groups. Etc.

I'm not sure the GP was suggesting we ban alcohol and cigarettes, but its always funny to me that in the US that we can't have, eg, higher taxes to help the poor get medical bills, because people who earn their money should get to keep it, and its not the government's job to take care of every person anyway- a person has to take personal responsibility. However, as soon as those lightly taxed people want to spend their money on something that offends the US's historical puritan sensibilities, like marijuana or alcohol, then their money isn't theirs to spend on what they want to anymore, and the government must come to their rescue, either with a ban or with heavy taxes, to keep people from harming themselves with something that may be (if used too much), in the very long run, bad for their health.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (1)

qeveren (318805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852212)

Eliminate cigarettes and alcohol and you end up with a heck of a lot of tax revenue not being gained that could be used for any number of better things.

There, I fixed that for you.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852265)

Eliminating cigarettes and alcohol would just cause more people to live longer lives. They would spend more time retired, receiving government payouts but not working and paying taxes. Then they'd eventually die of something, and in the process they would most likely require medical treatments just as costly as the alcohol or tobacco-related ailments would have.

Bottom line: killing people off near retirement age like alcohol and tobacco tend to do most likely saves money in the GDP.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852309)

"They would spend more time retired, receiving government payouts but not working and paying taxes. "

This is already changing. Part of living longer because you don't smoke means you live healthier longer too, and so can work longer. Many people choose not to retire at age 65 then die 5 years later mostly from inactivity and boredom from not working. Improved medical care might also extend the working and healthy years for individuals.

I'm strongly in favour of restricting access to alcohol and more importantly cigarettes. The age requirements for alcohol is already sufficient to indicate to most people that it's not to be taken lightly, but the message hasn't gotten through to smokers yet it seems, so we should put more emphasis on enforcing the age restrictions that exist, and get rid of public smoking in a lot more jurisdictions.

It really is true that money spent on cigarettes alone could see dozens of space initiatives realized. When you look at money spent as work, which money really is [supposed to be] - an indicator of work. It's a crying shame that we work billions of dollars into poisoning ourselves over finding new ways to venture into space.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852350)

Part of living longer because you don't smoke means you live healthier longer too, and so can work longer.

I don't believe that you come out ahead. I know a couple of older people who have already had multiple joint replacements, each one of which cost tens of thousands of dollars. The longer you live, the more things you need to get patched up. In many cases, the costs of this extra care will exceed any reasonable salary that will be earned by continuing to work.

You'll eliminate cig & alcohol tax in the proc (3, Insightful)

MacDork (560499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852568)

How much of the US GDP goes to health care vs. the military?

You've got Google, use it. According to the budget explorer [kowaldesign.com] roughly 644 billion for health and human services and 475 billion for the DOD. And NASA? 15 billion. The Executive office of the President gets about 25 billion BTW.

Eliminate cigarettes and alcohol and you end up with a heck of a lot of money not being spent that could be used for any number of better things.

Well isn't that just a load of off topic flamebait. Yet here at Slashdot, that's what mods call Insightful!

Well, allow me to retort with a few "insightful" comments of my own. I smoke and drink and I say, go right ahead slick... You also eliminate cigarette and alcohol taxes. Oops! Forgot about that, didn't ya sport? So, your "money saved" is already being spent. Here's a better idea... Why don't we institute a fat ass tax on fast food and junk food. Then we can go for a diabeties tax on colas with caffeine... You know, those deadly addictive products with no warning labels. Then we can have All Kinds Of Extra Money to spend on things like space travel and research! ... No? Don't like the idea of taxing your twinkies? Well damn! I could've sworn heart disease was the number one killer in America. Pot, meet kettle.

Alright. Go ahead, mod me down you guys. [davehitt.com] I know you want to.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852099)

Bollocks. If your words held shred #1 of truth, you yourself would be tracked down and liquidated.

The chemicals are killing you.

Get some fresh air, cut back on the "progressive" blogs and movies about men behaving unspeakably.

After you navigate the withdrawal symptoms, life will improve.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (4, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852129)

Believe it or not that 5 billion is not being spent on killing people. Rebuilding and effectivly running a country is expensive. Look at it this way the current national budget is 2 trillion I believe, thats 40 billion per state. Iraq has a population of 26 million (for comparison texas has a population of 20 million, california has 33 million). So that 5 billion a month = 60 a year. Yes a bit more expensive than the average state, but you have to subtract the prewar level of spending on those troops. We really should be collecting income tax from these people.... :)

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (1)

slashdotmsiriv (922939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852160)

"We really should be collecting income tax from these people.... :)" So that we add injury to insult sort of speak?

