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NASA, European Space Agency Want To Go To Mars

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the merging-to-beat-their-competitors dept.

Mars 129

coondoggie writes "NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are aiming to cooperate on all manner of robotic orbiters, landers and exploration devices for a future trip to Mars. Specifically, NASA and ESA recently agreed to consider the establishment of a new joint initiative to define and implement their scientific, programmatic, and technological goals for the exploration of Mars. The program would focus on several launch opportunities with landers and orbiters conducting astrobiological, geological, geophysical, climatological, and other high-priority investigations and aiming at returning samples from Mars in the mid-2020s."

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129 comments

Private Sector can Do it Cheaper (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30073572)

The private sector can do this with 2 tabs of ecstacy, 3 hits of acid, and a joint of kind bud for when you come down.

The private sector could send 2 people to Mars for under $100. NASA and other government bureaucracies will never be able to compete with those kind of prices.

Humanity's Current Trip To Mars (-1, Offtopic)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073578)

Is like a multi-billion dollar Harold and Kumar movie.

Harold and Kumar go to Mars (0, Offtopic)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073648)

I'd watch that shit!

Re:Harold and Kumar go to Mars (-1, Offtopic)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073982)

Harold and Kumar's "Mars is a harsh mistress; Return of the Fresh Prince",
sequel to the critically acclaimed Harold and Kumar's "The Moon is a harsh mistress", with Morena Baccarin as the harsh mistress?

Yeah, that was the bomb.

Re:Harold and Kumar go to Mars (0, Offtopic)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074364)

Ah yes, based on the novel of the late Robert A. Heinlein (great olde SciFi).
Just like another one of his novels 'Red Planet' which became: 'Harold and Kumar go to Mars: The Red Hair Planet', where Harold and Kumar go to Mars to harvest the red hairs of the famous (80's) Red Hair Skunk Cannabis.

Re:Harold and Kumar go to Mars (0, Offtopic)

owlnation (858981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074016)

No kidding! Mars, space amazon girls, and a load of fun, what's not to like. Plus, it gets Harold off the tedious yawn-fest soap opera that is Flashforward and back into doing good work.

precious (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30073584)

i wants it, and its my birthday

My Two Kids Want To Go To Mars (0, Offtopic)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073590)

My 3 year old and 2 year old are aiming to cooperate on all manner of Lego robotic orbiters, landers and exploration devices for a future trip to Mars. Specifically, they recently agreed to consider the establishment of a new joint initiative to define and implement their scientific, programmatic, and technological goals for the exploration of Mars. The program would focus on several launch opportunities with Lego landers and orbiters conducting astrobiological, geological, geophysical, climatological, and other high-priority investigations and aiming at returning samples from Mars this weekend.

First things first. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30073598)

Perhaps the U.S. should solve its unemployment, deficit, and sustainable energy problems before thinking about this.

Re:First things first. (3, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073656)

Pfft! If they give enough money to Nasa on difficult enough project, they'll solve all of those. Well, maybe not the deficit, unless you consider the possibility of martian gold.

Re:First things first. (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073688)

The price of gold isn't high enough to justify the cost of going to Mars and getting it (even if there were bars of it lying around on the surface.)

Re:First things first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30073838)

You can still invest in it. Do you think that when I invest $10,000 in gold I have it shipped to my basement? No, it stays where it is -- the purchase is just paperwork.

Re:First things first. (2, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073890)

Okay, I know there are tens of millions of tons of gold on Pluto. Please send me a check and it is yours. Heck, I'll give you a fifty percent discount.

Re:First things first. (1)

mforbes (575538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30075026)

Ironic choice of planet, and I'm wondering if it was intentional. From Wikipedia's article on Plutocracy [wikipedia.org] :

The word plutocracy (Modern Greek: - ploutokratia) is derived from the ancient Greek root ploutos, meaning wealth and kratos, meaning to rule or to govern.

What the article fails to mention is that the world 'ploutos' is derived from the name of the Greek god Pluto (or vice-versa, not sure which was the cause and which was the effect).

Re:First things first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30075340)

Damn, that's good nerd talk.

Re:First things first. (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077094)

What the article fails to mention is that the world 'ploutos' is derived from the name of the Greek god Pluto

"Pluto" is actually a Roman god, adapted from the Greek god Hades.

"Ploutos" was the Greek word for wealth, with connotations of "gold and jewels", i.e. from underground. The Romans took the name of the underworld god Pluto from there.

