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Mon Aug 6, 2012, 05:07 AM

To put the Mars landing in perspective...

Last edited Tue Aug 7, 2012, 03:35 AM - Edit history (2)

One of the engineers at the NASA press conference mentioned that landing Curiosity on Mars cost the US about $7 per US citizen. A quick back of the napkin calculation shows the war in Iraq has cost $2588 per US citizen. Or in other words for the cost of the war in Iraq they could have landed about 370 Mars rovers. I'm not even going to bother to mention how much could have been accomplished in other sectors with such money.

The result of the Mars landing? Mountains of invaluable scientific research. An inspiration to an entire generation of young minds to reach for the stars, quit literally (and apply themselves in school to get there). Off shoot, unintended, engineering / scientific developments which will ripple back through society. An expansion of our understanding of the universe and our place in it. A shining example of how different countries can come together peacefully to contribute to something that gives back to all and is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Result of the war in Iraq? 4400+ US troops killed, 100-500,000 Iraqi's killed. Families torn apart. US international image dragged through the mud. International relations severed or severely strained. A likely contributing factor to the largest global meltdown since the great depression (we haven't seen the end of this yet). Unknown but doubtless great harm done to archaeological and other cultural sites of importance in Iraq. A shining example of how one country, unchecked, overpowered, over militarized, under-educated and ignorant can single handedly break the ties that bond the world together in the best of times and thrust us into the worst.

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Arrow 62 replies Author Time Post
Reply To put the Mars landing in perspective... (Original post)
Locut0s Aug 2012 OP
DontTreadOnMe Aug 2012 #1
dballance Aug 2012 #2
Warren DeMontague Aug 2012 #3
cantbeserious Aug 2012 #4
Missycim Aug 2012 #7
barbtries Aug 2012 #8
GaYellowDawg Aug 2012 #9
Plucketeer Aug 2012 #22
progressoid Aug 2012 #12
raouldukelives Aug 2012 #17
uponit7771 Aug 2012 #19
aka-chmeee Aug 2012 #44
bulloney Aug 2012 #5
longship Aug 2012 #6
Locut0s Aug 2012 #48
Rhiannon12866 Aug 2012 #10
mac56 Aug 2012 #11
malaise Aug 2012 #13
Jeff In Milwaukee Aug 2012 #14
snot Aug 2012 #15
Locut0s Aug 2012 #46
snot Aug 2012 #59
Johonny Aug 2012 #16
MatthewStLouis Aug 2012 #18
BrendaBrick Aug 2012 #20
Ron Obvious Aug 2012 #21
freethought Aug 2012 #23
CrispyQ Aug 2012 #24
lunatica Aug 2012 #25
Faygo Kid Aug 2012 #26
Amonester Aug 2012 #28
Posteritatis Aug 2012 #32
lunatica Aug 2012 #37
mike_c Aug 2012 #47
FailureToCommunicate Aug 2012 #52
Raster Aug 2012 #27
RebelOne Aug 2012 #29
Nevernose Aug 2012 #30
LongTomH Aug 2012 #31
Nye Bevan Aug 2012 #33
WillyT Aug 2012 #34
ashling Aug 2012 #35
KauaiK Aug 2012 #36
RoccoR5955 Aug 2012 #38
magic59 Aug 2012 #39
Posteritatis Aug 2012 #41
magic59 Aug 2012 #53
Posteritatis Aug 2012 #56
eqfan592 Aug 2012 #43
magic59 Aug 2012 #54
neverforget Aug 2012 #58
mike_c Aug 2012 #45
burrowowl Aug 2012 #40
N_E_1 for Tennis Aug 2012 #42
Locut0s Aug 2012 #49
luv_mykatz Aug 2012 #50
DirkGently Aug 2012 #51
Hotler Aug 2012 #55
jaysunb Aug 2012 #57
reeds2012 Aug 2012 #60
JohnnyRingo Aug 2012 #61
MrsBrady Aug 2012 #62

Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 05:22 AM

1. Good cost comparison

 

Write details about what we "could" be doing... and more people will see the light.

