I haven't posted a good rant in a while, but it's Friday, so I'll bite. Yeah, I support NASA, and yeah, I'm tired of goofiness that flies around online.
Um, hello, it's not NASA's job to commercialize space, that's what private companies are for. NASA exists as a research and development organization. Yeah, they get paid to carry things into space, but that is one of their funding mechanisms to be able to do more exploration and research. If it would make them money, the private sector would have already been up there. But it's still too expensive right now, so they don't. This is why you can't fly to the moon.
I'm really tired of the mentality that I see of people online. It takes two general forms. <whine>NASA is evil and shouldn't be spending so much money on space</whine>. Number two is <whine>NASA is evil since it's their fault we haven't commercialized space</whine>. Of course, I'm not implying that a lot of people just want to whine so NASA is damned if they do and damned if they don't.... NASA is just the convenient whipping boy because people don't want to go around to the private sector and ask why they haven't done much yet. Yeah, NASA has vehicles and launch facilities. So go ask the private sector why they haven't developed the same infrastructure in all of these years. Reguardless of the whining, corporate America could build their own infrastructure if they had wanted to now. But going up is still too damned expensive, but surely NASA doing things like continual research on cheaper means of going up and down is evil and has no benefits to the private sector.
You know what's really funny? If NASA had no ties whatsoever to the government, people wouldn't blame them, they'd still blame the government. This is the mentality that is truly amazing. There's no damned conspiracy to keep business out of space. There's no big Men in Black or Illumaniti stopping you from flying. Businesses know what makes money, more so than a bunch of people posting around online.
As far as making the news, space travel HAS become routine. Asking why launches don't make big news is like asking why intercontinental plane flights don't make big news anymore. People have lost interest, there's no novelty since it happens so often. People do this with everything, not just NASA launches.
So what they charged so much for a private person to go up. This is another damned if they do, damned if they don't type of thing. If they did make it cheap for everyone to go up, then people would freak whenever an accident happens. But if they make it expensive so that Joe Blow can't afford it, people still freak. People's egos aside, it's not trivial to shoot something up into space. If it was as easy as people on K5 and Slashdot have made it out to be, why haven't THEY made their own space programs yet? So they charge a lot of money to let some guy go. Each lauch costs a lot in the first place, so this probably isn't such a rip-off as it seems.
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