Print 48 comment(s) - last by FITCamaro.. on Feb 27 at 2:12 PM

NASA said the new technology developed in the Space Technology Mission Directorate will benefit aerospace and government industries in the U.S.

NASA has created a new program that will enable greater development in space technology for the future called the Space Technology Mission Directorate.

The Space Technology Mission Directorate aims to develop new, advanced technologies for both current and future NASA missions. NASA Associate Administrator Michael Gazarik will lead the new program.

"A robust technology development program is vital to reaching new heights in space -- and sending American astronauts to new destinations like an asteroid and Mars," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "A top priority of NASA is to invest in cross-cutting, transformational technologies. We focus on collaboration with industry and academia that advances our nation's space exploration and science goals while maintaining America's competitive edge in the new innovation economy."

The Space Technology Mission Directorate is expected to take a portfolio type of approach that will cover many discipline areas and levels of technology. The research and development will take place in NASA centers, industry, academia and government/international offices.

NASA said the new technology developed in the Space Technology Mission Directorate will benefit aerospace and government industries in the U.S., and will "address national needs."

Source: NASA

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Fix this planet first
By Nyu on 2/25/2013 11:23:29 PM , Rating: -1
We should devote all resources into our own planet first imo before so much research and spending into space; the money should go into fixing aging and diseases as a major worldwide priority.

What's the point of advancing any space technology and research when we are only gonna live for a few short years to see it?

RE: Fix this planet first
By kypd275 on 2/26/2013 12:10:56 AM , Rating: 2
Spoken like someone with zero understanding of how technological research and development works.

Here's a hint, go use this thing call google and try to find out how many things that are commonplace today came from space-related research.

Also, aging =/= disease. Being able to stop the effect of aging would actually be quite terrible. Whatever ethical or psychological issues that may arise aside, the population increase from lack of dying from old age would be disastrous.

RE: Fix this planet first
By Nyu on 2/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: Fix this planet first
By inighthawki on 2/26/13, Rating: 0
RE: Fix this planet first
By kypd275 on 2/26/2013 1:18:11 AM , Rating: 2
Please explain how you plan to solve overpopulation when soon the Earth's population will roughly double every 20-30 years for each generation have a few children. Oh right, you didn't think that far.

I don't think he thought of anything beyond "oh noes I don't wanna die!"

Without massive advances in nearly all fields in material/environmental/energy sciences, eliminating aging would be utterly disastrous for mankind.

RE: Fix this planet first
By Nyu on 2/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: Fix this planet first
By inighthawki on 2/26/2013 2:53:25 AM , Rating: 3

Nobody's telling you it can't happen.


lol, this entire project sounds like someone is living in a fantasy. A resource based economy... you're kidding right? Equally sharing resources, it basically sounds like communism under a different name. It's completely unsustainable. People are greedy, they want more, and are always unsatisfied with what they have. That's what strives and motivates many people to work harder. I simply laugh that anyone believes this would work. A utopia as described by fantasy writers. Maybe in a world where all human beings cared for nothing than the others around them, but in this world? Just lol.

RE: Fix this planet first
By DrChemist on 2/26/2013 6:32:09 AM , Rating: 2
This guy has no background in Biology other than being married to a geneticist and looking like the progeny of Charles Darwin with a Californian hippy from the 70s.

He makes some points but keep in mind he is spouting a philosophical discussion. Either way we should promote technology and scientific exploration to all limits. If all we did was be selective on whats important to the majority, then we wouldn't have treatment for any disease that affects <10% of the population. Your argument is poor and lacks any understanding of science. You sound more like an uneducated politician trying to spout some agenda on things they don't know.

RE: Fix this planet first
By FITCamaro on 2/26/2013 7:53:18 AM , Rating: 2
The Earth already doesn't have enough room for the 7 billion people it holds

Ever look at a picture of the Earth from space? Does it look full to you?

We can easily grow enough food, make enough clothing, etc for our current population. Now oil and gas as well as some other resources sure. We'll have to create alternatives. I think we can already do that with algae based biodiesel, nuclear power, water de-salinization plants, etc. Would create a ton of jobs doing it too.

Honestly one of the biggest resources that we'll run out of sooner than later though is something like rubber. But even then I think we can come up with some kind of alternative.

God gave man intelligence for a reason. It wasn't to watch American Idol and Honey Boo Boo.

