The aerospace industry is typically filled with engineers, scientists and pilots. Hardly the segment of the population that is subject to expounding on the virtues of their trade in prose or through some other format. That said, every once and a while, a campaign, image or video comes along that simply nails what the men and women of the industry have been trying to say.
Such is the case with a recent PSA produced by the Coalition for Space Exploration. Entitled, “Think Outside the Circle,” the video takes us on a visual tour of America, we are followed along the way by a very familiar sight – the space shuttle. What this PSA does is it highlights, simply yet eloquently all the places (most of which we are oblivious to) that the space program enters our daily lives.
“Think Outside the Circle is a new online PSA campaign encouraging Americans to stop and think about how our space program positively impacts life on Earth. Seeing that highly familiar image of a Space Shuttle rolling across America drives home the reality that tackling big challenges like space exploration brings benefits that are pervasive throughout our society,” said Coalition for Space Exploration Chairman Glenn Mahone. “When making choices about our future and our national priorities, we want Americans to think outside the circle when it comes to our investments in space exploration.”
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As the shuttle era draws to a close, there is a very real possibility that the U.S. will move away from manned space flight endeavors. This PSA is a good way to remind Americans of all the ways that space travel enriches us internationally, nationally – and individually.
34 Replies to “Coalition for Space Exploration Tasks us to “Think Outside the Circle””
That actualy makes a lot of sense dude.
Why just Americans? The rest of the world has been thinking outside the circle for ages. International cooperation is future. China, India, Europe, etc. The very smugness of this derisive article / story just smacks of wanton imperialism and beating a worn out drum. Just naming it the “Coalition for Space Exploration” is deceptive enough — coalition of one country sound more like something that might come out of your Tea Party that is full of crazies!
Twenty years from now we will probably be “What American space program?” This is just simply based on its very sick and ailing economy it will be that long before you guys can afford to fund anything properly again — that is, of course, if you don’t default on your loans between now an then.
One seemingly lost country dreaming of long-gone past glories and resting on its now withered laurels is no path to follow!
All this article reminds us of is American Space exploration is a spent force. So be it.
…I think I’m gonna be space sick!
Salacious, this isn’t directed at ‘the rest of the world.’ Let their space agencies and governments do their own promotion to their people. (In a democracy, one does have to convince the people that a given area of government spending is worth doing, if it’s to continue. If it’s not a democracy, and not all current or future spacefaring nations are or will be…they don’t bother with such things. Is that preferable?)
Whether it’s the US alone, or international (and the latter can be highly over rated), you need to convince *United States* citizens that these things are worth continuing government support which ultimately comes from their pockets, and do it partly through past benefits.
Asserting ‘we should do it because it’s ‘international,’ or ‘other nations do’ (BTW, ‘the rest of the world’ doesn’t go into space currently either, just a few nations.) would seem to be an attempt to generate the very competitive atmosphere that you seem to fear….or generate a ‘yeah,and if other nations jump off a cliff, should we?’ negative reaction. And showing the US citizens *their* spaceship (it wasn’t ‘the rest of the world’ that developed and paid for it…they did) as part of your argument, is honest and helpful.
Don’t confuse promotion and persuasion with imperialism…
And don’t think that that part of ‘the rest of the world’ that has had them, isn’t also proud of its space accomplishments. We did not invent this, we have no monopoly on this.
I have looked at the attached video several times, and there is one item that really annoys me. It is the item space and American “Medical Advances” (0:26); which highlights such things as the “heart pump”, lasik eye surgery and new vaccines.
Much of the research is being done world wide and not just America. Nearly all of it has been done on the ground, and little if anything from experiments in space.
As for the vaccines, the world health organisation (WHO) gives an interesting table about the contributions of the most pressing diseases. I.e. New Vaccines against Infectious Diseases: Research and Development Status
Inspecting the list, you will see a huge number of different countries participating in attempting to cure humanities ills. It is far from this presentation that America is a leader in this area, and highlights how international cooperation is so important!
