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NASA's new goal

Discussion in 'Congregation of the Masses' started by Zach, Jul 10, 2010.

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  1. Zach

    Zach

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    Space? What space? President Obama has informed NASA administrator Charles Bolden that his highest priority should be "to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering." Maybe as far as the West is concerned, the Middle East is a foreign alien planet, but this is so obviously beyond the scope of NASA's purpose. You might think that the National Aeronautic and Space Administration's purpose would be to put men on mars or discover extraterrestrial water but rather they are now being used as tool to advance Obama's foreign policy agenda. If Obama needs to use NASA to placate the Muslim world, then that speaks volumes about his foreign policy competence - or lack thereof.

    reference
  2. vonFiedler

    vonFiedler You're only a rebel from the waist down
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    Why would Obama want a man on Mars? It's not like one of the smartest men in the world thinks that's mankinds hope for the future or anything.
  3. cantab

    cantab

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    Source that isn't obviously using the news for anti-Obama rhetoric? I don't trust this not to be something taken out of context.
  4. Invective

    Invective

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    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/p...outreach_-Al-Jazeera-told-first-98058674.html

    from the article
    this might be why its not been showing up on more liberal leaning news outlets



    this work for you?
  5. cantab

    cantab

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    And indeed, notice the difference.
    Emphasis mine. Notice the difference - the Washington Examiner makes it clear that this outreach is just one of the many things NASA is involved in. RealClearPolitics by contrast implies that it is to be the only focus of NASA and prioritised above space exploration and science.

    Oh, by the way, I found the actual film where Charles Bolden spoke to Al Jazeera: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e857ZcuIfnI
    Still listening to this.

    It's clear the Obama administration is seeking to give NASA roles other than space exploration. But is this necessarily a bad thing?

    EDIT: To be honest, about the video, Bolden saying he doesn't think any nation, even the US, can go beyond low Earth orbit alone (at about ten minutes) dismays me. That just seems to show a complete lack of ambition and confidence.
  6. cim

    cim happiness is such hard work
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    Yup, a multi-billion dollar organization only does the last thing mentioned about it in the news, replacing everything else it does.
  7. drifblim70

    drifblim70

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    well, in the president's defense, even if this story about the highest priority of nasa being outreach to the middle east (which it likely isn't), what the hell is NASA for nowadays anyway? As far as I know the whole point of their existence is to explore space, with the idea being that it'll help promote new technologies/resources for living on earth or the u.s. or whatever. In other words... why? It's sorta gimmicky anyway, we already went to the moon and I don't see them heading for mars anytime in the near future, though a manned mission to mars would obviously be "cool," a moment of pride for humanity, etc. Back when the Soviet Union was around it seemed kinda like a friendly competition thing, which was cool, since it promoted national pride peacefully and all that. Fine. But what is NASA doing nowadays? Sending probes everywhere, gathering data, etc.

    As far as mideast outreach (and presumably outreach to the rest of the world) goes, why not? We're not exactly diverting NASA's attention from anything, are we? A lot of mathematical knowledge came out of the mideast, right? The theory of algebra, countless Arab math-philosopher guys... it's gotta be all on Wikipedia somewhere or something. Don't we use an Arabic number system? I thought we did, maybe that's an urban legend or something if someone wants to tell me otherwise. If we want to promote peace everywhere, including the middle east, we might need better technology for growing food or negotiating with the terrain for better living conditions in adverse environments, which is the kind of crap NASA really should be exploring--more efficient water purification tech, alternative fuels (i don't really care if their cleaner or not, just make 'em better/renewable), etc.

    I know this whole thing plays into the conservative portrayal of Obama as obsessed with negotiating pointlessly and being a "citizen of the world," but as far as that goes, it's really just blind nationalism in disguise and they sound like they're eight, so, suck it up, the world isn't as simple as you think it is and sometimes it pays to talk to other countries. Even Reagan knew that, he was a lot friendlier with other nations (i.e. the Soviets) than people think, there was an article about it in "Foreign Policy" magazine recently (I know no one reads it, but my grandmother had a copy in her living room...meh)
  8. Synre

    Synre
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    Considered infracting for the obvious bias(not to mention lack of research) in the OP, but I'm just going to close this.

    If you want to discuss this in a more rational way feel free and make a new topic.

    EDIT: Then later infracted anyway! Apparently no trolling may go unpunished.
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