What NASA Means to the Future

Neil deGrasse Tyson — in his ever-ebullient fashion — answers a question about the new NASA budget. and what it means for the future. How much would you pay for the Universe?

17 Replies to “What NASA Means to the Future”

  1. Look, Wall Street bought the franchise on dreams and is holding it prisoner. So…. you want to dream, kid? How much money you got?

    Capitalism (Due to greed) sucks. There’s GOT to be a better way!

  2. National goals inspire great things and new generations of scientists and engineers. Truer words were never spoken.

  3. If you don’t choose where to spend your money, someone else will choose for you, and either way its irrelevant to the situation at hand.

    Whats happened is the present administration made the decision that we no longer wanted NASA running its own operation… but this isn’t what the public wanted.

    For years before this change, private industries were more than free to build and fly their own spaceship. The only reason they are interested now is because NASA will be forced to run its operations through them, and frontier expansion is not their game.
    They just want a tidy profit which can be gotten through offering minimal service. Its not like there is alot of competition to worry about.

    I think Tyson is right. NASA needs the freedom and budget so they can set the bar higher than anyone else has.
    We need to go where the dragons are lurking, not where everyone else is already setting up shop.

  4. I’d like to hear Fraser’s $.02 on this since he lit a fire when he posted his opinion on the new budget. It’s the only time I think I’ve disagreed with him. 😉

    Dr. Tyson sums it up perfectly for me, few people argue that LEO should be privatized. But without a big frontier goal for NASA, nothing is going to happen. It’s just how agencies work, period. And my 3 year old daughter who currently wants to be an astronaut and “touch the moon” will have no chance. Though tonight she wanted to be a pirate, so might not be that big of a deal anyway.

    The point, no private company is going to send people to MARS, there’s nothing there for them. This is what nations do, and we need leadership and a little money to do it. We’re lacking both.

  5. Wow! What an answer. I was in the opposite camp regarding this issue, but he has convinced me otherwise.

    We really do need a manned mission to inspire people to dream.

  6. If I had any doubts and to be honest I was starting not to give a sh*t about manned missions any longer, they are gone now, I too want manned missions beyond LEO, and I want them right now.

    “How much would you pay for the universe”, that is some awesome stuff.

  7. $700,000,000,000 for starters, is no trifling sum. And WHAT did they do with that money? Gave themselves raises… nice job if you can get it!

    What could NASA have done with that sum? How many people would THAT have employed? How many Orion capsules might that sum have built? How many Mars missions would that have paid for?

    What we need now is a good old MUCKRAKER in the White House… not a ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ asking politely for bipartisan support. P. Obama has given the perps a chance to pony up and come clean and instead they continue doing what they’ve been doing all along… RIPPING U.S. off!

    I say SEND EM ALL TO GUANTANAMO! Starting with A. Greenspan and working thru Guitner (sp?) and the rest of em. WE SHOULD CLEAR OUT THAT RAT’S NEST! Or learn to live with the plague…

  8. Ah, now I see why people is lauding Tyson.

    On the positive side the basic claim is what I have been saying since I was that starry-eyed kid. It isn’t an either-or false claim on resources, neither ground-space nor probe-manned, and the synergy is a benefit. You catch the public support, if you do it right.

    LEO is, as the Moon, both a worthy goal (lots of science, for one) and a way station to better goals such as the NEOs that bothers Tyson’s ass. It is time to discuss those goals.

    On the negative side is the choice to push nationalism, both by Tyson and by the youtube source. Granted, if the problem is to get people to open their pockets it is a better card. But the current space program is actively using international cooperation to higher degree than before, so that is _also_ a good way to get resources.

    And Tyson is wrong on the LHC. US is a big participant, and could have been an even bigger one if it so wished. More than 1,700 scientists, engineers and graduate students from US institutions collaborate on the six LHC experiments: ALICE, ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, LHCf and TOTEM. US groups contribute to the construction and operation of the complex detectors and computing systems.

  9. Ups. The linked sentences were supposed to be a quote.

    @ Maxwell:

    There wasn’t much of a market before this. Now concurrently LEO transport and tourism (as well as sub-LEO tourism) is opening up. And there is a lot of competition, no one is hogging the market as of yet. (Perhaps regards space hotel services it is more meager though. Even NASA is in on that one, at the very least becoming the hub for example for Bigelow’s hotels.)

    So far it looks to be a healthy market.

    @ Aqua:

    The topic is OT, but since you raised it: Market economy, along with democracy, is a boon to society. In fact, surpassing science in that regard it looks to be the best social inventions of humans. (As technology and, seeing both Sapiens and Neanderthaliensis show bone adaptations for speech, likely language were developed by earlier species.) Both uses unavoidable self-interest to ensure enough resources for common interests and altruism, also part and parcel of human societies.

    At the very least you can raise Churchill’s observation, that democracy (and then markets) may be bad but it is the best we have. And it isn’t for lack of trying alternatives. For example, (officially) promoting common interests first have been shown to ensure lack of necessary resources for practically _anything_.

    Btw, greedy market players aren’t the best. If they were, everyone would use that tactic. But they aren’t, for example we have risky stocks et cetera instead of solely safer savings.

  10. @Torbjorn
    At present you have only three functional manned launch systems. Only one of them sells tickets now and, even at 20 mil a pop, the Russians are kicking tourists because NASA is buying up all the seats at a higher price.
    There isn’t enough of a demand from non-government customers willing to pay that much to put a person in orbit.
    To make matters worse, most of the coming launch companies in the running are not inventing new vehicles or methods from scratch. They buy off the shelf parts and mimic existing systems to save on development costs.

    So not only aren’t we saving enough money to spin off a new industry, or going anywhere new with our efforts, but this new path doesn’t look to advance our technology.

    I think that, in theory, the venture star approach was closer to commercializing space. Sink the big money of government into solving the problems that private industry cant afford to solve, then license the solutions to them.

    NASA, who has been on the cutting edge of things by either buying or developing the most advanced vehicles, should not be pulled into the commercial game.

  11. Very inspiring, Mr. Tyson…..Obama and his entire administration should watch it!
    “LEO is to go where hundreds have boldly gone before”
    lol!
    Mr. Man

  12. I don’t always agree with Neil deGrasse Tyson. But in this presentation, he hit the nail on the head.

  13. Amen. Coming from a scientific angle, I don’t necessarily find that manned spaceflight is more inspiring than the robotic missions, but I thoroughly agree that NASA has played a huge part in inspiring me to be what I am today, and I’m Australian! I wouldn’t mind betting that the same goes for a great many of the people who peruse this website, and in fact, I think that if NASA had been any less of an agency in the past, this website may not even exist!

    America needs to sort it’s priorities out, because it can’t afford everything. And NASA should be damn high on that list.

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