Author Topic: Venus Probes do-over  (Read 4566 times)

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Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Venus Probes do-over
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2017, 06:51:46 am »
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We should visit new worlds because they are worth exploring, not because it would be nice to have a new semiconductor at our disposal.

Mmmm, not sure that I agree with that.  There are some very convincing arguments that the real value of the Apollo missions was the huge shot in the arm it gave technological development.  Yes, exploration is important.  But if we want to remain a world leader in technology, we have to come up with new technology; and space flight is the crucible in which that technology is developed.

Propaganda is often convincing, particularly when is supports our biases.

Which part do you think it is mere propaganda?

It has been a longstanding piece of American yore that we went to the moon to get a plethora wondrous space age technology that changed our lives forever more. However, this is what NASA seems to be able to directly attribute to Apollo as technology spinoffs to benefit the common man: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/80660main_ApolloFS.pdf

To say that many of the above only would have reached the masses through the benevolent hand of Apollo is to stretch credibility to say the least.

We went the moon to go to the moon. If we went to the moon to get the DustBuster, I would like a refund on both counts, because DustBusters were shit.   
 
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: Venus Probes do-over
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2017, 06:51:46 pm »
[...]
It has been a longstanding piece of American yore that we went to the moon to get a plethora wondrous space age technology that changed our lives forever more. However, this is what NASA seems to be able to directly attribute to Apollo as technology spinoffs to benefit the common man: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/80660main_ApolloFS.pdf

To say that many of the above only would have reached the masses through the benevolent hand of Apollo is to stretch credibility to say the least.

We went the moon to go to the moon. If we went to the moon to get the DustBuster, I would like a refund on both counts, because DustBusters were shit.

Ah... I see where we mis-connected.  We=(me, you, and CharlieWorton whom you quoted).  I can't speak for Charlie, but for me, here is where I think we missed connection:

Spinoff would be a very small subset.  SpinOff is a new business entity resulted from the knowledge/technology.  Some technologies were developed/refined under contract from NASA done by an existing company.  So formation of a new company is not necessary a default condition for new technology.

Teflon for example, invented since 1938, might have stayed in obscurity and never refined.  Since it was developed by an existing company (Dupont), no new company (spinoff) was created even while it was a big hit in the market when it went into the consumer world.  What we do know is that most of the pots and pans you get even at Walmart today are coated rather than bare-metal.  Teflon was the only coating in cookware that I am aware of until recent when newer technology Ceramic coating makes a return.  ("Only" as refer to the stuff available in typical stores.  I am sure there might have been specialty stores that might have offer something odd.  May be coating such as ancient Roman lead-coated cups and cookware.)

I have to agree about the DustBuster - I don't like them.  I'd rather the dirt be kept in a bag and throw out the bag when full.  Cleaning out the re-usable bag is suppose to be done out doors but people buy the darn thing for convenience.  So, at least from personal experience, the bag will be cleaned in door which results in much of the dirt just re-released.

Also, don't forget the energizing effect of a big technology push.  Would there have been satellites today had there not been the V2 rocket?  Perhaps.  But it would be difficult to argue that rocket technology would have advanced at the same pace had WW II  not occur.  If you talk to people who ended up in science from that generation (high school/early college age during the space race), I bet you would find many who went into science because of the interested the space race kicked up.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Venus Probes do-over
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2017, 08:33:56 pm »
Sure, it is inefficient to count on efforts to reach some specific goal to develop technology for some other purpose.  But if the popularity of that thing allows the technology to be developed, great.

The space race has been a great example of selective telling of the truth by two sides.  NASA and others want you to believe everything in the modern world came as the result of their efforts.  Others say that NASA slowed everything down and we would have many more shiny toys if we hadn't wasted time, talent and money planting flags on the moon.

The truth is somewhere in between.  Not all of the money spent on the moon would have been spent productively here on Earth in the absence of the moon program.  And the space program did develop many useful things, some of which would probably have not been developed otherwise. 
 


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