FORWARD.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 05:28 AM

2. Good Post

 

Every day I shake my head when I think of how we decide what our priorities are.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 05:43 AM

3. Science, exploration and knowledge are always worth it, IMHO.

It's sad that even when we see an amazing triumph like this; and make no mistake, this was a technological and engineering achievement of tremendous magnitude; inevitably people will complain about the price tag. Despite the fact that NASA recieves a tiny sliver of the discretionary budget, they can't sneeze without the press and the naysayers reminding us how much everything they do costs.

Here are some appalling costs, for you: The Military Industrial Complex, cashing out at around a Trillion a year. The Prison-Industrial Complex. The fact that, even above and beyond costs of local law enforcement, prosecution, and incarceration, we spend $60 Billion a year to keep cancer grannies from smoking pot. 60 Billion! That's 24 Mars Rovers. A year.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:04 AM

4. Republicans Detest Facts, Science and Knowledge. They Love War. They Paid For Their Blood Lust

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:34 AM

7. +10000

 

nt

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 07:06 AM

8. sadly we all pay

for their blood lust. and their greed.

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Response to barbtries (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 07:09 AM

9. Bingo.

Too damn bad payment wasn't limited to Republicans.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Reply #9)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 12:52 PM

22. I'd bet that...

 

THE day of 9/11, the Bush regime already KNEW they were gonna fight the resultant war on credit. If they asked the American people to do it (pay out of pocket, that is) - they would have - for a time. But once it really started to sink in - the cost - in dollars and lives...... Heh - Bush and his mafia would've been run outta DC on a rail!

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 09:03 AM

12. I don't wanna talk to a scientist, y'all muther fuckas lyin' and gettin me pissed.

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:10 AM

17. Because nothing pays like war. Helps Wall St, creates jobs and gives some people pride.

I'm actually kind of surprised Nasa hasn't been privatized yet. You know if they could it'd be a no-bid contract with Halliburton. But of course they know the rocket would fall apart halfway so they probably figure its best to do some things correct.

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 11:21 AM

19. +1, Only 6% of US Scientist consider themselve GOP

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:34 PM

44. I don't think republicans should be allowed to celebrate Curiosity's successful delivery to Mars

They seem to hate anyone with more than a Sunday school education.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:20 AM

5. It's another example of gubmint not doing anything right.



Great perspective on comparing the cost per U.S. citizen. We never seem to have a shortage of money for warmongering. Everything else....

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:29 AM

6. Great post!

BTW, it's spelled "shining".

Fix that and it's perfect.

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Response to longship (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:37 PM

48. Thanks, my spelling has always been atrocious, even though my prose is fairly good. nt

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 07:56 AM

10. K&R! So very well said!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 08:06 AM

11. K & R. May I share this?

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 09:05 AM

13. Excellent post

Rec

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Response to malaise (Reply #13)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 09:07 AM

14. I'll second that...

Imagine what we could accomplish if we spent a sane and rational amount of our national wealth on defense.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 09:32 AM

15. Sources for figures used in those calculations would be awesome.

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Response to snot (Reply #15)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:35 PM

46. SOURCES...

The quote that the mars rover cost $7 per person comes from one of the NASA officials ( Charles Erlachi I believe ) at the Mars landing press conference held right after the landing:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/curiosity-lands/

"The rover was subject to delays and cost overruns, eventually coming in at a total cost of $2.5 billion. During the press conference, NASA officials pointed out that this amount to roughly $7 per U.S. citizen"

I did my own calculations based on the published MSL cost and the US population and I got $8, but still that's about the same. As for the cost of the Iraq war per capita that's just the total war cost divided by the total US population:

Total cost of Iraq war: http://costofwar.com/ (I rounded it off to 805 billion)

Total US population: https://www.google.ca/search?q=us+population&rlz=1C1CHFX_enCA469CA469&sugexp=chrome,mod=0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 (I rounded it off to 311 million)

The facts about the number of casualties in the iraq war come from here: http://usliberals.about.com/od/homelandsecurit1/a/IraqNumbers.htm

The estimates for the number of Iraqi casualties range anywhere from 50 to 600,000 so I posted a range of 100 to 500,000.

