The latest word from NASA is a National Research Council (NRC) warning to go slow on the trip to Mars, with humans. They claim present plans will “fail” unless a lot of changes are made.
The NRC said in a congressionally-mandated report that Washington should use "stepping stones" to achieve its goal of a manned flight to Mars.
They suggest “exploring an asteroid, building a moon outpost or building more international cooperation with countries like China.”
Maybe the NRC should look at a space map. The asteroids are further away than Mars—and by quite a few million miles. So what would be the advantage of doing that? Mars has an atmosphere, but it is not so thick as to cause problems. Conditions on Mars are nearly Earthlike in some places at some times of the day. It is really the best place in the whole solar system to land, accept the moon because it is much closer.
Building an outpost on the moon is a good idea. We should have done that years ago after we landed a man on the moon. Instead we use lots of rocket fuel for a space station that mostly takes care of commercial satellites. It was ridiculous to spend all that money to send a man to the moon and then not follow up again for the next 30 years. It is about time this country makes use of those skills and knowledge.
The Barack Obama administration is opposed to another moon landing, saying such a mission would be too costly. It wants instead to focus on capturing an asteroid and placing it into the Moon's orbit for future exploration. That doesn’t sound easy to me. What size asteroid are they planning to use…a small rock, maybe a few feet across? How is this cheaper than going to the moon?
There is no reason the US can’t team up with China for space exploration. It isn’t like the Chinese have a different economy.
According to the NRC report advancing human exploration into the outer reaches of space will require decades of work, hundreds of billions of dollars of funding and "significant risk to human life."
For a country that risks people’s lives in third world countries to build a political and economic empire, wasting billions of dollars, they should just do it.
According the Yahoo News article this came from NASA welcomed the report's findings, saying it was consistent with the agency's Mars plan approved by Congress and President Barack Obama's administration.
I don’t want to wait decades to see a man land on Mars. I may not live that long and I want to see it in my lifetime. It is simply a matter of will and determination. President John F Kennedy did not flinch at the idea of a moon landing. He didn’t have to please all the Earth bound “Ferengi ” that constantly bog progress down over making space exploration “profitable.”
I do hope our government takes this program seriously enough to keep it going. Since the moon landing, our politicians have dragged their feet on funding space travel. Also I pay a lot of taxes and of all the things this government does with that money, I approve of NASA. As Carl Sagan used to say; ‘the money spent on space exploration pays off because anyone anywhere in the world has access to the information collected.’- សតិវ អតុ.
Pix from www.yourbeezwax.com.
Our Earthly politicians often act like Star Trek’s Ferengi, who believe the only thing important in life is making a profit.
An image of the surface of Mars taken by NASA's rover Curiosity, August 9, 2012 (AFP Photo/)