If some bother to look at the WHO statistics*, it is interesting to not that in 2006 figures, that 15.3% of GDP is spent on health in America, while similar advanced countries like Japan, France, Sweden, Australia spend almost half that on health. It cost them about 3,000 per capita on health and 6,700 per capita!
Yet for all these cost comparisons, life expectance in the US is 75 / 80 (males to females), while these same advanced countries in the world listed above, life expectance is five years more for both males and females (80/85)! Even the probability of children under 5 years of age dying in 20% more than most other advanced economies.
Here I don’t wish to bury you in aggressive jingoism or anti-Americanism but just to show those reading this that humanity is at it best when it works together. Contribution by space exploration is very important. America has excelled at it. Yet, it is not the only panacea for the problems throughout the world. (The singular message here is basically that the space program will not / has not improving life expectancy nor vastly increase the benefits of ‘new’ vaccines.)
All this video does is de-franchises and disendows any desire for international cooperation. Propaganda and rallying around some three-coloured flag, frankly, isn’t going to help, now is it?
Note: …and this medical example I’ve highlighted is just only one example!
World Heath Organisation (WHO) is at http://www.who.int/vaccine_research/en/
Other information can be sort through this site. I.e Life expectancies, etc. I’ve quoted above.
Correction: It cost them [other advanced countries] about 3,000 per capita on health and 6,700 per capita in the United States of America!
As for the appropriateness of my last post, I should have mentioned before, that World Health Day is on the 7 April 2011.
They say; “No action today, no cure tomorrow” is the rallying call of World Health Day 2011, when WHO will introduce a six-point policy package designed to combat the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
It affects everyone person on the planet!
(Apologies for the ‘advertising’. I am not affiliated with WHO in anyway!)
I think you can write treatises on how specific technology areas ties into each other. A figure NASA mentions, I believe, is that money spent on space gives 20 times ROI.
On the medical side, I believe they mean how computers have benefited lasik or other medical procedures that are in need for massive data collection, computer modeling and control. (Also medical scanners outside the specifik lasik application.) How much modern computers and data handling owes to Apollo et cetera is an iffier question.
It actually pretty chilling to consider how little lasik surgery has on so-called 3rd world nations. But in the US, the biggest problem in accessing this surgery is medical insurance. The majority are in fact cannot afford the surgery, let alone having vision added to their insurance. For all the advanced in technology (space related research or not), we tend to forget that those who can least afford it just miss out all together.
It seems the biggest problem with eyesight problems is in the western world that many consider to be due to obesity and the side effects with significant rise of diabetes (retinopathy). Other rising issues include cataracts, trachoma and glaucoma.
That is all very well, pointing out all national benefits. Good FWIW! (But the ad style isn’t my cup of tea; “space sick” is an excellent description of my experience of it. :-/)
But the reverse doesn’t apply, it may be hurtful for the space industry to be so tightly connected with the purse and the military. (“Cheap and reliable” Solid Rocket Boosters, people tied next to explosives instead of on top, no escape systems, anyone, anyone … Bueller?)
Incidentally, the CSE list of companies reads _precisely_ (?) as the old guard of tax spenders that, surprise surprise, want to continue the SST technology ad infinitum. Instead of the new dynamic industry that may provide the same or better services cheaper.
I don’t think we need to think outside the circle or outside the box, but US citizens may want to think outside the old and expensive structures. “Think New and … ooh Shiny, … erhm, Cheap”?
Isn’t there an alliance of the startups, and what, if any. have they produced as ad material; does anyone know? Or do they go single, with stuff like the SpaceX movies?
The mission statement is;
“The mission of the Coalition for Space Exploration is to ensure the United States remains the leader in space, science and technology by reinforcing the value and benefits of space exploration with the public and our nation’s leaders, and building lasting support for a long-term, sustainable, strategic direction for space exploration.”
They seem to be a propaganda arm for Aerojet, Boeing, Harris, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. http://spacecoalition.com/about-the-coalition
There article “2008 Gallup Poll : American Support for Space Exploration is Strong” See http://spacecoalition.com/wp-content/files_mf/1269895116finalreportjune08.pdf
It is interesting that in their poll “Degree of Concern that China May Become New Leader in Space Exploration” — 66% were either not concerned or not concerned at all!
