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Achievement in Space

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Just imagine being able to actually be there and seeing it in color directly with your own eyes.

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If there is one thing that gets me wobbly in the knees it is these types of glimpses of what the future holds for all of us. I'm with PhilO here, I mean, can you imagine looking out your spacecraft window and seeing that???

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One comment made remarked on the contrast of this (man's) achievement with the simultaneous flight of a helicopter over an 'undiscovered' tribe in the Amazon.

The pictures are remarkably clear. I often compare the average human's perspective of his place in the universe, to a goldfish. He thinks little beyond what appears in front of him.

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If there is one thing that gets me wobbly in the knees it is these types of glimpses of what the future holds for all of us. I'm with PhilO here, I mean, can you imagine looking out your spacecraft window and seeing that???

Here is something make your knees wobble even more. Virtually every cent used to produce these Space Wonders was taken by force from members of the public. Not one cent has anything to do with national defense which is one of few justifications for taxing the citizens of the country. It is enough to make Robert A. Heinlein turn over in his grave.

I enjoyed the pictures too. I would have enjoyed them ten times as much if the work that led to them were paid for by private money.

What can I say? Context, context!

Thus concludes my Bah Humbug message for the month of September.

ruveyn

I aim for the Moon, but sometimes I hit London and Antwerp -- Werner v. Braun.

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Here is something make your knees wobble even more. Virtually every cent used to produce these Space Wonders was taken by force from members of the public. Not one cent has anything to do with national defense which is one of few justifications for taxing the citizens of the country. It is enough to make Robert A. Heinlein turn over in his grave.

I enjoyed the pictures too. I would have enjoyed them ten times as much if the work that led to them were paid for by private money.

What can I say? Context, context!

Thus concludes my Bah Humbug message for the month of September. [...]

The proper role for government in science should be limited to a curious exploration stage of discovery, whether it is on Earth or a different environment, for the national defense purpose of assessing potential threats. And as an aside, a proper government today should have a military budget that includes untraditional military exploration, reconnaissance and evacuation sites for Americans as part of warfare. To determine what the limit is in seeking public funding for curious exploration, it depends on the nature of the entity being investigated so that we don’t have an NIH-like monster of "basic" research. So I am of the view that one's appreciation of these images should not be blunted by the less than ideal conditions under which the Cassini probe was realized since the context of the entities we get to look at really is: what type of funding does the problem fit into at the present time?

Prizes are good marketing tools for very particular problems - consider Netflix's. The pursuit of the prize makes no economic sense for many of the groups working on the problem since the level of effort, technology used and opportunities lost are frequently far in excess of the $1M offered. There is the fact that the solution has to be proven through actual monitored testing which does not apply to scientific exploration.

The issuance of USPTO patents, especially nowadays, are not gains in any meaningful sense. Market success is the inventor's return for his patentable invention – whether an invention is just different or actually different plus better, there must be some reasonable expectation of return of investment from its commercialization. Go down the wrong path where the demand (demand for space exploration and tourism depend on three things; sense of life, disposable income and education quality) isn't quite existent yet and you've lost years and are millions in debt. It may be appropriate currently to want to patent a type of camera that is ingested by jellyfish in Antarctica for example, but we're talking about space. I don't currently see a viable privately-held, unsubsidized company or even a consortium, except on the financial horizon, that would be willing to take the R&D-n-patent risk to build a Cassini. That consumer demand is beyond the fact that we have a government that chokes innovation using taxpayer dollars.

So I don't see inappropriate government funding here as a clean-up priority considering all the other earthbound nonsense to clean up first. I'll take the pleasure from those images because that pleasure fits into the reality of how "private money" funds innovation in this particular case, thank you.

Thus concludes my anti-knee wobble, anti-Bah Humbug message for this day of September.

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Photos from space always fill me with a combination of awe and vertigo. I feel both excitement and anxiety before looking at new ones. When I was a kid I never wanted to be upside down in gym class, and I've always been uncomfortable in planes. So while I can't deny the wonder of seeing a different world and imagining the possibilities of exploration, it is also not my element. I would completely freak out in space.

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If you want to get worked up about the federal government spending taxes on things that are not related to defending the rights of U.S. citizens, consider this:

According to this article in the Boston Globe, the President Bush was asking for $105 billion in tax dollars for Hurricane Katrina disaster relief in April of 2006. Compare that to the $120 billion spent on missile defense in the last 25 years, according to this blog entry in The Nation. (Hardly a publication I agree with on missile defense, but I don't dispute the figure.)

Knowing that, it's hard for me to get worked up about tax-funded space science. Context, indeed.

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Here is something make your knees wobble even more. Virtually every cent used to produce these Space Wonders was taken by force from members of the public. Not one cent has anything to do with national defense which is one of few justifications for taxing the citizens of the country. It is enough to make Robert A. Heinlein turn over in his grave.

I enjoyed the pictures too. I would have enjoyed them ten times as much if the work that led to them were paid for by private money.

What can I say? Context, context!

Thus concludes my Bah Humbug message for the month of September. [...]

The proper role for government in science should be limited to a curious exploration stage of discovery, whether it is on Earth or a different environment, for the national defense purpose of assessing potential threats. And as an aside, a proper government today should have a military budget that includes untraditional military exploration, reconnaissance and evacuation sites for Americans as part of warfare. To determine what the limit is in seeking public funding for curious exploration, it depends on the nature of the entity being investigated so that we don’t have an NIH-like monster of "basic" research. So I am of the view that one's appreciation of these images should not be blunted by the less than ideal conditions under which the Cassini probe was realized since the context of the entities we get to look at really is: what type of funding does the problem fit into at the present time?

Prizes are good marketing tools for very particular problems - consider Netflix's. The pursuit of the prize makes no economic sense for many of the groups working on the problem since the level of effort, technology used and opportunities lost are frequently far in excess of the $1M offered. There is the fact that the solution has to be proven through actual monitored testing which does not apply to scientific exploration.

The issuance of USPTO patents, especially nowadays, are not gains in any meaningful sense. Market success is the inventor's return for his patentable invention – whether an invention is just different or actually different plus better, there must be some reasonable expectation of return of investment from its commercialization. Go down the wrong path where the demand (demand for space exploration and tourism depend on three things; sense of life, disposable income and education quality) isn't quite existent yet and you've lost years and are millions in debt. It may be appropriate currently to want to patent a type of camera that is ingested by jellyfish in Antarctica for example, but we're talking about space. I don't currently see a viable privately-held, unsubsidized company or even a consortium, except on the financial horizon, that would be willing to take the R&D-n-patent risk to build a Cassini. That consumer demand is beyond the fact that we have a government that chokes innovation using taxpayer dollars.

So I don't see inappropriate government funding here as a clean-up priority considering all the other earthbound nonsense to clean up first. I'll take the pleasure from those images because that pleasure fits into the reality of how "private money" funds innovation in this particular case, thank you.

Thus concludes my anti-knee wobble, anti-Bah Humbug message for this day of September.

So sweet. :rolleyes:

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