PDA

View Full Version : Poor nations planning manned space missions- what do you think?



banquo's_bumble_puppy
2006-Jan-15, 01:35 PM
Just read on Nasawatch that India is looking at a manned space mission of their own. What do you think? Is the only benefit from this prestige? It would be quite an accomplishment for that nation, but other than that....

Halcyon Dayz
2006-Jan-15, 01:48 PM
Like most things, poor is a relative concept.
Countries like China, Brazil and India have very large economies.

The use of communications, weather and other environmental satellites
certainly has it's uses for developing countries.
If you don't have much of an existing infrastructure, going directly
to space-based technologies might actually be cheaper.
Some countries also feel a military need for such technologies.

And, like many other cultures, these countries feel a desire
to explore the cosmos.
India for one is doing great things in astronomy with their
limited resources.

Doodler
2006-Jan-15, 02:40 PM
Like most things, poor is a relative concept.
Countries like China, Brazil and India have very large large economies.

I think "poor" is a frankly poor term to use here. The idea seems to stem from the belief that nations outside the "western" world are all full of struggling, starving people run by inept governments is extremely shortsighted and grossly inaccurate. Anyone whining about a favela in Rio de Jiniero (bet I just butchered that spelling, sorry) better hope they don't look to closely at the Bronx or Harlem in New York, or Southeast DC or some parts of the rural areas, because they'll have every right to call us hypocrites for it.

There are a lot of nations out there that are struggling, but far from all of them. Those successful nations are coming of age as the second generation to reach "developed" status, following a path blazed by the older developed nations. As a result of globalization, the disparity that exists between their developed regions and undeveloped regions is far more pronounced because they're inheriting technology from the nations ahead of them. Yet the reality is, these nations are really no more disparate between have and have not than the US was when it put a man on the Moon. Even today, there remain parts of this country where the state of the technical infrastructure would leave a lot of the younger people posting on this forum in culture shock.

China is really not much different from the Soviet Union, which despite the vast majority of its people living by extremely modest means, managed to sustain a very robust space program.

Smaller nations, like Nigeria, have limited space programs that aid their attempt to reach the developed tier. The one satellite in the Nigerian program is an Earth observing satellite that is designed to help locate oil in the unexplored areas of their country.

Bottom line, don't accept everything you read in the news as universal gospel. You hear a LOT about nations that fail or are failing as a result of internal turmoil or political corruption, but those are FAR from the only stories out there. The nations that make it do so without the kind of "human drama" that feeds current media sensationalism.

If you want to read about the best of them, look up nations like Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Singapore. They still have some issues, but in many ways, they're doing better than the US.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2006-Jan-15, 02:43 PM
"poor" was a poor choice of words

Glom
2006-Jan-15, 04:08 PM
From a liberal point of view, if a country wants a space program, they may develop one at their discretion. Simple as that.

From a socialist point of view, a government should focus on wealth redistribution. It takes taxes from the rich and gives to the poor in the form of public services and social securities. A governmental space program fits this bill but does it in a slightly different way. It takes taxes from the rich and gives it to other people through their salaries for this program. But as well as using taxation to provide livelihoods for loads of people, it also creates new technologies. It supports education in sciences. It basically fulfils the socialist agenda with the secondary longer term benefits.

Dragon Star
2006-Jan-15, 04:39 PM
I am not so sure if I like the idea, fist I was like Hells yea, more power to em'!, but countries like India don't need to spend their money on such a thing, they need to worry about their people and their condition. I see no reason why a India born person can't get into the space program. I support any nation to get into the space program, but keep an eye on their own condition in the process. If they can't afford it, then they can't, nothing else to it.

ASEI
2006-Jan-15, 05:33 PM
If they can't afford it, then they can't, nothing else to it.
If it happens, then they must have been able to afford it, nothing else to it. A space program is really a relatively inexpensive thing compared to most government programs. Counterintuitive, but true. NASA has a lower budget (by 2 or 3 times) than the sector of the transportation department responsible for repairing highways. And that's the crown jewel of our space effort. $15 billion/year out of a 2000 billion/year federal budget. Many countries are capable of slinging that kind of cash.

Glom
2006-Jan-15, 05:48 PM
$15 billion/year out of a 2000 billion/year federal budget. Many countries are capable of slinging that kind of cash.

SRB is capable of slinging that kind of cash.

Argos
2006-Jan-16, 01:47 PM
I think "poor" is a frankly poor term to use here. The idea seems to stem from the belief that nations outside the "western" world are all full of struggling, starving people run by inept governments is extremely shortsighted and grossly inaccurate. Anyone whining about a favela in Rio de Jiniero (bet I just butchered that spelling, sorry)

Rio de Janeiro (River of January) would be the right spelling, Doodler. You´ve got 'favela' right, though. ;).

