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-   -   World needs to invest more resources into space exploration (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18997)

Angelo85 December 23rd, 2012 23:41

World needs to invest more resources into space exploration
 
Life as we know it on earth will end. This is an inevitable fact.
How it will end, we don't know. Overpopulation, pollution, giant asteroid smashing into earth, nuclear war, melting of the ice caps, sun going supernova, lack of clean drinking water. There are many doomsday scenarios.

The only thing we know for sure is that some form disaster will happen that makes earth inhabitable for human life. Not during our lifetime, not during the lifetime of our children, but some generations down the line.

But this is also one part of the problem. Selfishness and shortsightedness.
Most humans seem to think we have all the time on the world, or that it's not our concern what happens to this planet after we cease to exist. Won't effect me personally, so why should I give a F?
People like this, who sadly appear to be in the majority among the general population, who would rather vote for something that will give them a personal advantage in their lives, in exchange for the potential survival of mankind, giving them no personal gain.
These people are also voters and influence the elected persons in the governments across the globe, concerned about being re-elected more than concerned about the "bigger picture", yet again for personal gain in most cases.

Humankind needs to increase it's efforts to boldly go where no man has gone before. Or someday the grandchildren of our grandchildren could wake up and see it's too little, too late.
Yet, instead of increasing our efforts, countries like the US cut funding of NASA short. Why?
Many reasons, for example because the return the government gets for their investment is not efficient or that there are other, more urgent projects that need the money. But the thing is, there are always projects that need "immediate attention". Yet, we must not let them take our focus from equal - if not more - important long term goals like ensuring the survival of mankind.

The economic situation of the western world will probably not get significantly better anytime soon. Future generations will also probably face the same or at least similar issues. There are always excuses to be found if you look hard enough for them.

But if all future generation think and act like we do now, it will be too late for humankind altogether when the inevitable is about to happen and it wasn't prepared. We need to lay the foundation for increased efforts in space exploration now. We mustn't rely on the next generation, not the one after that. We need to make something happen during our lifetime. In this generation.

To summarize: I personally believe that we need to increase our efforts instead of lowering them. The future of mankind lies in the depths of space. There simply is no alternative.

Or we could roll the dice and let our future be decided by big corporation conglomerates instead of governments.
Hoping that corporate spacefaring and -exploring takes off exploiting potential treasures in the form of resources, possibly even new materials all together.
Let them build habitats and mining colonies in space.

Rely on them to accumulate the needed knowledge and expertise over the decades and centuries to come.

What do you guys think? Total nut job or legitimate concerns?

JDR13 December 24th, 2012 00:21

Most of that is just stating the obvious, and I fully agree with it. Unfortunately, I don't believe we're going to reach the level of technology needed to find another habitable planet and colonize it before our race reaches the extinction point.

Firestorm December 24th, 2012 00:45

I think you are overstating it, the only thing on your list that could be a real consorens in my opinion is nuclear war, but people have been fearing that for decades and all that fear have done is dissuaded countries from going to war.

wolfgrimdark December 24th, 2012 01:00

I think I expect the world to descend back into the dark ages and anarchy before extinction. Over population, lack of resources, violence and war … I guess I see the world losing many of the infrastructures needed to maintain an advanced civilization long before we make ourselves extinct.

However I agree with the OP's sentiment.

JDR13 December 24th, 2012 01:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Firestorm (Post 1061176894)
I think you are overstating it, the only thing on your list that could be a real consorens in my opinion is nuclear war, but people have been fearing that for decades and all that fear have done is dissuaded countries from going to war.

I think you're being a bit naive. If the human race doesn't drastically reduce its present rate of growth, we're in for some *major* problems on a global scale within just a few generations.

Cleveland Mark Blakemore December 24th, 2012 12:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDR13 (Post 1061176897)
I think you're being a bit naive. If the human race doesn't drastically reduce its present rate of growth, we're in for some *major* problems on a global scale within just a few generations.

I like how it is always "within a few generations" it is going to be "real serious."

They said that a few generations ago. It's pretty serious right now, right this moment.

