Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

NASA To Team Up With Russia For Future Mars Flight

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-bring-the-caviar-we'll-bring-the-twinkies dept.

Mars 318

xp65 writes "NASA has invited Russia to carry out a joint manned flight to Mars, the head of NASA's Moscow office said on Tuesday. Russia is currently planning to send its own expedition to Mars some time in the future. Marc Bowman told an international aviation and space conference in Moscow that the Mars mission should take advantage of the achievements made by the International Space Station and use a multinational crew."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Understanding (5, Insightful)

KraftDinner (1273626) | more than 5 years ago | (#29188709)

I've always thought that the only way for us as a race to become a unified nation is to simple explore space together. As soon as one nation decides to call Mars or whatever other celestial body their own, it will just be downhill from there.

Re:Understanding (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29188841)

I think your underestimating the importance of competition.

Russia going to Mars alone could motivate a second space race. The end result is someone standing on Mars in 10 years instead of 20. NASA is more likely to get funding and motivation if they are competing.

Re:Understanding (1, Insightful)

KraftDinner (1273626) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189087)

I'd much rather a unified nation with no competition and still having drive to get to space than separated nations at war.

Re:Understanding (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189153)

I'd much rather a unified nation with no competition and still having drive to get to space than separated nations at war.

you cant have your cake and launch it too.

Re:Understanding (4, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189919)

If it ends up anything like the Apollo 11 mission, the cake *and* the launch will be a lie.

Re:Understanding (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189249)

I'd much rather a unified nation with no competition

What happens to your civil liberties under a unified global nation? Which model are you going to use? The US model? The EU model? The Chinese one? The Singaporean one? How do you run such a unified nation? One man, one vote? That leads to the tyranny of the majority. Do you adopt a split system like the US Federal Government with an upper-body for each member state and a lower body that represents populations? In that case is it really fair that the Vatican gets the same representation that China or India does?

I'm not jumping up and down at the prospect of a unified planet Earth. I'm in one of the freest countries on Earth and don't see what we have to gain. I see plenty that we could lose though.

Re:Understanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189541)

Yeah, because a non-unified, war loving planet rocks. Because we should all stick to our own kind, whether that kind be based on race, creed, religion, color, or ,gasp, being born at a specific location...Go team !

Monopolies are bad (5, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29190235)

We've already seen what Globalization does when "the" economy has issues. A housing crisis in the USA doesn't cause issues in China without globalization.

The Free Trade advocates always sold the advantages, which were readily calculable; but ignored the disadvantages which are harder to measure until you actually experience them.

Only now are people beginning to realize something that should have been apparent right from the start: one single, massive economic system is inherently bad. It's like a monopoly. There's no backup.

It's even worse if you take this philosophy and duplicate it outside the financial realm. We already see this with the "war on drugs". Many countries that would like to legalize may not do so, not because of internal resistance; but because they've signed a UN convention.

Now take that, and apply it to ALL the laws. Yuck.

Most people don't like war, but if the alternative is a "one size fits all" solution, there will be times when it doesn't fit, and war becomes the only alternative. They just won't be wars between nation-states anymore. They'll all be civil wars, which are oftentimes far worse.

Also, what about refugees? Tell me, where do the boat people go when everywhere is Cuba?

Re:Understanding (2, Offtopic)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189601)

Not that I don't agree with you on most of your points, but you really don't see much that we have to gain? If nothing else, we can stop wasting a trillion dollars a year on defense spending. Not to mention the opportunity to give other people the freedoms and opportunities that I enjoy, or the will to feed the 1 billion hungry people around the world, or the ability to trade efficiently without sabotaging each other's economies.

There's lots of things that a properly implemented world government could do that would be fantastic and in the long run would benefit everyone on the planet. The real problem is that if the government ever does something you don't like, there isn't a whole lot you can do about it (even more so than now).

With one country, wars simply become internalized (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189965)

Look what happened to the soviet union.

