Moderator: Nicole Marie
I’m a big supporter of manned space missions and I think we need to get back to the Moon and on Mars.
Giant Communist Robot wrote:Putting people into space and on the moon is political theater.
I'm inclined to agree with Haggis
What needs to happen is a way to make it pay for itself
A human being on site could have travelled thousands of miles, analyzed a multitude of rocks and minerals, and dug for ice.
Geosynchronous communication satellites
JFK's challenge was simply a stunt
GCR wrote:My views are unpopular. Its a moot point, as the earliest manned mission to Mars I have heard about is scheduled for 2030--assuming they can solve all the problems.
GCR wrote:None of us will live long enough to see it, if it happens.
GCR wrote:No human could be sent up for the same cost as the rovers.
GCR wrote:I used "theater," and I like the term.
GCR wrote:Having done this dance before, we need to focus on the science.
barfle wrote:And I say we have to focus on value returned. Simply saying Mars is made of green cheese (or not) bears us little value. Having another location for humans to spread their DNA could have value.
Shapley wrote:Well, the green cheese would have been useful, if we could have brought some back. As it is, we have to keep making our own...
barfle wrote:As far as I know, we haven't ever returned anything from Mars. We've identified a few meteorites as being Martian in origin...
The Martian rovers, as successful as they have been, have only travelled a few miles from their landing points. A human being on site could have travelled thousands of miles, analyzed a multitude of rocks and minerals, and dug for ice.
They are science fiction.
Giant Communist Robot wrote:Its clear here that you are comparing the rovers to humans, so bringing up issues of safety and cost are fair. For the cost of the multi-year voyage of sending a human a "gold-plated" robot could be sent and do a better job analyzing rocks. Thus far, only about 50% of the attempted landings on Mars have suceeded, which should be a sobering statistic to those anxious to send someone there.
As far as digging for ice, we have plenty of that here--why go to Mars (tee--hee)? Sending someone there for such a long time seems impractical unless they can be self-sufficient, and they will need water. The rovers, designed to last four months, still working after five years, don't need any. I think I know what you are thinking--self sufficient exploration, base establisment, colonization. But this stuff is so far beyond what we can do its beyond the lifetimes of anyone reading this, and my bet is they will never happen. They are science fiction. Firing up space agencies around the world to send someone to Mars will accomplish less science than sending up robots, but it certainly has that science fiction appeal.
The point isn't to send someone there to do more work than an RC car. The point isn't about comparative costs between humans and robots. The point is to have value. Maybe robotic missions can have value, but so far they haven't raised the human condition, and they won't get human protoplasm off this planet.
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