View Full Version : Are We Technologically Ready for Mars?

2004-Mar-21, 10:52 AM
:) Today's (Sunday 3/21/04) New York Times has an excellent article asking if the aerospace industry is ready for Mars. I have this article in email format and will happily forward it to anyone who posts their email address here or privately at the following email address: robey01@comcast.net.

You may also read it online by going to nytimes.com.

:D Cheers

2004-Mar-21, 10:00 PM
I'd be interested in receiving a copy of that setiman, my email is in my profile.

2004-Mar-21, 10:15 PM
:) damianpaul, its on its way.


2004-Mar-21, 10:20 PM
I'd also be interested in a copy; e-mail is in my profile.

2004-Mar-21, 10:38 PM
Thank you for that setiman, while i am reading it, a thought just popped in the desert landscape that is my brain, that is a further question ought to be 'are we psychologically ready?'

2004-Mar-22, 03:22 AM
Here's a link to the story:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/21/business...ney/21mars.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/21/business/yourmoney/21mars.html)

2004-Mar-22, 04:43 AM
Good article setiman,

I am hugely optomistic. In fact, I'm going to go down to Nasa HQ as soon as possible and tell them how they can do all their projects, especially the new ones, for pennies on the dollar.

Tom Wray :D :D

2004-Mar-22, 10:14 AM
I'd like to see it as well, setiman. Should make interesting reading! My email is in my profile.

Thanks. Spacemad. :)

2004-Mar-22, 01:41 PM
Jump up a few posts and you will see that Fraser has kindly posted the URL for this article.



Galaxy dweller
2004-Mar-26, 11:44 PM
Damienpaul, I think psychologically a flight to Mars has long been overdue. Remember Herbert Wells, Ray Bradbury, Azimov, Stanislav Lem, remember the early NASA plans (after the first successful Apollos) which fixed 1984 as a date for the first manned mission to Mars. Since that time we have been waiting and waiting. Thus psychologically we have long been ready. Do you agree?

2004-Mar-26, 11:47 PM
Yes I do actually, whenits put in that perspective...essetntially it is overdue!

2004-Mar-30, 03:09 PM
Way Overdue! :(

2004-Mar-31, 08:27 PM
Yes the aerospace industrie is very ready for mars economically. :D

2004-Apr-01, 01:48 AM
Overdue yes, but ready? Not yet, however we are getting close.

2004-Apr-01, 05:16 AM
If we locked some researchers up with some basic equipment, soil, seeds and stuff, AND a limited supply of food, they would have the Mars Greenhouse up and running very quickly. Same deal for researchers with a pile of materials in the middle of nowhere with rain and freezing temperatures, Nice Cozy Habitats, real fast.

Aerospace is ready, just not properly motivated, they are a little too soft, and they just need some Tough Love-Mars Mission style.

2004-Apr-02, 01:32 AM
I have been wondering lately if Mankind is going to keep making major
discoverys and inventions at the same pace as we have or are we going to
just improve on what we have? Example: Not to long ago nobody could even
imagine electricity or being able to actually travel to mars. Then I try and
and imagine what we could discover in another 500 years. I know if I can imagine
it then it has a decent chance of becoming reality but what is there I can't imagine?

This has probaly been discussed before, if so excuse the newb. I have just discovered these forums and I am enjoying the reading very much.

2004-Apr-04, 07:25 AM
Well Kromp, I guess the simplest thing to do is to ask, what needs changing right now? Is there something that stands out that you think should be improved upon, or made easier, or simpler or less difficult, more efficient, less repetitive? That's how all new inventions get started, someone tries to solve a problem or make something easier to do.

2004-Apr-04, 10:24 AM
B) If you apply the old adage: "necessity is the mother of invention", then the answer is inventions are going to be on the rise. Why? We are mismangaing our environment and the necessity to live will produce new inventions. We are facing a very short-time supply of fossil fuels, and inventions (hybrid engines, etc) will occur to meet this necessity. Just stop and take stock of all the things that are pressing down on us and you will see avenues for invention.