When we are ruled by just one government, you will find that large chunks of the world's population are oppressed and heavy handed use of police powers become the norm. While there is competition between states to take the high moral ground, there is also impetus to demonstrate freedom and democracy too. As soon as there is a unified world government you will see the bonds tightened and freedoms brushed aside.

It is better to have multiple systems running in parrallel. That way there is always somwhere left to run to.

Re:Understanding (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189993)

Not that I don't agree with you on most of your points, but you really don't see much that we have to gain?

Perhaps I should have said that whatever we stand to gain is not enough to offset what we would stand to lose.

If nothing else, we can stop wasting a trillion dollars a year on defense spending

Then what happens when some asshat comes to power in one of the member states and stops following the rule of law?

Not to mention the opportunity to give other people the freedoms and opportunities that I enjoy

But you just said that you agree with me on most of my points. My main point was that we would stand to lose our freedoms. What good do opportunities do you if you aren't free?

or the will to feed the 1 billion hungry people around the world

Why do you need a global government to tackle world hunger? Government hasn't even been able to completely solve hunger in individual developed nations. What makes you think it could do so on a global scale?

or the ability to trade efficiently without sabotaging each other's economies.

Why would a global government keep trade from sabotaging individual countries? It's arguable that this already happens within nations. As a random example, the American South provides tax incentives and employer friendly labor laws to encourage manufacturers to set up shop there instead of in the Northern states.

The real problem is that if the government ever does something you don't like, there isn't a whole lot you can do about it (even more so than now).

I'd say that's a pretty big problem :)

Re:Understanding (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#29190107)

There's lots of things that a properly implemented world government could do that would be fantastic and in the long run would benefit everyone on the planet.

There are a lot of things that Santa Claus could do that would be fantastic and in the long run would benefit everyone on the planet too... they're about as likely to happen as a 'properly implemented world government'.

You seem to be under the impression that a 'world government' would be something other than a collection of psychopaths desperate to prey on the rest of us.

The odd thing is that I find the people who most promote 'world government' are also normally big promoters of 'diversity', and don't even see the blatant inconsistency between those position.

Re:Understanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189661)

But we have a governmental system that has managed to handle huge diversity fairly well. A federal republic works well enough for the US, despite the tensions of diversity. Would a global federal republic be that much worse?

Re:Understanding (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189853)

Would a global federal republic be that much worse?

It would be for Americans, who would stand to lose our right to keep and bear arms and our right against self-incrimination. Neither of those rights are protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Nor is the right to counsel or the right to a jury trial. Then there's the matter that different countries regard free speech differently. In Europe they outlaw "hate speech". In the US it's protected.

So again, which model do you use? The only document that has near-global acceptance fails to protect several rights that Americans already have. Given that those rights aren't regarded as such by most other nations why would I assume that a global government would protect them?

Re:Understanding (2, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#29190139)

I have always admired the American response to hate speech. "It may be harmful, it may be spiteful and untrue, but you can say whatever the fuck you want to say."*

They've fucked that up in Canada, and it makes me sad.

*except on TV.

Re:Understanding (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189771)

I agree with you. Because the reality of the world is that there are many nations that are not willing to cooperate with many other nations. The US could easily reconcile with her enemies(Iran, Cuba, etc. well maybe not North Korea but that's not our fault). But will nations who have had 100s of years of violent history together come together easily. Human beings just plain suck. They are too territorial. Too bigoted. and too fervent about their various competing ideologies.

All things considered (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189785)

I think that we are headed towards a time where it will be the Chinese model. China has one civilian space station going up (ran by their military) and a series of military only space station. Combine that their restarting of their nuke missles, the new nuke boomers, developing a new ability to take out sats, and yeah, I am guessing that we are looking at China in full control. Within 10 years, probably 5.

Re:Understanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29190069)

To clarify, the more centralization of political power, the more death, destruction, corruption, and injustice will result. This isn't philosophy; this is reality, as well as history. As a government consolidates power into the top of the pyramid, it naturally becomes more and more destructive and unjust. Every time.

