I read that 1200 NASA employees are about to be laid off. A fine end to the careers of those who have worked so hard to advance aerospace technology.
I think would be much better if 1200 politicians got laid off instead. The space station will return far more worth than any politician.
Look at it another way. Can anyone provide comparable figures as to what the USA's politicians have cost the nation in that period? or welfare? or defence? I reckon that 100 Billion for the ISS will pale into insignificance....
And until we figure out an acceptable way to prune the human race of all the useless dead wood that consumes so many of our resources, physical and otherwise, we will remain mired in "poverty, hunger and human conflict". And laudable projects like space exploration will be on the backburner.
Criminals, the long term unemployable wasters, and dictators who abuse their countries are some of the first we should start on. Limiting population, legislating maximum and minimum salaries and getting away from the idea of growth for the sake of growth (the idology of the cancer cell) can come next.
All highly impractical unless you get far more hard-assed than we as a race have been in the past.
Who remembers - as a kid - looking up at the moon in July 1969, or seeing moonbases in "2001" and thinking "where will the human race be when I'm old?" Answer: mired in poverty, hunger and human conflict.....
To those who would say I'm a cynical pessimist:
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw
"A pessimist is an optimist with experience....."
Acutally it would be more correct to say
“I'm an optimist by nature and a pessimist by experience.”
I supposed that until the basic human needs are taking care of here in earth, any expenditure (as noble as these may be), and human pursuit beyond our atmosphere will be very hard to justify. While more than half the world suffers poverty, hunger and human political conflict. I would encourage more discussion of human kind priorities.
Would it be more efficient to make all humans productive and cooperative to elevate our collective soul, before engaging in colonization of other planets?
But again, we are beneficiaries of great research that has been accomplished in the space program. I would not want to eliminate such investments; however, more thought needs to be given to automation.