Of Tomorrow

Presented without comment.

Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners
One Year Later; Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
  • jim_m

    Sorry.  While the US government of the 60″s was capable of going to the moon the present one is utterly incapable of repeating the achievement,   I remember gaping in wonder that the first mars rover used a ridiculously outdated modem technology to communicate with the rover simply because the bureaucracy was so sluggish that it took years to move from design to launch and that once designed no modification (even ones that would improve the performance) was allowed.

    It wasn’t that we forgot how to dream it was that bureaucracy strangled those dreams in the crib.

    • ackwired

      And the good news is that private money is stepping in to fill the gap created by that bureaucratic constipation.


      • jim_m


  • “It wasn’t that we forgot how to dream it was that bureaucracy strangled those dreams in the crib.”

    Should be repeated everywhere, everyday until the corrupt traitors are removed and adherence to The Constitution restored.
    Jim, may I use it?

  • Right now it isn’t bureaucracy that is strangling the dreams. It’s the national debt. It is easy to dream if the dream runs up a bill that someone else will have to pay.

    Now, I am in favor of space exploration. After all, that’s the Melmacian way. However, I would prefer that private enterprise take a larger role in outer space.

    Hmmm, “enterprise”. That would make a great name for a spaceship.

  • Since I was a kid, and up through my adulthood, I have possessed a voracious fascination with Astronomy and Space, but I just can’t get into a tizzy about this.

    Aside from personally having no affinity for Mr.Tyson, the break down of NASA’s monetary stipend into percentages to help showcase in more dramatic language how ‘little’ we devote toward these endeavors can easily be done with anything funded through the budget.

    NASA”s 2013 budget is $17.7 billion. In 2012, $4.3 billion was allocated for the Space Shuttle program and the ISS.

    There are no more expenditures for the now retired SS fleet.  Hence, that money is available to be spent in other areas of NASA deemed important

    So where does some of that money go?  The current budget “provides $1.8 billion for research and a robust fleet of Earth observation spacecraft to strengthen U.S. leadership in the field (?), better understand climate change (!), improve future disaster predictions, and provide vital environmental data to Federal, State, and local policymakers.”

    In addition to not having to pay $4.3 billion for the now defunct Space Shuttle fleet, for whatever reason, NASA is in the business of “deploy(ing) a global climate change research and monitoring system…”

    Ugh.  I guess the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has nothing to do with climate or weather.

    (I found these numbers and information while looking up federal budgets for FYs 2012-2013. The info I quoted is out there, I’m just way to tired to go back and link each one.)

    Converting the NASA budget amount into percentages as Mr. Tyson does is deceiving.  His numbers may make for minuscule sounding bytes, but there are oodles of departments and services competing for as big a piece of the budget as they all can, so while his percentage gimmick makes the amount sound like tinker-toys, it isn’t exactly fair.

    The study of the heavens, our wanderlust for knowledge, and our innate curiosity are the factors which drive us as a learned species to explore space and its new frontiers, not necessarily how big the chunk of dough is for which the budget allows. 


    • herddog505

      Interesting information.  Thank you.

    • Gmacr1

      You left out the Muslim Outreach Program.

  • Commander_Chico

    I wonder how far we could have gone on the two or three trillion dollars Iraq and Afghanistan are going to end up costing.

    I’m sure that would have funded a return to the Moon and a full scale Mars program.

    After our next war with Iran, we’ll be lucky to have enough to buy a bottle rocket.

    • Gmacr1

      Free hint, it would NEVER have gone to NASA.

      • Commander_Chico

        Saving the money for these insane wars would have made more available for space.

        • And it would have been spent on it… right?

          Tell me – how many votes can the politicians get from Jupiter?

  • Inspirational. Off topic, but I work about 500 yards from the staircase shown on the video, (showing before the video starts) or one so nearly like It I’ll have to go check the atrium again.
    [update: Nope, a different staircase, but a very similar design]

  • Compared to other “investments” the government makes, NASA is one that arguably pays for itself.

  • lasveraneras

    I must be missing something.  We’re not in any kind of launch vehicle competition with the USSR any more.  So why is the twilight of NASA a problem?  The space “program” has, much like a one-celled organism that subdivides into three parts.  First, look at the X-37B DARPA funded military initiative aimed at national defense.  Second, NASA, alone or in collaboration, continues to mount unmanned basic research missions throughout the solar system.  Finally, the private sector, mostly focused on the U.S,. has begun to enter the “space race” through fledgling efforts such as Google’s Lunar X Prize along with other X Prize competitions, most notably the Ansari X Prize.  Obviously, the latter channel will be the real future of manned space exploration.  I’m glad we are already headed away from top down, centralized, bureaucratic, one-size-fits-all administration of NASA toward a diverse and open private sector led “industry.”  This way, the future really is limitless!