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  • Got an Idea For NASA?

    Well, they'd like to hear it.
    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">NIAC seeks proposals for revolutionary aeronautics and space concepts that could dramatically impact how NASA develops and conducts its missions. It provides a highly visible, recognizable, and high-level entry point for outside thinkers and researchers. NIAC encourages proposers to think decades into the future in pursuit of concepts that will "leapfrog" the evolution of current aerospace systems. While NIAC seeks advance concept proposals that stretch the imagination, these concepts should be based on sound scientific principles and attainable within a 10 to 40-year time frame. </font>
    If you're a college student, and they use your idea, they'll pay you $9K (that'll buy a lot a beer!) for it.
    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">NIAC seeks to identify creative and innovative students who possess an extraordinary potential for developing advanced concepts in the fields of aeronautics, space and the sciences. Each Student Fellow will receive a total of $9,000 for the Academic year 2005-2006. NIAC intends for these awards to benefit talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their academic pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. We seek exceptional creativity, and the promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.</font>

  • #2
    Is that really entirely new? Seem to recall that they had some similar program in the '50's... Dept of Defense though, not NASA. Wasn't that part of the Hedy Lemarr story?

    Comment


    • #3

      I've got an idea for NASA.......

      STOP WASTING OUR MONEY....

      Private Industry can do much more for less. I think the SpaceShipOne team has NASA engineers looking very silly.

      -3Ph

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, you'll be happy to know, 3 Phase Lightbulb that NASA's hired Rutan & Co. to design their next generation space craft. You can read about it here: http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=14933

        Comment


        • #5
          I've got a message for NASA too. Either start making a profit, ( which was their promise with the space shuttle years ago ), or maybe the message needs to be sent to congress, either make it make money , or let them find some resources besides the taxpayers. It'll never happen though, its just another jobs program, like the military's become, and no matter how much waste and incompetance are involved, you can't touch the funding for it. I think the US govt would be a hell of a lot better off funding Rutan directly and leaving NASA and its out of control bureaucracy out of the loop. I watched a NASA spokesperson on C SPAN once , when the programs funding for research on the space station was questioned answer to this effect, and with a straight face I might add. " Well you know, we won't always be able to live on this planet". Makes ya wonder what planet some of these people are living on right now.

          [This message has been edited by pete913 (edited 02-25-2005).]
          Pete

          Comment


          • #6
            I believe blanket statements calling for NASA to stop wasting our money or to expect private enterprise to be a white knight for technology shows a myopic view of the situation.

            I work in the private enterprise aerospace industry and I can assure you that there is much more going on within NASA than meets the bar-room eye.

            While I prefer private industry to drive the technology and financial wheels of the world, private industry has little reason to make the investments that NASA does. Let me cite some examples. Much of the technology investment and its subsequent development by NASA results in spin-off technologies that are not tightly related to the initial project goals. However, many are a technological bridge to allow for new material technologies to be grown from. A typical private enterprise is too focused to make these kinds of research investments to get to a specific end result that requires technologies that are too expensive to develop on their own. Such inventions in the industry are reaped by all industries and that includes the machining industry!

            Additionally, many long range development projects are far outside the normal timeline for private enterprise. Few private companies are investing in 15, 20, or 50 year long research efforts because their dollars are better spent on short-term investments. However, if long term investments are not made, the technology will not advance as quickly as it might otherwise. Those programs are a win-win for the rest of the world.

            Think of all of the medical wonders we have today and many of those are due directly to programs funded by NASA. How many people owe their lives or quality of living to such rudimentary developments such as pacemakers and implantable deliberators all made possible by NASA? That number is staggering.

            While Rutan’s work is nothing to sneeze at, remember NASA accomplished the same thing 40 years ago using far more primitive technology, while inventing the science and knowledge base we take for granted today. Burt essentially rode on the back of NASA to get where he got (Space Ship One and all of his aircraft designs included). Again, not a bad accomplishment, but getting 62 miles above the Earth’s surface is child’s play compared to obtaining orbit, let alone getting to the Moon and back.

            While NASA is a large organization, most of its work is subcontracted out to small and large private industry. Our company has a viable state in the business of NASA and NASA helps keep many of our employees fed and productive. NASA helps us generate new intellectual property, which translates to profit and growth (new hires). My personal friend had a two-man machine shop that supplied Get-Away Special projects for the Shuttle experiments in the �80’s. People moan about innovation and production going off-shore, but the cutting-edge technologies are developed here in the USA under the umbrella of NASA.

            I have heard many of you cry how America is loosing its stronghold on manufacturing and machining, but my private business/shop’s prospects are looking better and better each day. One day it may eclipse my day job. My neighbor is seeing the same thing with his shop and has more than tripled capacity to handle new work. Both of us owe this to aerospace in particular and NASA in general.

