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LongTomH

(8,636 posts)
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:06 AM Jan 2012

I remember when a Democratic president committed us to go to the moon

I've heard the ridicule heaped on Newt Gingrich by the media, for his moon base comments; that ridicule seems to be largely echoed by people on this forum. My major regret is that it took Gingrich to mention this as a goal.

But, I remember when a young, visionary, liberal president committed us to landing on the moon, within a decade:



During that decade:

  • We had a mostly successful anti-poverty program, and
  • we had the best job growth per year since the New Deal: 3.9%, and
  • we were renewing the US educational system, and
  • young people were inspired and motivated to pursue careers in science and education.


How many of the older DUers remember, like Carl Sagan, that for a few years, we soared into the Solar System:



How many of you are old enough to remember when we looked forward to the future:



The cartoonist, XKCD, created this graph:



Quoting XKCD:

"The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space--each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision."


A final quote from the late, great comedian and philosopher, Bill Hicks:

“Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.”


K&R if you agree!
51 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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I remember when a Democratic president committed us to go to the moon (Original Post) LongTomH Jan 2012 OP
We have lost our vision, our passion, and our fearlessnes MannyGoldstein Jan 2012 #1
It was a different time, a different world. The moon can wait, earth cannot. nt nanabugg Jan 2012 #30
Oh, it was perfect sudopod Jan 2012 #37
Rec for Tyson! joshcryer Jan 2012 #2
The problem is LiberalAndProud Jan 2012 #3
I agree with the vision... thing is, when Gingrich says it, I just don't believe him. Capitalocracy Jan 2012 #4
Exactly. Skinner Jan 2012 #6
Please note that I expressed regret that it's Newt who's talking about this. LongTomH Jan 2012 #7
Precisely. Solly Mack Jan 2012 #9
Bush's toxic Vision for Space Exploration said the same crap. joshcryer Jan 2012 #26
Newt ProSense Jan 2012 #5
Yes he is shooting for Mars EC Jan 2012 #12
Mars orbit in the 2030's, no moonbase. bananas Jan 2012 #28
From what I understand EC Jan 2012 #35
K & R! lonestarnot Jan 2012 #8
Sorry, but I can't agree--because you're being unfair-- Moonwalk Jan 2012 #10
Believe me, I'm not giving Mr. Obama a hard time. LongTomH Jan 2012 #13
If you're not trying to give democrats a hard time about this.... Moonwalk Jan 2012 #20
"but with what money?" sudopod Jan 2012 #38
If the 1% & corporate tax rates were back to that decade's levels... Amonester Jan 2012 #11
you can't seriously support something like this with the republican anti govt, and wanting to cut JI7 Jan 2012 #14
And WHY do we need a base on the moon which doesn't have any oxygen. Tx4obama Jan 2012 #15
k&r nt bananas Jan 2012 #16
Oh good lord. Newt is trying to win Florida by DevonRex Jan 2012 #17
This message was self-deleted by its author guyton Jan 2012 #18
Thanks for all the comments - I'll try to continue this tomorrow. LongTomH Jan 2012 #19
I'm thinking Newt wants to use the moon as a GITMO for pot dealers. limpyhobbler Jan 2012 #21
You slam the Democrats over this, as if you believe the Republicans would follow through Scootaloo Jan 2012 #22
I didn't interpret the OP as slamming the Dems. It was merely in support of space exploration. limpyhobbler Jan 2012 #27
I was not slamming Democrats and I can't see how anyone could read that into my post! LongTomH Jan 2012 #36
Big difference: Kennedy meant it. Gingrich doesn't. stevedeshazer Jan 2012 #23
I think it is a real choice - moon base vs health care and social security bhikkhu Jan 2012 #24
We have large amounts of money and resources. girl gone mad Jan 2012 #43
Money is resources - it has a real physical basis bhikkhu Jan 2012 #50
If you think about it Confusious Jan 2012 #51
Basic research yes. Manned bases? A serious waste. cthulu2016 Jan 2012 #25
Of course, having never done it, we can't say that with any certainty Occulus Jan 2012 #29
What is it a waste of? girl gone mad Jan 2012 #44
so are you equating what the halfwit lizard said to what JFK said? nt Javaman Jan 2012 #31
Your final quote is so glaring... 99Forever Jan 2012 #32
Apollo Program was the best ''make work program'' ever. Octafish Jan 2012 #33
Thank you, Octafish! LongTomH Jan 2012 #39
That he did, and IIRC correctly... Rosco T. Jan 2012 #42
We eventually did cooperate with the Russians on space in the Cold War era Art_from_Ark Jan 2012 #48
How about funding the arts in this country? frazzled Jan 2012 #34
That's the same luddite thinking that during the end of the Apollo program... Rosco T. Jan 2012 #40
Luddite thinking? How ignorant frazzled Jan 2012 #47
The same people who attack science in this country would end the arts as well. sudopod Jan 2012 #41
Was the President also demanding we cut all government spending? JoePhilly Jan 2012 #45
The republican model is to cut money for aid to the most needy. bluestate10 Jan 2012 #46
A final thought for this thread! LongTomH Jan 2012 #49
 