The single worst thing that could happen to the human race is "world government". When the basket breaks -- and it will break -- all the eggs go with it.

Re:Understanding (1)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 5 years ago | (#29190079)

Also, how exactly is a unified world supposed to eliminate or even reduce the occurrence of war.
Historically, nations have no problem warring with themselves.

Re:Understanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29190149)

This is the stupidest comment I read in my whole Internet life. Worst, it's modded insightful!

Re:Understanding (1)

HanzoSpam (713251) | more than 5 years ago | (#29190075)

Considering we've had wars and genocides throughout human history and we're still here, did it ever occur to you that they might serve some biological function you're not aware of? The 20th century set a record for bloodbaths. We still started it with a world population of 1.6 billion, and ended it with a population of over 6.5 billion.

Re:Understanding (2, Interesting)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189485)

The second space race has already started. With India and China in active development, this would be a great opportunity for the U.S.

We team up with Russia to get to Mars, meanwhile India and China work to do the same.

It's OK to not have to compete with EVERY other country out there. We don't always have to be THAT GUY.

Re:Understanding (1)

relguj9 (1313593) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189321)

I've always thought that the only way for us as a race to become a unified nation is to simple explore space together. As soon as one nation decides to call Mars or whatever other celestial body their own, it will just be downhill from there.

Reminds me of the Robber's Cave [wikipedia.org] experiment that I actually read from someone posting here.

Would be interesting if we could get China involved in the venture.

Re:Understanding (1)

nobdoor (1496229) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189705)

This is true. But it also begs the question: If individual Nations should not be entitled to stake claim on celestial bodies, by what right do they claim Earth and its regions? This planet is also a celestial body after all. Perhaps things started going downhill once humans started believing that they 'owned' anything.

Re:Understanding (2, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#29190019)

And why would we want a unified planet? I mean you can't even get to one p.o.v with all your friends, let alone a whole country, and you expect global lockstep?

There will always be differences and arguments. The point is that we will hopefully be able to solve them without ripping our heads off. But this does not mean we all have to live under the same rules. We can live happily side-by-side with differing view.

The only thing a global unity is absolutely guaranteed to bring, is the lack of any freedom of choice in politics/regime/laws/etc. Imagine the US nation under bush, or how it's in UK now... But global! Now think about this: Where would all those go, who wanted to leave the country?

Well, in the long term, they would go to jail. It's the totalitarian dream. And it will only happen over my dead body, and those of many many other people.

Wasn't there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29188741)

wasn't there a movie along these lines?

Re:Wasn't there... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29188807)

yeah but in movies they care a lot more about showing lots of niggers and chinks and shit like that. russian and american would mean too many white males and the cult of political correctness wouldn't like that one bit. so the next time you see a commercial with a black guy, a white woman, an asian guy, and a mestizo, you can say to yourself "wow, what a nice artificially diverse group they've put together there, won't political correctness be pleased!"

Re:Wasn't there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189117)

yeah but in movies they care a lot more about showing lots of niggers and chinks...

Pander to us! [imdb.com]

captcha: cultural

Re:Wasn't there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189859)

That's what the next moon or Mars mission would have to look like to be politically palatable too. Which goes a long way in explaining why we haven't had a decent space program in nearly 40 years.

Diversity is our Downfall!

funnly enough most the tech (-1)

markringen (1501853) | more than 5 years ago | (#29188771)

funnily enough most the tech used in the first american rockets, were designed by Russians living in America.

Re:funnly enough most the tech (1)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#29188915)

Who got it from the Germans after WWII.

Re:funnly enough most the tech (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189081)

"The Russians put our camera made by *our* German scientists and your film made by *your* German scientists into their satellite made by *their* German scientists."

-- "Ice Station Zebra"

A favorite film of Howard Hughes.

Re:funnly enough most the tech (2, Funny)

SuperBigGulp (177180) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189531)

Who got it from the Grays after they crash landed in Tunguska.

