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The most important near-term goal of a space program:

by Petruchio (Vicar)
on May 10, 2007 at 02:52 UTC ( #614523=poll: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

vote on The most important near-term goal of a space program:

Establish permanent human colonies
[bar] 101/20%
Reduce the cost of putting things in space
[bar] 125/24%
Basic research
[bar] 41/8%
Search for extra-terrestrial life
[bar] 14/3%
Improve communications
[bar] 16/3%
Space tourism
[bar] 15/3%
Asteroid mining
[bar] 11/2%
Power generation
[bar] 28/5%
Zero-G manufacturing
[bar] 10/2%
Waste disposal
[bar] 12/2%
Shoot down ICBMs
[bar] 10/2%
Visit other planets
[bar] 13/3%
Fight the Daleks
[bar] 97/19%
Other
[bar] 20/4%
513 total votes
Comment on The most important near-term goal of a space program:
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by naikonta (Curate) on May 10, 2007 at 03:13 UTC
    Is Lunar Jim part of the program?

    Open source softwares? Share and enjoy. Make profit from them if you can. Yet, share and enjoy!

Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by lin0 (Curate) on May 10, 2007 at 03:45 UTC

    Certainly the first goal has to be to Fight the Daleks. But the second goal without doubt has to be to Reduce the cost of putting things in space so we can send supplies more frequently to Lunar Jim ;-)

      I whole heartedly agree, we must do more to prepare to fight the Daleks because we're no-where near ready yet.

      what about the atrounont in the spce what did they do in their
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by Anonymous Monk on May 10, 2007 at 04:43 UTC
    Get more money!
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by elsiddik (Scribe) on May 10, 2007 at 08:02 UTC
    Establish permanent human colonies -- as i believe this mother earth will be vanished in few decades so jump on the project/.
      permanent human colonies? nah its never going to happen, who wants to sit in a rocket for 10 years with a load of other people and what animals would you take, i cant even sit in an office for 10 hours ;+)
        You may not have to if they load the spaceship up with fertilized eggs and sperm (or something like that) - then launch it at a likely target with the result being that upon landing - the sperm and eggs combine and kickstart the growth of life (primordial soup). Check out the outrageously hilareous Kurt Vonnegut short story: "The GreatBig Space F***" (found in the Again, Dangerous Visions anthology). Who knows, maybe that's what happened to us? :-) Update: corrected title of story: Big instead of Great.
        well if this project will be launched the only question am i gonna ask myself is : would they let us to do so?
      few decades

      few centuries would be better ;)

      I am trying to improve my English skills, if you see a mistake please feel free to reply or /msg me a correction
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by DrHyde (Prior) on May 10, 2007 at 09:01 UTC
    Tourism definitely. Without tourism, I can't fulfil my lifelong dream of being a tour guide on Olympus Mons.
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by margulies (Friar) on May 10, 2007 at 09:03 UTC
    Recover all the garbage we put on space and send it to burn in the Sun?
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by marto (Chancellor) on May 10, 2007 at 09:35 UTC
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by Ovid (Cardinal) on May 10, 2007 at 09:40 UTC

    I definitely vote for "establish permanent human colonies." We need to keep our eggs in several baskets, particularly since the one we're in is showing signs of abuse.

    And for those anti-science hippy¹ types who like to say "we shouldn't colonize the Moon, Mars, etc., until we've learned to take care of our own planet", I reply "if you really believe that, then you can't have children until you're perfect."

    1. Of course, those who know me know I have "hippyish" tendencies, but not the "anti-science" part.

    Cheers,
    Ovid

    New address of my CGI Course.

      or maybe tie up large amounts of resources trying to access distant cosmic rocks instead of deploying them to tackle 'real world' (ie our world) problems!! excuse my sarcasm too ;+)
      Hear, hear. I too have recidivist "hippy" tendencies but I have always been pro-science as well.

      I hear this point made often, and it always seems problematic to me, unless you're looking at a (very) long-term plan.