MannyGoldstein

(34,589 posts)
1. We have lost our vision, our passion, and our fearlessnes
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:10 AM
Jan 2012

Our get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone, smothered by thirty years of far-right politics.

I believe it will return - give it a decade.

sudopod

(5,019 posts)
37. Oh, it was perfect
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:14 PM
Jan 2012

What with the Vietnam war, segregation, and the constant threat of nuclear war. It was fucking GREAT.

A real party compared today.

LiberalAndProud

(12,799 posts)
3. The problem is
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:16 AM
Jan 2012

Newt won't build a moon base by cutting military spending. He'll do it be perpetuating regressive payroll taxes with no benefit in the end. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education and nutrition programs will be gone, but the tax legacy will live on. All our social safety nets will be decimated, but we'll have a moon base, and for what good in the end? To perpetuate the great American myth? I say bah humbug.

Capitalocracy

(4,307 posts)
4. I agree with the vision... thing is, when Gingrich says it, I just don't believe him.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:16 AM
Jan 2012

Someone will remind him that it costs money to do that, and he'll be like yeah, we need to funnel all the money we get to the rich, so that's not happening.

LongTomH

(8,636 posts)
7. Please note that I expressed regret that it's Newt who's talking about this.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:27 AM
Jan 2012

Newt hasn't one chance in Hell of entering the White House, so that's a moot point. On another thread, I expressed the pessimistic view that the next people on the moon will be Chinese. I'm afraid that's a foregone conclusion. We've had our 'Sputnik' moment, and we're not responding.

joshcryer

(62,259 posts)
26. Bush's toxic Vision for Space Exploration said the same crap.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 01:51 AM
Jan 2012

Turned into a "space coast" pork job of epic proportions. Yes it kept a lot of people in their space-related engineering jobs, at enormous costs, but we can do better. Meanwhile Bush's plan led to the scuttling of the Space Station before the Ares I rocket (which itself was crazy) was to fly. It was a horrible plan and never would've succeeded. Newt would just be more of the same.

ProSense

(116,464 posts)
5. Newt
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:17 AM
Jan 2012

"My major regret is that it took Gingrich to mention this as a goal. "

...was pandering in Florida. I really like the OP, though.

Still, isn't Obama shooting for Mars?



bananas

(27,509 posts)
28. Mars orbit in the 2030's, no moonbase.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 02:26 AM
Jan 2012

Last edited Thu Jan 26, 2012, 03:09 AM - Edit history (1)

Obama is following the recommendations of the Augustine Commission,
flexible path to Mars,
eventually colonization,
test flights to the moon or an asteroid first,
then Mars orbit or Phobos landing in the 2030's.

EC

(12,287 posts)
35. From what I understand
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 04:10 PM
Jan 2012

they will need refueling and the moon was thought a place to provide that?

Moonwalk

(2,322 posts)
10. Sorry, but I can't agree--because you're being unfair--
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:35 AM
Jan 2012

--I'm sure Obama would love to send us to the moon, but with what money? Kennedy came into office when America was the richest nation on Earth, the most powerful nation on Earth, before the rise of China to being a superpower, and while we were still surfing the post-WWII wave where we had not suffered, as Europe had from the war and needed to rebuild our cities. We were manufacturing like crazy, people were getting educations and jobs like crazy, we were getting others out of debt rather than being in debt ourselves, and, to top it all off, we had that little contest going with Russia where we just couldn't let them get to the moon first.

