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View Full Version : CNN - Risk Analysis



Sheki
2003-Mar-14, 04:18 PM
While technically not "bad" astronomy, the following quote from this:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/03/14/mars.odyssey.ap/index.html

CNN article-

"NASA talks vaguely of future manned missions to Mars, where astronauts could use that ice for drinking water, fuel and oxygen to breathe. The new radiation findings suggest such a mission would be risky. "

Now THERE's an understatement. Sheesh, good thing they said that, because I had been under the impression that going to Mars would be nice and safe! (sarcasm).

Sheki

tracer
2003-Mar-16, 01:42 AM
Heh. Look at what the AP Headline for that announcement used to be:

http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=4240&forum=4&4

Cloudy
2003-Mar-16, 06:28 AM
Doesn't matter. Better be perfectly safe or someone has got to pay. The first rule of Western law and of journalism is that there is no such thing as real risk - whenever something goes wrong, it is always somebody's fault and that somebody better look really bad and pay dearly.

The end result of this is that the most popular and powerfull people and groups in society are not those who build and do things. They are a class of people who's sole job is to belittle, complain, sue, etc. We need some of these people, but not nearly as many as we have. If the west is to keep doing new things and create new achievements - we had got to do a better job of knowing who to believe. We better start believing businessmen, entrepeneurs, scientists, technicians, teachers and the like more than we believe politicians, lawyers, activists, pundits and journalists. Because a large portion of them are creating a culture of blame and cowardice that threatens to smother any hope we have to advance as a society.

pmcolt
2003-Mar-16, 06:51 AM
Wait, astronauts on a Mars mission would be exposed to radiation?! A manned expedition farther out into the solar system than men have ever ventured before carries risks?! That does it, we'll just have to cancel everything, fake the mission in a movie studio, and hope no one finds out.

Roy Batty
2003-Mar-16, 11:33 AM
Done!
http://www.imdb.com/Title?Capricorn+One+(1978)
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Roy Batty on 2003-03-16 06:33 ]</font>

darkhunter
2003-Mar-16, 11:45 AM
On 2003-03-16 01:28, Cloudy wrote:
Doesn't matter. Better be perfectly safe or someone has got to pay. The first rule of Western law and of journalism is that there is no such thing as real risk - whenever something goes wrong, it is always somebody's fault and that somebody better look really bad and pay dearly.

The end result of this is that the most popular and powerfull people and groups in society are not those who build and do things. They are a class of people who's sole job is to belittle, complain, sue, etc. We need some of these people, but not nearly as many as we have. If the west is to keep doing new things and create new achievements - we had got to do a better job of knowing who to believe. We better start believing businessmen, entrepeneurs, scientists, technicians, teachers and the like more than we believe politicians, lawyers, activists, pundits and journalists. Because a large portion of them are creating a culture of blame and cowardice that threatens to smother any hope we have to advance as a society.


Fools that say that everything has to be "perfectly" safe take examples out of context, selectively use data (IMHO thats the same as faking it!) and do any other thing to stop someone else from doing something. If the naysayers had their way, we'd still be living in cold caves (could get hurt building a house, and fire burns) eating fruit and vegetables (raw meat isn't safe to eat--can't cook it 'cause fire burns) etc. There can be no p[rogress without some risk--and if someone is willing to take a risk for progress--let them!!

I am a mechanic--work with all sorts of dangerous chemicals, high speed rotating fans and other parts, extremly hot exhausts, multiple thousand PSI air tanks and hydraulic systems, heavy overhead equipment, ect...and it is safer for me to be in my shop working than actually driving to work every day!

If we send a mission to Mars, Jupiter, or anywhere else--no matter how dangerous it is (which will be safer than the public percives it to be!) there will be explorers lined up who want to go, and those left behind will live the rest of there lives wishing they could have gone--no matter how the mission turns out.

There will always be an element of risk to manned exploration of the solar system. But lots of people way more educated than me will be doing everything they can to ensure the explorers return home safe.

At the end of the day, all these people who are trying to effectively outlaw danger are not the ones who are putting themselves at risk, so why is it any of their business? There is a certain level of safety demanded for consumer products--I can live with that because there are people that need to be protected from themselves (for examples see http://www.darwinawards.com ), but astronauts are not among those when they are doing their job.

edit:fix italics
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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: darkhunter on 2003-03-18 11:19 ]</font>