      If we're going to put our eggs in more than one basket, the first thing we need to do is find more baskets. While the technology to create permanent human colonies in space is near at hand, the technology to create independent space colonies isn't anywhere close. If a colony doesn't have significant travel, mining, and manufacturing facilities, plus the ability to sustain itself for at least a few hundred years, and a very respectable gene pool to boot, it's not worth counting as a basket. If the earth goes down, the big metal doughnuts out there will probably be empty shortly thereafter.

      Living in a sustainable way on another planet is a better plan, but it isn't going to be any easier. We're basically talking about terraforming Mars, or leaving the solar system. Anything like a moon base is going to have the same critical problem as space stations: they won't survive without an elaborate earth-based support system. Sure, the moon-men could potentially travel back and repopulate an empty earth... but if that's the plan, we'd probably be better off keeping some remote, self-sustaining colony here, and saving them the trip.

      I do think there's reason for optimism about space, in part because nothing gets done without at least a modicum of optimism. For the foreseeable future, though, count me as a pro-science not-very-hippyish type who thinks taking care of things down here is the only real option for survival. We're surrounded by lots and lots of nothing, very occasionally punctuated by an extraordinarily hostile something.

      By the way, I voted for "reduce the cost of putting things in space". In my opinion, the faster space technology gets out of the hands of cathedral-builders (to whom we owe a lot), and into the hands of entrepreneurs, corporations, hobbyists, hotel chains, adventurers, and crack-pots, the faster we'll start to figure out how to really get things done up there. Then (the free-market faithful say) we'll get all the other things on the list done better and more easily.

      looks like we will play the 'ALIENS' ;-)
          And for those anti-science hippy¹ types who like to say "we shouldn't colonize the Moon, Mars, etc., until we've learned to take care of our own planet"

      I'm neither a hippy type nor anti-science. Yet I think it is the misuse of science that has gotten us in the mess that we are in. (Please note the word "misuse" there)

      Science has been trying to tell us for years (long before Mr Gore got on the bandwagon) that we are drowning in our own garbage. Yet the various policy makers not to mention people in general make bad decisions with regard to the issues that affect the environment we live in.

      So when I make the statement we gotta learn to keep our own environment clean I make the analogy to raising children a bit differently than you do. I teach my offspring that when you travel through "nature", for lack of better way of putting it, you leave nothing behind other than your footsteps. Likewise good ecology starts at home. My offspring have been taught that leaving garbage in their rooms is a bad idea and that garbage needs to be dealt with appropriately.

      When I was growing up and visited my cousins in Maine we used to go to springs that were all over the place in the woods to drink from when we were thirsty. In recent years I'm hearing you can't do that any more because the groundwater has become so contaminated by industrial pollutants that travel for many miles airborne and end up in Maine. That saddens me.

      My kids think I'm nuts (at 28 and 17 I'm having trouble calling them kids any more) but we have compost heaps behind our house out in the woods. The don't think I'm so nuts when I use that compost to enrich the soil of our flower beds (sometimes used to grow tomatoes and peppers instead) in the spring before I plant.

      I was horrified to see a news report a few weeks ago about the cleanup that has to be done on the Long Island Expressway constantly because folks just throw their coffee cups, McDonald's bags, etc. out their car windows as they drive to work. I thought we as a society outgrew that but I can see I was deceiving myself. Then I started noticing they do the same thing on the highways near where I live.

      I say all that to say this: At least here in the USA people tend to be slobs. I'd hate to export that to some pristine environment out in space. Instead of living on one planet where the water is fouled, the air is fouled and we don't know how to manage our waste products we'd have two or more. That thought bothers me.

      In my mind there are plenty of warning signs out there that we are screwing this planet up bad. From the fact that there are more cancers being seen to the fact that every other child I know of seems to have issues with allergies. Not to mention the fact that you can't go outside anymore without breathing in pollutants. (I sneeze uncontrollably when I first step off the train in NYC on every visit!)


      Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
      Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by Happy-the-monk (Monsignor) on May 10, 2007 at 10:05 UTC

    Keep the voters busy dreaming about space instead of dealing with arduous but real problems on earth.