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #46)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:30 PM

59. Thank you! This I can use.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 09:50 AM

16. When people say we need to go to Mars

I point out "We're already there."

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 11:17 AM

18. Great point.

Science spending pays real dividends to humankind, not only as progress in knowledge and technology, but as advancement of spirit. Go Curiosity!



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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 12:02 PM

20. Good perspective!

Here are two other perspectives along the same lines:

Bill Hicks:



...Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, into a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defense each year and, instead, spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would do many times over - not one human being excluded - and we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever. In peace.

Edgar Mitchell: (Note - have to turn up the volume)



<snip>
from http://www.globaldashboard.org/2011/09/20/a-moment-of-perfect-cognitive-dissonance/

Nor was he the only astronaut to have an experience of this kind:

Other astronauts have had comparable experiences – a ‘wow’ at seeing Earth in the larger scheme of things. We have talked about it over the years, and there’s even been a book written about it by Frank White, called The Overview Effect, which describes all our experiences. We have all said over the years, if we could get our political leaders to have a summit meeting in space, life on Earth would be markedly different, because you can’t continue living that way once you have seen the bigger picture. (bold = mine)

I read this during a break in an all-day meeting of senior policymakers at the United Nations, on the subject of ’global sustainability’. Know what? The room had no windows.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 12:15 PM

21. Spending priorities

Good point. Remember also that story that came out a couple of years ago, that we spend more than 20 Billion dollars annually to provide airconditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is higher than the entire NASA budget.

Insanity.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 01:12 PM

23. I might add one more thing

Iraq is actually becoming friendly with Iran, probably the last thing that the neocon chickenhawks wanted to see in their twisted ambition to remake the mid-east in the U.S. image.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 01:26 PM

24. Squandered. That's the word I think of when I think of the Bush administration.

They squandered the good will of the rest of the world after 911 with their arrogance. They squandered our treasury on their illegal wars. They squandered the opportunity to unite our country & instead actively worked to deepen any divisions.

Such a goddamned fucking waste.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 01:43 PM

25. Imagine what they could do with the climate change issue

They could put dollars into alternate forms of energy and skycraper farming.


Ocean turbines














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Response to lunatica (Reply #25)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 01:54 PM

26. +1

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Response to lunatica (Reply #25)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 03:34 PM

28. Yes. Most of the $2581 per US citizen remaining should have been invested in that, instead of

wasted in these wars of aggression.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #25)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 03:40 PM

32. Do you think the Curiosity budget, or even NASA's, could do all of that?

What do you think those budgets are?

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #32)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 04:36 PM

37. Investing in space is a good long term tactic

Eventually it will not only pay off, but possibly save us. I have nothing against the space program. I do, however, have a great deal against our military spending.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #37)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:37 PM

47. +1

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Response to lunatica (Reply #37)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 08:33 PM

52. +1000000000!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 03:32 PM

27. What else has the illegal and immoral war in Iraq accomplished?

(1) The entire world was a witness to a drunken, sociopathic Bush* attempting to work through his "daddy" issues; and
(2) All that lovely oil is now accessible to the worldwide petroleum mafia.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 03:36 PM

29. I have no problem with the $7 per US citizen.

I will gladly pay that rather than the thousands it is costing each of us for the useless Iraqi war.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 03:37 PM

30. Mars mission cost less than Pentagon's A/C budget

In fact, the entire yearly budgets of NASA since inception in the 50s added together are about half of one year's expanded military budget (expanded because so much of a year's military budget is listed under separate budgets, like VA or nuclear weapons).

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 03:39 PM

31. Here's a great comment by Phil Plait: The Bad Astronomer

The news these days is filled with polarization, with hate, with fear, with ignorance. But while these feelings are a part of us, and always will be, they neither dominate nor define us. Not if we don’t let them. When we reach, when we explore, when we’re curious – that’s when we’re at our best. We can learn about the world around us, the Universe around us. It doesn’t divide us, or separate us, or create artificial and wholly made-up barriers between us. As we saw on Twitter, at New York Times Square where hundreds of people watched the landing live, and all over the world: science and exploration bind us together. Science makes the world a better place, and it makes us better people.