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852169)

IF THEY HAD THE MONEY

send it this way, since they dont tho, for the SAKE OF HUMANITY, help a brother out.....if my tax dollars are going to rebuild a country, i think its well spent, but i do have a question i want anwsered.....what happened to afghanistan? we should be helping them too, and also bursh is an idiot im not a pro war pro bush hachet waving psycho im actually quite lassiez faire, im just more for the fact that we should be helping humanity not destroying what we have then paying billions more to eventually do the same to mars, take a cue from independence day, were not much different from the aliens"there like locusts, going from place to place using up every natural resource before moving on", what did i see a few months ago about the oil wells drying up? or is the $30 a gallon not getting to peoples heads..?

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852220)

And what would be the cost of rebuilding space if Americans get to fuck that up too?

"Believe it or not that 5 billion is not being spent on killing people. Rebuilding and effectivly running a country is expensive."

That is just sick. Do you even understand why or is it a deliberate troll? Think about it.

1) No need to rebuild countries if you don't bomb them into rubble to start with.
2) America has failed to 'run' anything for a very long time, let alone effectively.

Therefore I will choose the NOT option from belief choices, and pray a more civilised nation beats you into space.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (1)

Siffy (929793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852379)

pray a more civilised nation beats you into space.

And who is that more civilized nation? You, sir or madam, are the troll.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852399)

Look at it this way the current national budget is 2 trillion I believe, thats 40 billion per state.

Except
  • Government expenditures should be measured in terms of GDP---so the correct numbers are not in absolute dollars, but fraction of prewar Iraqi GDP, which IIRC is quite a bit lower than US GDP (per capita);
  • Most of that $5 billion is being spent on "security," whereas a huge chunk of the $2 trillion of the US federal budget is spent on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, so you're making an apples to oranges comparison.

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (1, Insightful)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852428)

Interesting. At 5 billion dollars, and 26 million people, that seems to be $192.30 per Iraqi per month. As I understand it, the average person could live quite lavishly in Iraq on that kind of stipend. I'd actually rather we paid the Iraqis to live lavishly, instead of overpaying Halliburton to make American soldiers be truck drivers and security guards. Any way I can get a refund?

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (1)

man2525 (600111) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852459)

Every year, my first month of work goes to running men, women, and children through a meat grinder. Sweet. Now, if I only owned Haliburton stock, I could fill my swimming pool with champagne...or shoot p(h)easants while drunk.

Govt's Priority Is Defense, Not Space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852138)

The Federal Government of the United States of America has one main job: protecting the American people from threats,both foreign and domestic. Space research is all well and good, but in the post 9/11 world, spending on security and military operations must obviously be funded.

If you feel NASA shouldn't have to cancel missions, maybe you could start up a fund and send it to them. I would rather have my tax dollars spent on killing Islamo-terrorists and protecting America, and sending space probes.

Re:Govt's Priority Is Defense, Not Space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852302)

9.0 / 9.5 / 9.0 / 9.0

Well done, sir! Two weeks too late for the troll trials of Torino, but... still, well done!

Re:You have to pay for the Iraq war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852141)

Exploring the Universe is good in many platonic ways. But the military is making the world a better world right here right now.

I agree that space exploration is always used by presidents to give a false pretense of vision when it's really a "soft" project.

To all the naysayers. (4, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852080)

I constantly hear people saying one or both of two things.
1. NASA shouldn't be shooting for the Moon and Mars because it takes away from the smaller missions.
2. NASA should take a lesson from the private industry on how to get to space cheap.

But isn't this exactly what government is great at. Shouldering HUGE projects that no private industry in its right mind would spend money on... Ultimatly to progress science or humanity in general. No private industry is going to beat NASA to Mars. So let them have the small missions, hell once they really get their feet under them we can even contract out the smaller missions to them. But the really big stuff like getting people to Mars is only going to get done my NASA. And sure maybe we could hold back and wait for technology to progress a bit more, but we would still be stuck in Europe if that was the case.

Re:To all the naysayers. (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852090)

(Or Africa or Asia, sorry Native Americans, you'd still be here, and probably in greater numbers..)

Re:To all the naysayers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852136)

Native Americans would still be living their lives against Biblical principles, not sending a single soul to heaven. A worthless "civilization".

Re:To all the naysayers. (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852384)

Native Americans would still be living their lives against Biblical principles, not sending a single soul to heaven. A worthless "civilization".

Reverend Falwell? Is that you?

Shut yo mouth!!! (-1, Troll)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852113)

You mean the Government should take risks in the name of progress, when private industry won't?

Are you crazy?

Close your eyes and repeat this mantra after me... "What would Wall Street doooo? What would Wall Street doooo?"

Technology should move at the speed of profitability, not humanity's best interest.

Re:Shut yo mouth!!! (5, Insightful)

mfago (514801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852201)

Technology should move at the speed of profitability, not humanity's best interest.

And this is exactly why there are no more antibiotics on the horizon -- much more profit in Viagra.