As to the classic feed-the-poor fallacy, I can´t see anything better than a Space Program to boost Science and Education, which are what any country needs. Communication and Remote Sensing satellites are as necessary as hospitals, imo. As to manned flights, well, it may indeed have something to do with prestige, but prestige is another kind of commodity in these times, so no problems at all with that.

Bobunf
2006-Jan-16, 05:54 PM
countries like India don't need to spend their money on such a thing, they need to worry about their people and their condition...If they can't afford it, then they can't, noth-ing else to it.

India's per capita GDP is about $3,000 per year on a purchasing power parity basis, which is about double what is was 20 years ago. A space program the size of NASA's would cost about $15 per capita per year.

Even assuming that an Indian space program would produce absolutely no benefit at all for the country, it still doesn't seem that ˝% of GDP is unaffordable. It may be, and probably would be, a poor investment, but India, as well as the United States, has made larger investments with even poorer prospects.

It's a national choice, which has, I think, little significance to the issues of economic development.

Bob

Argos
2006-Jan-16, 07:41 PM
I would say that a space program has a positive impact on a service economy.

Glom
2006-Jan-16, 10:20 PM
Is it perhaps fair to speculate that the reductions in people going into science is somehow related to the lack of lofty prospects, such as a large space program?

Enzp
2006-Jan-17, 07:23 AM
And their program doesn't have to be the size of NASA. Chasing science and feeding the poor are not mutually exclusive.

jt-3d
2006-Jan-17, 07:45 AM
And ofcourse, as with our own humble space effort, the money isn't fired off into space. If they build they're own stuff they are putting the money into the economy. They might have a few foreign guys but mostly they'd be giving work to their own people. If they are confident enough to give it a try sure they've got my permission...whom ever they might be.

ryanmercer
2006-Jan-17, 01:44 PM
Like most things, poor is a relative concept.
Countries like China, Brazil and India have very large large economies.

Exaclty, India's citizens may be "poor"... but there are 1,080,264,388 people in India (July 2005 est.) Sure, the average person in India makes approximately $500usd a year... but India has a $3.319 trillion (2004 est.)GDP

[note I get these figures from the Cia Wolrd Factbook (population and GDP) and from Stanford(average income) ]

Glom
2006-Jan-17, 01:53 PM
They are also a rapidly growing economy and so even with say 0.1% of GDP going to this space program, that will be a lot of money in a few years time.

ryanmercer
2006-Jan-17, 04:58 PM
They are also a rapidly growing economy and so even with say 0.1% of GDP going to this space program, that will be a lot of money in a few years time.

Very much so... A LOT of investment money is going into India

Launch window
2006-Mar-06, 07:48 PM
Brazil will pay Russia $20 million to take Pontes up into space. Russia has taken other paying customers abroad is rockets including millionaire space tourists. A Russian rocket will take Brazil's first astronaut into space next year for a fee of up to $20 million, representatives of the two countries announced. Soyuz will bring the next crew to the orbital station, with Brazil's first astronaut, who will spend a week at the ISS. Brazil's first astronaut, who is due to blast off for the world's sole civilian space station at the end of March, said Wednesday he was intending to conduct nanotechnology research while in orbit.

Space technology has allowed the nation of India to move into the world of high technology, a place previously occupied only by more-developed nations. Indian launch vehicles include the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV), the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma spent eight days in 1984 aboard the USSR's space station Salyut-7. India will be launching ist moon missions, ISRO's 525-kg Orbiter, scheduled for launch by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in 2007, would hover at 100 km over the moon to gather data on mineral resources and water.

Iran announced it had successfully tested a new solid fuel motor for its arsenal of medium-range ballistic missiles, a technological breakthrough that sparked fresh alarm in Israel. Iran is planning to modify one of its powerful Shahab-3 ballistic missiles and use it to blast a satellite to space

Korean newspapers already said the space center was being built on the South Korean island of Wenarado in the straits that separate Korea from Japan. Russia has reached an agreement with South Korea to design a rocket carrier. Korea's KSLV-1 rocket will launch a satellite weighing up to 100kg (220lbs) into orbit. South Korea will continue research to build updated models KSLV-2 and KSLV-3. The launch of the rocket is scheduled for 2007, the statement said, but giving no further details of the rocket's technical features.

Launch window
2006-Mar-06, 11:24 PM
Russia's Space Agency is ready to help Venezuela put its first astronaut into space, the agency's head said Monday.

"The Russian Space Agency is prepared to cooperate with Venezuela in all space projects and is ready to help to train the main and reserve national astronauts," Anatoly Perminov said during talks with Venezuelan Ambassador to Russia Alexis Navarro Rojas.
http://en.rian.ru/world/20060306/43964400.html
The agency said the first flight of a Venezuelan astronaut was possible only in the fall of 2008, and that it would draft the relevant agreement in the near future.