What was Columbia's mission?

by Xander 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • animal

    I spent my last 4 months working at Boeing Space Center in Calif.... they are involved in the Space Station, and most of whats happening now has to do with just that. Manny of what they do in space makes no sense to us, but every experiment means something, to someone.

    Exploring space, if nothing else, gives us more knowledge to help future generations. As an added bonus, it gives Lucy something to bitch about. Everyone is happy!


  • jgnat

    I doubt we would have cheap Personal Computers by now if it wasn't for the space program. So if money earmarked for NASA had been spent on cosmetics instead, Lucy could not be having this conversation with us at all. But she would look HOT.

  • jws
    I doubt we would have cheap Personal Computers by now if it wasn't for the space program.

    I attended a programming class back in '96 with 3 members of NASA from Houston. From what they said, NASA seems way behind in some of these areas. In some cases, they said they still had XTs in use. Sounded like a typical government agency. Working with archaic machines and their hands tied by budgets and red tape. Made me start to wonder about NASA. Sort of shattered some of my illusions of it being a cool place to work. On the engineering end, however, I still believe they are the brightest in the world.

    As for experiments, I've heard a lot of talk today about the old disposable rocket type missions being a lot cheaper than using the shuttle, although not as glamorous. And it's also been suggested that robots could be performing a lot of these experiments, risking no human lives.

    I certainly hope this incident doesn't curtail our space program. But maybe the way we approach it might need to be rethought. Maybe scrap the shuttle for a few years until we know more about what we're doing and perhaps make more use of robotics.

  • heathen

    That's a good question . What was the shuttle doing ? I remember some statements on the news and some gossip that some of the stuff it was doing is indeed top secret. They may verywell have been taking components for the star wars program that keeps surfacing . I just hope that none of it was radio active when it blew and scattered debris all over the place. This is fertile ground for conspiracy theories and we used to have some posters that could make you question if the sky was really blue .lol. Personally I have mixed feelings about the space program. I don't expect they will ever create world peace by pointing nukes at everyone from outer space, and I think there are too many hungry and discontent people to even be fooled by that myth. I think they do need to give it a rest as previously mentioned . Part of my reasoning is that I believe that they are putting the holes in the ozone by launching rockets into space along with the concord jets. We have theories about the weather being effected every time they launch a shuttle. Personally I am glad women spend some money on makeup .

  • Xander

    I just hope that none of it was radio active when it blew and scattered debris all over the place

    1) If, indeed, they were placing something in orbit for the 'Star Wars program' that was radioactive....well, it wouldn't be in their debris from RE-ENTRY, now would it?

    2) The 'Star Wars' program is nothing about 'nukes in space'. In fact, in its current form, it has very little space component at all - it's all ground based advanced missiles and a few space based early warning systems. Something in orbit is very difficult to move quickly, the best place to put defensive weapons is on the ground. And all 'Star Wars' is about is defense - there are much better (IE., MUCH less observable to the entire world) ways of putting a nuke on someone than dropping it from orbit. Sub launched cruise missiles being the least detectable.

    (of course, after the fact, you could always tell where the nuke came from ANYWAY, so....)

    the space program. I don't expect they will ever create world peace by pointing nukes at everyone from outer space

    Well, again, even 'Star Wars' under Reagan wouldn't have had nukes in space - in any case, 'Star Wars' has nothing to do with NASA at all. The US military may pay NASA to carry some stuff up from time to time, but 'the space program' operates for science, not war.

    Part of my reasoning is that I believe that they are putting the holes in the ozone by launching rockets into space along with the concord jets.

    I honestly, REALLY, hope you are just kidding. Ozone is 0 3 - just another type of atmosphere molecule that rests in a fairly high layer of the atmosphere. This is like arguing you think cars are 'putting holes in the oxygen layer'. It's ridiculous - the atmosphere is dynamic, it swells and moves about. (An interesting tidbit - electronics of all sorts make ozone. Ever smell the back of your monitor? That strange, strong smell when its on? That's ozone!)

    What causes the 'hole' in the ozone layer is a combination of factors - global climate change and pollutants of the same weight as ozone taking its place in the upper atmosphere being the primary causes.

  • LuckyLucy

    Terroisim is not that far fetched. Clinton cut the space budget and contracted out to private enterprises which included other countries that don't have our best intrest. It also includes the cheapest labor possible and illegal aliens. Most of these missions are not needed . Its just Men and their egos.

  • funkyderek

    Yeah, what has space travel ever done for us?

    Among other things: satellite television, long-range weather forecasting, microwave ovens, water-purification systems, vitamin pills, mobile communications, heart monitors, ultrasound scanners, laser surgery, resource mapping, GPS navigation, fire-resistant aircraft seats, protective clothing, advanced structural design, and the personal computer.

    "Just Men and their egos" indeed!

  • Xander

    Most of these missions are not needed

    Would you be so kind as to fill NASA in, then, on what missions ARE needed?

    You forget, you've managed to vote people into office who have cut NASAs budget administration after administration after administration. They can't afford incredibly expensive missions, but must keep sending people into space, less lack of practice makes EVERY mission a catastrophe, so the occasional research mission is well worth it. So what if they only bring back minor breakthroughs - we NEED to stay in space.

    You keep telling Congress and the president the space program is completely uninteresting - we should spend more money helping Africa or buying more cosmetics or something!

    Fat lot of good that will do us when an asteroid smacks into our planet, the sun finally goes nova, a passing large asteroid shifts our orbit, we finally burn a hole in the ozone, we melt an ice cap, pollution reaches epidemic levels, biological or nuclear warfare, etc.

    You forget, it's not IF this planet becomes uninhabitable to us. It's WHEN. Just look at the fossil record. This planet's ecology changes on a fairly regular basis (at the stellar scale, anyway). EVERY species eventually goes extinct. If we want mankind to be different, we have to develop technology that will allow us to survive whatever event *should* have caused our extinction.

  • LuckyLucy

    Funky, tell me how sending men in space gave us all that?? For one thing micro-waves were invented before men EVER went into space. Name just ONE of those things that would have never been invented if men had never gone into space.

    These expermints can and have been done without putting humans in a tin can and shooting them into space.

    Edited by - LuckyLucy on 4 February 2003 12:37:46

  • Gerard

    From: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/02/03/columbia/main539214.shtml

    Here are some examples of experiments conducted on Columbia:

    • A study on the growth of prostate cancer tissue, potentially leading to advances in treatment.
    • A look at combustion. The Columbia crew created the weakest flame ever created in a laboratory, about 1/200th that of a match. NASA says using this science, a company can create less soot (Soot accounts for about 60,000 premature deaths in the United States alone).
    • Another experiment aimed at developing internal combustion engines that burn less fuel and emit fewer pollutants.
    • An experiment that observed cultured mouse bone cells to try to figure out why humans lose bone mass when traveling in space.
    • Experiments with protein crystals trying to grow "perfect" protein crystals because a flawless protein crystal can help develop new drugs.
    • Creation of a new scent that was bound for perfume counters on Earth. A fragrance company having learned that fragrances extracted from roses in space smell different than those extracted on the ground paid astronauts to do this experiment.
    • Student experiments, some proposed by children as young as 12, were part of NASA's education mission. The experiments came from students in the United States, Australia, China, Israel, Japan and Liechtenstein. Some plants and a menagerie of small animals,including carpenter bees, spiders, silkworms, Japanese killfish and harvester ants, were on board, mostly for the student projects. Among the findings: Moss, in zero-gravity, grew in spiral patterns, as it searched for north. The ants, tunneling through a transparent gel, appeared oblivious to weightlessness.

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