(There was a Greek Pluto, but she was a nymph, and therefore aquatic. I believe it's unrelated.)

Re:First things first. (2, Funny)

Kagura (843695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30075088)

Good afternoon Sir, I represent Monster Cable® Future Investment Planning Committee. We are interested in providing the highest definition audio and video solutions to our customers, and as such we would like to project our interest in purchasing your stock of Plutonian gold.

As my old chemistry teacher used to say, "'ey you with the gold!!"

Re:First things first. (1)

nomorecwrd (1193329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30075162)

mmmm...
But how do I know you haven't already sold that to someone else?

see... see... I'm not falling to your scam.

Re:First things first. (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30075720)

Actually, I wonder the same thing with actual gold sales where you don't physically receive the product. How do you know it isn't some dude with a phone center and a good printer?

Re:First things first. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077562)

The thing about gold in space is that anyone can grab it and there's virtually no chance of your claim being recognized.

Re:First things first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30074088)

But it is for diamonds... 5 carats = 1 gram

Re:First things first. (2, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077514)

Oil?

Re:First things first. (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074778)

How about Lunar Gold, Silver, and Titanium? Mining the ore would only involve the act of bending over and picking it up.

Re:First things first. (5, Insightful)

nuclearpenguins (907128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073672)

Perhaps investing in developing the new technologies we would need to get our asses to Mars would create all sorts of new jobs.

Re:First things first. (-1, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073842)

"Yes sir. We created all kinds of jobs. They cost a million dollars each and only pay around 0.1 million, but hey, at least they are working."

I think I'm going to go break some windows now, so I can create work for glaziers.

Congratulations (2, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074570)

Your wholly invented figures have surely disproven his claim. And your specious* reference to parable of the broken window hammers it home.

*The point of the parable is that net economic gain of an action is the sum of the gross economic gain (work for the glazier) and the economic cost (reduced spending power of the cobbler), and therefore an action with an economic cost equal or greater than its gross gain is a net loss. Outside of your invented figures, you have not demonstrated this.

Re:Congratulations (0, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30075746)

I was making a semi-humorous point, which seems to have gone over your head. If you to be anal-retentive, heree are some actual figures on how much it cost the United States to save jobs. Note how the government spends more than the damn jobs are worth (in terms of salary):

ID $130,028 per job
KS $ 99,077 per job
ME $187,220 per job.
MI $376,443 per job.
NV $97,782 per job.
NM $628,989!
SC $1,502,839 - each

continued - http://www.google.com/search?q=cost+of+jobs+saved [google.com]

Re:First things first. (4, Insightful)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073692)

NASA's budget is such a small fraction of the overall budget ($17.318 billion out of $2.9 trillion in 2008) that it really has very little effect on the economy. If you want to worry about the U.S. economy, fighting two different expensive wars is a much bigger problem. Less than half a penny out of every tax dollar goes to NASA. 5 cents goes to the 'global war on Terror.' [see: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/ef/Fy2008spendingbycategory.png%5D [wikimedia.org]

Re:First things first. (-1, Troll)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073804)

And the Obama "stimulus package" (i.e. payoffs to political cronies) was ~900 billion, or about 33 cents. At least the part of it that is publicly admitted to.

     

Re:First things first. (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076104)

Well, it was. Just imagine if we had invested that in something like alternative energy (REAL alternative energy like nukes and algae, not corn subsidies and windmills), or cheaper medicine, or something that could start a new industry. That might hurt in the short run (too big to fail doesn't mean the bank can't fail, it means too many others are so wrapped in it they can't safely fail), but in a few years, imagine what would happen to the economy if we became energy independent.

Re:First things first. (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073928)

Just Mandate that anyone taking government assistance must live on the moon or mars, this will solve ALL of our problems.

Re:First things first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30074020)

When moon men and Martians start to directly threaten my life and my freedoms then I will see your comparison of the two.

Re:First things first. (1)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074176)

Less than half a penny out of every tax dollar goes to NASA. 5 cents goes to the 'global war on Terror.' [see: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/ef/Fy2008spendingbycategory.png [wikimedia.org]

And 5c/$ underestimates it quite a bit -- since DOD spending would also be vastly less without the GWoT, not to speak of DHS spending, big chunks of the Department of VA's costs, and the interest on the debt created by a half-trillion of GWoT-related costs in past budgets...

Re:First things first. (0)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073922)

We could send the unemployed people to Mars. That would help solve the unemployment problem. Now, with the deficit and energy, that's a little harder...

