I'm sure that there is room for improvement (it can't help that they change direction every administration), but they do a lot more pure science than they did in the 60s. And the pound-your-chest stuff of the 60s is mostly gone, with even the manned program going in the direction of "jump start the private sector". I'm much happier with the Space X style contracts than I am with the 60s model of in-house development, even if that might have been necessary to achieve the goal of beating the Soviets.
Wow, thankyou, I was really struggling over that sentance.
I was of that generation. I grew up with an Apple IIe. My first Mac was in college - I had a Centris 650 and it was very nice. Then I got a PowerBook 5300cs, and the only nice thing I can say about it was that Apple kept fixing it, eventually extending the warranty for 7 years IIRC. After that debacle, my next computer was a cheap PC (Cyrix processor!). Ever since, I've gone with a mix of Macs and PCs.
Peter predicted that you would "deliberately forget" creation 2000 years ago...
That's why I worship him instead of Jesus.
That's as much a condemnation of the educational establishment as anything else. In 1987 when I was 12 I wrote a spelling program for the 4th grade teacher and showed her how to modify the vocabulary list. It was a laughably simple program, but she could put kids on it and they would get the equivalent of 1 on 1 education. It took a 12-year-old kid to write a lame program in order for the computers in her classroom to be useful... at least she had the initiative to ask me for help - most teachers wouldn't bother.
And this is when the personal computer had been around for roughly 10 years. I don't know what they do with computers these days, but I'm sure they are just as underused. My kids' school district has a "language lab" with thousands of dollars worth of software sitting unused because the idiot school district can't afford the "sanitizable" headphones. When I suggested they buy dollar store headphones and issue them to every student they said that would be "unmanageable" because the students would lose them. Oy.
Well, it's kind of a separate discussion, but personally I support efforts to keep man in space.
I think you need to finish reading my comment
OK, but humans are by definition still in the manned spaceflight program.
I can't speculate on their "real" reasons for selection, but I think it doesn't take much research to find examples of things going very wrong in space. I have been in situations with people where they reacted quite badly, so I don't think I'm going out on a limb here.
You are right, people starting new companies shouldn't have to grovel to these idiots. There should be a public fund that goes to worthy companies. And to make sure that we give the money to the right people, we'll put a panel of experts together to judge the merits of these startups. We'll have to pay the panel members extremely well, so that they don't get corrupted or bribed. Now, there's a few powerful congressmen who have some brothers-in-law who happen to be scientists, and they would be a perfect fit for this panel. I'm sure they will be more responsible with this taxpayer money than rich guys investing their own money.
I gather that they know what they are doing, but I imagine that "makes decisions well while under pressure" might be a pretty big criteria that might already be tested in a military pilot.
It's not anywhere near Apollo levels - it took an enormous dive after Apollo and has trended down ever since.
And the real progress has been SpaceX which didn't start till about 11 years ago.
Agreed - and I'd add the stubborn refusal to rethink the shuttle was even more wasteful. I mean, they built a whole fleet of those darned things even when it was clear that they weren't going to perform as originally hoped. I give NASA a pass on the 50s and 60s, though - that was more of a pissing match and less of a "let's boot an industry" thinking.
I take issue with your characterization of funding, though - NASA spending went way down compared to the rest of our spending. It's clearly not the priority it was for us in the 60s.
I think the way NASA is encouraging these newer non-defense space companies is a refreshing change of pace. I hope they continue with that strategy. I'd like to see more goal-oriented funding. Even just throw stuff out there that seems crazy - like another Hubble servicing mission. Make the rules very open - who cares how they do it, manned or robotic - if you successfully service Hubble, here's a half-billion dollars... have at it!
I suggest you look at a teardown of the Cube. It was pretty much had a regular-looking PC board in a somewhat novel case. The Cube also made severe performance compromises to run fanless.
Guns don't kill people, toddlers kill people.
You should start a White House Petition to fund your magic rock. Mine has permanent magic that keeps the Earth from flying off into space.