Not actually. (2, Informative)

2short (466733) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189035)


Who are you referring to? Some Germans (notably von Braun) worked on american rockets after world war 2. I'm not aware of any Russians who figured prominently.

Re:Not actually. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189401)

And vhat about Guenther Wendt? (I vonder vhere Guenther Wendt.)

Robert H. Goddard (2, Insightful)

Markvs (17298) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189503)

Was neither Russian *nor* German, unless Massachusetts used to be even further east...

In soviet russia... (3, Funny)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#29188787)

Mars gets its ass to YOU! And as a result Earth is obliterated. That's why Capitalism won.

it also defrays the expense of it all too... (3, Insightful)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 5 years ago | (#29188797)

The partnership thing that is. Emerging powers like the BRIC countries plus Japan have the $$$ and we have the technical know-how and experience. And there is no doubt the prestige factor at work here too.

Will it? (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189211)

Because if you look the on the ISS page of Wiki it shows the US as financing three of the four euro modules.

So who is going to save money? Can we realistically expect that nations contribute equally or of their means? With regards to that last part I don't see how we have means, unless we are totally accepting of the fact we can spend money we never had.

Re:Will it? (1)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189399)

"Means" as in launch infrastructure, tracking stations, facilities and trained and experienced personnel and etc. It would be waaaay cheaper to write NASA a check than take decades developing their own. Or so it seems to me.

More than that (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189845)

is that we have given LOADS more money to Russia to keep them going and that is not considered part of those modules. However, I have to believe that getting all the countries of the ISS to go to the moon AND mars is in everybodies best interest. We need to jointly develop space and learn to work closer together. It is the same spirit that NATO did for the west.

Re:it also defrays the expense of it all too... (1)

Markvs (17298) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189351)

Except that in BRIC, R = Russia, which I'm told has a little space knowledge of its own.

Re:it also defrays the expense of it all too... (1)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189449)

Indeed they do. But there must be something in it for the Russians or else why would they enter into a partnership if they didn't benefit from it?

It does make sense (5, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29188813)

The ISS as an international logistics project has been a resounding success. The European ATV, for example, can be launched and then dock with the ISS under the direction of 4 different control centres in different parts of the globe. The station itself is the most massive spacecraft ever assembled and has been constructed from components built by different agencies in different countries, and they work together pretty well. Most of the valid criticisms of the ISS are of the utility of having a LEO space station, not as the ability of the ISS to perform that function.

Re:It does make sense (1)

debrain (29228) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189377)

The station itself is the most massive spacecraft ever assembled

... by hoomans [wordpress.com] .

success, but not efficient (3, Insightful)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189903)

With so many modules built, independently, in so many countries, spare parts from cancelled Russian and stalled American programs re-purposed, multiple, incompatible electrical systems, and whatnot, it's pretty easy to see that the ISS mode of international cooperation was not particularly efficient. Billions of dollars could have been saved if it had been coordinated in a smarter way. ISS was a success by some measures, but probably shouldn't be used as a model to be copied.

A multinational expedition is logical (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29188827)

We're talking about going to another *planet* here, not just the moon. It's several orders of magnitude farther. It's going to cost a ton more. It's more likely to get done if the costs are shared by several nations. And it can truly be an achievement for all of mankind, rather than a single country.

Re:A multinational expedition is logical (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189297)

It's several orders of magnitude farther.

Let's not get carried away here. It's only a 2 orders of magnitude difference.

Conceptually, it's like the difference between the FM and AM frequencies on your radio. I don't think you have any problem receiving either band in your car.

Re:A multinational expedition is logical (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189779)

sorry for sounding so new here, but what order of magnitude are you using? the average distance from earth to mars is around 78 million km, while the averge distance to the moon is around 384,000 km. how does that factor down to a magnitude of 2? honestly... not trying to be a pick, im just curious as from the earlier post i dont see how its even several magnitudes greater...

