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China and Russia to Launch Joint Mars Mission

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the we-might-get-there-someday dept.

182

The Interfacer writes "China and Russia are planning a joint mission to Mars that will bring back samples to earth and land on one of the red planet's tiny moons, state media quoted a Chinese scientist as saying Wednesday." From the article: "Russia will launch the spacecraft, while China will provide the survey equipment to carry out the unmanned exploration, Ye Peijian, a senior scientist at the Chinese Academy of Space Technology, told a meeting in Beijing, according to the official Xinhua news agency."

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182 comments

Oh dear. (5, Funny)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977805)

Red planet, ha ha.

Joking aside, this is interesting politically (4, Insightful)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978067)

China and Russia have rarely gotten along. In decades past, they had a good chunk of their nukes pointed at each other, large armies stationed at their border, and their politics didn't always match dispite their supposed shared Communism.

These days, you'd be hard pressed to call either country Communist. I think of both as sort of Wild-West capitalist societies. Now they seem to be forming an economic alliance against the other growing political powers - mostly Europe and the US. It's been interesting watching how similar their replies are in the current Iran negotiations.

I think they're both interested in developing their high tech sectors, and see it as a natural partnership. Russia has lots of experience, while China has a very well-developed industrial base.

Politically interesting in the US, too. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978204)

This has very interesting political consequences in the US, as well. What we're seeing is the first massive event of the end of the American domination of the scientific and engineering fields.

We can't deny that the various religious fundamentalists are somewhat responsible. They have successfully lobbied the US government to reduce its financial support to NASA and other scientific bodies. They have even taken the "battle" to the classroom.

Unfortunately for all American citizens, this group of fundamentalists is far too powerful and numerous. They attempt to make up for their own lack of education by forcing their twisted ideas about the world on others, including people and organizations who wish to improve our understanding of nature via the scientific method.

But these fundamentalists don't realize that the American economy desperately needs innovation and scientific pursuit in order to remain on top. Their shunning of science for peculiar religious reasons harms just themselves. When they go out in force and demand that funding be cut to scientific organizations, they're hurting the economic prospects of all Americans. A nation cannot remain a leader in today's technological world if it will not maximize its scientific potential.

What we're seeing now is other nations becoming on par with America. And we will likely see them vastly overshoot American capabilities within a relatively short period of time. Notice that nations like Russia and China don't have religious fundamentalists participating in organized attacks against science and scientific discovery. We are seeing them become the leaders in highly scientific areas such as space exploration. If America wants to remain competitive, it will need to do something about its religious fundamentalists.

Re:Politically interesting in the US, too. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978420)

>What we're seeing is the first massive event of the end of the American domination of the scientific and engineering fields.

That's the same thing they said in the 1950s when the Reds orbited and artifical moon. And still the US managed to stay in the lead for another 50 years.

blame the fundies. load of crap (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978513)

the U.S. had its biggest growth, in technology and economy, during times when the populace was much more religious. Blaming the lack of R&D and shortsightedness of our big oil/big corp oligarchy on the fundies is just silly, most of the presidents and executive brnach in the last 30 years haven't been fundies

Re:Politically interesting in the US, too. (1, Insightful)

ikandi (699246) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978564)

I despair of some of the shite written on /. these days. Fundamentalism my backside. China has simply moved from zero off-planet science to basic off-planet science, with a putative Martian project that is so far just a press release. When the big dragon lands some bots on another planet, feel free to post again but until then, save your paranoia for someone who cares to read it. And you are rather overlooking tha fact that Russia is a mature, pioneering space nation whose program has given the best bang-for-buck in history. It was communist fundamentalism that put Yuri in orbit, not religious waffle.

Re:Politically interesting in the US, too. (1, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978640)

We can't deny that the various religious fundamentalists are somewhat responsible. They have successfully lobbied the US government to reduce its financial support to NASA and other scientific bodies. They have even taken the "battle" to the classroom.