Re:First things first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30074400)

The deficit could be solved by selling the organs of the unemployed and energy could be solved by farming methane from the unemployed...

Re:First things first. (1)

Orleron (835910) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074456)

I suppose for energy we could burn unemployed people as fuel.

Flamebait (2, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074172)

I disagree entirely with this comment but flamebait? I Think it is a valid concern, a stupid one given the NASA is a fraction of the US's Budget but not flamebait. stop modding by agree/disagree!

Cooperation (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30073636)

As long as they agree on one set of units it should be fine.

Re:Cooperation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30073768)

I doubt it. ESA will defenitely work with SI units. And I assume NASA wants to use their old units for their old stuff. However, if they cooperate on a component level, this should not be a big problem as long as the systems are not integrated. For example rocket from NASA and rover from ESA.

Re:Cooperation (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30073858)

I doubt it. ESA will defenitely work with SI units. And I assume NASA wants to use their old units for their old stuff. However, if they cooperate on a component level, this should not be a big problem as long as the systems are not integrated. For example rocket from NASA and rover from ESA.

NASA has used Metric for a long, long time now. It was a subcontractor who used Imperial that screwed up the Mars lander.

Re:Cooperation (3, Insightful)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074026)

Aye, and any scientist/engineer with a degree from the last 20-30 years should be perfectly comfortable working with SI units. There are still hold outs, but they're just a few old fossils and managers. The people that do the actual science and engineering have no problem with SI.

Re:Cooperation (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074414)

And the subcontractors use metric now as well (seeing as they very much like remaining subcontractors)

Re:Cooperation (2, Insightful)

IronChef (164482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077694)

But like the American million dollar space pen/Russian pencil story [snopes.com] , it will live on forever.

Re:Cooperation (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073790)

(Mars lander smacks into planet at ballistic speeds)

"I don't understand. By my calculations 1000 foot-pounds was enough thrust to bring the lander to soft landing." - NASA engineer

"Foot-pounds? What the hell are they? I I built the rockets for maximum 1000 newton thrust." - ESA engineer

"Oooops."

Re:Cooperation (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074142)

(Mars lander smacks into planet at ballistic speeds)

"I don't understand. By my calculations 1000 foot-pounds was enough thrust to bring the lander to soft landing." - NASA engineer

"Je ne vous comprends pas, culturelement appauvri impérialiste chien de porc." - ESA engineer

Fixed that for you.

Re:Cooperation (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30075574)

Rogerborg wrote:
>>>"I do not understand you, culturally impoverished imperialist dog of pig."

abruti

Re:Cooperation (1)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074120)

And not install the altitude sensor upside down

Re:Cooperation (3, Funny)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074512)

AFAIK Australia doesn't have a space agency!

Re:Cooperation (1)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074946)

Should have found the source .. here's one http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/space_blunders.shtml [scienceagogo.com]
"NASA appoints a mishap investigation board to find out why parachutes on its Genesis mission didn't deploy properly when the space probe returned to Earth in September 2004. It had been collecting samples of the solar wind which scientists on Earth were eager to study. The board found the likely cause was a design error involving deceleration sensors. These switches sense the braking caused by reentry into the atmosphere, initiating the sequence leading to deployment of the parachutes and parafoil. But because the design plans didn't indicate orientation, the components were installed upside down. As a result, the $264 million mission nose-dived into the Utah desert at 300kmh.

France delivers Camembert Drive (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30073644)

France delivers Camembert Drive
--

Paris, France: The French division of ESA has developed a new high-speed spaceship drive based around the repulsive nature of Camembert, and kinetic energy derived from the French snootily sticking their noses into the air.

Coming soon after their Escargot module - a module that can only produce snails for food - this cements France's place on the international space technology table.

Why? (0)

allknowingfrog (1661721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073724)

Obviously space exploration has fueled a great deal of technological advancement in the U.S., but are there any other reasons to go to Mars? I know we like to explore and whatnot, but space exploration is an expensive pass-time. If technological advancement is the only practical benefit, let's just spend money directly on technological research instead of touting it as a positive side-effect.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30075648)

Why not do both. if you look at somewhere like France they invest in "practical" research such as fusion reactors, blue-sky research such as CERN (15%) and the ESA (23%) which is somewhere between the two. The value of blue-sky research is hard to predict but taking a Thatcherite view and dismissing it altogether is naive and apart from slowing progress, it's not economically sound (I'm not saying spending too much on blue-sky is a good idea either). If you look at biological research I'd argue that much less progress has been done recently (compared to what could have been achieved) because too much funding is attached to direct studies like cancer research and not enough is being spread around to just see what happens (mapping the human genome style).

awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30073730)

I'm glad to see this kind of teaming up, I always thought space should be a joint initiative between all the countries of the world much like Star trek or the International Space station. I think this is really exciting news personally.