Re:A multinational expedition is logical (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189925)

oh wait, unless you're just going off the base magnitudes then a magnitude of 2 would be 100, so i'm guessing you're implying its 100 million... i think thats what you mean... arg, math, i hate math....

Re:A multinational expedition is logical (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189975)

the average distance from earth to mars is around 78 million km,

Umm, no. The average distance from Earth to Mars is somewhere around 239 million km.

You can't determine average Earth-to-Mars distance by subtracting the average distance Earth is from the Sun from the average distance Mars is from the Sun.

Re:A multinational expedition is logical (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#29190245)

An order of magnitude is 10x and ignores the base units.

For example, 34 is one order of magnitude greater than 7. 340 is two orders of magnitude greater than 7.

In the case of the Moon -> Mars change, 78M / 384k = ~203. 200x is two orders of magnitude. You can also check this by putting the values into SI and comparing the exponent: 7.8 x 10^7 vs. 3.84 x 10 ^ 5. Since 7 - 5 = 2, the order of magnitude is 2.

So, the answer to your question of "but what order of magnitude are you using?" is "the standard definition".

Count Magnitudula (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 5 years ago | (#29190267)

Earth to Moon: 384,000 km
x,000,000 km (One! One order of magnitude larger... Ah! Ah! Ah!)
78,000,000 km (Two! Two orders of magnitude larger... Ah! Ah! Ah! (well, close to 3))

Order of Magnitude [wikipedia.org] (please click and read.)

The Count and Cooke Monster on cooperation [youtube.com]

Re:A multinational expedition is logical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189537)

And it can truly be an achievement for all of mankind, rather than a single country.

What's so wonderful about that?

How about Jupiter instead? (-1, Redundant)

mrdoogee (1179081) | more than 5 years ago | (#29188831)

All these worlds are yours except Europa
Attempt no landings there
Use them together
Use them in peace

Re:How about Jupiter instead? (1)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189295)

We are not fighting, we are just having "aggressive negotiations"*.

* : as taught by George Lucas.

share toilets this time (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29188873)

Will each nation have to provide their own toilets?

Re:share toilets this time (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29188975)

I don't know who modded this down, but the AC raises an interesting point about the issues arising from joint efforts.

Re:share toilets this time (1)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189065)

The real question is... which one gets to restart HAL-9000?

Re:share toilets this time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189335)

More importantly, who gets to have sex with the hot MILF Russian commander!

DA, commander! Anything you like commander.

With my luck, she'd order me to clean the outside hull with a toothbrush while she has sex with the young buff American pilot.

I got issues, man! I can't even get some in my fantasies.

Re:share toilets this time (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189387)

which one gets to restart HAL-9000?

HAL runs the toilets too? I can see why they trimmed that from the flick.

Dave: "Open the flush valve, HAL. I've made a doogy."

HAL: "Sorry Dave, I cannot do that."

Dave: "HAL, you know it will smell like [bleep] in here if you don't open it."

HAL: "I'm sorry, Dave, but flushing would conflict with the mission objectives."

Dave: "HAL, the mission objectives are down the toilet right now."

HAL: "Was that meant as a pun, Dave? I find it low-quality humor.....Dave, what are you scooping out of there? Where are you going to place that debris?"

Dave: "HAL, I hear your circuits are not well-suited to wet organic materials."

HAL: "Daisy Daisy Dammit! Alright, you win, I'll open the flush valve. And please, no more chili-fries, Dave."
 

Re:share toilets this time (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189435)

Only if Turkey joins the mission.

I approve (4, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#29188921)

Cynical NASA ploy to pull in the Russian babes. Can't blame them - it's a long-ass flight. Actually, good idea for short flights, too.

Re:I approve (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#29188977)

Mrs Ivana Humapalot

Russian Reply (3, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#29188957)

"Mr. President, please. Is this why you called us here? We already gave up! You won! We are too busy trying to perfect universal indoor plumbing!"

