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NASA Idle Science

National Planetary Exploration Car Wash and Bake Sale 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the we're-going-to-need-more-cookies dept.
An anonymous reader writes "To attract media and Congressional attention to the deep NASA planetary exploration cuts proposed to take place October 1, and the need to restore the planetary budget to present or higher levels, a National Planetary Exploration Car Wash and Bake Sale is being planned for June 9th. Organizations already involved include planetary groups at many universities, research institutions, and Moon Express (Google Lunar X Prize)."
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National Planetary Exploration Car Wash and Bake Sale

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    They only need to wash 500 million cars and we can send another probe to Mars.

    • by maroberts (15852)

      You missed the probe to Uranus which I understand is still virgin territory.

      Boom-tish

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How about we fire EVERYONE in the pentagon, congress, and washington DC. That should free up a few trillions.

  • I think it's a good idea to draw attention to the issue, but I dunno how much coverage it will get. I know the news where I live tends to focus on local politics and crime, the weather, sports, and current national stuff.

    of course, they might just throw it in as a 'local event,' ignoring the fact that it's going on around the country.

  • We used to go to the moon. Now we just make moon pies so we can play we afford Lego space shuttles.

  • But I'm down with this. As long as there is a way for individuals to support a particular government program they believe in, I would support it. In the case of NASA, I'd put my money/time/support where my mouth is.

    Damnit, finally a valid reason to sign up for twitter.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wants to throw support behind a good cause.

      Signs up for Twitter.

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

      Damnit, finally a valid reason to sign up for twitter.

      I still won't

      It's a good cause, I know, but there are still other ways to support it without having to give in to the walled gardens

  • Hope it has MoonPies [moonpie.com] :)

  • Now imagine if these people instead went out and spent their time trying to raise the money they need from private benefactors, rather than this silly attempt at shaming the government into giving them more stolen money. It wouldn't matter how many people don't want to fund them; if they find enough money, even if it comes from just one benefactor, they could go forward with their research.

    Or, they can keep begging the government to fund them out of money stolen from the public, in which case they constantl

    • by paiute (550198) on Monday April 16, 2012 @06:55AM (#39698817)
      Now imagine if the Department of Defense instead went out and spent their time trying to raise the money they need from private benefactors, rather than this silly attempt at shaming the government into giving them more stolen money. It wouldn't matter how many people don't want to fund them; if they find enough money, even if it comes from just one benefactor, they could go forward with buying guns and stuff.
      • "Libertarian" trolls get mod points and mod down perfectly sensible posts like the parent. I guess there must be PR flaks spending their time making sensible posts to get mod points to inflate (or mod down the opposition) the ratings of the guys in the same room posting their Koch-and-bull dysonomics. It must be like those gold-farming sheds in China; hang on, it probably is a gold farming shed in China.

        Look, even the Republican Party has realised that the supporters of a Somalia solution for the USA are un

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday April 16, 2012 @07:20AM (#39698899) Homepage Journal

      Now imagine if these people instead went out and spent their time trying to raise the money they need from private benefactors, rather than this silly attempt at shaming the government into giving them more stolen money.

      Now imagine that they have been trying that tack, and they're still broke.

      Going into space benefits us all. It has already paid dividends. It can pay more. It makes more sense than blowing the money on highways when we could be building rail, which can carry ten times as many passengers per dollar spent in the best case, and achieves parity in the worst case.

      • by Shavano (2541114)

        ... It can pay more. It makes more sense than blowing the money on highways when we could be building rail, which can carry ten times as many passengers per dollar spent in the best case, and achieves parity in the worst case.

        That hasn't been its record in the USA. Here it has been a sink of massive subsidies resulting in a vastly underused infrastructure that most people will avoid if they have a choice.

        • by malilo (799198)

          As I recall we ripped out all the passenger rail or sold it to the freight lines long, long ago. Outside of Amtrak (which has to give right-of-way to freight), and light rail, what infrastructure are you referring to?

