hubblemedia940 karma2011-07-22 14:11:55 UTC
With that much money US$664 billion (est. 2010), things would be seriously different. We could probably do a reddit poll and take the top 10 (non lolcat) suggestions and just run with them all.
What I would like to see done with that budget is as follows:
Moon based telescope - Why not build a few kilometer diameter telescope on the far side of the moon? It would be very well sheltered from the Earths pollution and at that scale it would provide unparalleled resolution.
Mass produced spacecraft - There is a reason a Lamborghini is more expensive than a Toyota Corolla. When you build something by hand, the cost is significantly higher than when you can run an automated assembly line and pump out thousands a day. SpaceX is hoping to tackle this, but I can never put too much weight behind corporate promises of space exploration. If we could bring down the cost of launches to $1000 a pound or less, it could change the accessibility of space for the entire world.
A serious space colony- While most people dont recognize them as such, space stations are literally our first space colonies. While they may not be self-reliant, neither were many of the early outposts around the world. I would urge for the establishment of a larger scientific outpost, one with at least basic manufacturing capabilities. I would ideally love to have a giant spaceship building factory in orbit, but realistically we have plenty to learn before we are ready for that. I would just have us build the sandbox so we have a chance to learn.
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hubblemedia472 karma2011-07-22 14:18:36 UTC
Sorry, only advice dogs and Confucius. I have no doubt they would have saved the day during Apollo 13.
hubblemedia390 karma2011-07-22 13:06:14 UTC
Here is a fun question Ill throw out there.
What is the coolest space mission youve ever seen cancelled?
For me it was the JIMO mission (Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter). It was powered by a fission reactor and used ion propulsion. The main target was Europa but would have gotten a good look at several of Jupiter's moons. For more info, just click on that link!
hubblemedia349 karma2011-07-22 14:13:29 UTC
You deserve to be upvoted for this. Repeatedly.
hubblemedia243 karma2011-07-22 14:26:06 UTC
A lot of nations are talking about putting a man on Mars. These are the same agencies that are having trouble affording reaching the Moon, so I dont expect to see a Russian flag on Olympus Mons any time soon.
That isn't to write off their progress, any research and development that goes into space exploration and astronomy can only strengthen our position as a spacefaring species.
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