Euro Agency == unconstitutional? (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073750)

(flips through Lisbon Treaty)

- where does this thing give the EU power to create a space agency? For that matter, where does the U.S.C. give power to Congress to create NASA? Hmmm.

Re:Euro Agency == unconstitutional? (3, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073806)

Euro agency is nothing to do with EU, but hey don't let that stop you!

Re:Euro Agency == unconstitutional? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073892)

Oh good. Thanks for brightening my day.

Re:Euro Agency == unconstitutional? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074328)

For that matter, where does the U.S.C. give power to Congress to create NASA? Hmmm.

Well... Article 1, Section 8: "The Congress shall have power to...promote the progress of science and useful arts".

Re:Euro Agency == unconstitutional? (1)

dlgeek (1065796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076386)

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries"

Nice try....

Re:Euro Agency == unconstitutional? (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076440)

Before NASA was NASA, that section was part of the US Air force.

Did NASA take their stupid pills again? (0, Troll)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073896)

Getting to Mars is expensive and essentially pointless. It's a big dry, inhospitable place at the bottom of a f***ing gravity well and farther from the sun than we are. Less power. Less consumables. Less everything that would matter to a human.

Near earth orbit, conversely, could be exploited for power, provide living space in the form of sustainable habitats, and can be used for zero G industries, hospitals, hotels, etc.

So, tell me again, please, aside from some scientific interest, why the F*** does anybody want to spend BILLIONS to explore Mars?

Thought question of the day: If we discovered tomorrow that there was primitive life on Mars, what difference would it make, really?

Let the flames begin!

Re:Did NASA take their stupid pills again? (2, Insightful)

bev_tech_rob (313485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073964)

I think that being able to establish a base on the moon FIRST would be more practical and give us good practice for preparing for a base on Mars. Gotta walk before you can run....

Re:Did NASA take their stupid pills again? (0)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074188)

But the same arguments apply. If we're going to walk first, shouldn't we practice in near-earth orbit before we fiddle about with some dry gravity-cursed rock like the moon or Mars?

Re:Did NASA take their stupid pills again? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074524)

Have you heard about Gagarin?

Re:Did NASA take their stupid pills again? (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30075074)

I assume you mean Gagarin as in "Yuri" - first cosmonaut. Your point is....?

Re:Did NASA take their stupid pills again? (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077460)

I assume you mean Gagarin as in "Yuri" - first cosmonaut. Your point is....?

Of course, if Heinlein is to be believed, then it is more like the first cosmonaut to get back alive. Considering all the Soviets who got killed in their space program, his story is not implausible.

Re:Did NASA take their stupid pills again? (1)

rockNme2349 (1414329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074600)

But why walk when you can drive?

Re:Did NASA take their stupid pills again? (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077824)

Well, the advantage of the dry gravity-cursed rock is that there are actually things you could use to build stuff on the moon. There's not much building stuff in near-earth orbit and the closest building stuff is in this really deep gravity well.

Personally, I think the Moon is an OK trade-off. You can mine asteroids but you'll have to take the raw materials somewhere else to actually build anything. On the Moon, you have "low" gravity (no, not as low as an asteroid but much less than the Earth) lots of materials, lots of empty ground to build stuff, and no environmental concerns (so you can launch nuclear-powered rockets to your heart's content).

Re:Did NASA take their stupid pills again? (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074312)

I think establishing a Casino on the moon is more practical.

Re:Did NASA take their stupid pills again? (1)

PGOER (1333025) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077182)

One with black jack and hookers, on second thought forget about the black jack.

China/Japan/russia (4, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073980)

China seam to have more money to throw about, I hear Japan are pretty good at technology and russia seam to be the goto guys if you want something launched. If getting to Mars is a serious scientific venture and not a cock swinging contest, why not work with them as well?

Re:China/Japan/russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30074424)

Chinese certainly have the money, but they do not have trained Astronauts [wordpress.com] (like US or Russia) for such missions. The Japanese have the 'raw' technology, but their space program is no better than Indians'. In fact, India has had more success than Japan in launching rockets and building satellites. A NASA and ESA partnership is still the best bet, since the Chinese will never be included due to fear of IP theft anyway.