WTF is up with all the trolling on "religeous fundamentalism" lately? I mean, space travel is about as far away as you can get from a hot-button issue for the religious conservatives! If anything, perhaps you should be congratulating our "fundie supporting president" for raising NASA's budget [whitehouse.gov] rather than reducing it like our previous bleeding heart liberal president [newsmax.com] did.

As far as I can figure it, the new troll is:

1. Claim that the "religious fundies" are responsible for all the world's woes.
2. Get modded up because the liberal Slashdotters immediately agree with the words "religeous fundamentalist", no matter how stupid.
3. ???
4. Profit!

Fawking trolls.

Re:Politically interesting in the US, too. (-1, Redundant)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978832)

-1 Troll? Now I know that this is a concerted trolling effort. No matter, I got +1 bonuses to burn. Here it is again, in case the world missed it the first time:

We can't deny that the various religious fundamentalists are somewhat responsible. They have successfully lobbied the US government to reduce its financial support to NASA and other scientific bodies. They have even taken the "battle" to the classroom.

WTF is up with all the trolling on "religeous fundamentalism" lately? I mean, space travel is about as far away as you can get from a hot-button issue for the religious conservatives! If anything, perhaps you should be congratulating our "fundie supporting president" for raising NASA's budget [whitehouse.gov] rather than reducing it like our previous bleeding heart liberal president [newsmax.com] did.

As far as I can figure it, the new troll is:

1. Claim that the "religious fundies" are responsible for all the world's woes.
2. Get modded up because the liberal Slashdotters immediately agree with the words "religeous fundamentalist", no matter how stupid.
3. ???
4. Profit!

Fawking trolls.

Re:Politically interesting in the US, too. (-1, Redundant)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979043)

Has anyone seen this? Some excellent writing....

WTF is up with all the trolling on "religeous fundamentalism" lately? I mean, space travel is about as far away as you can get from a hot-button issue for the religious conservatives! If anything, perhaps you should be congratulating our "fundie supporting president" for raising NASA's budget [whitehouse.gov] rather than reducing it like our previous bleeding heart liberal president [newsmax.com] did.

As far as I can figure it, the new troll is:

1. Claim that the "religious fundies" are responsible for all the world's woes.
2. Get modded up because the liberal Slashdotters immediately agree with the words "religeous fundamentalist", no matter how stupid.
3. ???
4. Profit!

That's More Like It (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979061)

Here we go a Bush supporter who gets upset and starts blaming Clinton and the media. Very original. Now you are double posting just because you're mad at some moderators. Don't be like George Bush. Grow up.

Like it or not.... (2, Informative)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979095)

Like it or not, he's right about this one.

For your enjoyment:

NASA budgets since fiscal year 1992:

# 1993 $14.309 billion, existing NASA budget when Clinton took office;

# 1994 $14.568 billion, $259 million increase, first Clinton budget;

# 1995 $13.853 billion, $715 million decrease;

# 1996 $13.885 billion, $32 million increase;

# 1997 $13.709 billion, $176 million decrease;

# 1998 $13.648 billion, $61 million decrease;

# 1999 $13.654 billion, $6 million increase;

# 2000 $13.601 billion, $53 million decrease;

# 2001 $14.253 billion, $652 million increase;

# 2002 $14.892 billion, $639 million increase, first Bush budget;

# 2003 $15.000 billion, $108 million increase (estimated);

# 2004 $15.469 billion, $469 million increase (proposed);

Re:Politically interesting in the US, too. (3, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979054)

Actually, this graph is pretty telling (NASA budget as percentage of government spending):

http://www.asi.org/images/2003/NASA-budget-as-perc entage-1962-2004-MM.png [asi.org]

Lyndon B. Johnson (D): Huge increase, then a moderate decrease.
Richard Nixon (R): Large decrease
Jimmy Carter (D): Small decrease
Ronald Reagan (R): Small decrease
George Bush Sr. (R): Small increase
Bill Clinton (D): tiny decrease
George Bush Jr. (R): tiny decrease

Now, factor in the fact that Republicans are "all about" cutting government income and spending as a whole (whether or not they succeed), and you get that democrats are bigger supporters of NASA than Republicans. However, even with that, it's clearly not a very partisan issue.