    Excuse my sarcasm, but I beleive this is true.

    Cheers, Sören

      If only that were the case. So far politicians have done a lousy job of keeping voters dreaming about space. At least then we'd have something to dream about.

      Cheers,
      Ovid

      New address of my CGI Course.

        Absolutely. I too think the space program has had enormous tangible benefits, but ... and here I stray into mush territory ... the abrupt ending of the Apollo program in 1972 was like a kick in the heart I can still feel today. I feel both enormously lucky I was alive (and to a certain extent conscious - I was only 8 years old when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon) to witness some of the first steps into space AND enormously sad that ... it just died.

        I don't know how this will sound, but knowing that most folks just got BORED with it after Apollo 11 was over, and wanted their regular TV shows to not be interrupted any more, was one of the great nails in the coffin of my being able to understand what a lot of people are all about. I'm completely serious about that.

      s/space/{medical care,education,employment,peace}/

      Politicians want us to dream about a lot of things...

      The US Space Program is possibly the only Government program to ever pay for itself. The returns to the economy in the form of jobs, new technology, etc are incalculable. Spin-offs alone are the basis for most of the advancements in computers, medical technology, food storage, metalurgy, weather prediction, communcations...

      Do you have a cell phone? Thank the Space Program.
      Do you watch Digital TV? Thank the Space Program.
      Do you own a computer? Thank the Space Program.
      Have you or anyone you know ever had a serious medical problem diagnosed with a CAT Scan or MRI? You quite literally owe a life to the Space Program.

      You can't judge the value of something based on simple cause and effect. You HAVE to look at the secondary and tertiary effects to see the true cost or benefit. The early Space Program didn't pay off directly but the spinoff technologies the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs gave birth to are still growing and paying dividends today. And they'll continue to do so for the forseeable future. The Space Program, especially now that it's privatizing, is money well spent.

      Just my .02 worth,

      Jack

        The problem with that argument is that there are many other "secondary and tertiary" causes besides the space program. Why thank the space program, and not war, for example? Should I thank Hitler for the microwave oven, given that World War II encouraged the development of radar technology, which in turn gave rise to the microwave oven? (Oops, Godwin's Law violation! ;-)
        For some reason, the acronym EINIAC comes to mind every time someone attributes the invention of the computer to the space program.
        Have you or anyone you know ever had a serious medical problem diagnosed with a CAT Scan or MRI? You quite literally owe a life to the Space Program.

        Since my real career is in medical technology, I feel compelled to dispel this misconception. While while the space program drove advances in electronics & computers, which advanced the capabilities of CT (the term CAT has been depreciated for years) and MRI, the space program is not directly responsible for them.

        CT scanners are based on x-ray technology, which has been around for over a century. As for the scanning technology behind CT imaging, you probably have more reason to thank the Beatles than the space program. The CT scanner was developed in England by EMI, who made a pile of money to spend on such things from recording the Beatles' music.

        MRI technology was demonstrated in the 1950's, before the existence of the space program. It just wasn't applied to medicine until the 1980's.

        On the other hand, the space program has had a more direct and significant impact on vital signs monitoring and medical telemetry. The real legacy of the space program is more often the advancement of technology than the creation of it.

        Have you or anyone you know ever had a serious medical problem diagnosed with a CAT Scan or MRI? You quite literally owe a life to the Space Program.

        Well mine was not really discovered by means of one of those, although they helped in making sure about it and monitoring the progress of the disease. However what I'd really like is a medical tricorder and even more importantly, the associated therapeutic technology. I imagine that both in the 23rd and in the 24th century the doctor would stop me and say: you have to stay for ten minutes to remove some tumoral cells... and the next day I would wake up just as fine as I've ever been. But it's not like that yet! ;-)

Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by derby (Abbot) on May 10, 2007 at 11:41 UTC

    Ensure new astronauts aren't psycho?