Now, I don't know if you've noticed, but we don't have that kind of employment, nor are we educating and manufacturing like that (we're not even making our own technology!), nor are we as globally powerful, and our national debt has gotten kinda large thanks to a couple of pointless wars, etc. Do we really want a liberal president to tell the public that the government is going to spend billions of THEIR tax dollars on a moon base rather than on unemployment, health care, etc.? Oh, and FYI, if we're going to spend that much money on anything, I'd kinda like to get global warming under control, because if our planet goes, we go and so does the moon base because there's no way it can generate air, food, water on it's own. It'll need to import that all from Earth. This is the only spaceship we've got and, in case you hadn't noticed, it seems to be damaged and in need of repair.

So, please, don't give our "liberal" president a hard time here. He may be as close as we can get in the 21st century to a Kennedy, but he's inherited a Great Depression, not the abundance and power of the 60's. And, frankly, it's about time we saw going to the moon--and creating a moon base--as a global affair rather than an "American" affair. It is the 21st century, and we need to think like a planet, not like a country. So, sorry, no K&R for you. I, personally, do want us to go back to the moon, but I don't want to lose a liberal president over such an issue--I want my liberal president to be in office to do other things. Meanwhile, I'll hope that the Earth, as a whole, creates that moon base, as it should. Given how the U.S. has managed its own affairs lately, I'd really rather not have it be the only country in charge of a moon base.

LongTomH

(8,636 posts)
13. Believe me, I'm not giving Mr. Obama a hard time.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:38 AM
Jan 2012

I have to keep saying: "I'm sorry it's Newt saying these things," and I agree that we have to see space exploration.

There are a lot of issues here, and I would like to address them in future posts.

One issue is getting the cost of space launches down so we can do space in a cost-effective manner.

Moonwalk

(2,322 posts)
20. If you're not trying to give democrats a hard time about this....
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 01:26 AM
Jan 2012

...then why did you title you post "I remember when a democrat..." etc. And come to that, are you forgetting that we didn't get to the moon till Nixon was in office? I don't see you apologizing for a Republican being in office when man walked on the Moon. That's because, in the end, all that mattered on the day a man walked on the moon was that WE, everyone on planet Earth, were represented in that man and he got to the Moon. And in that moment nothing else mattered. Not his race, gender, religion or nationality--and certainly not the political party of the president of the country that got him there.

All that mattered was that human ingenuity and determination had succeeded. We got to the moon.

I really don't think we need apologize that Newt mentioned a moon base rather than a democrat. Mentioning moon bases--or trips to Mars--is easy. Hot air. Having in someone in office who knows how to funnel the money into this and actually make it real...that's a whole other kettle of fish. Kennedy is remembered for that speech not only because it was a great speech, but because he got the wheels in motion to make it a reality--and it did happen. If he hadn't been able to do that--and remember the whole space program was nearly scraped early on--that speech would be no more memorable than, well, Newt's moon base will be memorable or Obama talk about getting to Mars.

Amonester

(11,541 posts)
11. If the 1% & corporate tax rates were back to that decade's levels...
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:37 AM
Jan 2012

I doubt anyone here would object.

Not only for the space program, but for a lot of other important matters.

The tyrrany of the ronald-reaganeR$ has destroyed and obstruct all that.

Let's return to the greatest generation's more balanced and safe vision.

And let's make sure Earth can sustain life beyond the end of this century first also.

JI7

(89,083 posts)
14. you can't seriously support something like this with the republican anti govt, and wanting to cut
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:39 AM
Jan 2012

govt views.

you need money for this, and not private charity. but strong govt support for something like this.

Tx4obama

(36,974 posts)
15. And WHY do we need a base on the moon which doesn't have any oxygen.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:42 AM
Jan 2012

It would just end up being one more plant that would accumulate trash/pollution.

Humans have already F'ed up one planet, we probably should leave the rest of them alone

DevonRex

(22,541 posts)
17. Oh good lord. Newt is trying to win Florida by
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 12:58 AM
Jan 2012

pandering to "The Space Coast."

He is lying through his teeth, as usual.

Response to LongTomH (Original post)

LongTomH

(8,636 posts)
19. Thanks for all the comments - I'll try to continue this tomorrow.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 01:09 AM
Jan 2012

I really see the issue as continuing space exploration. I would like to see global cooperation; but, I would like to see the US take a leadership role. Actually, people close to JFK said that was his vision.