The U.S. is now fighting wars on four fronts antagonizing pretty much everybody on the planet and is trying to wedge open another can of trouble in Iran. This while their dollar tumbles to parity with birdcage liner and their export industry mostly consists of gangbang porn of underage teens.

I'd say it's pretty goddamn serious right now.

The trouble with trying to talk about space exploration at this stage is that it is all too little too late. A focus on renewed space exploration would have been a good idea thirty years ago, before the United States went broke and elected a President who has no legal social security number.

There is no money left. America is teetering on an abyss. It's like people on the Titanic promising when they get back home they are going to spend more time encouraging scouting groups. It doesn't really matter what anybody thinks would be a good idea at this point. There is no money left, the country is busted broke and shortly their creditors are coming to collect.

rjshae January 11th, 2013 22:32

Over the course of my life I've grown discouraged about the pace of manned spaceflight. It's pretty much a vicarious experience, and I much prefer the faster rate of exploration via unmanned spacecraft. It may be that we will never really get out there and explore the universe en masse until we've transformed our brains into a digital format. For that reason, I think we should focus on preserving what we can of our knowledge, genetic heritage, and society in case of a great die-off to come.

BillSeurer January 11th, 2013 22:38

Actually things are looking REALLY GOOD right now. There are over 100 active NASA missions (yeah, mostly robotics, but STILL) and there are bunches of private companies working on manned spacecraft several of them with no government involvement what-so-ever.

CountChocula January 11th, 2013 22:40

Aren't there already 2 or 3 private missions to colonize Mars by 2030?

Hopefully, at least one of them will succeed.

joxer January 11th, 2013 22:57

They can't succeed.
No gold to steal, no natives to kill and no survivors to torture so they sign anything then write books how the art and culture you destroyed was inferior and how you dealt with those who sacrificed children, then spit on everyone who says here on internet that those books are falsified confessions. Um…

Right. On this level of society? No kill, no win? No success.

CountChocula January 11th, 2013 23:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by joxer (Post 1061179204)
They can't succeed.
No gold to steal, no natives to kill and no survivors to torture so they sign anything then write books how the art and culture you destroyed was inferior and how you dealt with those who sacrificed children, then spit on everyone who says here on internet that those books are falsified confessions. Um…

Right. On this level of society? No kill, no win? No success.

Well at least one of the missions is planned as a one way trip for the colonists, so unless they manage to grow their crops, etc., I suppose they will eventually die of starvation…on broadcast television.

Thrasher January 14th, 2013 22:45

It will happen. But it may require generation ships to colonize outside the solar system. In the meantime, colonization of Mars, asteroids, moons of outer planets should be a priority.

DArtagnan January 15th, 2013 11:14

I expect we'll find a way some day - but I don't expect any of us to be alive when a realistic plan is even conceived.

Personally, as much as I'd love for us to explore the known universe - I think we need to step out beyond our infancy as crude beings first. That strikes me as even more challenging than space exploration, so we won't lack for obstacles in the future.

jhwisner January 15th, 2013 12:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillSeurer (Post 1061179201)
Actually things are looking REALLY GOOD right now. There are over 100 active NASA missions (yeah, mostly robotics, but STILL) and there are bunches of private companies working on manned spacecraft several of them with no government involvement what-so-ever.

No government involvement except for large tax credits and various governments still being the most prolific purchasers of private launch payload space.

To be clear, I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I'm just pointing out that we haven't reached close to a point where private space exploration is profitable without companies either making use of significant tax subsidization and/or supplementing space-tourism with lucrative government contracts for delivering payloads to orbit. For the time being at least, the expense and risk involved in private space ventures necessitates some easing of those factors if we want to spur further expansion of private capabilities in this sector.

What we can't do is prematurely presume the private sector is ready to be cut loose from government support mechanisms nor can we allow those mechanisms to grow and continue beyond their usefulness. I would not consider it to be acceptable for naissant and promising private space ventures to wither on the vine nor for them to become like the petrol-chemical industry and continue receiving aid well beyond its necessity.


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