    -derby
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by cog (Parson) on May 10, 2007 at 11:54 UTC
    Ensure the preservation of human life?
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by Ben Win Lue (Friar) on May 10, 2007 at 12:58 UTC
    Weight reduction!
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by syphilis (Canon) on May 10, 2007 at 13:05 UTC
    I voted for "Fight the Daleks" - because fighting those pesky daleks is a noble cause. But then it occurred to me that there are far more important battles to be waged ... battles to be fought without leaving this simpleton-laden planet.

    Cheers,
    Rob
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by zentara (Archbishop) on May 10, 2007 at 13:18 UTC
    Well no one has mentioned the number1 reason, probably for political correctness, but "control the high ground". Even though treaties have declared space a weapon-free zone, whoever controls space controls the planet. Just like control of the skies was the source of victory in WW2, control of space will be the source of victory in the next big war, if there is one.

    How many times have you heard on the news about a space-launch which was classified? It's usually just a quick one-line statement from the news-anchor, that a rocket was launched today carrying a claasified payload. The next "big-war" will happen fast (if it happens). In the meantime, it's the best place to spy from.


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by chexmix (Hermit) on May 10, 2007 at 13:36 UTC
    I would never wish to downplay the seriousness of our conflict with the Daleks, so I should explain that my aim in choosing "Other" was ... that I consider the most important near-term goal of a space program to be getting me off the planet and relocating me somewhere I can see the stars at night. It's entirely selfish. There are far too many Chuck E. Cheeses and Wal-Marts going up in formerly rural areas, my friends, and it's getting very hard to see the Milky Way past the glare from them and from those all night super-illuminated gas stations. Once I am out of the way and no one has to listen to me complain about light pollution and overpopulation any more, paying attention to the Daleks will be much easier. I guar-RON-tee!
      Sorry, chexmix, you'll never be allowed off, on account of the fact that you're already polluted by ad jingles...

      What? you're not allowing me off because I can't get the 'Higglytown Heroes' theme out of my head??? Nooooo! :D

      Don Wilde
      "There's more than one level to any answer."
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by apl (Monsignor) on May 10, 2007 at 14:33 UTC
    Near-term, I'm caught between power-generation, asteroid mining and space manufacturing. The bottom of a gravity-well is no place for an industrial society!
    A longer-term goal is to produce a new frontier, a place where people who are dissatisfied with their current lot in life can go to start a new one.
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by swampyankee (Parson) on May 10, 2007 at 14:57 UTC

    Since I worked for about 20 years in the aerospace (my degrees say "Mechanical Engineer," but that includes a lot of territory; mine was fluid dynamics and thermo), I've got to love this poll.

    Since it was "near-term," I voted for "Reduce the cost of putting things in space," as by doing that the other things become easier.

    emc

    Insisting on perfect safety is for people who don't have the balls to live in the real world.

    —Mary Shafer, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by starX (Chaplain) on May 10, 2007 at 15:26 UTC
    Tourism. No, seriously.

    As a point of fact, we have caused damage to our environment that will only heal naturally on a geologic timescale unless we devise a means of doing so ourselves. We continue to deplete the resources that we have relied upon for thousands of years at an ever more expedited rate. We're going to need to find other places to live and extract resources from because the population of the earth will soon exceed its carrying capacity. Eventually, the sun is going to stop working, and so unless we want to lose everything we as a species have worked for, we're going to need to find other solar systems to live in, and if we encounter (unlikely as it may be) hostile alien life, it will be important to be able to defend ourselves.

    All that being said, some of those goals are a lot longer term than others, and for all the research we're going to need to be doing, we're going to need to find ways of funding it. That being said, space tourism will go a long way to helping us achieve our long term goals. Space tourism will help pave the way to more private sector space development projects, and if there's anything we should learn from history, it's that grand exploratory ventures are motivated by profit. Space tourism will help make it easier/cheaper to get into space, which will fuel everything else.

Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by stonecolddevin (Vicar) on May 11, 2007 at 02:04 UTC

    I can only hope we run into some sort of demonic presence if/when we start preparing Mars for human inhabitance. That way, i can finally become a Space Marine! (This kind of demonic presence would be pretty cool too :-) )

    meh.
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by petdance (Parson) on May 11, 2007 at 02:16 UTC
    I always thought it was so we could have sex in zero-G.

    xoxo,
    Andy

Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by tbone1 (Monsignor) on May 11, 2007 at 13:10 UTC
    To increase market share?

