Tropical Storm Fay imaged by NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)

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Every day, in every way, things just seem to get worse and worse. All the best to everyone in the storm’s path and in range of its flooding.

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Just want to point out to all the people who think SpaceX, Blue Origin, and their ilk are somehow competition for NASA, none of them would do this – namely, put a satellite in orbit to collect scientific data which they then GIVE AWAY. Even if they provided the launch vehicle. Which, I don’t know, they might have. (Or one of the several other rocket companies might have; SpaceX didn’t invent the idea of “private rocket company”)

NASA’s mission is to do science for the betterment of America. These companies’ mission is to make money for their shareholders and executives. Not at all comparable.


One would hope “the betterment of the world”


Thank you for pointing this out. I’m weary of the Musk-fanboi-driven narrative that SpaceX is somehow going to save us all. Musk is in it for Musk. NASA is in it for the public good.


Well, yes, sure. And they do a ton of international partnerships. But for the US taxpayer, this is the preferred pitch… Also, I think it’s in its mission statement.

No, we’re not at Star Trek yet, sadly.

THANK YOU! Absolutely right. Mind you, SpaceX did find ways of reducing costs that prior rocket companies (of which there are quite a few) did not, and kudos for that. But still.

SpaceX is a low-earth-orbit trucking company, and they’re doing very well at setting that up so far. However, you don’t call Wells Fargo when it’s time to go search for the rumored northwest passage through the arctic. You get the queen to put up a whole bunch of gold because it’s a risky endeavor with unknown results. This is sort of a terrible metaphor, but you get where I’m going. Pure research and science with no planned upside will always need to be done by governments, IMHO.

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Yes. Publicly-funded private corporations have to get quarterly results. Privately-owned corporations can have a longer profit horizon. But to do science, or the many other things that are desirable for a country, a people, or a world, you need true collective action – a government.

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Is the storm going to be bad? If it’s going to be bad, they shouldn’t be showing pictures of it. Who funds these guys?

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