Japan Wins Moon Race.

This entry was posted by Monday, 31 May, 2010
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Japan just revealed some of its plans for space exploration including the amazing hope of landing a robot explorer on the moon by 2015 and having an entire base of robots by 2020. – fastcompany.com

Email from OldTrekie5: Jesus! The friggin’ Space Shuttle’s shutting down and we don’t have squat to replace it. Are you kiddin’ me? What’s wrong with this country? PLEASE Mister ScienceAintSoBad, you gotta jump on this one.  Thanks. We’re counting on you, man!

MisterScienceAintSoBad answers:

It’s “get real” time, OldTrekie. The national debt is about 13 billion dollars (wanna see how it breaks down?) . Humans in spacesuits do look neat but it’s IRRATIONAL to send people off to Mars and to the moon when we can’t afford to buy ourselves a good oil cleanup.


We humans had our chance to be heroes. It’s the turn of the robots now. Human space exploration isn’t too healthy for the humans doing the exploring (tendency to get nauseous,  irradiated, and, from time-to-time, blowed up) . It’s also super expensive.  And “human friendly” space systems dramatically stretch out the time it takes to get anything launched. So why not turn robots loose on the these projects? Worked on Mars, didn’t it?

A robonaut program would intensify our knowledge of sensors, communications, software systems and robotics, itself. That’s a bad thing?

Hey. It’s not like we have an alternative; we can’t AFFORD our “manned” programs. But I guess we’re gonna shuffle around fer awhile “studying it” till we admit the obvious. Meanwhile, as mentioned above, guess who’s going to the moon with a bevy of beautiful bots? Our Japanese comrades, that’s who.

Kadsuhiko Shirai, President of Waseda University, is the head of a government panel in charge of making us look silly while we’re scratching our butts debating the issue. “SHOULD we send humans to the moon? CAN we send humans to the moon? Whoops! Are those Japanese robots I see walking around on the moon?”

Credit for above photo:

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Oil Spill

I SUPPOSE MisterScienceAintSoBad should have something more to say about the oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico. But he’s as depressed about it as you are. We’re all riding this big wobbly planet together with nobody else to help us if we screw it up before we figure out how to drive it properly. Science is interesting and amusing. But it’s the competition that offers religious salvation. Don’t get TOO snooty. If we keep fouling things up, we may need them.

For this disaster, we’ll leave the blaming and the investigating to others, but if it makes you feel any better, we award the BP disaster in the Gulf Of Mexico a ScienceAintSoBadRating of ZERO .


Our LectricLifter (TM) product’s coming along (slowly, I admit). We’ve actually had a  meeting with the testing lab (for the equivalent of UL listing) and we’re pretty sure we know who will be manufacturing it.

CORRECTION (Thanks, Alano)

The national debt should only BE 13 billion dollars. Make that 13 TRILLION big ones.

5 Responses to “Japan Wins Moon Race.”

  1. Dear MrSciAin’tSoBad… Isn’t our national debt is now in the Trillions, with a T (not a B)?

  2. MISTER Science Ain't So Bad

    Thanks, Alano. I’ll correct it. :)

  3. Thanks for the post I actually learned something from it. Very good content on this site Always looking forward to new post.

  4. TechWheat

    I wonder how Japan can justify taking any lead given their national debt vs GDP is twice ours* (and at last accounting theirs only better than the worst off – Zimbabwe).

    Maybe we should draft a little behind Japan who wants to break their bank in this race. Though I agree that US & NASA priorities have to be sorted for best bang for buck and the economic realities of a stressed country BUT, speaking of efforts and costs, Mr SASB can you provide any insight into why the shuttle fleet is to be retired at this point and outsourcing similar dollars to Russians and private for profit enterprises is the current plan? What will happen to the investment in Space Station without a heavy lift and service system like the shuttle? For a discipline that counts on redundancy for safety aren’t we relying too much on a single point of failure outside of our scope of control (Russia)? How would/will a Hubble or Webb telescope asset be serviced in the next 10 to 20 years and often well beyond expectations to incredible benefit? Yes, these are leading questions by one concerned we’re going to coast a little too much behind the lead of Japan, Russia, perhaps China, and apparently for-profit providers who will step in?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    * http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/economics/list-of-national-debt-by-country/

  5. That was wonderful information. You have done a good job communicating your message. Keep up the good work.

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