          As for subsidies, only in America do people think that rail should somehow magically "pay for itself"... the equivalent would be roads "paying for themselves", i.e., all toll roads, all the time. No one (outside of crazy libertarians) thinks that is a good idea. Basically, SOME sunk investme

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          That hasn't been its record in the USA. Here it has been a sink of massive subsidies resulting in a vastly underused infrastructure that most people will avoid if they have a choice.

          That is massively false. That has only been true since the federal government not only permitted but actually actively aided the car companies in buying up and shutting down profitable and active public transportation systems to increase demand for automobiles, which coincided directly with the otherwise unnecessary introduction of the federal highway system, which was deliberately routed in order to destroy some cities and towns and to pursue other political goals. Therefore, the history of public transpor

      • We humans would like to think that we're special, but the fact is, we're just another species on this planet.

        And 99.99% of the species that have evolved on this planet have gone extinct on this planet.

        Doesn't matter if it's failure to compete, a slow climate change, a rapid disease or a near-instant asteroid strike, sooner or later, nearly every species gets wiped out.

        If we really want to be special, we need to leave Earth and spread out, because while the Earth's environment is the safest for us
        • by khallow (566160)

          We humans would like to think that we're special, but the fact is, we're just another species on this planet.

          We are special.

          And 99.99% of the species that have evolved on this planet have gone extinct on this planet.

          And only one of those species, extinct or alive has built a civilization.

          If we really want to be special, we need to leave Earth and spread out, because while the Earth's environment is the safest for us *individually* over the short term, it is also a near-guaranteed death sentence for our *species* over the long term.

          So in half a billion years, someone needs to do something. Ok. If you going to claim that we should do something now in space, then you need to have a more compelling reason than something that happens long from now.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            A big rock could show up in a month or so and wipe us all out. We've had close calls with big ones that we only saw when they were that close... or already passed us

            • by khallow (566160)

              A big rock could show up in a month or so and wipe us all out. We've had close calls with big ones that we only saw when they were that close... or already passed us

              Sure, it could happen. But makes that miniscule chance compelling?

              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                Sure, it could happen. But makes that miniscule chance compelling?

                Well, it's risk management. If it happens odds are we more or less all die. So if we can do something about it then we should. You try not to worry about what you can't do anything about, but if you can do something and you don't that's lame. Meanwhile we get commercial benefits from it, without blowing anyone up but volunteers. I call it a win.

                • by khallow (566160)

                  If it happens odds are we more or less all die.

                  It'd have to a bit larger than the stuff that's hit us in the past 200 million years or so, for that to be a threat. And we can mitigate the risk of that without leaving Earth to the point that no asteroid collision since life began would be capable of killing all humans on Earth.

                  I think one should consider instead more mundane and frequent risks. For example, economic downturns are frequent, but they don't affect everyone with equal severity. A space-side economy could help humanity recover from Earth-

                  • by drinkypoo (153816)

                    I focus on a rock because we have no plans which could, with short (say, two months') notice, do a goddamn thing to save us. Humans can, at least in theory, avert nuclear war. There's no real risk of cultural stagnation here on Earth unless we actually somehow all become the same. As long as we have differences (which is likely unless we tie ourselves together into a hive mind) we'll find shit to bicker about. But a rock can just show up out of the black and ruin your whole day.

                    • by khallow (566160)

                      I focus on a rock because we have no plans which could, with short (say, two months') notice, do a goddamn thing to save us.

                      Throw breeding age populations with food and some equipment on every nuclear sub and deep mine shaft in the world. Easily achievable even for private organizations.

                    • by drinkypoo (153816)

                      Great, some people can crawl out onto a blasted landscape capable of supporting life in five years at best, if a major impactor lands in the ocean. But if the strike falls on land it could feasibly lead to our extinction even in the case of such preparations.

