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TimH
10-31-2007, 09:58 AM
Anyone else watch this?

Shot in HD in over 90 locations, the documentary series "Mars Rising" explores how the challenges being grappled with today will lead to a manned mission to Mars in the next 20 years.

Bob Adams
10-31-2007, 10:28 AM
I hope I live to see it. It would be great if the entire World could work together to reach Mars, but that will never happen.

TimH
10-31-2007, 10:29 AM
Not the entire world, but several countries maybe.

TimH
10-31-2007, 10:37 AM
Its all about bragging rights....not the well-being of the populous

if China is going to the moon, we are going to Mars.

Greg P H
10-31-2007, 10:48 AM
Adventure has nothing to do with rationality or a balance sheet.
We are a wandering species... I'd go in a heartbeat.

But it's obvious that, at this point in time, we are still in the lower perception of win/loose, haves/ and have not's, yours/mine

Even though we can build the hardware, we haven't evolved enough Spiritually to be responsible for our actions, so maybe it's best that it is a long difficult journey..

Canoez
10-31-2007, 10:52 AM
Sorry to be a wet blanket... but I think the notion of spending BILLIONS of dollars over decades to go to Mars is dumb, dumb, dumb.

As an engineer, I'm enthusiastic about science... but as a human being, I'm more interested in priorities. The race to land men on the Moon was largly motivated by national pride and competition with the Soviets... it's a hubris we can't afford these days. When every American is covered by health insurance, when Social Security is shored up, when poverty decreases dramatically, when we achieve energy independence.... THEN we can think about the glossy colored brochures.... until then, we can't afford it.

If we MUST spend money on a lofty goal, how about dedicating those billions to basic research into alternative fuels, with the goal of reaching non-polluting energy independence by 2020?

Granted that's mostly about national ego. No doubts there.

We should, however, remember that a lot of the R&D that went into the space program has paid off with new materials and technology that didn't exist before. In the energy business you've got solar cells and fuel cells. In materials, you've got new fabrics, plastics, alloys, etc. Lots of these things wouldn't be around without the big government spending that went into things like the Apollo program.

Canoez
10-31-2007, 11:10 AM
Undoubtedly true.... but if you drop a few tens of billions into ANY form of advanced scientific and engineering research, you're going to get beneficial spin-offs... why not make the objective of the research something useful?

Yep, put it into :
- Clean Energy
- Food/Water (Production AND safety)
- Housing
- Efficient transportation/heating
- Communications.
- Green Manufacturing.

The beauty of it all is that if you develop the technology, hopefully you will get the economic bump to go with it.

ishmael
10-31-2007, 11:13 AM
"why not make the objective of the research something useful?"

Because we aren't simple pragmatists, we're wild, exploring folk by nature.

Focusing the world's attention on sending people to Mars might distract us from this idiot fighting we do now. One can hope.

TimH
10-31-2007, 11:15 AM
The beauty of it all is that if you develop the technology, hopefully you will get the economic bump to go with it.

We send the bump to China. They need it more than us apparently.

Canoez
10-31-2007, 11:29 AM
We send the bump to China. They need it more than us apparently.
That's painfully true. I do product design for a manufacturing company and we cannot compete with Chinese manufactured products from a price point-of view. However, in terms of product quality we've got it all over them and for our business, that's enough for the moment.

I've seen stories of people who have tried to live a life without buying products manufactured in China and just can't manage to do it. Scary.

Still, I think that Norm may have missed Greg's point. It's sort of like the Roman "bread and circus" thing. The space program is the circus and you get the bread for working on it. Keeps people interested.

Bruce Hooke
10-31-2007, 12:00 PM
To me it just seems like a shame to throw so much of our space budget into sending human beings to mars when we could do so much more great science by continuing to use un-manned probes to explore Mars and the rest of the solar system.

Joe (SoCal)
10-31-2007, 12:03 PM
http://boricuaproduce.com/store/images/TANG%20ORANGE.JPG

Bob Adams
10-31-2007, 12:05 PM
Some endevours you can't put a price tag on. Our survival as a species may one day depend on our ability to exist on another planet. For me, it's worth it just for the challange.

Bob Adams
10-31-2007, 12:10 PM
Norman, you ARE a wet blanket.

TimH
10-31-2007, 12:11 PM
I am still amazed that Spirit and Opportunity did (are doing) so well.
And the the Beagle crashed or was confiscated by martians or something.
I think there is plenty to learn by unmanned missions such as these.

TimH
10-31-2007, 12:16 PM
If we had been using all these trillions we are borrowing from China on the space program instead of occupying Iraq we could be on Mars already (manned missions).

Bruce Hooke
10-31-2007, 12:24 PM
Some endevours you can't put a price tag on. Our survival as a species may one day depend on our ability to exist on another planet. For me, it's worth it just for the challange.

Doing it for the challenge is one thing, and I can see the value in that.

I am not at all convinced that it will ever, at least in the foreseeable future, be possible for us to survive independently on another planet, with no support from earth. Nor am I convinced that we have a right to colonize another planet if we cannot maintain earth in a condition that makes it livable. Nor am I convinced there would be much value in saving a tiny percentage of the world's population by sending them to mars, while everyone else back home perished. Nor am I convinced that I would even want to be one of the "lucky ones" who got sent to live on Mars, since I would presumably have to live out the rest of my life shielded in some way from contact with the air and earth of mars, basically always living inside some sort of structure that would sustain human life. Furthermore, if we do reach a point where we could actually set up a self-sustaining colony on Mars, I'd guess that getting people there would be a fairly simple part of the whole undertaking.

TimH
10-31-2007, 01:00 PM
They are boasting that they can now restore the atmosphere of Mars to a livable state for human life.
All these experiments with CO2 in our own atmosphere paying off I guess.