Sorry, government should (IMHO) take charge in those areas where something is in humanity's best interest, but is not yet profitable. Once things are profitable, the gov't can get out of the way. Private industry is too focused on short-term profit to care much about anything else.

Re:Shut yo mouth!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Dmack_901 (923883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852422)

Technology should move at the speed of profitability, not humanity's best interest.

Reply: And this is exactly why there are no more antibiotics on the horizon -- much more profit in Viagra.


I admit I'm a capitalist, but; Profitable ventures are by definition in humanity's best interest. People pay for things that help them, and don't pay for things that harm them.

We buy oil because that is the resourcefull option. It's Darwinism, and it works. Government spends money on unprofitable space ventures to secure it's dominance over the competition, which in the end is a profit. It sounds terrible, but I am yet to hear one good reason to make antibiotics for people who can't pay. Viagra provides leisure for hardworking citizens thus increasing their production capacity. Keeping the poor, homeless, nicheless, leaches of Africa alive provides what? More babies? No. Order of operations buddy.

1. Arm Citizens(provides self-reliance & protects against mistreatment of workers)
2. Establish Capitalist Democracy(provides venue)
3. Industrialize(provides capital)
4. Sell Antibiotics

What you reccomend:
1. Give Free Antibiotics
2. Watch Them Mate

If you can't keep yourself alive, you deserve to die. It's that simple.

Re:Shut yo mouth!!! (4, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852588)

Profitable ventures are by definition in humanity's best interest.

No, they are not. "By definition", they bring in more money than they cost. That does not mean they are in "humanity's best interest".

Proof: murder, robbery, and war, are all profitable, and are very much *not* in humanity's best interest.

It sounds terrible, but I am yet to hear one good reason to make antibiotics for people who can't pay.

Because sometimes it's *you* who can't pay. Ever been broke? Should you deserve to die because you got sneezed on by some unclean jerk during the short period where you didn't have enough money for medication?

If you can't keep yourself alive, you deserve to die. It's that simple.

That's nonsense. By your morals, it would be absolutely moral for someone to kill you, since it would show you are unable to "keep yourself alive", and thus "deserve to die".

What? It's OK for the government to help keep you alive with police, fire, and military? Hypocrite.

Your ideal world is the "law of the jungle". It's in the top of your list, "1. Arm Citizens". What do you think happens when a beloved family member of one of those "armed citizens" becomes deathly ill and needs medicine they can't pay for? Do you think they'll just politely die, as you think is their darwinian duty? Don't count on it.

Darwinism would suggest they take those arms and acquire what they need (or want) by force. Who are you to stop them? It's darwinism, after all.

You've got Darwin all wrong. It's not just the survival of the one with the biggest gun and the most money. It's also strength in numbers. You focus on some lazy, drug-addled, morally inept, socially obscene bum who gets free health care and cry "foul". Just like with freedom of speech, it's not there to help the undesirable elements of society, it's there to help us all. To do so, to do it right, yes, you have to protect the undesirables. But free medical care helps you, too, even if you can fully afford it on your own. Fewer people coming in to the office sick, fewer children getting sick at your school. You lessen unemployment, you lessen stress, you allow people the freedom to spend money on what they want, rather than on what they are forced to, which leads to a stronger economy and a healthier, more robust society.

It makes completely rational sense to provide the public with free access to government services, and it even makes "darwinian" sense, if you must.

Re:Shut yo mouth!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852434)

Work for a pharma, and then make comments about the industry, pencil neck.

Re:Shut yo mouth!!! (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852449)

>And this is exactly why there are no more antibiotics on the horizon -- much more profit in Viagra.

Look how popular Tamiflu is due to the threat of avian flu. Private individuals and governments are stockpiling it in large quantities. I believe the company can't make it fast enough to meet the demand right now, and it hasn't even hit. I'm quite sure that alot of companies would love to be in the same shoes and therefore there is a business/profit need for new antibiotics.

"How much do you value an erection" justifies Vigara. "How much do you value you and your family's life" justifies new and stronger antibiotics. Profit in both of these things.

Re:Shut yo mouth!!! (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852501)

The difference, as has been noted in other threads at other times, is that unlike many other medications, antibiotics are notorious for their short usage profile, because they are almost always used to treat acute conditions. The real money in the pharma industry is made two places: treatment of chronic conditions (the pop one-a-day for the rest of your life sort of pills) and physical 'enhancement' (read: Viagra) that nobody really needs but still really want and wealthy people can afford. Antibiotics suck from a business point of view because it's at most pop 20 pills and you are done.

Hence, antibiotic research lags behind many other areas. Why sell ten pills when you can sell one hundred?

Re:Shut yo mouth!!! (2, Insightful)

mofomojo (810520) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852245)

Government FOR THE PEOPLE, by the people.