Say it all, methinks! (Clearly explains the propaganda to try and change perceptions.)
The missing gap is there is no clear reason to send astronauts into space. I am not saying there might not ultimately be such, but the reason is not very apparent.
Read on there site the “Summary Report of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee” http://spacecoalition.com/wp-content/files_mf/1269894875384767main_SUMMARY_REPORTFINAL.pdf
(18-month old) They say in this report, among other things;
“First, space exploration has become a global enterprise. Many nations have aspirations in space, and the combined annual budgets of their space programs are comparable to NASA’s. If the United States is willing to lead a global program of exploration, sharing both the burden and benefit of space exploration in a meaningful way, significant benefits could follow. Actively engaging international partners in a manner adapted to today’s multi-polar world could strengthen geopolitical relationships, leverage global resources, and enhance the exploration enterprise.”
“The Committee concluded that the ultimate goal of human exploration is to chart a path for human expansion into the solar system. This is an ambitious goal, but one worthy of U.S. leadership in concert with a broad range of international partners.”
It is interesting that the central commercial (Americancentric) interests of this Coalition for Space Exploration. They seem to outright reject (from the quotes above) the necessity of international cooperations. I.e. It is certainly not in their best interests to have international cooperation.
The real gains in space science are occurring from spacecraft and systems which do not carry astronauts. The advancement of scientific knowledge which has come from WMAP or the HST, or Cassini is a hundred fold what has come from the ISS space station and most of the shuttle missions. The whole point of sending humans into space is becoming lost. It is also very unclear whether any of these dreams about humanity moving into space are going to take place.
As for nation states and their role in the future, the trend is fairly clear. The Egyptians managed to hold an empire that lasted about 1000 years. The Romans had an empire that held sway for about 500 years. The British about 250, and now the United States has been the top power for less than a century and it is possible that tenure is coming to an end. As our world progresses we also get a time compression effect. Progress tends to be exponential, and one consequence of events pass far more quickly and change is more of the constant. It might be that China will hold the top position in the world by mid-century, but I suspect it might not last long, and the zenith of nations in the world might end up being measured in decades or even years. Andy Warhol’s “15 minutes of fame” curses us all.
Interesting when you said; “The Egyptians managed to hold an empire that lasted about 1000 years. The Romans had an empire that held sway for about 500 years. The British about 250, and now the United States has been the top power for less than a century and it is possible that tenure is coming to an end.”
I almost totally agree, but I’d like to add that humanity as whole much adopt a new strategies. No more are the empires of old that had control over their domain, whose empires mostly crumbled by internal complacency. America is in a slightly different circumstance, whose empire is threatened by reducing or finite limits on material resources in a smaller world.
Limitations on future civilisation are now mostly caused by following a unsustainable path of overusing available resources against a worldwide exponential rise in population and the desire to having the same enriched lifestyle in the advanced economies. Humankind has reached the point where one country or culture can have a significant influence on another, to such a point that the collapse of one main global power will impact the majority of others. The death nell of such society this time will result in a calamity of humanity like nothing else seen before. Unless people are soon willing to act cooperatively and responsibly for the sake of all the inhabitance of this small world, society will collapse back to a something like a pre-neolithic age, with no resources and living on an environmentally sick and decaying world. At that stage, people of the Earth will look back as see how petty and inane they were following their counties and their selfish desires, instead of working towards the common good. They will not call our ways democratic, they will call us as it really is — self-absorbed nihilistic morons.
We will all properly deserve the label!
(BTW. The Roman empire held sway for 700-800 years, not 500. Egyptian was almost two millennia!)
After some basic research, I so think the international community is going to be cheese off with the sheer audacity of this ‘aerospace’ group. They basically are putting everyone’s nose out of joint — except of course the American public. Put it this way. It is going to make far more many enemies than friends, IMO. Jingoism never has made America many friends in this world. Sad to say, but it is quite true!
As they say…
When standing in the crossroads, it is always important to look out for passing traffic!