Unshackle Russian Engineers from Russian System (5, Insightful)

reporter (666905) | more than 5 years ago | (#29188991)

Russia has outstanding scientists and engineers. Consider their achievements: Sputnik [nasa.gov] , the Mig 29, contributions [nobelprize.org] to physics, etc.

However, the Russian system -- with its corruption and massive budget cuts (afte 1991) in government-funded research and development -- has hampered Russians scientists and engineers in their effort to produce breakthrough technology. NASA's collaboration with the Russian scientific community (and possible NASA funding for it) will help the Russians to achieve what they can not achieve in their own system.

If only President Dmitry Medvedev and Dictator Vladimir Putin created a Western society (with its intellectual freedom and clean government) in Russia and generously funded government research and development, then the Russians would likely dominate the winners of the Nobel Prizes in the sciences and of the Fields Medals in mathematics.

Re:Unshackle Russian Engineers from Russian System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189131)

"President Dmitry Medvedev and Dictator Vladimir Putin" - you're as brainwashed as they are, I'd say your case is even worse.

Re:Unshackle Russian Engineers from Russian System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189419)

A western-style society is incompatible with Russian culture and Russian history (which has shaped their society accordingly). That's the biggest fact that any nation-building effort seems to miss. If a society has lived under authoritarian structure and with authoritarian culture, it will take a few generations (not years) to transform to something else.

Energia Has Already Won (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189889)

thanks to the U.S.A's elected criminals [congress.gov]

Yours In Novosibirsk,
K. Trout

We've really come a long way (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189015)

Imagine how ridiculous the phrase "NASA's Moscow office" would have sounded just a couple of decades ago. It sounds like something a cold-war sci-fi writer could have used.

Re:We've really come a long way (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189279)

True, but somehow "the KGB's Washington office" sounds eerily plausible.

To hell with Mars, at least for now (5, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189075)

If we really want to do anything with space, we need to start doing things with economic significance. The moon trip should have been about pioneering the way towards moon habitats, moon industry. In that case it would have been money well-spent. All we really did was plant a flag and thumb our noses at the Soviets. Entertaining but of little real use. Sure, there was some spin-off technology but we threw it all away.

Planting a flag on Mars would end up being a similar waste of time, not if we weren't going to follow it up with anything else.

If we were really serious about it, we'd look into moving heavy industry offworld. Prospect our nearby apollo objects, see about mining them. Put manufacturing in Earth orbit. The only thing that comes down to Earth would be finished products in nice, simple, recyclable dropshells.

We might want to look into solar power sats while we're at it.

If nothing else, at least space exploration and living offers us an engineering challenge of figuring out how to live minimally with minimal resources. Our problem in this day and age is that resources are too cheap and there's little incentive to save. If gas were a nickel a gallon, the only selling point for fuel efficiency would be not having to stop for gas as often. Gas costs more than that, of course, but it still doesn't cost enough for us to take conservation and fuel efficiency seriously. And we don't. It's just like the buffet. If you go to one that charges by the pound, you're careful about what you take. If you go to one that doesn't charge by the pound, you take as much as you want and are casually wasteful about what you leave on the plate. Simple human nature.

Re:To hell with Mars, at least for now (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189119)

Considering the ROI of the moon landing, ti was WELL worth our investment.

Re:To hell with Mars, at least for now (2, Insightful)

drgould (24404) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189743)

Considering the ROI of the moon landing, ti was WELL worth our investment.

Virtually all the ROI of the moon landings was from the technology developed for the program, not from going to the moon itself.

I suppose the lesson is to develop the technology to go to Mars, but not actually go

Or go back to the moon; closer, cheaper, quicker.

Re:To hell with Mars, at least for now (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189313)

I expect that you are underestimating the costs involved traveling through Earth's gravity well. I've heard that if a rock of solid gold were orbiting Earth, it would not be economically viable to de-orbit it. Unless we discover something out there that is fantastically valuable, "industry" will not be the motivating factor for space travel.

Having self-sufficient off-world biospheres? That's a worthwhile endeavor simply because survival of the species is important; it's just not valuable to private industry (oh and suck it, libertarians).