            Without NASA the US would be much more a hamburger and fries service industry than it is today. While no Government run program is going to be 100% efficient, blanket statements about the net value of NASA have little substance when there is no corresponding argument to back it up. Most people are clueless about the big picture and how NASA has changed all of our lives for the better in ways unimaginable. No other state run program begins to yield that kind of return on investment.

            That footprint in the lunar soil is far less symbolic of the effort to make that physical imprint than it is a deeper symbol of the technical revolution for humanity we enjoy today.

            Marv


            Comment


            • #7
              Yeh, I got an idea for Nasa, privatise it(destroy the beurocracy), dont regulate what Rutan did, and keep the hubble going.

              Comment


              • #8
                Your points are superbly stated, Debequem. I'm not in full agreement with a few of your statements but your logic and your support for it are fair and reasonably stated and free from peurile political overstatements too often expressed here.

                Your arguement, content, and reasonableness of expression should be a model for us all.

                Comment


                • #9
                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  I believe blanket statements calling for NASA to stop wasting our money or to expect private enterprise to be a white knight for technology shows a myopic view of the situation.

                  I work in the private enterprise aerospace industry and I can assure you that there is much more going on within NASA than meets the bar-room eye.
                  </font>
                  What bar do you work at?

                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  While I prefer private industry to drive the technology and financial wheels of the world, private industry has little reason to make the investments that NASA does. </font>
                  Exactly, lets stop giving our damn money to NASA, and give it to the private industry directly.. NASA invests OUR money, so I wouldn't call it "Their investments".. I'd rather invest in company stock than waste it on NASA..


                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  Let me cite some examples. Much of the technology investment and its subsequent development by NASA results in spin-off technologies that are not tightly related to the initial project goals.</font>
                  This happens everywhere.. More so in the real-world than at NASA.. It even happen too often with my own projects.. I start project A, end up with projects B,C,D,E,F, and 3CP0.

                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  However, many are a technological bridge to allow for new material technologies to be grown from. A typical private enterprise is too focused to make these kinds of research investments to get to a specific end result that requires technologies that are too expensive to develop on their own.
                  </font>
                  Yup, this is the same argument again.. NASA invests using our money, but it's hard for private industry to invest without our money...

                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  Such inventions in the industry are reaped by all industries and that includes the machining industry!</font>
                  I guess the Solaris Operating system I've been working on for the last X number of years hasn't been reaped by any industries?


                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:

                  Additionally, many long range development projects are far outside the normal timeline for private enterprise. Few private companies are investing in 15, 20, or 50 year long research efforts because their dollars are better spent on short-term investments.
                  </font>
                  Again, same argument... Private companies could invest in long term projects if we stopped ignoring them and giving all the money to NASA instead. Too bad NASA gets it all and wastes most of it.


                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  However, if long term investments are not made, the technology will not advance as quickly as it might otherwise. Those programs are a win-win for the rest of the world.</font>
                  I think it's an even bigger win-win if we stop wasting trillions on the middle man.

                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  Think of all of the medical wonders we have today and many of those are due directly to programs funded by NASA. How many people owe their lives or quality of living to such rudimentary developments such as pacemakers and implantable deliberators all made possible by NASA? That number is staggering.</font>
                  Think of all of the medical wonders we are missing right now because we have not been directly funding medical research... Think of all of the lives that we've lost because we wanted to go to the moon instead of going into the operating room.


                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  While Rutan’s work is nothing to sneeze at, remember NASA accomplished the same thing 40 years ago using far more primitive technology, while inventing the science and knowledge base we take for granted today. Burt essentially rode on the back of NASA to get where he got (Space Ship One and all of his aircraft designs included). Again, not a bad accomplishment, but getting 62 miles above the Earth’s surface is child’s play compared to obtaining orbit, let alone getting to the Moon and back.</font>
                  Rutan’s work is stupidly simple. A perfect example of KISS. It's the first step in a 1 mile walk. NASA needs to rethink a lot and re-learn the basics.

                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  While NASA is a large organization, most of its work is subcontracted out to small and large private industry. Our company has a viable state in the business of NASA and NASA helps keep many of our employees fed and productive.</font>
                  Where do you think NASA gets all this extra CASH to throw around? Do you have any idea how much more you could be receiving if it was going directly to your business without the overhead of NASA?


                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  NASA helps us generate new intellectual property, which translates to profit and growth (new hires). My personal friend had a two-man machine shop that supplied Get-Away Special projects for the Shuttle experiments in the �80’s. People moan about innovation and production going off-shore, but the cutting-edge technologies are developed here in the USA under the umbrella of NASA.</font>
                  Again, same argument.. If NASA has an "umbrella" it's because we are throwing too much money at them and they are trying to protect their heads from getting hit by the bundles of cash.

