To me the world seems to have lost it's mind. Last few days have looked at pictures of gitmo bay and almost threw up. The dehumanizing of people was beyond words. History talked of hitler and auschwitz. Decades later what I saw in those photos of gitmo made me think of images of the the very humiliation that the United states once fought against. Turkey is burning because of fighting back the government turned on it's own people like a mad dog. here in america we finally start getting rights for LBGT . Along comes salvation army saying that it should be a death sentence. Killing people over religion seems to be on the rise. in india  women are burning for supposed witchcraft and girls killed  being victims of rape . The catholic church is says birth control is wrong . Nuns who argue with church are being excommunicated.  In last political race it was debated whether women had a right to their on viginas .  People are dying world over because of religion and lack of even basic medical and dental care. there is hope for this world right?

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Just as I won't go for your outlandish theories - you asked a question, I was attempting to have you answer your own question by answering mine, but you want to play word games, so please enjoy those with someone else. I have neither the time nor the interest for them.

You say there was an explosion. What set it off?

So, for anything that happened but for which we don't know the cause (yet), it didn't happen? Hmmm...

@Dave G I'm tired of seeking backward to the last post with a Reply link, so I'm starting a new thread based on your last reply...

As I asked before, do you also have an ethical issue with the people who came from Europe to live in the Americas back when the journey was highly hazardous, children were often born mid-trip, many died either en route or after arrival and from which few of the next generation would have the option to return? They certainly didn't need to abandon a dying Europe.

(a) They didn't sail to the U.S. as employees of a European corporation dooming their offspring to be employees of said corporation, but I guess you wouldn't have had a problem with that, would you?; (b) returning to Europe was a possibility but there would be no similar possibility for the offspring of the astronauts, would there?

the money spent on the boondoggle would be money that could have been spent for some more immediate benefit

Ah, the 'this money was wasted because it wasn't used to perform task of choice!' argument. So, in your opinion, we should immediately stop spending money on creating (and viewing) movies because the money from those boondoggles could be better spent fighting disease. Oh, and no restaurants, eat cheap food at home and use the spare cash to develop new energy sources. In fact, wouldn't it be the ethical path to refuse to spend money on anything beyond bare sustenance, as long as there are problems (disease, energy supplies, food shortages, etc) that require funding to solve? (Yes, my tongue is so firmly in my cheek that it is threatening to pop out the other side)

That's a very fanciful argument except that I was talking about tax money being spent to send astronauts into space with no benefit whatsoever to their trip. And I mean not even getting the knowledge of the result of their trip (I might feel different should a power source allowing travel near the speed of light were to be developed, but that's either unlikely or just a theoretical possibility.)

Oh, would preparing a system to prevent an asteroid collision be an allowable project to fund, or is that on the boondoggle list?

Sure that would be okay, but where is the need justifying the ethical problems with a trip to alpha centauri?

So far, the only astronauts we've lost in the conquest of space have died on Earth (Grissom, White, and Chaffee dying in a fire during a test) or before they actually reached space (the Columbia disaster)

I am going to be charitable here and assume that by 'us' you meant the United States rather than humanity and were not simply discounting the deaths of Vladimir Komarov, Georgi Dobrovolski, Viktor Patsayev, and the other Russian cosmonauts who have died either while in space or during space-related training. (4 in space, 3 in training including Yuri Gagarin)

I was vaguely aware that the Russians had lost some astronauts, but that doesn't help your case a lot, does it? LOL

Even with that limitation, however, you are still wrong.

The Challenger (which I assume is the disaster you meant when you referred to the Columbia) exploded on launch, that is correct. However, the Columbia was lost upon RETURN to Earth after a two week mission in low Earth orbit.

And in addition to the crew of Apollo 1, whom you reference, let's not forget the original crew of Gemini 9, who died in a training crash, One of the backup crew for Apollo 9 (and slated module pilot for Apollo 12), or one of the astronauts assigned to the Manned Orbiting Laboratory project, who also died in a training crash.

You're right. I stand corrected again, but once again it doesn't really help your argument.

Are there risks and dangers? Sure. And those risks and dangers are precisely what scientists and engineers are working to mitigate or prevent. To protect against cosmic radiation, researchers are developing a device capable of generating an electromagnetic field, similar to the Earth's that can protect against charged radiation. Previously the size and mass was too great for space flight, but recent breakthroughs have allowed for much smaller units (1.5-2.0 meters in length) which generate enough of a field to deflect the incoming radiation.

We encounter problems, we find solutions. It's a habit humanity has gotten into.

I'm asking why should we even try.

That's what I'm asking, too. What could we possibly learn from a trip to alpha centauri that would take many generations (all but the first generation basically enslaved to the mission) that would make the trip important? Maybe they find a grand civilization there, maybe the civilization is unfriendly, maybe they find nothing of note, just another star system kind of like ours but kind of different (ho hum). Whatever the answer, which will take more than four years to radio back, what then?

We have more important things to do.

I'm glad you did that - I had a response to Dave's comment too (pro, Dave, not-so-much, you), but decided going back to the last "Reply" button was more effort than I cared to expend.

RE: "my tongue is so firmly in my cheek that it is threatening to pop out the other side" isn't that how you clean your ears?

Homo Sapiens is, for whatever reason, a species of explorers, otherwise we would still be in Africa. Everytime we see a mountain, someone always wonders what's on the other side.

Dave G, RE: "the people who came from Europe to live in the Americas" - I'm sure that in whatever world Unseen lives, they all sat down to a family conference and got approval from their children to make the voyage, as no one takes a child on a journey like that without his permission, do they?

Unseen countered with, "They didn't sail to the U.S. as employees of a European corporation dooming their offspring to be employees of said corporation," but that's likely because he's never heard of the Virginia Company of London - strange too, it was in all the papers --

Returning to Europe was at least a possibility. On a spacecraft, the ones who want to go back can't simply leave and go home. For one thing, they'd never reach it in their lifetime.

Returning to Europe was at least a (VERY LIMITED) possibility, considering that there was a fare for passage - further, in many cases, their passage was paid for by the companies who sent them, to which, they were under contract to serve a certain number of years. It's not like they could just hop on the Concord!

But just on the likelihood that someone might want to go home, let's just forget the whole thing and stay home. And while we're at it, let's don't go on vacations or Scout Camps, or any kind of outing, based on the possibility that someone might want to go home. In fact, let's just all stay home and never go anywhere. That should work, shouldn't it?

As long as there's a possibillity, however limited, there is at least hope. The starcraft situation is hopeless. I would assume that the contracts the Europeans signed, even then, could not bind their grown up children.

I think the only ethical way to do it is if we can find some way that the astronauts who set out are the ones who end up there and only if they can also return in case they happen to have any offspring while on the way and only then if the offspring do not become adults while on the trip. But that pretty much rules the trip out entirely,

I just don't think it's ethical to commit the unborn to be essentially employees of an earthly enterprise for which their "pay" is to be marooned in a ship where many of them will even spend their lifetimes without even the hope of seeing it through to the end.

Even though it will throw us back to the rickshaw, we should do away with all forms of transportation other than that of single occupancy - that way, we avoid all conflict in case someone wants to go home.

I mentioned that in the Army, but it fell on deaf ears.

Funny, though you don't really treat the starship case as the unique case that it is. True, there are resemblances to earthly exploration, etc., but the starship is different from all of those in a way which makes all of those comparisons irrelevant.

Just as the explorations to the far side of the globe, far from the safety and security of known shorelines, differed from overland explorations with both feet planted firmly on Terra Firma.

"Life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday."

Yada yada yada. 

"The wet bird never flies at night."


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