*sigh*

If you doubt the sad state of science education in the US, all you need to do is look at a CNN.com “science” blog post about NASA concerning the decommission of the ISS and skim the comments:

Certainly not designed for it, and it would be a technological challenge, but could we not push the ISS up into a higher orbit and then drop it (ever so gently of course) onto the moon to be used as a cornerstone of human habitation there?

To me, it seems patently ridiculous that someone would think this is a possibility…  But this guy’s not alone; apparently people are obsessed with the moon:

Hmm … why not land it on the moon and use it as a ready-made temporary shelter. Seems a complete waste to build all that and then just toss it away!

Really obsessed:

what about an orbit around the moon

what about no capitals or punctuation to emphasize my suggestion

The Jackson family should buy it and intern Michael there.

Yes.  Intern him there.  Brilliant.

Then a glimmer of hope and sanity–and not to mention, intelligence (if not snarkiness.)  Links added by yours truly, misspellings sic:

First off, let me just ask, How educated are some of you posting on here?
Moon orbit of the ISS? – so completly impossible I laughed out loud.
& billions of dollars spent? I’ll let you know that the entire NASA budget is less than 1% of the whole country’s budget, so the amount of money that the gov’t is spending on the ISS is so small compared to things like the war, bailouts, etc.

Do any of you understand what has come out of the ISS program in the last 10 years? Continuous mind-blowing research and experiments on everything from fire research (my profession and field of study) to plastics manufacturing and so on. Litterally thousands of things that we deal with on a regular basis every day got their start either on Mir, Skylab or the ISS. It would be a shame to discontinue an amazing orbiting laboratory that who knows what scientific break throughs it and the scientists and engineers are going to give us tomorrow.

This guy is right: NASA spin-off tech is EVERYWHERE.  It’s nigh-impossible to go through an entire day without encountering something that is a direct or indirect result of space technology.

I used to work in the studio of a network affiliate TV station.  We produced a religious show featuring the sermons and guitar-playing of a local fire ‘n’ brimstone preacher, the kind of thing that airs before sunrise on Sunday mornings.

I remember one sermon, he started railing against NASA and how it had never done a lick of good for anyone, anywhere.

I just looked around the studio control room at all the electronics and shook my head.

(Last I’d heard, that preacher was in jail for tax evasion or statuatory rape or something like that.  Color me surprised?  Nope.)

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