This is why we invest in science.

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
79,639
27,842
898
Seattle
#1
THIS is why we invest in science. This.

Every day — every single day, it seems — I see a note on Twitter, or get email, or hear someone on TV asking why we bother spending so much money on NASA. Billions of dollars! We should be spending that money right here on Earth!
This argument is wrong in every conceivable way. Ignoring that we do spend that money here on Earth, ignoring that NASA’s budget is far less than 1% of the national budget, ignoring that the amount we spend on NASA in a year is less than we spend on air conditioning tents in Afghanistan, ignoring that we spend five times as much on tobacco in a year than we do on space exploration… this argument is still dead wrong.
Why?
Because when we invest in science, when we invest in space, when we invest in exploration, we always, always get far more back in return than we put in. And not just in dollars and cents.
See that picture above? It shows a new type of rocket engine design. Usually, fuel is pumped into a chamber where the chemicals ignite and are blown out the other end, creating thrust. The design pictured above does this in a new way: as the fuel is pumped into the chamber, it’s spun up, creating a vortex. This focuses the flow, keeping it closer to the center of the chamber. In this way, when the fuel ignite, it keeps the walls of the chamber cooler.
So what, right?
Here’s what: using this technology — developed for rockets for NASA, remember — engineers designed a way to pump water more quickly and efficiently for fire suppression. The result is nothing short of astonishing:
One series of tests using empty houses at Vandenberg Air Force Base compared [this new] system with a 20-gallon-per-minute, 1,400 pound-per-square-inch (psi) discharge capability (at the pump) versus a standard 100-gallon-per-minute, 125 psi standard hand line—the kind that typically takes a few firemen to control. The standard line extinguished a set fire in a living room in 1 minute and 45 seconds using 220 gallons of water. The [new] system extinguished an identical fire in 17.3 seconds using 13.6 gallons—with a hose requiring only one person to manage.
In other words, this new system put out a fire more quickly, using less water, and — critically — with fewer firefighters needed to operate the hose. This frees up needed firefighters to do other important tasks on the job, and therefore makes fighting fires faster and safer.
There is no way you could’ve predicted beforehand that investing in NASA would have led to the creation of this specific innovation in life-saving technology. But it’s a rock-solid guarantee that investing in science always leads to innovations that have far-ranging and critical benefits to our lives.
If for no other reason that’s why we need to invest in science: in NASA, in NSF, in NOAA, and all the other agencies that explore the world around us. It’s for our own good. And it always pays off.
[UPDATE: I should have noted that this technology was developed by Orbitec, a contractor with NASA and not NASA itself. The argument I make above still stands, though.]
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/03/21/this-is-why-we-invest-in-science-this/
 

Creasy Bear

gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
Donator
Mar 10, 2006
50,303
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In a porn tree
#2
Yes... let's continue to invest in the worthwhile and beneficial science of unmanned space exploration.
 

Hog's Big Ben

Getting ass-***** in The Octagon, brother.
Donator
Jul 28, 2005
28,448
18,545
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#4
Every day — every single day, it seems — I see a note on Twitter, or get email, or hear someone on TV asking why we bother spending so much money on NASA.
No, Poindexter, you don't.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
Jan 12, 2010
36,712
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#5
I was having a similar discussion with one of my buddies, and I would get behind support of the United Nations if their sole goal was space exploration.
 

CousinDave

Registered User
Dec 11, 2007
25,297
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#6
[video=youtube;meSSUhCDSaE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meSSUhCDSaE[/video]
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
15,949
4,075
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#8
I have never invested a cent into NASA. People with guns rob me and hand a small portion of that money over to NASA, to get votes from some of the science fans.

Here's why any science fan who supports this system is a moron: scientific and research enterprises pay the same taxes as everybody else, which is a little above 30%. And NASA gets less than 1%.

That is what you are voting for: robbing scientific research by 30%, and then throwing NASA a tiny percentage of the loot. The rest goes to leeches, corrupt politicians, useless bureaucrats, and the rebuilding of savage lands that are going to be destroyed again in 10 years anyway.
 

CousinDave

Registered User
Dec 11, 2007
25,297
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Ohio
#9
Does NASA get royalties from any the inventions that are always claimed exist because of NASA ?
 

Josh_R

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
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Akron, Ohio
#11
But it’s a rock-solid guarantee that investing in science always leads to innovations that have far-ranging and critical benefits to our lives.
Ahem... Solyndra.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
15,949
4,075
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#12
Ahem... Solyndra.
Shhhhh, when you hand the money over to your connected friends, you're investing in science. Or society. Or the common good. Never name the actual people and the actual person. Stay vague. Vague is good, the morons buy into it better.

Let's call it all "science", don't differentiate between the kinds of science. An investment into the Solyndra CEO's Lambo, or NASA's climate propaganda, is an investment in science. You can't argue against science, if you do, you're an anti science jerk.
 
Aug 11, 2005
27,637
4
528
#13
Shhhhh, when you hand the money over to your connected friends, you're investing in science. Or society. Or the common good. Never name the actual people and the actual person. Stay vague. Vague is good, the morons buy into it better.

Let's call it all "science", don't differentiate between the kinds of science. An investment into the Solyndra CEO's Lambo, or NASA's climate propaganda, is an investment in science. You can't argue against science, if you do, you're an anti science jerk.
hey I need a grant to disprove religion!

see how that works?