Not, government FOR THE PROFIT, by the people. You have a corruption of American values, good sir.

Re:Shut yo mouth!!! (2, Insightful)

Siffy (929793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852405)

But at least he/she understands capitalism. Where money is more important than even human life.

Re:To all the naysayers. (3, Insightful)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852126)

The one reason that government's can sometimes do things better or first is because they don't have to make a profit. Onced something is profitablt the private industries generally do something better, and one day NASA might just be a small research group that only concerns itself with the bleeding edge, unlike today when everything in space can be seen as bleeding edge.

Government projects (2, Insightful)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852221)

The one reason that government's can sometimes do things better or first is because they don't have to make a profit

The government doesn't have to make a profit; somebody else does. Doing things "first" comes at the expense of the entire country, and "better" is always debatable.

Re:To all the naysayers. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852210)

No, government isn't good for large missions either. Government is only good for war, taxes, and tyranny (and sometimes all at once).

Then again, a government would get behind a big project that the market would never bear and is worthless. The government is so much better at knowing what people need. So ya, if you want to force a huge worthless project upon the people, but then see the three strengths of government above...

Re:To all the naysayers. (1)

Laser Lou (230648) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852272)

And sure maybe we could hold back and wait for technology to progress a bit more, but we would still be stuck in Europe if that was the case.

I guess I'd be stuck in Africa, which may not be too bad for me, but a whole lot better for my great great great great great grandparents.

Re:To all the naysayers. (0, Flamebait)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852275)

But isn't this exactly what government is great at.
There are many things government is great at. Government is great at putting people to the sword because they have the wrong religion. Government is great at sending people to Siberia because they speak out against the government. Government is great at building the pyramids.

Shouldering HUGE projects that no private industry in its right mind would spend money on.
I like that part about "in its right mind." In general, government tends to be an irrational process.

Ultimatly to progress science or humanity in general.
Yes, think where we'd be if Socrates hadn't been supported by a government grant. Think where we'd be if Einstein had had to invent the theory of special relativity while working at some boring job as a patent clerk or something. Think where we'd be if the Margrave of Brandenburg had rejected Bach's request for a job [wikipedia.org], and Bach had had to go on as a church organist. Think of where we'd be if people like Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway had had to make a living in the grubby world of commercial publishing, instead of being comfortably ensconced at state-supported universities.

but we would still be stuck in Europe if that was the case.
Yes, think how horrible it would have been if human beings had never been able to reach North America without support from Queen Isabella. Oops, I mean think how horrible it would have been if Columbus hadn't been able to reach the Caribbean and massacre entire populations of people who had already gotten to North America. Oops, I mean think how horrible it would have been if Vikings and (probably) fishermen hadn't discovered North America long before Columbus. Wait, now I'm confused. Oops, I mean think how horrible it would have been if wonderful U.S. Government institutions like the U.S. Army hadn't been able to capitalize on the discovery of North America in order to help the Indians [wikipedia.org].

But the really big stuff like getting people to Mars is only going to get done my NASA.
One of the most exciting scientific things that could be done about Mars would be an uncrewed sample return mission to establish whether microbial life exists there now. Unfortunately, it's not going to happen if we keep on spending all NASA's money on the shuttle (whose only purpose is to go to the ISS) and the ISS (whose only purpose is to give the shuttle somewhere to go).

Unfortunately, we're probably a century away from being able to send humans to Mars. The most recent Scientific American has a good article about the radiation hazards, and the fact that we currently don't have any way of dealing with them using forseeable technology. Fundamentally, crewed spaceflight is a technology that currently just isn't a practical way to get scientific research done.

Explain the "progress" part again? (1)

Myrmidon (649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852526)

But isn't this exactly what government is great at. Shouldering HUGE projects that no private industry in its right mind would spend money on... Ultimatly to progress science or humanity in general.
Your argument appears to be hinged on the notion that revisiting the Moon represents "progress". It looks more like "regress" to me: boldly re-solving a technological problem that was solved in 1969 and was already considered boring by the time I was two years old.

Of course, Mars is a lot farther away. If we adopt the principle that distance equals progress, going to Mars would yield approximately 675 times as much progress [wikipedia.org] as a visit to the Moon. But I have a counter-proposal. I realize that humanity has already made a round-the-world trip in a balloon [bbc.co.uk]. Now I think we should reorganize NASA around the next great challenge: flying a balloon around the world 675 times. It's never been done before. Imagine all the empty air that humanity could see, over and over again, during the three-year mission! And unlike the Mars mission, which will -- barring dramatic accidents -- yield nothing but some digital video of astronauts wandering around on a really big, airless, dusty, red field, at the end of the balloon trip the aeronauts can land in Paris! The bread will taste much better! The air will be much more breatheable!