                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  I have heard many of you cry how America is loosing its stronghold on manufacturing and machining, but my private business/shop’s prospects are looking better and better each day. One day it may eclipse my day job. My neighbor is seeing the same thing with his shop and has more than tripled capacity to handle new work. Both of us owe this to aerospace in particular and NASA in general.</font>
                  Wrong, you owe it to US for hand feeding NASA who then hand feeds you. I'm sure you wouldn't mind receiving 2x the amount of money from tax payers investing in your company's well being though... Would you?

                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  Without NASA the US would be much more a hamburger and fries service industry than it is today. While no Government run program is going to be 100% efficient, blanket statements about the net value of NASA have little substance when there is no corresponding argument to back it up. Most people are clueless about the big picture and how NASA has changed all of our lives for the better in ways unimaginable. No other state run program begins to yield that kind of return on investment.
                  </font>
                  Without NASA, maybe the millions of people who die from cancer each year could have been saved if a small fraction of that money wasn't burned up in propellant used to make Dust angels on the moon.


                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by debequem:
                  [B]That footprint in the lunar soil is far less symbolic of the effort to make that physical imprint than it is a deeper symbol of the technical revolution for humanity we enjoy today.[B]</font>
                  I can't see any footprints on lunar soil... I just hope all of the people that died as a result was worth it..

                  -3Ph

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    that's all great argument 3ph, BUT... were nasa gone tomorrow. I doubt private industry would do much more than make a quick (and HUGE) buck and retire to golf.

                    at least we have some regulated focus.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dsergison:
                      that's all great argument 3ph, BUT... were nasa gone tomorrow. I doubt private industry would do much more than make a quick (and HUGE) buck and retire to golf.

                      at least we have some regulated focus.
                      </font>

                      You didn't capitalize nasa.. Lost a little respect for them now?

                      Golf ain't my bag though... I think, in general people do actually like to "work" even though they might not know it.. I think poeople would also enjoy work a little more with the added security knowing "America" is buying stock in their company.

                      NASA funding is huge, even if it's only 1% of the federal budget or something like that.. Does anyone know how much we actually pay NASA?

                      -3Ph

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Debequem, don't waste your time trying to answer 3phase lightbulb. He obviously will never be able to see the light you are trying to shed on the subject.

                        Just let him rant, guys.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Duct Taper:
                          Debequem, don't waste your time trying to answer 3phase lightbulb. He obviously will never be able to see the light you are trying to shed on the subject.

                          Just let him rant, guys.
                          </font>
                          Grow up. This is a complicated subject with many points of view.

                          -3Ph

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I thought you both made some valid points. If anything 3phase is kinda qoute happy, but it was a interesting argument.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I see this argument up close and personal practically every day in dealings with contractors working for the local air force base, whose waste potential might even outstrip NASA, although I'd call it close. The funny part to me is that these contractors, on one hand will go on for hours telling you all about how they can make $100 bucks an hour on an idling backhoe as long as it's on the base, and only about half that on civilian jobs, where you actually have to be DOING something with the backhoe, not just racking up hobbs meter hours. Usually the next drivel out of their mouths is something about "liberals" wasting all our tax money. Well duh, you tell me who's really wasting it. They're participating in the waste, make huge sums off it, have no regrets and no conscience about it, and their excuse for it is " well if we don't take the money someone else will". Does anyone but me see a pattern of 'you got exactly what you deserved' here?
                              My house was built in 1957, the same year they broke ground on the air force base here. In that time, it's had one new set of replacement windows, two new roofs, and one new siding job, and it's in better shape than any 'mil spec' house I've ever seen. In the same time frame, base housing has had more sets of windows, siding, roofs, than you could even count. I don't remember a time in the last 30 yrs, when at least one contractor wasn't working full time year round replacing windows and doors. and now those houses are being torn down, even the basements torn out, and totally rebuilt anew. If that's not total waste and incompetant management, I'd sure like to know what is.
                              It's really hysterical to me, how folks that rail against government waste, in a lot of cases have lived practically their entire lives feeding off the govt tit, think they are OWED everything by the taxpayers, and see absolutely no problem with our government throwing good money after bad with schemes that would get laughed out of any boardroom in this country as completely unworkable and unprofitable, like space stations, moving any significant amount of the earths population to another planet etc. Just as long as it provides them with an income, they simply don't give a rip if it takes every last tax dollar every productively employed US citizen makes to prop up their fiscally indefensable fantasies.
                              Pete

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