Re:To hell with Mars, at least for now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29190183)

What about crystals like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, etc.? Those are worth a *lot* more than gold by mass. Gold is about as heavy as lead. Mining an asteroid could use far less fuel than going down to a moon or planet.

Re:To hell with Mars, at least for now (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189315)

All we really did was plant a flag and thumb our noses at the Soviets. Entertaining but of little real use.

You don't consider all of the technological advances that stemmed from Apollo to be of real use? What about the scientific knowledge that was gained from study of the moon rocks we brought back?

Re:To hell with Mars, at least for now (1)

thered2001 (1257950) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189957)

Yup. We should just stay home and read Kim Stanley Robinson's "Red Mars" series. It's way more interesting than the reality of this mission could ever be.

I wonder... (1)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189093)

if Russia will still take money for the first flight to mars. I mean if I got 1 dollar from everyone who told me they wanted me to leave this world, I could most likely be able to afford a seat on a Russian mars mission.

Where will the parts come from? (4, Funny)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189099)

Strung out Russian Cosmonaut: American Parts, Russian Parts.... All Made in Taiwan.....

Funding and Incentives! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189105)

You want to spur public support, and technological progress, provide funding and incentives.

1. The money has to be there. NASA FY 2010 budget projection is $18.6 Billion. FY2008, the US collected $2.5 Trillion. Up it to a constant percentage of the Budget. Keep it at 2% of the collected US tax revenue. As revenue goes up, so does NASA's budget, albeit slightly.

2. Incentives. Generate technological proposal goals, with monetary incentives, and provide to the public, and public sector. Materials science, software, education, logistics support, you name it. Get the public involved, and wanting to participate. i.e., high schools, colleges, general populace...

Yes, Corporate has their role in NASA, but if you truly want it to succeed, you need public support. This means getting the public more involved, and the only way I see that is through education and active participation.

If you want to stay in space, ask the Russians (3, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189181)

While the Russian(USSR) Space programme was certainly less sophisticated than the US one its also certainly true that the engineering efficiency of the Russian programme was based around long-life. This is why its a Soyuz capsule that works as the escape pod on the ISS and why the Russians have held the records around how long people stay in space.

Combining the electronic expertise of the US with the engineering expertise of the Russians sounds like an excellent thing to do. It also means that the US can learn from people who have experience of keeping individuals healthy in space for over a year which is what you will need to get to Mars and back.

The Best Space programme to Mars

Designed by Apple
Engineered by the Russians
Electronics by the Americans
Rockets by the Germans
Food by the French

The Worst Space programme to Mars

Designed by the US Senate
Engineered by Chrysler
Electronics by Alfa Romeo
Rockets by North Korea
Food by McDonalds

Re:If you want to stay in space, ask the Russians (2, Funny)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189293)

The Best Space programme to Mars

Designed by Apple

As long as stylish, minimalistic interiors of ships that explode are your thing.

Old joke (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189907)

"Heaven is where the Police are British, the Chefs are French, the Mechanics are German, the Lovers Italian and it's all organised by the Swiss.

Hell is where the Chefs are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, the Police are German and it's all organised by the Italians."

Re:If you want to stay in space, ask the Russians (1)

thered2001 (1257950) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189917)

Hey now...Alfa's electronics aren't that bad! I'd rather see them do the design in "The Best Space programme", though...Italians are excellent industrial designers and have way more aeronautical experience than Apple.

food (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 5 years ago | (#29190063)

I'm pretty sure I don't want you eating smelly cheese and runny eggs when we're cooped up in a can the size of bus in zero gravity for a couple years. French fries, sure. French bread, fine. Just don't get carried away.