Re:China/Japan/russia (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30075610)

Chinese certainly have the money, but they do not have trained Astronauts

The Japanese have the 'raw' technology, but their space program is no better than Indians'.

Exactly, they need the ESA/NASA atleast as much as ESA/NASA needs them.

A NASA and ESA partnership is still the best bet,

Oh i don't disagree, i just think spreading the cost and the effort further would be better.

since the Chinese will never be included due to fear of IP theft anyway.

Yeah that does make dealing with china hard, because of the rocket, tracking, etc tech, but Japan and Russia aren't going to be going to war with us any time soon.

Re:China/Japan/russia (1)

rockNme2349 (1414329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074628)

If getting to Mars is a serious scientific venture and not a cock swinging contest, why not work with them as well?

Indeed.

Re:China/Japan/russia (2, Insightful)

J_Omega (709711) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074904)

Sometimes serious scientific ventures are ALSO cock swinging contests.

Re:China/Japan/russia (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30075816)

|| ...not a cock swinging contest.... ||

I guess this must be a new version of the old tried and true "cock measuring contest" (TM).

Re:China/Japan/russia (0)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076392)

If getting to Mars is a serious scientific venture and not a cock swinging contest, why not work with them as well?

It's not serious science, but rather a PR game. Remote-control robots are much cheaper and obviously safer for collecting materials. A few will disagree, but remote robots have potentially better vision than on-site humans and more experts to review the images before selecting.

Being slow is not a problem: the tortoise wins this one. But things may be faster than MER (current bots) if there's a separate survey bot and collection bot. The nimbler survey bot pre-screens candidate samples and the collection bot comes in behind to scoop up the picks. Perhaps have 2 survey bots per single collection bot.

Plus, we have to make damn sure well there's no life on Mars before sending humans. The only way is bring back samples from multiple sites first, and this requires RC robots. After this is done, we'll have already done what the humans were supposed to do: collect samples to bring back to Earth.

The planners have not thought this through all the way yet.

Re:China/Japan/russia (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077496)

The more parties you involve, the more difficult it becomes to get things down.

Re:China/Japan/russia (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30078092)

Yes, but Russia, ESA, and NASA have been working together for sometime. I have to say that I am surprised that RSA is not invited to this. It really makes sense to have them.

Go to Mars (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074080)

Just wait until you don't have to borrow the money to do so.

The US needs to figure out its side of the equation, what is more important, buying votes or science?

Re:Go to Mars (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074752)

Just wait until you don't have to borrow the money to do so.

The US needs to figure out its side of the equation, what is more important, buying votes or science?

We're screwed then. Politicians look at everything in the light of "Will this help me win the next election?" The people for the most part aren't interested unless it's American Idol or some such nonsense. Us hardcore science geeks are left out in the cold, marginalised beyond belief.

Re:Go to Mars (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076976)

The US needs to figure out its side of the equation, what is more important, buying votes or science?

That's not the real question either, since science as an end in itself isn't much more important than buying votes. We fund science to considerable levels now because we expect it to pay off. What happens when that's not true? What's the point of gathering tremendous information about the Solar System, if nobody is going to be using it aside from a few scientists? Second, science in space costs about one to three orders of magnitude more than equivalent science on Earth. We could be doing a lot more science merely by redirecting space science funding into more mundane things on Earth.

My take is that the reason the US and EU should be involved, is because this will be the next big human expansion after discovery and development of the New World (1492-present) and the conversion of the entire world to high tech societies (1900-present). They'll be in a position to figure good approaches for colonization and resource utilization. They already have a good idea what is out there. If there are American and European businesses making money in space or people living in colonies on another world, then there's a need for space science beyond just satisfying someone's idle curiosity or feeding a starving graduate student. Peoples' lives and livelihood would depend on that knowledge.

This is the start of something huge. But we need to figure out how to get from here to there.

Let them Go to Mars... ;-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30074112)

...and let them - in time - take anybody, who embraces war, terrorism, etc. with them!

The rest of us will stay & work on solving the problems of, eg, Global Warming, Human Overpopulation, Species Depletion, Making various Renewable Energies work, Reducing Poverty & getting Mining companies to create great Robot "Key-Hole" Mining Systems (that will do - for Mining - what Robot Surgery has done for human patients), etc. :-)

Re:Let them Go to Mars... ;-) (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074666)

Can't we just leave all the assholes? I suspect the amount of people we'd have to transport to Mars would be a lot smaller.