Re:Politically interesting in the US, too. (3, Informative)

embracethenerdwithin (989333) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978708)

"They attempt to make up for their own lack of education by forcing their twisted ideas about the world on others, including people and organizations who wish to improve our understanding of nature via the scientific method."


Thank you for stero typing. I'm a christian, probably not a fundamentalist, but a Bible belivin Christian. I have a college education in software engineering. Also, 3 of the Math professors, 2 engineering professors and a physics professor at my college were all christians. I would say a PHD in science or egineering is pretty good education. I went to small(4,00 students) secular state school.

When did fundamentalists go after NASA? Please provide so proof to back this up.

I know it's easy to say "darned backwards stupid Christians cause all our problems!" It's nothing new, Christians were blamed for the fall of Rome too which is why Augustine wrote City Of God.

"A nation cannot remain a leader in today's technological world if it will not maximize its scientific potential."


I definitely don't want to live in a nation where scientific progress trumps all moral and ethical obligations. At what cost is it ok to maximize our potential. Why don't we just allow all scientists free reign to do any research they want. Whatever it might be. We could learn so much, we might have to hurt or kill a lot of people to get there, but hey it's progress and for our nations future!

There is a balance and place which will remain in place and should. I honestly hope neither side ever wins and that they alway balance out. there needs to be a balance between science and mroality. There needs to be a balance radicals on both sides can screw this up.

Re:Politically interesting in the US, too. (1, Insightful)

embracethenerdwithin (989333) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978945)

"Notice that nations like Russia and China don't have religious fundamentalists participating in organized attacks against science and scientific discovery. "

Thats because in China religion is pretty much illegal and they jail you, torture you or kill you for being a Christian especially if you speak out.

http://www.persecution.org/newsite/countryinfodeta il.php?countrycode=16%5Bpersecution.org%5D [persecution.org]
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2002/003/11.38 .html%5BChristianitytoday%5D [christianitytoday.com]
"The largest number of testimonies comes from central Henan Province, where persecution has dramatically escalated since 1999. Li's group has also collected partial reports on 17,000 others, mostly Christians, persecuted for their religious beliefs.

Li is also documenting the cases of 117 religious people who have died while in official custody, 700 who have been put in labor camps, and 550 who are wanted by the police but are in hiding. He is also investigating 300 police officers accused of being especially abusive."[christianitytoday]

That sounds so much better than here were we let those fundies run rampant! Is this what you want and the example we should follow?

Get your facts straight (2, Informative)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979119)

There are five approved religions in China. In fact, there are more catholics in China then in Ireland.

Re:Politically interesting in the US, too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15979145)

Thats because in China religion is pretty much illegal and they jail you, torture you or kill you for being a Christian especially if you speak out.

Good. Too many christians, not enough lions.

Re:Politically interesting in the US, too. (1)

o_miljac (868340) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979085)

Not only a religious fundamentalism syndrome. Try A. Bierce: IDIOT, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot's activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but "pervades and regulates the whole." He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.

Re:Joking aside, this is interesting politically (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978559)

dude, Russia isn't communist anymore. that government fell. maybe you missed it. So yeah, you'd be hard pressed to call Russia communist!

Re:Joking aside, this is interesting politically (1)

blugu64 (633729) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978867)

Your not telling me you actually believe that whole "fall of the Soviet Union" tripe are you?

*puts tinfoil hat back on

Re:Joking aside, this is interesting politically (1)

ikandi (699246) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978586)

When they settle the issue of who gets the hydrocarbons beneath the Siberian permafrost, we can be sure that the Bear and the Dragon are firm friends. Until then, it's history yet to be made...

Re:Oh dear. (0, Offtopic)

GMontag (42283) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978135)

So, if their probes are not shot down like ours were, we will know that there really IS something to this whole red theme.

or is it civ4? (5, Insightful)

legoburner (702695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977813)

Isaac Asimov: There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere.