It’s what we can do, and what we must do.


Read the rest here: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/08/06/mars-orbiter-catches-pic-of-curiosity-on-its-way-down/

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 03:40 PM

33. Hmmm. That *has* to be the worst $2588 I have ever spent (nt)

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 03:42 PM

34. HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!!

 






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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 04:17 PM

35. Maybe with 370 Mars Rovers we would have found the WMD

Think what we could have accomplished with a brazillion Mars Rover

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 04:29 PM

36. Bravo

Oh that the US would spend as much on NASA as it does on foreign wars. Bravo!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 04:46 PM

38. Yeah, All of NASA's budget for all of time is equal to about

 

what it takes to air condition military brass in Iraq for a year.

WHERE ARE OUR PRIORITIES?!?!?!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 05:42 PM

39. Comparing apples to oranges

 

We all agree that wars are always a mistake and a huge waste of money. But being big man in space while keeping the NASA industrial complex going isn't very prudent for a nation with a large % of its population living in poverty and a huge debt that rich corporations are no help paying off.
On FOX snooze a NASA boy was crying about how Obama was cutting NASA programs then this nut had the nerve to compare NASA expense to social security and medicare, like, spending money looking for pretty rocks on mars is much better then helping the poor and elderly.
NASA should be gutted along with the Pentagon.

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Response to magic59 (Reply #39)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 05:45 PM

41. Can you tell us what NASA's budget is, or how many people it employs, without using Google? (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #41)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 08:40 PM

53. Can you ol great one?

 

I know you are drunk on NASA kool aid but they have been bilking the American tax payer for decades. Its just more corporate welfare.
For those who want to play space cowboy I suggest you do it on your own dime and leave us earth bound taxpayers out of it.

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Response to magic59 (Reply #53)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 09:20 PM

56. Yes, actually, I can. If you think NASA's budget's the problem you need a few clues. (nt)

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Response to magic59 (Reply #39)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:15 PM

43. The fail is so amazingly strong with this one.... (nt)

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Response to eqfan592 (Reply #43)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 08:41 PM

54. Yes, NASA 1, the American tax payer 0

 

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Response to magic59 (Reply #54)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 09:55 PM

58. American tax payer 1 Austerians/know nothings/science haters 0

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Response to magic59 (Reply #39)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:34 PM

45. I will be happy to see NASA gutted along with the Pentagon...

...as long as the Pentagon takes a budget hit deep enough to bring it to NASA's level first. After that, if we still can't afford to explore and dream, then continue cutting the military budget, and match the cuts one-to-one with cuts to NASA. Talk about comparing apples to oranges....

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 05:44 PM

40. Great Post!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 05:49 PM

42. Well put ...

Already I have used you comparsion with a neighbor.
He was astounded! "Never thought of it that way" he remarked.

Thanks, ran in to reply to let ya know!!

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Response to N_E_1 for Tennis (Reply #42)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:38 PM

49. You're welcome :) nt

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:46 PM

50. Excellent post!

Investing in war = investing in body bags, and things that can only be shot off, blown up, etc. Absolutely horrifying waste of our treasure: people's lives; nature and natural resources; supposedly intelligent minds focused on destruction instead of solving the many challenges we face.

Investing in expanding our knowledge of our solar system and how it was formed: simply priceless!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:55 PM

51. Wiki says Iraq is more like $6,300 per citizen. I'll take space exploration, instead, Alex.


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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 08:42 PM

55. Now is not the time to point fingers.....n/t

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 09:25 PM

57. Your post covers a lot of ground.

And, done quite nicely.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 11:38 PM

60. Perspective...

Putting a robot on Mars: $2.5 billion. TSA budget 2012: $7.85 billion.

And the robot works.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 12:28 AM

61. +1,000 Rec

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 12:56 AM

62. book marked for money references....

thanks...

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