In any case, I'm headed for bed. Nighty night, kiddies!

limpyhobbler

(8,244 posts)
21. I'm thinking Newt wants to use the moon as a GITMO for pot dealers.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 01:30 AM
Jan 2012

But I would support a peaceful space program in cooperation with the international community.

I think alot of good could potentially come on earth from us cooperating with other nations in space.

It's not a major issue for me, but I'm happy to support it because I know you care about it.

 

Scootaloo

(25,699 posts)
22. You slam the Democrats over this, as if you believe the Republicans would follow through
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 01:41 AM
Jan 2012

Another night on FifthColumn Underground, I guess

We're looking at the aftermath of a thirty-year war on our economy and science itself waged by the conservatives in this nation. Even if we HAD the money to fund something like this (we don't) we certainly don't have the personnel to accomplish it anymore. We sure as shit aren't going to get to the point of permanant moon bases existing within eight years.

limpyhobbler

(8,244 posts)
27. I didn't interpret the OP as slamming the Dems. It was merely in support of space exploration.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 02:22 AM
Jan 2012

I saw a really thoughtful, informed and well organized forum post advocating for a space program. It was quite convincing actually.

I didn't see any "fifth column", or anything relating to how people should vote, or indicating that it was the only thing that mattered.



LongTomH

(8,636 posts)
36. I was not slamming Democrats and I can't see how anyone could read that into my post!
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:08 PM
Jan 2012

I am not a 'Fifth Columnist' and I resent the implication.

stevedeshazer

(21,653 posts)
23. Big difference: Kennedy meant it. Gingrich doesn't.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 01:45 AM
Jan 2012

Seriously, Gingrich is just pandering to Space Coast voters.

Now, if the moon had oil....

bhikkhu

(10,704 posts)
24. I think it is a real choice - moon base vs health care and social security
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 01:45 AM
Jan 2012

Both require real expenditures of large amounts of money and resources, and I think we only have the means for one.

All the flowery talk about vision and so forth sounds more like Reagan's "shining city on the hill" to me - a con-job that's all too easily fallen for (mostly if your already prone to buy anything anti-Obama).

girl gone mad

(20,634 posts)
43. We have large amounts of money and resources.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:35 PM
Jan 2012

First of all, the United States faces no financial constraints. Most of the resources needed to expand our space program are human resources, and with a double digit unemployment rate, we've got a surplus of labor, both skilled and unskilled. We have factories and buildings which sit empty and abandoned now. There is no need to choose between health care, social security and a space program. These programs aren't in competition for resources, only for money. As I said before, this is an artificial constraint. We can make as much money available to these programs as necessary so long as our productive capacity is underutilized and inflation remains low.

bhikkhu

(10,704 posts)
50. Money is resources - it has a real physical basis
Fri Jan 27, 2012, 01:30 AM
Jan 2012

...and so you are wrong about that. This goes down the the notion that the government can do anything it wants, because it has the printing press. Resources are a constraint for the US in the same way that resources were a constraint upon the Soviet Union, before they over-extended, mis-managed, and then collapsed.

How to best manage the resources of a country - natural resources, human resources, standing infrastructure, etc, is certainly an argument we should be having, but I don't think anyone would seriously argue that blasting those resources off into space is a good application.

Confusious

(8,317 posts)
51. If you think about it
Fri Jan 27, 2012, 05:53 PM
Jan 2012

All the programs they have now, CHIPS, Medicare, Medicaid, the VA medical, plus state programs, would all get folded into a national healthcare system, saving tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars.

So, any space program would not take money away from any healthcare system ( Oh, ending the wars and closing our hundreds of military bases around the world would save more, much more)

99Forever

(14,524 posts)
32. Your final quote is so glaring...
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 11:52 AM
Jan 2012

.. and so obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together, it's almost impossible to understand why we still live like savages on the international level.


WE. DON"T. HAVE. TO. BE. AT. WAR. ALL. THE. TIME.

Octafish

(55,745 posts)
33. Apollo Program was the best ''make work program'' ever.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 11:55 AM
Jan 2012

Thanks to President Kennedy, We the People accomplished what had previously been considered impossible -- voyaging to the moon and back.

