Friday, October 9, 2009
Today. I watched the most boring live feed ever. NASA sent a rocket up to the moon with about 1.5 tons of TNT. The purpose, to blow a hole in the moon to look for water below the lunar surface that could be used by astronauts on future space missions. At 730 EST the LCROSS satellite crashed into the Cabeus crater floor near the moon's south pole at around twice the speed of a bullet, followed four minutes later by a shepherding spacecraft equipped with cameras to record the impact. A NASA scientist said "If we had it (water)there, we could actually make exploration be a bit more sustainable,". "We could make fuel on the moon."
All this is a bit like Buck Rodgers and things of science fiction. But then again Buck Rodgers budget wasn't $17.6 billion, that's right BILLION.
NASA was formed in in July 1958 by the Eisenhower administration. It was all the rage especially when Kennedy said we are going to the moon. NASA had a purpose, to explore and find life on another planet, to quell the curiosity about what's up there. So now, we just blew a hole in the moon to see if it can sustain life.
Sustain life... What about life on earth? How about putting some of the 17.6 billion dollars into sustaining life here on earth. That can be put to use now, not in some distance futuristic moon commune.
I just read that there have been 134 shuttle missions since the first one in 1977. The average cost of a space shuttle mission is about $450 million. That of course if they land in Florida on the way back. That cute piggy-back ride the shuttle takes from California back to Florida if weather is bad costs another million or so.
Now that NASA has 134 missions under their belt, what does this mean to us? Not a Thing.
I won't get into the astronauts that have died during these missions, or about them at all. This is about a total waste of money that could be better spent on sustaining life on earth. Making this a better planet.
Our budget to fight AIDS is only a third more than NASA's annual budget. Finding water on the moon doesn't seem important to the farmers who need water on earth to sustain their crops to feed their families.
Is NASA now just a total waste of time, energy money and lives?
Is it still a viable government project?
Isn't there better ways to spend our tax payer dollars?
With the economy, bail outs, the cost of this senseless war, don't you think our government might at least shave a few billion from NASA's budget and let's see, feed the homeless?
Oh wait, I forgot about all the government contracts that would be lost if NASA stopped punching holes in the moon. I bet those lobbyists would be pretty upset. Or how about Oceaneering Inc. of Houston, Texas, who was award a contract of almost $10 million to make the space suits for the next planned moon mission. Planned moon mission, translation, waste of more of our money.
Again, I have to repeat, WHY are we going to the moon?
NASA's Mission Statement
* To improve life here,
* To extend life to there,
* To find life beyond.
As far as i can see it, in the 50 years that NASA has been around you think they would have been successful with at least one of their items in their mission statement.