Any space program is good news in my mind.

large rocks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15977835)

Unless that space program allows a nation the capability of setting up an accellerator on the moon and lobbing rocks with impunity at our continent. Other than that i'm okay with space programs too.

Re:large rocks (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978184)

So how would that accelerator prevent a large nuclear counterstrike on the errant country? There are a number of countries that could fight back.

Re:large rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978718)

Why don't you put yourself in the shoes of a country with NO nuclear deterrent. Then tell China to get bent. We'll see if you tell them to get bent.

Re:large rocks (1)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978900)

OK, its time to put this theme to bed - it is a dumb plan to throw rocks at Earth from space.

There are two ways to throw rocks: slow and fast. If you are throwing slowly, that means you find a suitable asteroid and subtely alter its course so that it intersects Earth - specifically hitting your target country. First, lets point out that this is hard - you must apply huge forces for a long time very precisely. Second, by the time anyone is doing that it will be easy to look for large asteroids coming at us - and deflecting an asteroid that is pretty far out that already has thrusters on it should not pose much of a challenge.

So let's examine fast. OK, to get a rock currently in Earth orbit (as in on the moon, or on a space station, or just hanging around up there) to intersect the Earth, you need to deorbit it. In order for it to hit a target, you need to deorbit it without using the atmosphere for braking. So you have to apply roughly the same amount of energy to the asteroid as it would take to launch the asteroid into orbit in the first place! (And then the rock just hits the ground - it no longer has orbital velocity, the real killer)

Wait a minute, if we are doing that, why don't we just take a mountain, put nukes under it, and launch it at a neighbor? Same effect, far cheaper, and totally unstoppable.

Nuking from orbit really doesn't make any sense - why go to orbit when you can nuke from home?

Re:large rocks (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979176)

Your fears are unfounded. If someone built such a weapon it would either:

1: Launch small rocks. These would not result in much more destruction than nuclear weapons, and would be much more expensive.
2: Launch big rocks. These would result in total destruction around the target area, and massive damage to the entire planet's ecosystem.


The first option would result in the nuclear-wielding nations responding in kind. The second option would result in societal collapse and probably nuclear war. I don't really see the point. Unless you're doing it to demand One MILLJION dollars!! in ransom.

Why it makes me mad. (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977889)

Well, you pose a good point. However, as this Space.com article from 2001 [space.com] states:
The Russian Space Agency already has a hard time completing crucial supply spacecraft for the International Space Station. Now it has committed to build spacecraft for China and help train Chinese astronauts, possibly leaving the space station grasping for seconds.
China and Russia can be friends [heritage.org] or the "NATO of the East" or whatever you want to call it. But, to surpass your role in the ISS and instead strike up another working plan with China is kind of ... well, not very supportive of the ISS.

This 2001 Treaty between the two is the first we've seen since 1950. It's great that we don't have to worry about atrocities or tension between the two neighbors but, with the current administration of the United States, I could definitely see the president of the US showing up on national TV and calling this action another Axis of Evil (tm) power move for Russia, China & Iran. It's a stupid thing to do but I only hope that this isn't seen as a reason to put pressure on these nations.

Why not do it all? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978147)

Why can't Russia support the ISS and China's program? Unlike the US or Chinese space programs, Russia gets a lot of hard currency for its participation. They might even be making a profit here. Especially when you consider economies of scale, Russia may be *better* able to support the ISS due to its activity with China.

Re:Why not do it all? (1)

-cman- (94138) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978253)

From the article, all the Russians are supplying is the heavy lift vehicle and probably a earth-to-mars transfer stage. Sounds like a juicy launch contract for a Soyuz or Proton booster, but not much else. It is probably good for the old cash flow situation for the Russian Space Agency.

I'm suprised the Chinese didn't elect to use a Long March [wikipedia.org] rocket but it may not have quite the throw they need for the transfer stage. With a 2009 launch date, I'm assuming they are pretty far along in planning and building the payload and are just looking for a reliable launch vehicle. A US launcher is out for various reasons having to do with the US and Chinese rocketeers and space agencies being unable to play nice.