The manned space program resulted in great jobs on earth, from prime contractors to sub-sub-sub contractors to the barkeeps in Boca Raton.

The program resulted in great advances in technology for people on earth, from the computer on which you read this to the materials used to keep hearts healthy.

The peaceful exploration of space showed the world that free people working together can do anything.

Imagine what we could do if we applied that kind of attitude to the problems on earth?

PS: Thank you, LongTomH, for an outstanding OP.

LongTomH

(8,636 posts)
39. Thank you, Octafish!
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:25 PM
Jan 2012

JFK wanted cooperation with the Russians on space, at least according to some sources.

frazzled

(18,402 posts)
34. How about funding the arts in this country?
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 11:57 AM
Jan 2012

I'd like to do that before we establish a "base" on the moon (although why we would want to is beyond me).

There are many things that were done back in the 1960s that we're not doing now (hugely funding Cold War activities, for example). And vice-versa: there are all kinds of scientific research (the human genome, stem cell, etc.) that were not even conceived of in that time.

A moon base is not high on anyone's priority list right now, except NASA workers in Florida and Texas, maybe.

Rosco T.

(6,496 posts)
40. That's the same luddite thinking that during the end of the Apollo program...
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:31 PM
Jan 2012

.. people were complaining to TV stations that they couldn't watch their I Love Lucy re-runs.

Pure research provides more benefits than you could imagine. From that comes applied research..

Here's one for you. To have a functional long term base, you have to have an efficient, easy means to clean/recycle air and water.

Now, where's your nearest polluted river, nasty sky? Same process would work there.

frazzled

(18,402 posts)
47. Luddite thinking? How ignorant
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 10:43 PM
Jan 2012

Especially to think funding the arts (with all the jobs and economic benefits, in addition to world influence these bring) are the equivalent of "I Love Lucy" reruns.

No scientist would agree with you.

sudopod

(5,019 posts)
41. The same people who attack science in this country would end the arts as well.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:31 PM
Jan 2012

You would do well to keep that in mind.

JoePhilly

(27,787 posts)
45. Was the President also demanding we cut all government spending?
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:38 PM
Jan 2012

Newt is a liar, and he is pandering to folks in Florida.

Nothing more.

bluestate10

(10,942 posts)
46. The republican model is to cut money for aid to the most needy.
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 09:56 PM
Jan 2012

And spend like hell on pet projects. One problem that I have with one issue posters is that they don't and can't see a larger picture. The fact is that unless Congress shows the will to tax wealthy americans at fair rates, THERE IS NO MONEY FOR FUCKING SPACE EXPLORATION, IF MONEY IS SPENT FOR SPACE EXPLORATION, CHILDREN WILL GO HUNGRY AND NEEDY AMERICANS WON'T BE ABLE TO GET LIFE CHANGING EDUCATION AND LIVING ASSISTANCE. Dammit!!!

LongTomH

(8,636 posts)
49. A final thought for this thread!
Fri Jan 27, 2012, 12:15 AM
Jan 2012

I really don't expect the US to embark on another Apollo type mission in the current environment and that's really not what I was asking for. In many ways, we're in a dark age right now; funding for science and space have been cut back sharply over the past decades. Science funding is a target for cuts by the GOP-controlled House. Hopefully though, we can begin laying the groundwork for a future renaissance of space in coming decades.

What I want to see now is research and development, by NASA, by private industry, and non-profits like The Space Studies Institute and The Mars Society.

Lowering the price of getting into orbit should be a major priority. The Falcon family of launch vehicles from Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) promise lowered cost to orbit with mass production of simple, all liquid-fuel spacecraft. Contrast their designs with the expensive Constellation series proposed by NASA, which seem designed mainly to provide contracts with ATK (formerly Morton-Thiokol), makers of the SRBs for the space shuttle. Those SRBs were not only responsible for the Challenger disaster; they were a major fact in making the shuttle more expensive than existing expendable launchers.

The space elevator mentioned in a previous comment would be another major step forward.

And yes, we do need to make the mega-rich pay their fair share again. That played a major role in making both the Apollo project and the War on Poverty possible in the same decade.

In closing, I'd just like to remind you that today, 26 Jan, is NASA's Day of Remembrance for the astronauts of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia. Remember them!


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