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Jim A.

"Curiosity" mission to Mars

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It has cost 2.5 billion dollars for the Curiosity mission to Mars. Is that much taxpayers' money warranted for a space project that has no relation to military research or military preparedness and whose primary purpose is to find out whether Mars was once capable of supporting life (and hasn't that been the objective of a number of previous missions to Mars? and did they find any positive answers?)? More to the point: should any of taxpayers' money be channeled to such a project? For too long people have taken it for granted that the government has a role in helping man to expand his knowledge. It's time to get rid of that idea and, more fundamentally, the idea that government should do more than just govern, i.e., run the police, the courts and the military.

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I would rather not leave space to the Chinese, the same as I'd rather not have left nuclear energy to be explored first by the Nazi's back in WWII.

Maintaining military superiority requires scientific and technological superiority, and being a leader in space exploration is part of that.

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I would rather not leave space to the Chinese, the same as I'd rather not have left nuclear energy to be explored first by the Nazi's back in WWII.

Maintaining military superiority requires scientific and technological superiority, and being a leader in space exploration is part of that.

I agree that it doesn't sit well with me to leave it to the Chinese. If there is a potential threat that can come from the Chinese exploring space then I would say it is up to the military to act accordingly. That does not necessarily entail funding our own space program; it could simply mean destroying the Chinese government and leaving them with a proper constitution. But as a solution, this one is far fetched for many reasons.

Another alternative is to remove all restrictions on private space exploration in the US. Meaning, eliminating all regulations, restrictions, taxes, etc... that have to do with running a private space program in order to encourage it. And the military could establish contracts with the private companies for exchange of data relevant to national defense.

Or secretly sabotage their space program efforts.

But I think the best solution is to have an Objectivist president with a nation that supports him. This would set an example for the rest of the world. He would have the opportunity to speak on a global platform for the benefits of Rational Egoism and Capitalism. And he would have a platform to call out evil for what it is and persuade friendly nations to stand up against evil of any kind.

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It has cost 2.5 billion dollars for the Curiosity mission to Mars. Is that much taxpayers' money warranted for a space project that has no relation to military research or military preparedness and whose primary purpose is to find out whether Mars was once capable of supporting life (and hasn't that been the objective of a number of previous missions to Mars? and did they find any positive answers?)? More to the point: should any of taxpayers' money be channeled to such a project? For too long people have taken it for granted that the government has a role in helping man to expand his knowledge. It's time to get rid of that idea and, more fundamentally, the idea that government should do more than just govern, i.e., run the police, the courts and the military.

Curiosity should have been built using private money and investment.

Even so, it is still a first rate technological achievement. . The unmanned space program is far from dead, even though the manned program is currently a shambles. Some of the technology has military use. Some of the design may yet have commercial applications.

ruveyn

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But I think the best solution is to have an Objectivist president with a nation that supports him. This would set an example for the rest of the world. He would have the opportunity to speak on a global platform for the benefits of Rational Egoism and Capitalism. And he would have a platform to call out evil for what it is and persuade friendly nations to stand up against evil of any kind.

Even if our entire government were run by Ayn Rands and John Galts and Howard Roarks, there still would be no long-term substitute for military and scientific superiority. No matter how allied the world gets in its moral condemnation, there will always be another soviet Russia, communist China, or Nazi Germany, who will begin aggressively conquering and expanding their power. If you don't have the bigger gun, you will die eventually.

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It has cost 2.5 billion dollars for the Curiosity mission to Mars. Is that much taxpayers' money warranted for a space project that has no relation to military research or military preparedness and whose primary purpose is to find out whether Mars was once capable of supporting life (and hasn't that been the objective of a number of previous missions to Mars? and did they find any positive answers?)? More to the point: should any of taxpayers' money be channeled to such a project? For too long people have taken it for granted that the government has a role in helping man to expand his knowledge. It's time to get rid of that idea and, more fundamentally, the idea that government should do more than just govern, i.e., run the police, the courts and the military.

Taxypayer funding of science/space research has a miniscule presence in our budget compared to the fiscal leviathans that are welfare, entitlements, various medical programs, etc. The science/space research does produce value, albeit less efficiently than the private sector and with other people's money. Regardless, it produces more value than subsidizing cocaine consumption in ghettos.

Getting rid of taxpayer funded research would be getting rid of one of the last few things the government does well.

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But I think the best solution is to have an Objectivist president with a nation that supports him. This would set an example for the rest of the world. He would have the opportunity to speak on a global platform for the benefits of Rational Egoism and Capitalism. And he would have a platform to call out evil for what it is and persuade friendly nations to stand up against evil of any kind.

Even if our entire government were run by Ayn Rands and John Galts and Howard Roarks, there still would be no long-term substitute for military and scientific superiority. No matter how allied the world gets in its moral condemnation, there will always be another soviet Russia, communist China, or Nazi Germany, who will begin aggressively conquering and expanding their power. If you don't have the bigger gun, you will die eventually.

Yes of course, what I meant is that we would have the moral certitude to destroy our enemies before they could become threats, in the meantime having capitalism would spawn for new innovations in every field and make our army even stronger. But if we were at a point where a whole country backed an Objectivist president, then I think one round of eliminating our enemies would rid them forever. That thought does not help our situation today.

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It has cost 2.5 billion dollars for the Curiosity mission to Mars. Is that much taxpayers' money warranted for a space project that has no relation to military research or military preparedness and whose primary purpose is to find out whether Mars was once capable of supporting life (and hasn't that been the objective of a number of previous missions to Mars? and did they find any positive answers?)? More to the point: should any of taxpayers' money be channeled to such a project? For too long people have taken it for granted that the government has a role in helping man to expand his knowledge. It's time to get rid of that idea and, more fundamentally, the idea that government should do more than just govern, i.e., run the police, the courts and the military.

Taxypayer funding of science/space research has a miniscule presence in our budget compared to the fiscal leviathans that are welfare, entitlements, various medical programs, etc. The science/space research does produce value, albeit less efficiently than the private sector and with other people's money. Regardless, it produces more value than subsidizing cocaine consumption in ghettos.

Getting rid of taxpayer funded research would be getting rid of one of the last few things the government does well.

I think you make a good point here. Our Constitution is not strictly Objectivist, but it is close enough that I could live with it. The Constitution makes certain concessions, such as allowing for tax dollars to go toward science and the arts. While I would prefer these things be paid for with private money, it is a small concession. The entire NASA budget is 0.04% of the federal budget. I would gladly overlook NASA funding, if that meant eliminating the welfare state.

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