    --
    tbone1, YAPS (Yet Another Perl Schlub)
    And remember, if he succeeds, so what.
    - Chick McGee

Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by gregor42 (Parson) on May 11, 2007 at 13:30 UTC
    Two Words:
    FIX HUBBLE

    The Hubble Space Telescope is perhaps the single biggest success that NASA has ever had when you factor in bang/$ ratio - that's including the botched mirror..

    That they're down to only 2 working gyroscopes & in a degraded orbit is the result of a neglected servicing mission years overdue.



    Wait! This isn't a Parachute, this is a Backpack!
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by wolfger (Deacon) on May 11, 2007 at 18:23 UTC

    "Reduce the cost" is the only sensible answer, because with cheaper space travel, all the other options become much more likely. For example, we will never have a permanent colony outside of this planet until getting people/materials/supplies there becomes economically feasible. Same goes for trash removal. Until the cost of getting up there to pick up the junk goes down, we'll just keep tracking the bits and plotting flight paths around them.

Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by ferreira (Chaplain) on May 13, 2007 at 22:06 UTC
    The most important near-term goal of a space program:
    To divert attention from something else happening and to spend lots of cash.
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by mattr (Curate) on May 14, 2007 at 05:00 UTC
    Missing another choice: Identify collision course threats and develop robotic technology to enable construction of 1) high delta-V high-resolution scouting missions, 2) long-term locally fueled, long-term robotic propulsion and steering bases to move those asteroids out of the way.

    These would also seem to involve serious searches of both hemispheres, development of construction techniques for space and other planetary bodies, basic software and materials research, development of advanced robotic construction of e.g. provisioned lunar bases for humans to use, development of long baseline telescopes using self-organizing satellites/probes for high resolution acquisition, etc.

    In other words, space is big and there are fabulous resources as well as fabulous threats in it. Probably a lot of exploiting it will become easier as technology advances. But some things just have to be done now, and one is finding objects that could hit us and building a capability to do something about it. Not just earth-based telescopes but also send an army of probes throughout the near and far solar system along Martin Lo's gravitational superhighway i.e. the low energy tubelike paths he's discovered threading the entire system. Unless we send probes out there now we could end up looking at something a lot worse than a Y2K problem.

    Anyway it seems like a very tangible goal that can focus all kinds of private and governmental activities around the world, and could help drive related developments as well in a much healthier and interesting way than the current one upsmanship. Also a country can participate without necessarily needing to be able to launch icbms.

Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by doom (Deacon) on May 14, 2007 at 08:19 UTC
    (1) work on lowering launch costs? We've been trying that for a long time: It's pointless without an industrial driver to get us up there in the first place. If you've got a lot of commercial traffic, you'll get economies of scale (presuming you don't try to give NASA a monopoly on access).

    (2) Power generation is my pick: next to information (communication satelites) power is the commercially valuable product with the lowest weight. As a bonus you get a potential global warming amelioration technology: put solar power satellites in L1, and you can both reduce coal burning and reduce solar insolation.

    (If we'd started working on this three decades ago when space freaks like myself were pushing for it, the world would almost certainly not be in the mess that it's in right now.)

Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by jdporter (Canon) on May 14, 2007 at 14:37 UTC

    Distract Americans from the big money sinks such as the Department of Education, whose budget is 4 times that of NASA.
    If NASA had had that kind of funds, historically, we'd probably be beaming miners to Ganymede by now.

      DoEd?! And how exactly do you expect there to be adequately trained personnel to run your beloved space program without a decent education system? The biggest money sinks are entitlements (medicare, social security; which will only get bigger) and the DoD.

      --
      In Bob We Trust, All Others Bring Data.

Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by g0n (Priest) on May 14, 2007 at 20:12 UTC
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by wjw (Deacon) on May 15, 2007 at 05:15 UTC
    hmmm.. I take the pessimistic view that we are pretty much hatched on this planet anyway. Lets give living in space a go. I like Larry Nivens' RingWorld on a smaller scale. Short of that, lets build RAMA. Hell, I could use a few centuries cryogenic rest between months of work. And a space elevator is do-able from my point of view.

    Regarding the DoEd, our education system is designed to keep kids as ignorant as possible. I am appalled at what I have witnessed as my two daughters have gone through school, and am even more appalled now that my wife is teaching math to urban high-schoolers. Leave NASA have their budget, it is a good investment with a lot of returns. I propose we invest in making the schools places of education, not day care centers and labs for social experiments.

    My! I do seem to be venting!!

    I am sure I will get over it.. LOL... TANSTAAFL

    • ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...
    • The Spice must flow...
    • ..by my will, and by will alone.. I set my mind in motion
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program: (and what about...?)
by tye (Cardinal) on May 15, 2007 at 05:30 UTC

    I voted for "fight the Daleks" and was about to reply that most of the other choices just didn't make any sense. Then I noticed that the poll was about "a space program" not "a stair program". You don't fight Daleks with space; just build more stairs. I want my vote back!

    - tye        

      The daleks can fly now. :-(
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by blue_cowdawg (Prior) on May 15, 2007 at 16:59 UTC

    Personally, I'm very against having humanity going out into space and colonizing other extra-terrestrial bodies without first learning how to live on this planet.

    We've made quite a mess out of this habitat and we should learn first how to 1) clean it up and 2) keep it that way before messing up some other place.

    We also do a lousy job of keeping people on this planet fed, clothed and sheltered. Learn to do that here first.


    Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
    Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg
      I'm deep green myself, but I think that having to address the cold hard (vacuum) realities of space could definitely help more realize just what it means to live within the limits of one's habitat.

      The Earth is generally a rather forgiving place, space is not. As long as humanity doesn't become hysterical or catatonic luddites after some minor loss of a few volunteers life* when something goes wrong up there, we ought to be able to learn from the experience.

      *Honoring them is one thing, but "never again" overreactions don't help. Remember that many people are leaping at the chance to be one of the few to die in space; not that that's how it is normally phrased, but nevertheless…

      --
      In Bob We Trust, All Others Bring Data.

Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by punch_card_don (Curate) on May 15, 2007 at 18:55 UTC
    The most important near-term goal of a space program:

    ...is to make more space!

    All my closets are full.

      The Big Bang is doing that already. You may have to wait a while in order for the expansion to be apparent in your local space.

      The most important near-term goal of a space program:

      ...is to make more space!

      All my closets are full.

      The BOFH used to ask whether you had considered moving to Texas...

Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by PerlBear (Hermit) on May 15, 2007 at 23:50 UTC
    I would cast my vote whole-heartedly for basic/advanced research.
    For research is indeed a key component in firing the mind and intellect.

    But, beyond that we are not ready.
    Instead of spending trillions upon billions of dollars, euro, or whatever currency you want to claim to leave the planet we should be taking a good hard look at ourselves, the human race.

    Set aside our petty differences.
    Direct these funds and all access towards eliminating world hunger, poverty and disease.

    Once we have accomplished this, then and only then will we be truly worthy and justified in exploring space and worlds outside our own.
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by rootcho (Pilgrim) on May 16, 2007 at 17:29 UTC
    I think "Establish permanent human colonies" also means "Reduce the cost of putting things in space" i.e. these two are very correlated as you see from the results, so I choose the first one. I think the most important thing is to find a way to mine the moon for something useful i.e. attract the bussines with something it can make money of, the rest is time. I think also it is paramount for the humanity to start colonizing the solar system ASAP.. Earth is too fragile and easy to destroy from both nature and us. I would really like to see colonization starting in my lifetime, so that when I'm 120 years old I can buy a ticket for vacation on Mars :)
Re: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by Anonymous Monk on May 21, 2007 at 14:41 UTC
    Shoot down stuff.

    Blood!, Explosions!, Gore!, random body parts!

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