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Old 06-29-2011, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
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I really enjoyed reading this.

To replace the shuttle: A mission to Mars - CNN.com
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:39 PM
 
5,464 posts, read 8,673,379 times
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I pretty much agree with Zubrin's view. We should have a coherent plan for space exploration, and Mars is ideal as a starting point for manned missions. Obama had originally been gung-ho about advancing science, which is fine and dandy, but he's a politician, not a scientist. So what exactly are we going to do in the next ten years? I'm all for robotic missions, but I also think we need to have a plan to pave the way for sending humans to the Red Planet. I think it would be possible to do within the next ten years.

That said, we're not likely to see any colonization on Mars any time soon. Most likely, Mars will be more like Antarctica for science research for at least the next hundred years or so. The prospect for discovering signs of life, whether present or past, would be incredibly significant, but I think we should also be thinking about Mars as a potential habitat alternative. Mars is the only other planet within the solar system that's even remotely suitable to be considered for human habitation, and that's not saying much. It's still an extremely hostile planet. The solution to speed up the timetable for manned missions is as an international venture.

Hopefully, in the next ten years, we, as well as other countries, will be vigorously working on systems to make such a trip less hazardous. Just getting there is going to be an enormous challenge. There's nothing wrong with missions to the asteroids or the Martian moons for practice, but what about returning manned missions to our own moon for practice? It's closer and less expensive than sending people to the asteroids. Admittedly, a manned venture to Mars will be an extremely expensive one, but I think it's doable. We need to build a spacecraft with a faster propulsion system, that can shield from cosmic radiation, and that can simulate gravity. What plan is there to test such systems?

In any case, it would appear that there is no sensible plan or goal in place, apart from hitching rides to the ISS. Hopefully, the MSL rover mission will turn up some discoveries that will provide some strong incentives to help speed up the timetable for a manned mission to Mars.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:03 PM
Bo Bo won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Tenth Edition (Apr-May 2014). 

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Location: Ohio
17,086 posts, read 34,906,795 times
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A Mars program could cost over $1 trillion. The US can't afford it. That's why it got spiked.

Before the thread goes a direction that this forum's moderators won't like... this is not the right forum to say "If we weren't spending billions on ______, we could afford it."
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Old 06-29-2011, 03:39 PM
 
5,464 posts, read 8,673,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
A Mars program could cost over $1 trillion. The US can't afford it. That's why it got spiked.

Before the thread goes a direction that this forum's moderators won't like... this is not the right forum to say "If we weren't spending billions on ______, we could afford it."
No question about the expense, which is exactly why the US should not think about doing or funding it alone. Short of some kind of technolgical breakthru that would significantly reduce the costs and allow it, an international venture is probably the best option for a number of reasons, one of which is to share the work loads in developing such a mission. It's not really about 'bragging rights' of who gets there first. In the end, it should involve benefiting the world, not just a single nation. That said, I think it could be doable, but there has to be an international agreement on a cooperative and logical plan to move forward with such a project.

Simulated strides have been made in terms of preparing for a manned mission to Mars, such as the project on Devon Island, and the Mars-500 project by the Russians. They're still not quite like an actual mission, but they're paving the way to show it could be done. As I said previously, the technological side of building a spacecraft that can safely deliver a crew to Mars and back is perhaps one of the biggest challenges to overcome. That going to require some actual testing closer to home. In my opinion the Moon would be an ideal goal to prepare for an eventual Mars mission. We've not been back to the Moon since Apollo 17 at the end of 1972. As near as I can tell, there doesn't appear to be any plan to do anything like that within the next ten years.

It would be an ideal nearby destination to prepare and test systems that would be required for an eventual Mars mission, not to mention a whole lot cheaper than a trip to the asteroid belt or one of the Martian moons. Apart from some great change, I'd be surprised if a trip to Mars would happen within the next 50 year, even though it may be possible. We could however, be preparing for it within the next ten years though, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards right now.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:15 PM
 
1,543 posts, read 2,773,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
A Mars program could cost over $1 trillion. The US can't afford it. That's why it got spiked.

Before the thread goes a direction that this forum's moderators won't like... this is not the right forum to say "If we weren't spending billions on ______, we could afford it."
What do we mean we can't afford it? Of course we can, but people would rather spend hundreds of billions on the military machine. I don't blame them, there are some cool stuff that come from it. But space or war machine? I choose space of course.........
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:20 PM
 
Location: New Haven Michigan
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Default Mars

D Boy agree with you. We should have been working on it right after Apollo. Where could be right now if we had?
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:57 AM
 
1,543 posts, read 2,773,047 times
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Originally Posted by kathys View Post
D Boy agree with you. We should have been working on it right after Apollo. Where could be right now if we had?
I just don't know. There have been many smart people working on machinery that is not even talked about but rumored. For all we know, people like Richard Kelly may have been involved in building spacecrafts or at least helping out with space. I don't know. I just don't believe for a second that we don't have something amazing in the top secret arsenal. It could be a spacecraft, who knows.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:44 AM
 
16,308 posts, read 26,233,195 times
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I am all for exploring space, but this agenda at this time is not what we need to be doing now. A great deal of this move is pure politics, where Bush was trying to imitate Kennedy and his challange to land men on the moon.

This spending, in addition to the foreign aid spending (nation building) needs to stop while this country crumbles, and people are loosing their homes because there are no jobs.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,145 posts, read 20,517,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
I am all for exploring space, but this agenda at this time is not what we need to be doing now. A great deal of this move is pure politics, where Bush was trying to imitate Kennedy and his challange to land men on the moon.

This spending, in addition to the foreign aid spending (nation building) needs to stop while this country crumbles, and people are loosing their homes because there are no jobs.
Sadly this is true. It would be like trying to start a space progam in the spring of 1941.

A great achievement needs to come at the right time to be successful. We need to pass through the bad times before we can ever hope to put people on mars. (we need to wait for a "1st Turning")
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 78,897,130 times
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Why? You've been in Antarctica for a human lifetime, and have nothing to show for it except a bit of scientific data that is not useful in any more general way than in understanding polar regions. You've been to the moon, and all you are learning from that is a few curiosities about how earthbound things would work on the moon, and that rocks are rocks.

Even thinking about colonizing Mars or any other body in the universe is strictly Ed Wood. No useful result could ever come from colonizing Mars, and if you Earthlings ever run out of space or resources on your own planet, yuou'll deserve your fate right at home.

Quite frankly, the rest of the Universe doesn't want you out there, you've soiled your own cage enough already. All you want is a false sense of security, that if you destroy your own planet, there is a Plan B. There isn't.

Either that, or you have such a bloated sense of your own importance, that you honestly believe that a once-in-a-million-years asteroid will synchronously destroy your planet just as you reach the technological capacity to escape in the nick of time.

Last edited by jtur88; 06-30-2011 at 02:20 PM..
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