;) Now the really interesting thing is that politicians interpret necessity and flow the funds that support invention in the direction they think is important. Sometimes their interpretations and ours don't match - so - remember to vote!


2004-Apr-06, 03:52 AM
Well setiman, this fits in with what you are saying. I read a few years back, and it's probably still true, that out of every new 20 products, only one came out of a company, all the rest were from individuals.

And if it's also true that good things rarely come out of a committee, then companies and politicians are like committees, and that's why they don't invent things or know what to do with them.

I am an individual, and I believe all these problems are easily solvable, so I guess I have a 19:1 chance of being right about how easy it will be to fix all the problems.

2004-Apr-06, 04:53 AM
Were are definatly ready by means of Technology. But after the Disaster of last years shuttle incident you wont see it happen in the next 5-10 years.

2004-Apr-06, 05:56 AM
I'm glad Bush has pegged 20 years, there is still a chance I'll be alive to see it. I think technology has slowed down, neccessity and all that, somwhere in the 90s I think the movers and shakers got old and too comfortable.

I think, apart from mobile phones and digital TV we haven't moved past the shuttle, infact we started moving backwards, The USA had to build a Station, that took us back to Skylab ( Pre-Space Shuttle ).

Not that I'am a Democrat, but, the fact that it was the republicans that noticed that we were drifting backwards is sad.

I agree that we were ready for mars in the 70s, but we slipped, not the just the US but the world. The ISS is being supplied by the Russian workhorse from the seventies. Not what I would call progress.

I wonder why China and India are eying the moon, I wonder about Population. China has re-unified Tibet ( which it was never a part of ) and doesn't stand buckleys chance of re-unifiying Taiwan, without destroying a lot of very comfortable lives. So I think the two countries racing through the Billion Population mark have said to themselves, where is the nearest real-estate, because WE NEED IT !

The one child policy erodes the inherent welfare state in these countries, lots of children means Mum and Dad get looked after. fewer kids, more of the Western culture and they get a Nursing home, if they are lucky!

So why is America going to the moon?

The US seems content to rest on their "We are the rulers of the business world' attitude.

Keep sucking people into the "Selling usless crap that no one wants after they have bought it" Matrix and call it "real life that people enjoy".

SO why?

My guess is NASA accidently employed a space activist instead of a "dreamworld, give me your money, you don't really want to go to mars" PR consultant. And somehow, some companies, despirate not to sell tupperware said "hell, bush is so dumb that he will invade two countries, maybe, he will pay us to go to mars ??"

And we can't forget his dad lost office after announcing that he wanted to go to mars, the son seems to be finishing daddies business.

Well, what ever, but after all the scams and plastic rubbish sold as 'technology' and microsoft and its bugs, we at least have mars on the table, YAY!

2004-Apr-10, 07:05 PM
yea, it's excellent that bush brought the idea about mars up. bad side is: we freaking european nations haven't got past of child age and we're still fighting each other, politically and in traditional ways. If we just had one big country called Europe, maybe we could have too space agency, proper one. That would stir up some competition and maybe U.S. government would do something about matter...

I think human kind is technologally adept to do that, but we still keep nagging on each other (cultures, peoples etc.). ready? no.

2004-Apr-10, 08:06 PM
Well, you gotta keep the faith. ESA is the European Space Agency, and they are doing great things. Sure it could be better, so could we here in the USA.

Don't let them fool you, we don't have all the smarts by a long shot. However, like you say, we would all be even smarter if we could just share. Maybe the exploration of space will be the beginning. Count on it, when I tell you space is too big and too mysterious for just one of us.

One last thing, as far as I know, most of our smartness was passed on to us from Europeans. Einstein, Fermi, Newton, Bernoulli, Copernicus, etc, etc, etc,

So first thanks, and second I say again. Keep the faith.