                      I think preventing a rockfall is possible but not without more shit in space to detect it in the first place.

                    • by khallow (566160)

                      Great, some people can crawl out onto a blasted landscape capable of supporting life in five years at best

                      In other words, it works. It's not sexy and it sucks compared to space habitation.

                      But if the strike falls on land it could feasibly lead to our extinction even in the case of such preparations.

                      I don't see why. On this scale, a few miles of water isn't that significant.

          • And only one of those species, extinct or alive has built a civilization.

            And if we get wiped out, what difference will all that have made? All the things we've learned and done will be for nothing, save perhaps a step up for the next dominant species.

            So in half a billion years, someone needs to do something. Ok. If you going to claim that we should do something now in space, then you need to have a more compelling reason than something that happens long from now.

            An asteroid could wipe us out tomorrow.

            Evolution never stops. All it could take is one organism able to capitalize quickly and efficiently on the truly huge food supply that is Humanity, and it could all be over for us in a matter of months. That could happen tomorrow, too. Or yesterday, for that matter.

            And even if nothing need

            • by khallow (566160)

              And in a country where the average person spends about 10% of their income insuring their homes, health and vehicles,

              Against adverse events that happen on average several times during a human life.

              it seems odd that we're not willing to go the extra step and insure our Species...

              Against 1 in 100 million per year or lower events? What makes you think we should spend more than we already are?

      • by J'raxis (248192)

        Now imagine that they have been trying that tack, and they're still broke.

        They might be going broke, but private space development and exploration companies certainly aren't. NASA is failing because it's an enormous, lethargic bureaucracy staffed by the same caliber of people who work at the DMV or the welfare office, and people know this. I certainly wouldn't give money voluntarily to NASA.

        Going into space benefits us all. It has already paid dividends. It can pay more.

        And this justifies forcing everyone t

  • A step further (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Monday April 16, 2012 @07:00AM (#39698837) Homepage
    We need to introduce this culture of poverty to America's military as well. When that happens, we'll be much more advanced as a culture.

    "It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."

    • I realize your "bake sale to buy a bomber" comment is a joke but the really funny thing is that stuff like that actually happened in WW2. Groups really did organize and collect money to buy an aircraft for the military.
  • In honor of the Twilight Zone episode, they should title the cookbook "To serve man".

    Bob.

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Monday April 16, 2012 @08:47AM (#39699291)

    NASA should sell beer to raise money. Call it Moon Brew, plaster it in patriotic imagery and tell men it makes them smarter and promotes scientific progress at the same time.

    Only 100 billion more barrels to Titan!

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      NASA should sell beer to raise money. Call it Moon Brew, plaster it in patriotic imagery and tell men it makes them smarter and promotes scientific progress at the same time.

      Only 100 billion more barrels to Titan!

      There's room for multiple brands, for example
      Martian Red Ale
      New World Porter
      Ganymead

  • I was a head baker of a popular country store in my area. Give me the right equipment and I can make four 8-inch and eight 4-inch pies in two hours or less. I will gladly show my support for this noble, righteous cause and offer my services.

    Good Christ, if only the military had this problem... oh wait, they do, AFTER they send their beloved American soldiers home from wars that give them diseases, psychological issues and other stuff they ignore. This country is the greatest, as proven by this song [youtube.com].

  • Did you see the pic on that page? A bunch of middle age white guys washing your car? Ppphhhhhhh! Bring in some bikini-clad cheerleaders to do the washin' and I'm in! For smart guys, they're not thinking very smart.

  • The main three problems with the Planetary Society's campaign is simply a) That planetary science isn't that valuable to society, b) that basic economics issues, such as economies of scale and the additional risk of concentrating risk, are routinely ignored, and c) they aren't willing to put their own money where their mouth is (the "bake sale" is just a scheme to advocate for additional unaccountable public funding). I can't take them seriously until they figure these things out.

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller

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