Oh. Did anyone notice. This video is already five months old! (29th Oct 2010))
Also the group had a Press Conference / Release on 30th March 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K8rUOFMwt8&feature=related
This explains this group notoriety only having 27 views on YouTube (at the time when I right this two year later.)
Well, if this is a conversation about marketing, I like the SpaceX approach.
Elon Musk is doing his best to sell a cheaper ride to space, god bless him! And he isn’t doing it to improve healthcare somehow. I think he is doing it because he is passionate about space exploration in general and BFRs in particular. Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic is about the inspiration and fun of exploring. These guys are keeping the dream alive. I wish them well because if their companies survive and thrive, human spaceflight in the West will stop being 100% beholden to fickle politicians and deficit-ridden governments.
Alcyone is right. In the end, this will be more important than anything Salacious or I say about the video.
Henry Ford (another capitalist) once said:
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.'”
What people really wanted was a private faster way to get from A to B. They merely assumed it must necessarily be in the form of a horse.
Similarly, If space projects tend to be expensive, some say (and not without logic); “Well, what we need is to make them ‘international’ projects, so each participant need only bear a small part of the financial burden…”
When the *real* response should be; “Okay, so what, if anything, can be done to make the projects cheaper?” (Instead of adding yet another layer of inefficient, and ultimately self-perpetuating bureaucracy.)
SpaceX is attempting to address the access to LEO aspect of that (Bigelow Aerospace is attempting to address the human habitation in LEO part.) And while I would certainly *prefer* that these solutions originated in the United States (sorry, Salacious), I’ll *take* them wherever they come from…ultimately I want to see concepts like Britain’s ‘Skylon,’ or Japan’s ‘Kanhoh-Maru’ come to pass, making access to LEO (and among other things, assembling/fueling/testing the systems that will go beyond it) even more affordable and regular. Make em’ work, safely and reliably, and I’ll be happy to buy a ticket and step aboard, even if it wasn’t ‘made in USA…’
And that’s ‘international’ only in the sense of someone in one country coming up with a good idea, making it work, and selling it to customers in other nations, just as is done with trains, planes, and automobiles today.
Not to say there’s no room for ‘international’ projects, ever. This can and has worked well in the basic sciences. But once you go to the applied science, engineering and commercial realms, its value is *not* so obvious (Britain and France almost couldn’t stay together long enough to finish Concorde), and ‘space’ in general, does not, and never has, belonged only to science.
And some things *are* done better by gong the other way, to small, non-state (instead of larger multi-state) entities. You *never* do ‘international’ purely for its own sake, merely for symbolism (what did Apollo-Soyuz really give us?), but only when there are explicit benefits for doing so..
I always enjoyed my time in the US, and like Americans in general… but on occasion the self-imposed role of guardian of the world, the exaggerated perception of AMERICA has on occasion gotten on my nerves ;-).
The world has changed and no country can tackle the issues at hand alone. Only through cooperation and by spreading the idea that we all are in the same tiny boat, floating in the universe, TOGETHER fighting to shape the future for more than just a few thousand years,
Bingo. Got it in one!! I feel exactly the same way.
The weakness here is that America does not want see that the world is rapidly changing, and that globalisation is a necessity to solve some of the world’s ills.
Humanity really must work together or it will suffer and die.
According to Coalition for Space Exploration in this video (0:11) it says; “Space Exploration Benefits Everyone. Technology. Economy. National Pride.”
Clearly the rest of the world doesn’t count!
I, like many others in the international community, just don’t accept anymore!
Correction: I, like many others in the international community, just don’t accept that anymore!
I think you are desperately clutching at too many straws, IMO.
Most Americans are far more concerned over work, keeping their homes and medical insurance than it does for space exploration. According to the New York Times, some 11.2% of the American people are actively looking for jobs. Yet the worst seems to be in the young, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in January 2011 an official unemployment rate of 21% for workers ages 16 to 24. There are also at the moment people having larger long gaps between being in employment.