2004-Apr-11, 08:18 PM
oh, i will. i'm just frustrated to my own country because we have minimal space exploration budget... (though we're hopefully going to acquire at least one satellite command center from Russia, and satellite as well :D)

2004-Apr-11, 09:54 PM
Hey Zephyr46 seems you have gotten a little tight in the chest. We all go through cynicism, most every day. This forum is a neat place to bat that around and still keep some perspective and hope.

Don't look for a quick trip to Mars or the Moon for that matter. If we rush, we will lose both lives and time. On top of that, we still do not know enough about Mars to even be sure we ever want to go there. Besides the bookies all say the first guys on Mars won't be coming back.
We need to take the time to improve those odds, don't you think?


2004-Apr-12, 01:46 AM
True setiman. I dont think it would looks great for the USA to do a 1 way trip to mars. Needs to be a round trip. And that my friends is why we have not gotten there yet. How could you harness so much fuel, food, equipment, supplies and a decent amount of people into a shuttle.

Well, What if we were to build a fuel docking station in space. Not only for refueling, but also have the capability to assemble a shuttle or Vehicle of some sort in certian sections then send it on a mission to mars? nahhh, too difficult!

2004-Apr-12, 06:06 AM
maybe that in mind, a base in moon would be quite good because of smaller gravity, and then we wouldn't need most of the shuttle/ship to be for fuel, as it is now. (huge launching rockets, eh?)

2004-Apr-12, 11:47 AM
I have no doubt we will do both (1) moon base and (2) L2 style waystations. Probably the biggest challenge is going to be the human engineering. Prolonged exposure to high rads and reduced or zero gravity and of course no or very slight atmosphere pose real demands.

Sure we got space suits and MMUs now, but they are bulky and set for only limited usage.

These are not barriers, they are challenges, but there will be some high prices to pay on the way.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2004-Nov-16, 10:06 AM
I'm not sure if the technology is there now. There is also the serious question of the state of industry, the costs of war in Iraq and economics with a rise in the jobless numbers. QUOTE Ironically, while NASA's manned efforts have been of dubious value, its unmanned probes have been hugely successful. Many scientists are calling the last 30 years a "golden age of astronomy" thanks to their discoveries. The Viking, which mapped Mars in the 1970s; the Voyager trips to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in the late 1970s and early 1980s; the Galileo probe of the 1990s, which explored Jupiter's moons and discovered an apparent salty ocean beneath the icy crust of Europa; the Cassini-Huygens mission which this year reached Saturn and its moon Titan; the Spirit and Opportunity rovers investigating Mars at this moment--all have expanded our knowledge to a spectacular degree
there are many who think the risks of manned flights at this time and the risks of going to Mars are too great
How about this: retire the space shuttle now and save a huge amount of money by not having to implement all the recommendations from the accident investigation and use other countries launch vehicles to fulfill our comittments to the ISS and we pay for the trips. Seems to me this would save an incredible amount of money that could go toward the presidents Mars plan.

Lawmakers headed home reconciling an $8 billion gap between House and Senate versions of nine overdue appropriations bills for fiscal year 2005.
Now as they attempt to roll almost everything into one giant appropriations bill by week's end, they will have to make some tough decisions. Among them will be whether to risk a veto if they fail to deliver on President Bush's demand for $16.2 billion for the space agency.NASA's three-shuttle fleet has been grounded since the Feb. 1, 2003, Columbia accident that killed seven astronauts.
Sacrifices could include cutting some funds for the international space station, or delaying funding for the development of a new crew exploration vehicle or for launching a robotic mission to explore Jupiter's icy moons. Those cuts already are included in the Senate version of the NASA budget.
If lawmakers fail to reach a compromise on the NASA budget, or on other portions of the VA-HUD bill, they could carve that bill out of the package and deal with it separately in January.
The president and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, insist that is the minimum amount required if NASA is to stay on schedule for getting its grounded shuttle fleet flying again, for finishing construction of the international space station and for developing new spacecraft to return to the moon and push on toward Mars.