RE: Fix this planet first
By Reclaimer77 on 2/26/2013 8:46:31 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah aren't growth rates starting to flatten out? Thought I read that somewhere. Birth rates have been on a sharp decline for like 50 years now.

Anyway all this nonsense about Earth barely sustaining human life is just that, nonsense. We could probably fit the entire human population in Australia, if we packed everyone into tiny Japanese style apartments in skyscrapers.

As far as resources go, very few of those are necessary for human life. Yes our oil and gas and other elements will run out at some point, but those aren't necessary for our survival as a race.

RE: Fix this planet first
By deksman2 on 2/26/2013 3:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
Well, you are mostly correct, but a bit off on a few notes:
First off, giving each Human on this planet (individually, each out of all 7.1 billion) 93 square meters (1000 square feet) would basically take up the entire Texas state in the USA (this is without building vertically - so if you build vertically and maintain the size of each living space to 1000 square feet), you'd need about 50% of state of Texas to house all 7.1 billion people (the rest of the world would be void of Human activity).

Humanity has already been producing enough food to feed 10 billion per year for just over 30 years now (and this is by using outdated agriculture).
For decades we had the ability to grow food locally in fully automated (no need for human labor) vertical farms that grow food using hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics.
And since about 10 years ago, we had the ability to combine that into Omega gardens which can grow food in hollow, self rotating cylinders (which would force the crops to fight against gravity and grow up to 5x faster, producing stronger and much more nutrient rich plants) that have an efficient light source in the middle providing photons for growth.

As for energy...
By 1931 the entire globe could have transitioned to geothermal for baseload energy/heat production (seeing how first geothermal power plant began operations in 1911).
Also, if we tap into just 1% of Earth's geothermal supply - which is easily accessible to us - we can generate enough power to last us 4000 years).

Ground based solar power needs less than 1% of Earths surface to power the projected power demands in 2050.
Space based solar power can easily produce energy 24/7 by having about 22x more power hitting it (compared to the ground based solar tech) and beam the energy to us on the ground wirelessly (completely safe to us and the Earth).

Pizoelectric, wind, tidal and wave... all of these barely tapped in renewable energy sources can be used wherever needed.

Using fossil fuels became outdated 100 years ago.

Oh and as for raw resources... there was 0 need to extract new ones from the ground.
Because by the late 19th century (the period when we perfected recycling of heavy elements, also giving us ability to produce more using less raw matter and energy), Humanity already piled up millions of tonnes of trash in landfills, rich in raw materials, organic matter, etc. - more than enough to provide for each person's needs and wants several times over (same goes for the industry).

Fear of rubber running out?
We invented synthetic rubber a LONG time ago.

See... instead of using 'natural' stuff, we had the ability (for well over 100 years now) to create superior synthetic materials in abundance (with no harm to us or the environment) and use those.
You want to make a wooden house?
Use synthetic wood that would emulate properties of natural wood in regards to touch and smell, but be many times stronger, durable, resistant, have other properties (better insulation), etc.

Actually, already we are producing abundance practically everywhere (using technology of course).
The problem is we still live under a socio-economic system of rationing resources (which is idiotic) that purposefully utilizes technology to benefit only the select few but not everyone.

People need to get rid of this notion: 'how much does it cost'.
Because, its not money you need to make something.
You need technology, energy and resources (all of which we have in abundance).

One final thing:
Computers surpassed Humans in specialized tasks over 10 years ago.
What humans do today are highly specialized jobs... all of which are being slowly automated as we speak.
No one is irreplaceable.
Its already cheaper, easier and faster to automate a job, than it is to wait for humans to train for them and then work.
Machines don't require rest, paychecks, sick-days, or breaks.
They can work 24/7.

Oh and the only reason many machines break down now is because they are designed to break down (planned obsolescence).
We aren't even making technology which reflects our latest scientific knowledge or with the best possible efficiency in mind (because its deemed 'cost prohibitive'- translation = we have ample resources/technology to do it, but from a money point of view, it costs too much to bother with).
We already have machines that maintain themselves and build other machines (also we have machines capable of learning and producing other ideas/results).
Its all quantifiable... and no one is 'irreplaceable' (this may have been accurate in the past, but we no longer live in the past - and I fear many people might easily brush this off as if its non-consequential, only to be caught off guard when they find themselves on the other side of the fence).

I find the perpetuation of many myths (such as overpopulation or lack of resources) to be worrying, because it seems as if no one has been exposed to relevant information, nor are people thinking critically.