Yet what is most sad is that much of it is on borrowed foreign money, to the stage that the Federal budget cannot afford to spend on “luxury” programs. Obama and many of the Government have realised the problem, and has changed direction in space exploration by reducing the amount of governmental costs and getting industry to take the slack, and doing all this without getting the population all riled up.
The serious problem with commercial companies controlling the direction of space exploration is they expect a significant return. It is interesting issue of who “owns” low earth orbit (LEO); and the commercial interests, like this American lot, behaving as if it is already theirs! Even more interesting is the international agreements already in place and how these companies are going to circumvent it.
In 2007, OECD produced a report on “The Commercialisation of Space and the Development of Space Infrastructure”
The say, better than me;
They also say; “To identify what measures governments could take so as to provide a policy, legal and regulatory framework that is better suited to the development of new commercial applications.”
Sadly commercial enterprises are beyond governmental control. America is competing with other countries, who also have ambitions, and yet you are now happy to let commercial interests into the mix. Space, is a resource that is available for all to use, not just a few countries or a few enterprises to exploit. It also need to be managed cooperatively between countries by international agreements.
The future of our planet and humankind may in the future depend on resources of the Moon and the Solar System. Frankly no one country should be able to claim the frontier as their own. The “Coalition for Space Exploration” has no qualms for exploration than the benefit of their commercial interest under the jingoist approach as a benefit solely for the America. That is what disgustingly sucks here!
I’ll think you will find that what make the rest of the world feels so abhorrent to exploitive capitalistic rhetoric. (like what you explain here.)
Bottom line. America has absolutely no more rights than any other country to LEO or space. America, as do other countries, should already want to behave under the laws made under international agreements of which they are a signatory. To claim otherwise is a just an open slap to the rest of the world.
This response was directed to delphinus100, BTW.
The video leaves a very bad taste to your international partners. Including myself.
Space exploration serves the American people best when it’s an open international effort, neutered of its vaguely militaristic associations.
Wow, if ever there was a reason to NOT want to deal with international partners – this says it all. The article is 276 words long and is simply describing a video that seeks to encourage Americans to support space exploration.
For that unforgiveable sin, Crumb went on a 2,355 anti-American rant. How pathetic.
As for international partners, the repeated “Nyets” that NASA has received from Russia – highlights that they really aren’t much partners at all. A proposed flyaround to show JAXA, ESA, Russian and America craft? – NYET! Will you keep the cost of flights on your Soyuz spacecraft down? – NYET! We want to launch Endeavour on April 19, would you mind postponing your unmanned craft’s launch? – NYET!
With partners like that – who needs al-Quaeda?
Even more wowed… and I thought my response is a least realistic.
Frankly much of what I had to say wasn’t anti-American at all. Just to get our economic facts straight, I see on the news about five minutes ago about if Congress service should get paid during a shutdown as both political parties debate billions of dollars of cuts in a budget that contains trillions of dollars in spending. Really, is it more important to get the Federal deficit in order or just keep on spending on things the country cannot afford.
Also what is with the point scoring on the Russians here? My understanding is they have just gone through their own economic crisis. There woes continue to be worst than America at the moment that have continued since 2009.
If i can recall my history correctly, wasn’t 2004 the year when NASA declared its intention separate from Russia and Europe by deciding to decline the International Space Station program and aim for the Moon instead? There purpose was then under Bush to be independent of any foreign contributions or use any non-US contractors for its space program. I can still remember the havoc it caused on many aerospace industries to go into a spin. If it wasn’t for the economic problems and social unrest in states like Georgia the Russians would have gone their own way. Even in 2009, there was the real threat them not even to be able to launch any manned spacecraft for some time. As for Endeavour being changed wasn’t that simply because of a simple scheduling problem with the ISS, and NASA “NASA did not want the craft docking at the space station while Endeavour was still there.” and that “NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said the Russians were reluctant to postpone the supply run because of a time-sensitive biological experiment aboard the craft.” (See http://www.wfmj.com/Global/story.asp?S=14377720, among others.)
They didn’t say no, they properly negotiated it! (Besides another 10 day delay keep those shuttle workers employed a little longer (A good thing, I’d think!)
