Roger's Equations Blog

Roger's Equations

This blog is all about science and technology (with occasional math thrown in for fun). The goal of this blog is to try and pass on the sense of excitement and wonder I feel when I read about these topics. I hope you enjoy the posts.

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To the Moon and Beyond

Posted September 27, 2005 10:46 AM by Bayes

Recently I have read many columns about the absurdity of a return trip to the Moon, or a manned mission to Mars. Why send a man when a rover can do the same job or close to it for much cheaper? Why introduce the risk of life? Couldn't we find better ways to spend the money?

I have to admit that if one compares what you gain by making a research mission manned as opposed to sending a rover is compared to the extra cost and risk, it doesn't make much sense. And I also am sure that we could find better ways to spend the money. However, you could say that last thing about most of the spending governments do, they are imperfect. Also, when we say that a manned mission brings little additional gains and lots more risk, we are neglecting the contributions to technology and science a manned mission requires.

Everything doesn't always have to be profit driven and economical. Sometimes science produces the best results when the goal is inspiration. The birth of science was as much born out of a search for knowledge as it was for profit. The way I see it, this is simply a 100 billion dollar grant to science. Whether we think it's the right science or not, lets at least be thankful.

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