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Fraser
2004-Jan-27, 10:33 PM
SUMMARY: When US President George W. Bush announced his government's new space initiative, to return humans to the Moon and then on to Mars, many space advocacy groups saw this as an opportunity to advance the goals of space exploration. The Mars Society recently announced their analysis and recommendations about the initiative. Overall, the society welcomed the new policies, but felt there was room for improvement in several areas, including an emphasis on acquiring heavy lift boosters and developing methods for creating fuel, water, etc on the Moon or Mars.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Guest
2004-Jan-28, 01:47 AM
go get them Mars society!!! :angry:

DC2Mars
2004-Jan-28, 02:55 AM
The Mars Society's analysis covers the main points of President Bush's announcement, however there is still a lot of work to be done to promote the concept of Humans inhabiting the Solar System, quite feasible with current technology.

Not all of us are as adventurous as historical heroes like John Cabot, Vasco da Gama, Christopher Columbus and James Cook. I would imagine those of their crews who were not volunteers would have considered a nice comfy spot at home a far more desireable option.

To maintain a prescence in the Solar System, space travel must become as accepted by the general populus as jumping on a jet to a foreign country or spending a month or so at sea on a cruise liner. Only then will we start to achieve the goal laid down by President Bush.

The joining of nations to pursue this goal, may both expedite the progress and help economise the cost. The encouragement of individuals and corporations to chase the goal in their own right will set the pace for years to come, create new technologies and enhance old ones. Support of the work already done throughout the world towards putting a permanent prescence on both Mars and the Moon can
provide a store of knowledge that should not be brushed aside.

On to Mars, (and the Moon too, if it's on the way)

estorm
2004-Jan-28, 07:16 AM
I really support the idea the Mars society put forward that NASA should design the same set of equipment to get to Mars as NASA uses to get to the Moon. In other words, build a mission for Mars, but use that set of equipment to establish residence on the Moon first.

But then the Mars Society slipped in the preference that NASA really shouldn't waste any effort in getting to the Moon anyway. This is just more of their quick fast-food-run-to-Mars ideas. The biggest waste of money I could possibly think of is to go to Mars and then return home without establishing permanent human presence there.

Resources on the Moon could directly benefit earth in the near and far future, as well as provide an inexpensive launching-off-point for missions further into space. If humans can build and maintain industry from extracting and refining resources and then fabricating those resources on the Moon, then humans could certainly afford to colonize the solar system and perhaps by 2075 humans could even start to mobilize robotic missions to our closest stellar neighbors. The Moon makes a great industrial port for a space faring species; the Earth and Mars with their heavier gravitational forces and atmospheres do not.

I want to see humans on the Moon first because I know it will be easier and less expensive to establish a permanent base there. That is what humans need to have, not quick trips. I doubt that the US will attempt a permanent colony on Mars until after 2030. The problem today is that the baby boom generation is getting old. They are not worried about new horizons in the cosmos. They are worried about themselves, as they get older. Until after 2030 governments around the world will be primarily pre-occupied with concentrating their resources on the baby-boom generation. We will be lucky to establish a permanent base on the Moon at all, let alone Mars.

In order to become successful explores, seeking out life in the Universe, we need to become proficient and efficient space travelers. The Moon is our working slate.

asdf 101
2004-Jan-28, 01:13 PM
Way to go mars society!! but IMHO.. where's the fire?
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I wholly endorse exploration of "final frontiers". But I believe that it would be more prudent to not rush programs such as human exploration of Mars but instead let things develop at a gradual and "inevitable" pace. I mean, what is the hurry to get to Mars in the next decade or even by the end of the century for that matter. I would rather commit my most significant resources to more imminentely fruitful programs and let programs such as the potential "human" exploration of other planets be for an inevitable time in the future. An exploration or colonisation of the surface of Mars (or the moon for that matter) by humans is not science.. true science is gaining a better understanding of our immediate environment and then of those that surround it.. true science is to get to the bottom of "how things work". Fact of the matter is that we still need to know a lot more about how Mars works before we yell "terra firma" and set out for it.

Of all the hoopla and hype of the early lunar missions, there was clearly no significant "scientific" benefit.. only a sense of gratification from having won a "race". And if you want to tell me about the moon-rocks that we fetched back, well I can think of better jobs than "courier-boys" for the astronauts who went along on those endeavours. Technology today will easly allow you to send robotic probes in the quest for extra-terrestrial rocks.. and at a fraction of the cost of what a manned mission with the same objective would drum up.

The moon-missions of the past century were an inevitability in their own right.. a colossus we had to "trespass". For now I would rather we learn from any misgivings of achievment -- other than endeavour -- that we have as remnants from that era.

Wouldn't you rather that we take more assured steps at space exploration instead of rushing in to a space program that may well end up with bothched and questionable results on account of one administrations attempt to raise "euphoria" from drawing a timeline that at best only sets an unjustified and unrequired hectic pace of development.

I think I once read Abraham Lincoln as having said "I walk slowly, but I never walk backward". I couldn't agree with him any more.

For now, first thing first.. need to ensure that Hubble is not shortchanged on account of an attempt at -- what I can only classify as -- "penny-pinching".
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PS: don't mean to nit-pick, but there's a (spelling?) mistake in the article .. should be "ensure" rather than "insure" in both the instances of usage.

Spacemad
2004-Jan-28, 07:51 PM
estorm 28-01-04.

I really support the idea the Mars society put forward that NASA should design the same set of equipment to get to Mars as NASA uses to get to the Moon. In other words, build a mission for Mars, but use that set of equipment to establish residence on the Moon first

Ive just read the report by the Mars Society & I really agree with the idea that NASA should build the same set of equipment that will eventually be used to go to Mars & use it to go to the Moon. That way the equipment will be given a good workout & the "bugs" hopefully eliminated.

I wasnt too sure at first that the idea of Bush of phasing out the Shuttles was a good one but Im beginning to see the benefit of doing so. That will enable better ships to be built to take humans back to the Moon & then onward to Mars.