Now, I constantly hear people saying one or both of two things:

  1. NASA shouldn't be shooting for 675 consecutive flights around the world because it's a complete f*cking waste of time.
  2. NASA should take a lesson from private industry on how to get to Paris cheap.

But, after all, if humanity had held back and waited for technology to progress, we would still be stuck in Europe, and we wouldn't even need to fly to Paris, because we would be stuck there. Oh, hell, I've lost my train of thought. Can't you just take it on faith that I'm a genius and give me the money?

Space Exploration (4, Interesting)

Wayne_Knight (958917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852119)

Merely sending people up in to space isn't exploration. We've sent probes to many of the planets (Mars in paticular), and there are plans to a new space observatory. Considering the costs associated with space, I think the U.S. is doing just fine. Hell, I like to wonder, where is everyone else?

Oh, and for you anti-NASA freaks, I'd like to provide you with a link to a history of NASA's budget [wikipedia.org]. It calculates to about $3 per taxpayer per year. Compare that to the military budget, which is about 500 times higher.

Re:Space Exploration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852205)

That's just plain sad. Even if the average American is not that interested in space exploration, I'm sure they'd still want a higher percentage of their taxes to go to NASA in relation to defense spending than that. I wonder what the ratio was during the Cold War? We really need to be devoting more money to space - exploring the stars is the future of humanity; the only question is when, not if.

Re:Space Exploration (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852252)

No, the question is if. As in, "we can go to the stars, if we remain a high-technology civilization long enough to do it." I'm not convinced that we're going to be able to do that. We're making a lot of fundamental mistakes right now, mistakes with very long-term consequences.

Re:Space Exploration (0, Offtopic)

Siffy (929793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852420)

Fundamental mistakes? Like? Oh like possibly letting Iran develop nuclear weapons that they might use on Israel and then we'd use on them, then Russia on us and so forth. Yeah, that technology stuff is great. Or were you thinking of something else?

Re:Space Exploration (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852589)

Yes, I was thinking of something else.

However, to answer your question: Iran is a sovereign nation and while some people would like us to simply "put a stop" to their plans, at least as many people would be very upset with us if we did. Iran claims their nuclear technology is for peaceful use. Iraq claimed it had no weapons of mass destruction ... we didn't believe that and invaded anyway and now everyone hates us for it. So what's a mother to do? If we exercise our economic and military might to deal with "rogue" nations we get accused of being imperialists and warmongers, and if we don't we're accused of being a. complicit or b. irresponsible and uncaring. Odd that no-one else seems to want to role of global cop ... certainly the U.N. hasn't been very effective in limiting the proliferation of atomic weapons. Either way, blame for all the world's ills keeps getting laid at our feet. Should we occupy Iran? North Korea? Are we responsible for every goddamn dictator and/or religious fanatic that comes to power, anywhere, anytime? Get real. It's too bad nobody remembers all the bad things that Russia and China (to name just two) have done in the past half century, or for that matter all the good things the U.S. has accomplished in spite of our economic "imperialism". Isn't selective memory a wonderful thing?

However. I wasn't referring to America's utility as a superpower and global cop. What I am talking about are things such as the damage done to our educational system, the patent and copyright systems, and other issues whose immediate impact doesn't appear too serious but will undoubtedly have negative consequences for decades to come. Technic civilization is one of humanity's more fragile inventions, and it really won't take much to break it. I hope that doesn't happen: I would really like us to become a starfaring race, or at least become capable of effectively exploiting the Solar System's resources. None of that will happen if we send ourselves back to the Stone Age, or simply become incapable of major technological advancement.

Re:Space Exploration (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852270)

Merely sending people up in to space isn't exploration.

True, but there are a lot more people into science fiction than there are that actually understand the science, and those are the ones you have to entertain these days...

Re:Space Exploration (-1, Troll)

TomSawyer (100674) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852286)

Compare that to the military budget, which is about 500 times higher.

I'm not anti-NASA though the jury is still out on being a freak. Lets compare charges for space exploration vs. defense as found in the constitution that grants powers to the federal government. Funny enough, defense wins by the very scientific number of 500.

Plain Text of US Constitution [usconstitution.net]

Re:Space Exploration (3, Insightful)

John Miles (108215) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852404)

Lets compare charges for space exploration vs. defense as found in the constitution that grants powers to the federal government.

That argument is simply insane. You are talking about the same Federal Government that funded the Louisiana Purchase. The US government was spending large portions of its budget exploring and acquiring new territories before most of the current Armed Forces branches even existed.

Somebody needs to go through a bunch of these "B..b..but the Constitution says nothing about space exploration" posts with the -1,Troll stick. I don't know where this thinking is coming from, but it has no historical basis.

Re:Space Exploration (2, Interesting)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852317)

It calculates to about $3 per taxpayer per year.

