Friday, September 22, 2006

Personned Space Flight or Not?

Whatever you may think of DailyKos, they usually have a good science posting every Friday. Today's addresses the resulting science per dollar spent in which unpersonned space flight wins easily. There's more to the story of course, being that there are things to be gained by putting people up there, space tourism and advertising golf balls excluded. I can accept that some people sent up is not a bad thing, but in terms of what we actually have people doing up there, we ain't gaining sufficiently with the shuttle and ISS to justify the price paid. And, inexcusably, the science is really suffering.

1 comment:

mandarine said...

Quick exercise:
gather a bunch of physicists or biologists in a room and tell them 'I have a billion dollars for a manned microgravity experiment, what do you suggest ?'. They will be very happy and come up with a brilliant idea.

Now tell them 'I have a billion dollars for a microgravity experiment, what do you suggest ?'. 99% chances that the brilliant idea does not involve floating fighter pilots around in an orbiting tin can.

Now tell them: 'I have one billion dollars for an experiment, what do you suggest ?'. 99% chances that the brilliant idea does not involve space at all.

Surely disappointing, probably true.