Who exactly are we doing this for?

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mstevens
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Who exactly are we doing this for?

Post by mstevens »

I've been a Planetary Society member and contributor for a good few years now. I've put much time into SETI and StarDust and believed the PS was doing it for the good of all mankind.

However, reading the latest news update which has the following quote:
We have to be very, very careful with these precious samples. After all, they belong to all the American people, who paid for the mission.
Are you serious? Would you like to rephrase that?

jsmaje
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Location: Manchester UK

Re: Who exactly are we doing this for?

Post by jsmaje »

mstevens wrote:I've been a Planetary Society member and contributor for a good few years now. I've put much time into SETI and StarDust and believed the PS was doing it for the good of all mankind.
Me too. And whether the American people paid for it all or not, aren't space and all its contents protected from any particular country's ownership by international agreement?

And by the way, it wasn't an all-american effort; the Max Planck Institute (Germany) and Open University (UK) were also involved in developing some of the instrumentation and techniques required - see: http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/index.html

God Bless America by all means, but God bless the rest of us as well, including all the international dusters currently beavering away for no monetary reward at all...

Wolter
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Post by Wolter »

Somehow i think that you will find that the statement is legally correct. International participation is something different then ownership of a project.

We, the track searching volunteers, are here on request of UC Berkeley and the project is funded by Nasa. So legaly you are doing it for the american people.

The team has multiple times expressed their thanks to the international community. I think that you will find that astronomers and people related to that field of study are about the most international orientated people on the globe. The Stardust particles will be studied around the world by those who poses the best tools and who put in the best plans for it. So yes it is an international project.

Please let this legal point not effect the fun of this great project. Find those darn tracks and let us give the scientists something to crunch on. ;)

Happy hunting.

(as always, this post represents my personal view. It is not in anyway related to or to be seen as an official S@H statement)
Just dusting... Image

DustBuster
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Re: Who exactly are we doing this for?

Post by DustBuster »

jsmaje wrote:aren't space and all its contents protected from any particular country's ownership by international agreement?
I think statement that is true, as long as it remains is space - If I personally captured something, or it landed in my yard (like a meteor) it would be mine. Similar to the Moon rocks brought back by the American astronauts- ownership is one thing, but in all cases I would hope that the underlying spirit is that the information gleaned from studying E.T. matter would be for the benefit of all mankind.

You are also correct that the credit for the searching on this project belongs to all that have contributed and are making this incredible feat possible, and the StarDust@Home team leaders have graciously recognized this whenever possible.

Have fun!
No dessert for you- ONE MONTH!

bmendez
Stardust@home Team
Stardust@home Team
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Post by bmendez »

Hello Everyone,

First a point of clarification, Stardust@home is not a project of the Planetary Society. The Planetary Society has helped out the Stardust@home project in a number of important ways, but their efforts have been volunteered as much as those of all you wonderful people. Stardust@home is a UC Berkeley project funded by NASA.

The Stardust mission was also a NASA funded project. NASA is an agency of the United States government, allocated it funds by the United States Congress. Those funds come from American taxpayers. So the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector is property of the United States government and the American people, by extension. So the statement is accurate.

However, no one should take that to mean that the science and knowledge gained belong to anyone, let alone any nation. Modern science, especially space science, has no borders. Stardust cometary samples are going out to scientists all over the world, with no preference given to US scientists. Cometary samples were analyzed on literally every continent (except Antarctica). All allocations are made solely on the basis of scientific and technical merit. The same has been true for almost 40 years with the Apollo lunar samples, and will be true for the interstellar dust samples as well. This is in the fantastic tradition of the international scientific enterprise.

We are deeply gratified by the world-wide nature of the Stardust@home collaboration. We boast about it to all our colleagues and to the media. We truly appreciate every individual's efforts for the project, and wish for nobody to feel excluded.

Thank you,
-Bryan
"I am made from the dust of the stars, and the oceans flow in my veins"
- RUSH

jsmaje
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Location: Manchester UK

Re: Who exactly are we doing this for?

Post by jsmaje »

Bryan - thank you for that. The problem, I think, is that anything even slightly smacking of US 'imperialism' can be a very touchy subject these days, and for more people than many americans seem to be aware.

I'm sure that was the last thing in the team's mind of course, and as an ex-professional scientist I would be the first to endorse the "fantastic tradition of the international scientific enterprise".

So, thanks again for your and the Mods considered responses to mstevens' and my postings.
Still happily dusting :)

Sharqua
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Post by Sharqua »

jsmaje,

I admit that I'm confused by your response. In what way does it smack of imperialism?

I'm not trying to offend you. I am honestly confused by your response. As I am a US citizen, it's entirely possible I'm missing a point you are trying to make. I am trying to understand but your comment went right over my head.

Thanks in advance,

-Shar

jsmaje
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Location: Manchester UK

Post by jsmaje »

Sharqua wrote:As I am a US citizen, it's entirely possible I'm missing a point you are trying to make.
That's the point, that you've missed the point! Enough said (though I could go on if you want....!)
Time to lock or scrub this topic- this is science, not politics. Sorry for any personal offence felt - none meant.

Groundling
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Close this

Post by Groundling »

I agree that this thread should be cut off. It should have been stopped long ago.[quote]Sorry for any personal offence felt - none meant.

If only this were true. The only purpose of this thread is to tarnish an international endevor.
Groundling
I have met the enemy and he is us.
Pogo

Wolter
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Post by Wolter »

Ok, we are here to serve so i'll put a lock on it then.
Just dusting... Image

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