That chart shows the current budget at $16B. Assuming that there are around ~250 million actual taxpayers in this country, that comes out to $64 per taxpayer per year.

In other news... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852124)

Linux is STILL for fags.

Re:In other news... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852145)

Linux is STILL for fags.

So, um, what's your favorite distro?

Climate of budget tightening (4, Informative)

amightywind (691887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852127)

This is a difficult situation because the mission has a lot of merit. But it was over budget and had technical problems [spaceflightnow.com]. Something had to go in a climate of budget tightening. Most people on this forum will rail at this decision. They should blame the aimlessness of NASA's manned space program since Apollo, and credit NASA administrator Michael Griffin for doing something about it.

A Clear Vision (3, Insightful)

Dr. Sorenson (947697) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852167)

It would be nice if there were a clear vision with set objectives for the space program. It would be nice to have some set time tables for a lunar colony or a mission to Mars. Right now there doesn't seem to be a plan for NASA other than satellite maintainence and some miscellaneous probes/rovers.

This is what I can say... (0, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852181)

...well, that we are beginning to see the fruits of [president] Bush's mismanagement. Remember that he changed a budget surplus of almost US$ 480 billion into the greatest deficit America has ever faced.

I guess our economy is beginning to look like that of a third world country! I'd like a slashdotter to tell me what this president has done right for our country. Just one thing.

Re:This is what I can say... (-1, Flamebait)

ademaskoo (727406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852219)

Nobody besides me seems willing to answer. . .

Bush has done lots of good things. He has made the rich richer. He has endorced the oursourcing of our jobs. American globalization has uplifted cultures around the world and remade them in our image. So what if those dead cultures become a jihad. That's what our military is for. And forget North Korea or Iran, Iraq was the real enemy.

Colbert Report (5, Interesting)

wass (72082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852241)

You ever watch the Colbert Report? It's a hysterical political 'commentary' show following the Daily Show on Comedy Central, featuring Stephen Colbert basically pretending to be a Bill O'Reilly-esque self-centered "America'loving, liberal hating" host, while being obviously sarcastic, snarky, and pretty funny.

Anyway, he had Peggy Noonan on his show a few weeks ago, who was a speechwriter for Bush and Reagan, amonst other republicans. She was mentioning how during Bush's 2004 campaign she took a leave from her job at Wall St. Journal to work for Bush's re-election. Colbert immediately responds with "Which of Bush's many achievements made that worthwhile?" And she couldn't say anything but just smirk. She didn't even attempt any talking point of one thing Bush did, it was pretty awesome seeing her pretty uncomfortable she was in even trying to list something positive Bush achieved.

Re:This is what I can say... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852244)

you are a sad mofo.

Re:This is what I can say... (1)

waferhead (557795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852256)

He didn't turn Tehran, Kabul, and Bagdaha into smoking craters on Sept 12, 2001.

I give him props for that, probably better than I would have done.

Since then however.... I got nothin.

Re:This is what I can say... (0, Offtopic)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852285)

Remember that he changed a budget surplus of almost US$ 480 billion into the greatest deficit America has ever faced.

And it's even worse than that, because he's doing the whole Iraq war thing off-budget. I.e., it would be a lot larger except for the accounting tricks (learned from his buddies at Enron, no doubt).

Re:This is what I can say... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852331)

Well, we all do realize that the surplus was a projected surplus. And that the US was entering a terrible recession in 2000. You know, that whole internet bubble thing that the surplus was based upon... And then, well dang, someone flew planes into two really, really important buildings. As a result, the United States had to take out the government supporting those people in Afghanistan. I won't bother going into the Iraq issue. I'm sure your mind is made up. Funny though, France just sideways threatened Iran with nukes. The Danes are having a hell of a problem. Funny, how the US managed to have a beach head in the area just in time to do something about the problems... Of course, all of that cost the treasury of the United States large sums.

Here's where the story goes bad. Bush signed a fucking senior medicare entitlement bill. That was a huge mistake. Never try to be 'bipartisian' and give the democrats some entitlement they're bitching for. If you do you'll have a trillion dollar outlay for the next 10 years. Then he spent more than Tim Folley would have ever dreamt. (uh oh, dating myself here...) So ya, he f'd that up bad.

One thing that he did that was right? An across the board tax cut that has resulting in a trippling of tax revenues to the federal government. Ya, that damn tax cut for the damn rich who pay most of the taxes anyway actually resulted in more revenues and a revived economy. But damn it, it didn't refund money to someone who doesn't pay tax.