/Mikael

Re:Let them Go to Mars... ;-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077018)

Just make sure you bring the telephone sanitizers with if you're going to leave the B ship here.

Re:Let them Go to Mars... ;-) (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076498)

Sounds like a good idea. Don't screw up Earth too much while the grownups are gone. I wonder who you'll blame when the problems of Earth keep on going despite the removal of everyone you thought was at fault?

Re:Let them Go to Mars... ;-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30078142)

That's just it: they won't. That's the idea because you are at fault you Beckite monkey.

Fp fago8z (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30074352)

guy6s are 0sually

(plus 0ne Informative) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30074446)

obsessives an3 the while the 4roject

BIG WASTE OF MONEY (0)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074974)

NASA needs to stop wasting taxpayer money on this stupidity. Yeah, it's cool, but there's not one practical benefit to studying Mars when astronauts and cosmonauts get their panties in a bunch over a fucking toilet.

Demonstrate that you can manage Spaceship Earth before you go fucking around with other planets.

Pardon the French, this waste aggravates.

Re:BIG WASTE OF MONEY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30075650)

I'm pretty sure the French remain unaggravated.

Re:BIG WASTE OF MONEY (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076024)

One of the reasons to go to Mars and explore, is to be able to understand this Spaceship Earth better. We might also be able to offload a few things from Earth to Mars in the future.

And - Space is a waste you say? Not compared to the so-called War against Terror.

Re:BIG WASTE OF MONEY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30077916)

Maybe the USA needs to stop wasting taxpayer money on even bigger stupidity. I am of course, talking about the Iraq war etc. Yeah, it's cool, but there's not one practical benefit to beating them into submission when the oil will run out eventually anyway.

Stop fighting useless and expensive wars. The NASA will be able to keep it's lousy budget and you'll have more money to pay off your national debts.

Manned missions? (0, Flamebait)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30075028)

Good. With the focus now on probes and robots maybe they can stop talking about the idiotic idea of sending people there. I'd rather see them dump the money into developing human-like androids to send to Mars than planning and paying to send humans.

Re:Manned missions? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077162)

I'd rather see them dump the money into developing human-like androids to send to Mars than planning and paying to send humans.

I agree they should spend their time developing sex-bots. At least I think that's what you're saying... "Send to Mars" sure sounds like a euphemism to me...

Re:Manned missions? (1)

Meneguzzi (935620) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077674)

Like send Venusian Androids?

Don't let the door hit you on your way out . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30075194)

NASA, European Space Agency Want To Go To Mars

Great, with NASA and ESA "gone to Mars," maybe we can get some fresh blood (competition) into space exploration? Like, from some private folks?

Hell, let them milk some millionaires for a few seconds in space to push space flight technology forwards.

Who determines what 'high priority' is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30075722)

If you put it to a vote, what do you think the results would be on going to Mars versus making sure kids had enough to eat?

Re:Who determines what 'high priority' is? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077048)

Parents can feed their kids. Most parents don't have the resources to start their own space program.

If they really want to go, then.... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30076980)

they NEED commercial space. In particular, they need Bigelow to build their units and test them in space here as well as transporting to the moon, and then living on the moon. We need to have better tested equipment. Finally, we need to skip the idea of sending a mission there AND then coming back. It should be ONE WAY ONLY.

Establishing a public space venture (1)

IronDragon (74186) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077984)

NASA's budget of about 17 billion sounds like a fair amount - more so than any private venture could hope to raise.

However, consider that the US market for cell phones and related service is expected to top about 37 billion for 2009. Ringtones alone account for about half a billion.

Sales of Subway's "5 dollar footlongs" have amounted to around 2.6 billion so far.

I really do not consider money to be the issue blocking space access. Remember, the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and shuttle programs were all funded by US taxpayers. And if you want a better example, realize that we bought the Internet with only 2 decades worth of disposable income. The public is the real driving force behind funding these sorts of things. We spend more on cell phones in 4 years than the Apollo program did in 10.

This is why I am developing the Open Space Movement. Basically, a collaborative development environment + educational resource/reference library + vendor marketplace + funding aggregation point to allow people to publish any sort of project which may be tested, prototyped, and produced for use within a series of public space ventures.

If anyone is interested in this, drop a line to openspacemovement @ gmail.com

We have recently filed for incorporation, and will file for non-profit 501(c)3 status upon receipt of our paperwork. Our website is currently under development at www.osmdevel.org. Register and make use of the forums if you wish. We plan to migrate things to the live site within the next few weeks.

We hope this will be useful for everybody.

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