Yet all of this misses my whole point. Without just going over the rehash again, my argument was essentially four points.
– Most Americans are far more concerned over work, keeping their homes and medical insurance than it does for space exploration.
– Much of [government spending] is on borrowed foreign money, to the stage that the Federal budget cannot afford to spend on “luxury” programs. Obama and many of the Government have realised the problem, and has changed direction in space exploration by reducing the amount of governmental costs and getting industry to take the slack, and doing all this without getting the population all riled up.
– Limitations on future civilisation are now mostly caused by following a unsustainable path of overusing available resources against a worldwide exponential rise in population and the desire to having the same enriched lifestyle in the advanced economies. Humankind has reached the point where one country or culture can have a significant influence on another, to such a point that the collapse of one main global power will impact the majority of others. The death nell of such society this time will result in a calamity of humanity like nothing else seen before. Unless people are soon willing to act cooperatively and responsibly for the sake of all the inhabitance of this small world, society will collapse back to a something like a pre-neolithic age, with no resources and living on an environmentally sick and decaying world.
… and finally “Summary Report of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee”
– “First, space exploration has become a global enterprise. Many nations have aspirations in space, and the combined annual budgets of their space programs are comparable to NASA’s. If the United States is willing to lead a global program of exploration, sharing both the burden and benefit of space exploration in a meaningful way, significant benefits could follow. Actively engaging international partners in a manner adapted to today’s multi-polar world could strengthen geopolitical relationships, leverage global resources, and enhance the exploration enterprise.”
My argument seem reasonably sensible with supported evidence. You might not agree with it, but how on earth is this anti-American?
al-Quaeda actually wants to kill Americans and the “coalition of the willing.” All I want to do is for cooperate for humanity’s future before it is all too late.
(Add another 745 to the 2,355 words, Jason, equalling a nice round 3,100.)
I’ve reread everything that I wrote again.
I’ll openly concede that I have no problem that Americans wanting to encouraged their fellow citizens to participate and contribute towards space exploration. There is absolutely no reason, though, in the transition of the space shuttle to the commercial spaceflight that America should not consider to engage in a coalition of countries contributing to a shared dream. You have already shown the way as a country with the International Space Station, and have contributed much to its structure and completion.
The motivation that is going to rise in the near future are the worldwide issues of dwindling resources, damage to the environment, and growing human population. A crossroads is going to be reach sometime by the end of the 21st Century where populations of nations will be at war fighting over the remaining resources over things like oil, water and food. Solving these problem, both technically and socially, are already upon us, and is affect all of humanity.
Our solution to these problems is resources from the solar system become cost effective, and the first place will be the mineral resources of the Moon. (That is what the Chinese are ultimately planning towards.)
Bottom line : America, by its current position in the world, really has to show leadership and direction in facing these new dire challenges that face humanity. If it does not do it, someone else will surely will, and they will benefit instead of you.
Everyone ignores it’s warning, and we all pay price for our inconsiderate complacency. IMO, “Coalition for Space Exploration ” is going the wrong way!
That is the best and most sensible compromise I can explain. Take it or leave it.
276 words to what 5,000? Rant, hate, rant, hate…
I think that is quite an unfair assessment.
My last statement was an attempt to be balanced and fair, and you reject that too! Hate? I hate no one. I stated an opinion.
All I can only assume is that you might be somewhat biassed in this story.
“All the way with the USA” is fine, but you might consider that others reading this non-US citizens.
The Coalition for Space Exploration is a commercial organisation with an agenda, and is wanting to become a politically influential organisation. It needs much better scrutiny than this article portrays. IMO (if that is OK?)
I again sat and thought about this. Bitterness, if there is any, occurred in the GFC where the banks improperly support unsecured debt and destroyed the local American property market. Here everyone got burnt, in America and investors elsewhere, and if were not for the fast divestitures by financial planners, I too, would be certainly far more angry in losing some of my investments by Americans.
Frankly, I would rather see America continuing working towards a stable and sustainable economy than chasing dreams with a no guarantee of a return — especially applicable in the current economic climate.
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