Granted, we do live on a finite planet with limited resources, but we had the ability to produce abundance for over 100 years now, and its exactly what we've been doing (albeit using unsustainable methods, whereas we could have and still can do it in a sustainable capacity).

Many live in destitute because they have no 'money' to afford anything else... whereas we have the resources and technology to provide each person on the planet (individually) to have a 3 times higher living standard compared to what the richest person on the planet currently 'enjoys'.

When you realize where our technology has been 100 years ago (let alone today), you basically start realizing that the only reason things are as bad as they are now, because we allowed them to progress to this point.
Its not 'human nature' to be greedy, selfish or competitive.
Those are all learned forms of behavior (mostly because for better part of our history, Humanity lived in scarcity).
But if Human behavior couldn't be altered (if there was such a thing as 'human nature'), then we'd still be living in caves.

There's no need for killing anyone or reducing the population in any way.
Besides, the more educated people are, and if they have secure/unrestricted access to basic necessities of life, then Humanity won't be overproducing off-springs (its actually in countries that have poorly educated people and poor access to basic necessities in which overpopulation is the problem - many 'developed' nations are well below the 'replacement line' numbers).

RE: Fix this planet first
By Nyu on 2/27/2013 2:13:00 AM , Rating: 2
Finally someone smart, thank you.

RE: Fix this planet first
By FITCamaro on 2/27/2013 9:36:05 AM , Rating: 2
When it comes to something like electronics, the reason they break is two-fold.

a) A race to the bottom on price. That means cheap components that wear our fast.

b) Even higher end electronics aren't built like they used to be. Why? Because of environmental regulations that make it impossible to. Lead was a key component in solder that added strength and durability to electronic connections. It's now gone. Why? Because of an imagined danger brought on by liberals.

And we could all be powered by geothermal? Based on what? Where? Yes there are a lot of untapped geothermal sources. But are they where people live? How much would it cost to build a plant there? Even if someone wanted to, would environmental groups let them.

Solar power and wind are a joke and don't work everywhere, all the time. Even if you wanted to try and build solar power out, again, environmental groups would never let you build the required amount. And you'd still need other power sources. Solar and wind are highly fluctuated in output and require expensive upgrades to power systems in order to even hook them up to the grid. Who pays for that? Right we're all just supposed to work as government drones and do whatever we're told "for the greater good".

And space based solar power? What do you base it on that that would be completely safe? High power microwaves aren't exactly healthy. There are other methods but there is no proven technology that can transmit power for miles at great efficiencies and safely. Sure you could try to build space elevators that carry the cables, not exactly cheap though. Nuclear, fusion, or thorium power is a far better idea, safe, and clean. Nuclear and thorium are ready now.

Synthetic rubber requires oil. Thought y'all wanted us not to use that. Synthetic wood? Again, what cost?

In what world do you live in that humans are these perfect beings that all get along? Where money is unnecessary and everyone will just work hard because someone else says so without any reward other than housing or food. Yeah there's plenty of examples of that...

RE: Fix this planet first
By kypd275 on 2/26/2013 1:22:43 AM , Rating: 2
Fixing aging would do only good to our planet and worldwide population

I didn't realize super-overloading the already limited resources was good for the planet, and while it'd certainly 'cause the population count to explode, it's certainly not a good thing while humanity is still restricted to Earth.

And what's the point of all this advance, if you'll just be gone soon. For all I care the Earth can rot and die if I won't be there to see our achievements.

And here you show your true colors, if only all the scientists and pioneers in human history thought the same way you do :rolleyes:

In fact, you're a great example why humanity should not have the ability to negate aging yet.

RE: Fix this planet first
By Nyu on 2/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: Fix this planet first
By kypd275 on 2/26/2013 1:56:33 AM , Rating: 2
says the one who thinks we should stop space exploration and research.

Please, do humor us more.

RE: Fix this planet first
By Nyu on 2/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: Fix this planet first
By FITCamaro on 2/26/2013 7:54:33 AM , Rating: 2
I know you are but what am I.

Seriously. Your arguments are as thin as Linsay Lohan just off a cocaine binge.

RE: Fix this planet first
By FITCamaro on 2/26/2013 7:46:17 AM , Rating: 2
And what's the point of all this advance, if you'll just be gone soon. For all I care the Earth can rot and die if I won't be there to see our achievements.


The problem with current generations on full display right here folks. It's all about them. My bet this moron is part of my generation.

