A Space Scientist’s Thoughts On Obomber’s Space Program

“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven” (Genesis 11:4)
File: Confusion of Tongues.png

“In their exciting role as capitalists they talk endlessly about the innate value of competition. To be competitive is their equivalent of morality. They treat competition as if it were a universal value enshrined within a single definition. . . . In America, . . . [competition] is carried to the point where a man who can knock a small white ball into a series of holes in the ground with more efficiency and skill than anyone else thereby gains social access to the President of the United States.” – Voltaire’s Bastards, John Ralston Saul.

From the media:
” Obama sets new horizons for the space race.”
That competition disappeared years ago, but the space remains the same symbol of extreme human ambition…. This is a duel that America can not afford to lose if you continue to play a hegemonic role in the world…. Progress in this area depends in part on the economic and military power. The communications and transportation systems, thousands of routine actions, like taking money from an ATM, are related to space-related technology. As for its military implications, where they still remember the Star Wars project that Ronald Reagan gave the final trump card to end the Soviet Union, the Pentagon considers space as a land of equal or superior defensive category seas or land borders.”

Astronauts’ letter to Obama:
“This [canceling the shuttle] is wrong for our country for many reasons. We are very concerned about America ceding its hard earned global leadership in space technology to other nations. We are stunned that, in a time of economic crisis, this move will force as many as 30,000 irreplaceable engineers and managers out of the space industry. We see our human exploration program, one of the most inspirational tools to promote science, technology, engineering and math to our young people, being reduced to mediocrity .”
So as usual, Obama wants to please everybody except the taxpayer who doesn’t work for the government and her friends.

“President Barack Obama boldly predicted Thursday his new plans for space exploration would lead American astronauts on historic, almost fantastic journeys to an asteroid and then to Mars ” “By the mid-2030s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. ”
Where does his confidence comes from? after all, he has no scientific/technical background or education. He is just a little, tall man with big words. Beside, it is easy to put the goal into an imaginary year — 2030; in the same breath, he could predict a surplus of 30 trillions, a complete independence of fossil energy, or a medical cure for stupidity, all in 2030.

“And I expect to be around to see it. ”
Yes, he will have a quite place to watch it – Saint Helena island (if his cell has a Telescreen).

Some thoughts

A small project intended to validate the foundation assumption of general relativity and the assumption on which current mathematical models of the universe depend, for three years of research, including testing, for about two million dollars, was declined twice, during Obama’s presidency, once by NSF and once by NASA. My impression for years, as a space scientist, as well as what I heard from others who work in real space science, is that NASA’s space program has very little to do with science. According to NASA’s view, a successful project must be very, very costly, impressive for the non-scientist, and exciting enough for three-year-old kids. Take Reagan’s Star Wars and Space Station and Bush’s and Obama’s human mission to Mars. Both cost dozens of billions of dollars with almost no scientific value. Since our elite need a formal rationale to justify the spending (after all, we are a democracy), they call it a science, they tell us that we need it for technological progress (communications and transportation systems, thousands of routine actions, like taking money from an ATM, are related to space-related technology) and for education (inspirational tools to promote science , technology, engineering and math to our young people). Well, space system technology doesn’t need human flights. Take for example meteorological satellites, communication satellites, or GPS satellites; deep space exploration has been done for years by robots. It is like building a skyscraper 30 km high to test the atmosphere; you can do it a bit cheaper with balloons. NASA propaganda is so effective that I have had non-scientists trying to convince me, a space scientist, of the importance of the space station — certain drugs can be developed in zero-gravity — well, one could invest this 30 billion directly on these certain drugs. The only scientific contribution of the space station that I have heard of so far is from high school experiments on flies in zero gravity. Regarding education, spending 50+ billion on a big rocket just to motivate science and math education is simply idiotic.

Actually, the math of space flight is quite simple, and if you want to see richer math, just look outside the window at tree branches being moved by the wind, at the water flow from the hose when you water the garden (and if you do it in late afternoon, look at the complicated flight mechanism of the insect that disturbs you), or what about the amazing stabilization of a falling cat. And if you are an indoor person and don’t have a cat, flush the toilet and try to understand why the water vortex is in a certain direction. Everyday nature is math, automobile traffic is math, there is even an interesting math in ecology and social interaction. Going to Amazon.com instead of building a space rocket will save you 50 billion dollars.

There are only two reasons behind the human mission to Mars: 1) thousand dozens of parasites want our tax money. 2) a president wants to be remembered in history as a hero (after all, isn’t it his real personal ambition to be a president?) What a colossal waste of money and human resources. Think about it. The money and the 30,000 or so technically qualified workers could work on domestic projects, on infrastructure, on alternative energy development, in scientific education (as teachers).

And why should we always need to compete and win? For a long time I have had the impression that many Americans can’t distinguish between sport and life. The first thing that comes to mind is the British in WWI. They used sport for the fighting spirit, and in some cases, officers were leading attacks while kicking a football, to elevate the moral. I’ll stop here, since it would be a very long discussion — the culture of sport, wars, and winning in general.

There is another aspect to the space program that, strangely enough, I haven’t read or heard anybody mentioning or criticizing. The official rationale for going to Mars, according to NASA, is to occupy it in the future, thus, to change its climate (creating a life-supporting atmosphere) for a human future colony. It is the most fascistic idea I’ve ever heard of, a brave new world idea. It assumes that our planet is not going to survive in a time scale of a few generations, and that we have an elite whom we should save at any price. This crazy idea is quite compatible with the education Obama received in the elite institutions he attended and is compatible with his self-image as being of this elite. And it is not only saving the elite, it is also dumping everyone else along with the planet. If the priority is space colonization, it is dozens of billions of dollars not invested in green technology, and dozens of thousands of personnel not working on alternative and clean energy. And worse, the human space flight not only doesn’t help our youth in math (look at the decline in math levels since the landing on the Moon), but also gives then an illusion of alternative place to live — we can dump our planet since we have an alternative.

Think about it.

joshua

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