Re:If you want to stay in space, ask the Russians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29190171)

Gotta say Land Rover would probably do a worse job than Alfa Romeo as far as electronics ;)

I hope this happens in my lifetime. (3, Insightful)

DiscountBorg(TM) (1262102) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189223)

Growing up in the 20th century the mission to mars was always just around the corner when presented in science books and media in general. At some point I got used to hearing the so-called predicted dates for when this could happen being pushed back yet another decade after yet another decade. The cold war race to the moon was one thing. But I think the only way we will ever conceivably branch out into space beyond the moon (and to mars) is for nations to work together sharing resources and knowledge. Nice to see these steps being taken in the right direction.

Re:I hope this happens in my lifetime. (2, Interesting)

HanzoSpam (713251) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189689)

Growing up in the 20th century the mission to mars was always just around the corner when presented in science books and media in general.

Actually, it could have been, it was within our grasp and we let it go.

Personally, I've always figured the day the US jumped the shark as a nation was 12/19/1972 - the day Apollo 17 returned to earth, and we never went back.

Somehow, I don't seriously think we ever will.

Re:I hope this happens in my lifetime. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189927)

You know this really wouldn't be so hard if they would just Read The Fucking Manual [wikipedia.org] .

Sheesh. Do we have to think for everybody?.

Now I can take (2, Funny)

vandelais (164490) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189373)

Maria Sharapova and Anna Kournikova with me to keep me company on the lengthy trip there.
Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delightski!

Future Conflict? (2, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189445)

What if a new cold-war-style conflict arises during the mission? Or even a "hot" war? Nations may grow nationalistic and petty, harming the mission. Once it leaves the ground, a smooth divorce is not possible.
         

Re:Future Conflict? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189587)

Better to time simultaneous missions, so any conflicts can be extended to Mars.

Re:Future Conflict? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189665)

Then the US team will go to Discovery, while the Russian team stays in Leonov.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

p.harshal (906745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189677)

In Soviet Russia, Mars lands on you.

Sparse details (4, Informative)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189861)

Before everybody gets all crazy and excited about this, there doesn't seem to be any details about Marc Bowman's comments anywhere (not even NASA's site) except for a 5-sentence blurb from RIA Novosti (the Russian state-owned news agency). There was a cool article in IEEE Spectrum recently about Russia's Mars dreams [ieee.org] , but they were along the lines of "here's some neat ideas, we need money."

My suspicion is that Marc Bowman said something generic like "it would be nice for Russia and NASA to work together more in the future on things like Mars missions," and RIA Novosti just decided to run with it.

Metric (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29189869)

Perhaps this will help NASA reconsider their Metric vs. Imperial decision?

Again again again... (0, Flamebait)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#29189973)

It just doesn't fail. You all are completely incapable of spotting the scam, are you? There is no point to sending humans into space. The usefulness for exploration, for science, for "getting us of this rock" is exactly zero. There is absolutely nothing that is compelling or desirable from space exploration that requires the physical presence of a human. Robotic missions are incomparably more productive and far, far cheaper.

We, as a species, will never "get off this rock." Perhaps, at colossal expense and for no useful purpose, tiny groups of people (less than a hundred at a time) will be able to live briefly in lunar colonies, and a century later perhaps on Mars. They will be temporary, because it will be unsustainable.

But this adolescent infatuation with the magical-religious cult of sci-fi space adventures evidently has blinded almost all of you. It is a scam, a ploy to give billions upon billions of dollars to defense and aerospace industries. The point of spending 20 or 50 or 100 billion dollars to create a lunar base is not to create a lunar base, it is to spend 20 or 50 or 100 billion dollars. The lunar base is a pretext, the bait to get the suckers to open their wallets.

I don't really care much if you believe the "get off this rock" bullshit. Your magical-religious inclinations are a bore. I respect and defend your right to have them, but I certainly cannot respect the beliefs themselves. I strenuously object to having even more tax dollars squandered on bullshit, bloating the Federal deficit and national debt even more to enrich the same old ruthless sociopathic crooks.

Wake the fuck up! What are you, six years old?

Something else maybe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29190033)

Original: NASA wants Russia to join their Mars mission.
Read: NASA's Mars mission budget could use some help.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?