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What are your thoughts about the end of the shuttle program and the laying off of most of those who worked on the shuttle program?

I have heard that after the moon exploration program, much of the expertise was lost because we did not follow up and put that expertise to work. Are we about to do the same thing? We have invested a lot in developing the expertise. Are we now going to squander it?

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    Jul 11 2011: How about a 90% marginal tax rate on income in excess of 20 times the minimum wage, and bring the troops home, before we start permanently destroying the space program?

    I see this as a foreseeable, staged crisis. Since the election of Ronald Reagan, the Republican machine kept propagandizing in favor of cutting Federal, state, and local taxes, while increasing military spending on the cold war and other foreign wars, with the intent of shrinking government capacities until Federal, state, and local governmentsbecome completely impotent so that they would become incapabe of regulating corporations and the wealth/power elite.

    Responding to this crisis by by destroying what should be priority government programs, rather than reinstating progressive taxation, seems to just endorse their conduct.
  • Jul 26 2011: Misplaced priorities would be one way to put it. But then, the sense of Paranoia that Man has about the present world they live in would make us even more more suspicious of exploration (space or sea). In a perfect world, the largest amounof funds would go into education, environment , Medicine and Research (not necessrily in the same order)

    But we wont live in a perfect world. And the shuttle program is probably on the backburner for a while now. Hopefully , i am wrong
  • Jul 12 2011: As a geologist I would love to study the deep sea. Having been on Dive 1019 of the DSRV Alvin and descending two miles beneath the surface, I'd love to anchor a forty foot diameter plexiglass thick-walled hemisphere to the seafloor near black smokers to study the geochemistry of the water and the study of the flora and fauna. Research in the deep-sea environment i.e. putting humans on the seafloor two miles down to study the seafloor is at least as imporant as the space program and a whole lot cheaper. Some of the chemical compounds from these black smokers might cure cancer! (Or so I'd like to believe.)
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      Jul 20 2011: Hi Richard,

      It sounds very exceiting and interesting.

      I'd say it shouldn't be either/or. Giving the welfare of our descendants a higher priority would put a higher priority on research in general.
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      Jul 11 2011: I think you're right -- and at the same time, it's sad that you are right. Waging war and exploring space at the same time while facing financial loss and economic instability just does not help solve the current urgent problems. The better option would of course be to drop out of war and to continue exploring space, but we all know that it's not that easy...
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    Jul 10 2011: I am not happy to see the end of this porgram without any new program to maintain what we have done and learned so far.

    If our kind of existence as sentient intelligent beings, is worth preserving, I think we should be looking at how we can establish that kind of existence on other planets or moons in the solar system. Then intelligent sentient life would have the chance of surviving an ecological disaster occuring on one planet or moon so long as it did not wipe out the entire solar system.

    Diversification is usually safer than putting all of our eggs in one basket.