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NASA Considers Putting an Asteroid Into Orbit Around the Moon

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Tinman57:
While there is a lot of scientific value in space exploration and experimentation, and it does create jobs, it still seems to me that $2.6 billion could be better spent somehow to create jobs that get people off the dole.
-Renegade (January 06, 2013, 07:17 PM)
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Really?  Look at the last time we spent money to get people in better positions.  How did that work out?  Despite the article I linked, we really don't know with all of the politicking, and I don't think we ever will.

Sorry...that's my cynicism showing through...  :-[
-wraith808 (January 06, 2013, 09:46 PM)
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  Yeah, but look how that money was distributed.  In the end, it all went into the pockets of the ultra-rich, without so much as an oversight on millions upon millions of it.  Right now there is a half-hearted attempt by congress to find out where it all went and what the return was supposed to have been.   There have been a few companies that got caught red handed pocketing the money, but the mega-corporations are so much better at hiding things, and have lawyers by the dozens to help get away with it.

  What I'm trying to say is, put the money to ACTUAL GOOD USE, and not into the pockets of the large corporations.

wraith808:
What I'm trying to say is, put the money to ACTUAL GOOD USE, and not into the pockets of the large corporations.
-Tinman57 (January 07, 2013, 07:00 PM)
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Good use?  Government?  Isn't that an oxymoron?  ;D

Renegade:
Good use?  Government?  Isn't that an oxymoron?  ;D
-wraith808 (January 08, 2013, 01:56 AM)
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Y'know... I really, really wanted to come up with some kind of smartass joke to kind of carry on there, so I tried to think of something that the government does well in hopes of figuring out something funny. Well, that was an exercise in futility. So, bomb on that track.

However, I think this may very well just echo what you've got there and give a few people a laugh or two:

Joke about govtPosted here:
http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=30822.msg313450#msg313450

wraith808:
You, sir... win this thread. :)

CWuestefeld:
Although building the rockets required to make this happen would most certainly be an economic stimulis.
-SeraphimLabs (January 05, 2013, 06:28 PM)
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Renegade is actually on the right track. This would not be a stimulus, because spending the money on this means that you can't spend it on something else. It's the point of Bastiat's famous Parable of the Broken Window, which should be required reading for anybody advocating the idea that forcing people to put money into something they didn't want in the first place might be a good thing.

Beyond that, I'm of very mixed emotions about this idea.

When I was a kid (I was born in '67, so I was 2 when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon), we used to have grand dreams. Science fiction novels were about wondrous galaxy-spanning civilizations, and the limits to what we'd eventually accomplish were dictated only by what we could dream. But somewhere along the way, we ran into a wall. We stopped dreaming grandly. The galactic civilizations were replaced by dystopian cyberpunk stories, in which we're trapped in a cesspool, with a dark future only as long as we can avoid our own self-destruction. I really appreciate what might be a return swing of the pendulum, replaced by big ideas again.

That said, I completely don't trust NASA to do this. The overall structure of NASA (some specific success stories like the Mars Spirit rover not withstanding) is entrenched in the top-down risk-averse structure that's dedicated primarily to ensuring its own continued existence. I'd be much happier to see it being attempted by an organization like Space X, or Planetary Resources.

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