philip1201 wrote:Apologies for copying the formula.
Fair enough. I can't really get on you for ad hominem argumentation if I'm getting all defensive and condescending.
Although to be fair, I never suggested that you said we shouldn't.
1. There's no way we can influence the budget distribution set out by the US government. It is trivial that we who are assembled here wish to increase NASA's budget, given the nature of xkcd and those that read it.
2. The way the US budget is distributed isn't all that bad for people who like space. (as you successfully argued, it's worse than I thought, but most of NASA's "productive" projects are still on, and they are great too).
3. The US promising to go to Mars now at the cost of other NASA programs is not beneficial for space exploration in the long term. If I had the liberty to choose how to spend NASA's budget, it would have to be quite a lot bigger than now before I would consider a manned Mars mission in the '20s.
1: Of course you are correct. I have my own ideas in mind of what sort of difference I am and am not capable of making, but that's not really the point of this thread.
2: I suppose this is really dependent on just how much you 'like space'. We've already established that I am an outlier here. (There are a few additional points I would like to make about this, but I want to cite sources, and I can't recall them off the top of my head, so I'm going to have to do some digging.)
3: At no point in this thread have I ever argued for going to Mars now. That's the real crux of this whole series of disagreements, I think. This is what I have
a: an aggressive policy towards the space program in general,
b: that manned missions are a critical component of this, even in the near term.
Mars has been talked about a lot in here as an objective, but never as the next step
(by me anyway).
I wasn't attributing it to you. What I was trying to say was that, assuming you would get the politicians to give 1% extra to NASA, so they could maintain their current programs (0.5%) whilst still engaging in some sort of Ares project, I would then prefer to have them spend that recently added 2/3 of NASA's new total budget of 1.5% on other projects, for the sake of productivity at least.
Ok, I understand. I would not suggest the total of the 1% to be spent on new projects (I would not suggest any specific breakdown - there are individuals who's job it is to know more about this than I). I am perfectly fine with funneling some of those newly acquired resources into existing projects, or newly commissioned terrestrial or low-Earth-orbit localized projects.
Unlike most in this thread, however, I will continue to argue that at least some
of that funding should be going towards preparing for manned missions (such as the lunar facilities I described a few posts ago).