Another thing that he did right? The appointment of Bolton to the UN. Thank god someone will finally force that corrupt entity to right itself and stop raping children in the Congo. Of course, Bush wants to stop children raping, so I am sure as day that you will come out in favor of raping children. (especially if sanctioned by the UN)

Another thing he did right? Supposedly (the jury is still out, mind the pun) appointing those who will not legislate from the bench. I like to elect my representitives. I trust the people to vote so much I welcome what I would consider them making mistakes. I never want some judge to make up laws for me or draw from the laws of other countries while judging US law. A judge must never tell the electorate that it knows better. Bush better have appointed what he claims otherwise he looses this as something that he did right.

Another thing that he did right? Defeat John Kerry. A man who could never ever think beyond his own self interests. I wouldn't even call him a man. Go read his book unless his lawyers were finally successful in getting it off the web. They tried like hell before the election. I hope he sleeps well knowing that his trumpt up testimony was played to our POWs.

If you think the United States economy looks like that of the third world, I invite you to leave the coma of your comfort and visit a third world country. Hell, visit a second world country. You do realize that you can combine the next three largest economies and then, and only then, do they equal that of the United States.

Re:This is what I can say... (3, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852368)

> If you think the United States economy looks like that of the third world, I invite you to leave the coma of your comfort and visit a third world country.

Let me tell you something:

When all the money being spent or a substantial amount of money to be spent MUST be borrowed from foreign governments/institutions, that looks like the third world. It has nothing to do with size at all. And that is the USA.

China, Russia, Japan and the EU now help us with our balance of payments. That's a [sad] fact. It was even speculated that China could punish us just by being stubborn by refusing to cooperate. This is exactly what the USA used to do to the 3rd world countries that it used to support financially. This time, the countries I mention above could do the same to us.

Now that sounds like the 3rd world. Do not let the skyscrappers and highways fool you. This country is sinking in debt and mismanagement. The bad thing is that it will get worse before it gets any better.

Re:This is what I can say... (0, Offtopic)

Siffy (929793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852443)

You're a dipshit. Don't blame Bush for the budget that both houses of Congress created and approved. Blame those 535 morons first. Write your congresscritters a simple note saying "No pork next year please."

Re:This is what I can say... (1)

mdfst13 (664665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852445)

"Remember that he changed a budget surplus of almost US$ 480 billion into the greatest deficit America has ever faced."

I suspect that the collapse of the stock bubble had as much of an effect on that as has Bush. Further, there was never any $480 billion surplus. When Clinton left office, there was a surplus of $86.4 billion which they characterized as a surplus of $236.2 billion (by counting the social security surplus, etc. with general receipts).

Source: p. 317 of http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2007/pdf/hi st.pdf [whitehouse.gov]

However, 1999 and 2000 were the only years that the government ran an actual surplus. Not coincidentally, those were also the two years when Enron, et.al. were reporting non-existent profits (and presumably paying taxes on them) instead of what turned out to be large losses.

This is not to say that Bush has been a great economic president. He hasn't. He's managed to change things to the point that the rich (like himself and the Kerrys) actually pay a lower tax rate than the average (I'm still waiting for a democrat to notice this and run on a flat tax platform as a soak the rich program). Further, he eliminated the inheritance tax which had previously served to reduce the cross generational persistence of wealth. Finally, he has expanded spending in all areas (although he is now backing off on this a bit).

JPL (4, Interesting)

jacks smirking reven (909048) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852277)

Anyone else agree that if any section of NASA should be getting more money it's the JPL. Much of the increased interest in space and the last few really excellent displays of space technology (Rovers, Cassini, Deep Space 1) while the shuttle division languished in time. JIMO [wikipedia.org], one of the most fascnating and ambitious missions has had its budget sliced as well. I say we go with the most science for the buck and unmanned is the best way to get that outside of our own orbit at this point.

Re:JPL (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852346)

I worked at JPL this summer and you're absolutly right.

JPL is special in that it is run by the California Institute of Technology for NASA. JPL employees are employees of Cal-Tech, not the federal government.

JPL is much more focused and efficient then any other NASA center, and it shows. It's also the only place in the US where a space mission can go from concept, to detailed design, to fabrication, launch from KSC, and then operations are at JPL as well. End-to-end inside the JPL fenceline.

Marketing Strategy (-1, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852288)

How come I'm not reading that they're cutting Star Wars [google.com] "missile defense shield" budgets? Maybe it's because Bush is busy ensuring India, Pakistan, Iran, N. Korea and everyone else has all the nukes they want.

Progress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852324)

I fully expect India, Pakistan, Iran, _and_ N. Korea to beat the US back to the Moon and on to Mars. Some countries can plan for the future better than others.

FUCK BUSH (-1, Flamebait)

chemstar (457943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852316)

Fuck you Kansas, Alabama, and Mississippi. Hating does no good, but I don't care. Fuck you and your anti-intellectual Dark Ages bullshit.

Well you Slashdot liberals really are assholes. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852348)

Hmmm.

No matter what happens, regardless of the merits of the situation, it's always "fuck Bush" etc etc etc.