RE: Fix this planet first
By Ammohunt on 2/26/2013 1:59:51 PM , Rating: 2
i agree....Humanism is a dead end road!

RE: Fix this planet first
By FITCamaro on 2/26/2013 8:00:36 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think there is a negative number high enough to rate this post down to.

RE: Fix this planet first
By danjw1 on 2/26/2013 2:10:40 PM , Rating: 2
You missed that NASA has been an integral part of climate research. The fact is that science research more then pays for itself. Every dollar we put into science research ends up returning more in taxes in the future. Sure some bets don't pay off, but even look at DoE's clean energy investments perform significantly better than hedge funds.

RE: Fix this planet first
By FITCamaro on 2/26/2013 7:44:46 AM , Rating: 2
Fix aging? I think we've done pretty well with aging. People are now living past 70 or even 80 quite regularly in modern nations.

Let's explore outside this world so that if a disaster happens, the human race might survive.

RE: Fix this planet first
By Nyu on 2/26/2013 2:19:03 PM , Rating: 1
It doesn't matter that they live to 70-80 if more than half that is riddled by all the issues that come with aging, looks, illnesses, loss of stamina and strenght, life isn't much worth it anymore in the conditions people get into past ~35-40.

RE: Fix this planet first
By FITCamaro on 2/27/2013 9:38:25 AM , Rating: 2
This would be hilarious if it wasn't so pathetic and sad.

Yeah because after 35-40 you're just a dried up, worthless sack of meat who can't do anything. I bet my 65 year old father can do more pushups than you.

RE: Fix this planet first
By FITCamaro on 2/27/2013 9:44:12 AM , Rating: 2
Oh and I can assume then that you'll be euthanizing yourself once you hit 40 then right?

RE: Fix this planet first
By Reclaimer77 on 2/26/2013 7:53:12 AM , Rating: 3
"Fixing aging" ???

Sorry NASA! Your top priority is keeping mawmaw around longer!!!

What's the point of advancing any space technology and research when we are only gonna live for a few short years to see it?

Uhhh future generations? Our children?

You are so short sighted, it's disturbing. If people years ago had this attitude, what would be "the point" in developing the Internet or modern housing? You only live a few years, so you can just live them out in a mud hut!

RE: Fix this planet first
By ClownPuncher on 2/26/2013 2:00:46 PM , Rating: 2
Let the kid have his moment. It's not every day someone can make the entire internet facepalm.

RE: Fix this planet first
By CaedenV on 2/26/2013 3:47:16 PM , Rating: 1
What better way to understand how to fix our planet than to get off of it? There is not an honest scientist out there that actually knows all of the whats and hows of climate change. Sure, we know that humans are involved, but just because putting carbon in the air caused it, does not mean that removing carbon will fix anything. The climate HAS changed, and the systems that kept the old climate 'stable' may simply not exist anymore.

Change is not always bad, or always good. Change is simply different. Similarly, old systems are not always the best systems, nor are they the worst, they are simply how things use to work. In fact we don't even know if we CAN go back as the changes which have happened may have perminately broken or weakened elements that kept the old system stable. Different organizms thrive better in different systems, and mankind is not going to know what the 'best' picture looks like until we have the real estate to do truly large scale biome or teraforming projects where we can play with the different settings of life and get a feel for how the environment actually reacts to our decisions. The only way to really do this is to get off of our planet ASAP and really learn how closed self-sustaining systems work.

As for fixing the issues related to age and disease, there are plenty of people working on that already. These are not problems where you throw funding at it until the problem is solved. Large portions of the scientific community are dedicated towards removing disease, and making the aging process more graceful (or people like Kirzweil are making good progress at stopping and reversing the process entirely). It is not a brute force thing, it is all about trying things over time and seeing how they work, there is no fast answer.

RE: Fix this planet first
By deksman2 on 2/27/2013 5:09:26 AM , Rating: 2
Getting off Earth with most of Humanity in a present mental state (consume, discard, unsustainable methods of production, and 0 regard for the environment [let alone each other]) is not exactly what I would call to be 'better'.

We had the ability to fix worlds problems for over 100 years now.
Today, it would take less than 10 years with the technology and resources at our disposal.

Injecting science and technology directly into the social system could easily solve our problems... however, that alone isn't enough.
You need to educate people first and foremost and cannot expect to simply throw people from one system into the other, because you will end up with same problems (because no one was exposed to relevant general education, the approach to how the new system works, or taught people on sustainability, etc.).

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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