You're whiney jackholes. You're the same shitheads that wanted the fucking ISS. Well here you go. You got the fucking thing now what the fuck? It's a fucking useless piece of shit. You wanted to include many other countries to build up their space programs. Congrat-u-fucking-lations! That shit only increased the costs by a factor of 2x - 3x because these fuckers didn't know how to do the job properly so there were massive cost overruns. And who paid for it? The American taxpayers.

Your fucking ISS cost over $200 billion fucking dollars and the only thing it's accomplished is to make the Russians about $60 million dollars in tourist fees.

One day you're screaming how NASA should "get out of the way" and then you're screaming how NASA "should do this shit now!"

I'm fucking sick and tired of you ratbag liberals. You've never had a good idea in 50 fucking years and all you've done is turn America to shit. Now the conservatives are having to fix your fucking problems and your fucking mistakes.

Grow the fuck up.

What?? More important stuff? (2, Funny)

Siffy (929793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852344)

They're not going to the asteroids cause there's more important stuff to do? They need to go blow those things up. Good going NASA. We're all going to die now.

Terrestrial Planet Finder Missions (4, Interesting)

Bombula (670389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852358)

Like everyone else here, I understand the dichotomy between missions for scientific benefit and missions for inspiring mankind. Occassionally there is some crossover, but it is less common than we'd like. So when scientific missions like this asteroid one get cancelled in favor of inspiring missions like putting men on the Moon and Mars, it is easy to cry 'political agenda'. I'm not even sure htat's fair, but there it is.

But it's the missions that DO have good crossover that seem to me like they should be prioritized. And the best example I can think of are the missions to put up huge space telescopes to find a second Earth. Finding another Earth would be hugley inspiring, and as far as I understand it these scopes would be fantastic scientific instruments as well.

Am I the only one who was particularly sad to see these missions delayed?

time to do instead of look (2, Insightful)

pocopoco (624442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852359)

The science missions were rapidly becoming useless anyway. Search for life my ass, they should have been exploring how exploitable the mineral resources were.

It's time to dump the stupid navel gazing telescopes and put some money into actually doing things in space instead of just looking at them.

If you always just claim people are too expensive to send, you aren't going to develop very good engineering and technologies to send people. I'm glad we've broken out of this loop and will actually being doing something worthwhile in space again.

Re:time to do instead of look (1)

ed__ (23481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852541)

yeah, all those stupid eggheads have been distracting America from it's true priorities: Kicking Mars' Ass.

it's stuff like that that requires American men. you can't delegate ass-kicking to robots. unless they're awesome 50 foot tall robots with lasers shooting out their eyes.

so our path is clear: America needs to create an army of 50 foot tall robots to kick Mars' ass. there exists a robot height gap between the US and the Soviet Union that threatens our ability to kick Mars' ass.

also we need to explode more stuff like comets or planetoids, that would be pretty awesome too.

earth to civvies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14852388)

Newsflash! Contrary to popular rumors encouraged by government, NASA has always been a military "stealth" branch. It is, has been, and will always be, so might as well get over it.

    For glaring example,the entire size,design and configuration of the shuttle was dictated by military projects. The dotmill spooks got a veto and last call on how big and how much to carry. Too small would have been cheaper and easier, but not as *useful*, them classified birds are really big.

    Anything not related to a military mission-the potential, anyway-has alwas been at risk of being put on the back bench or tabled altogether. When we had the extra money,no problems, let the good academic times roll, lookit the shiny astronatus1 and etc; but this is 2006 now, time to "move on" to what is important to this government, which is complete total military dominance in space.

    Space is the high ground. We all read sci-fi and can do simple sums, so this is a gimme in understanding one would think here.

    We recognize this, the high level political and military leaders in china recognizes this, russia does, india does, etc, so the US general population should just admit this to themselves. Just stop thinking of all the public propoganda you've been fed for two generations now. Civilian uses are to keep the rabble *amused*. Other academic uses are for funzies and to let senators spread some pork around, that's it..

    With other war costs so high, and other domestic spending, and the deficits, haliburton executive assistant expenses, etc-all the other high ticket items needed..well...you are going to see interesting but non militarily useful projects quietly abandoned in the next few years.

40 more million? that's it? (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852615)

So instead of bitching about NASA draining on economy and tax money, what about donations? Can't NASA just ask for public funding through donations from multi-billion corporations? I'm sure 40 million can be used as tax write off for them. Hell, worst comes to worst, at least I don't think, I'd mind seeing "NASA - United State of America (sponsored by CocaCola, the real thing)" logo flashing next to solar panel when passing asteroid.

For some reason, people tend to get more excited about silly sci-fi movies than real life scientific explorations. "Firefly" and "Star Trek" comes to mind, creating cult and asking for donations to continue on a silly melodrama for entertainment.
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