Re:Why not do it all? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978391)

From the article, all the Russians are supplying is the heavy lift vehicle and probably a earth-to-mars transfer stage. Sounds like a juicy launch contract for a Soyuz or Proton booster, but not much else. It is probably good for the old cash flow situation for the Russian Space Agency.

I guess I was mistaken about the size of the project. But it still sounds exactly like what Russia should be going for.

Re:Why not do it all? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978776)

I'm suprised the Chinese didn't elect to use a Long March rocket but it may not have quite the throw they need for the transfer stage.
That's an understatement. The current generation of Long March rockets have all the lift power of a Delta II rocket (one of the smaller rockets currently in production), despite having all the fanfare of the Saturn V. While China hopes to change that situation with the Long March 5, that rocket is still a ways in the future.

Until China develops a medium to heavy lift vehicle, they're going to need a third party rocket to attempt something as ambitious as a Mars mission. U.S. security restrictions make access to our rockets difficult, making Russia the next best choice. The fact that Russia sells their rocketry services on the cheap doesn't hurt either.

Re:Why it makes me mad. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978206)

"NATO of the East"

TATO? Trans-Asia Treaty Organization. Though I don't think they'd directly use English for this, I don't know any Chinese or much Russian so I don't know what they'd call it if they did form such an organization.

It would be unfortunate to see ISS go by the wayside, but even with its origina schedule and current design, I'm not sure it was boing to be scientifically useful anyway.

Re:Why it makes me mad. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978322)

look up the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Re:or is it civ4? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978148)

Isaac Asimov: There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere.

Any space program is good news in my mind.


I'm sure the Brits who were targeted by V2s would disagree.

Re:or is it civ4? (2, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978210)

The V2 program wasn't a space program. The rockets weren't designed to reach space, they were designed to hit targets up to around 300 km away and deliver a warhead of up to a metric ton.

Re:or is it civ4? (1)

ladoga (931420) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979121)

V-2 reached 80km altitude on normal launches (from where it was pointed down towards target) and 189km during test launch. Where does the space begin? :) It was not coincidence that Von Braun led the Apollo program.

Re:or is it civ4? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979212)

Any space program is good news in my mind.

It remains to be seen if this is a real program, or just the latest in a series of press releases and power points, or the latest time a low-level Chinese space official voiced some wishful thinking that the mass media trumpeted as fact. (In fact the article clearly states, that this is sourced from a mid-level bureaucrat - not the Chinese goverment.)
 
As a side note: It's fascinating to watch the slashdot hivemind doublethink in these articles. The same publication that would be roasted pro forma when it publishes on the topic of computers or IT is treated as tablets brought down the mountain when it comes to the Russian and Chinese space programs.

Why would they land on the moon?!?! (2, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977821)

Why would they go to all that trouble of making such a huge trip and not land on the planet???

I know maybe it has larger risks but COME ON, it's not like you go to Mars every week.

NEVER MIND - I RTFA (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977844)

BTW nice summary. Someone should add a bug UNMANNED in bold in there so people don't get so excited.

Re:NEVER MIND - I RTFA (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977887)

BTW, nice job posting a comment after reading the headline. No one is expecting you to RTFA before going off all half-cocked, but at the least RTFS - rather then forcing posters to put keywords in all caps or otherwise draw attention for your understanding I'd recommend you read the summary twice, or the article once, before posting. Thank you for your continued support.

Re:Why would they land on the moon?!?! (1)

Branc0 (580914) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977860)

From what I read in the posted news, it seems they go almsot every Wendsday!

Re:Why would they land on the moon?!?! (4, Insightful)

loose electron (699583) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978129)

IMHO ? Gravity.

Getting on and off of a moon with a very low level of gravity is easier and cheaper than landing on something where you need to land and launch,while fighting the planets gravitational pull.

Re:Why would they land on the moon?!?! (2, Interesting)

J05H (5625) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978266)

> Why would they go to all that trouble of making such a huge trip and not land on the planet???
> I know maybe it has larger risks but COME ON, it's not like you go to Mars every week.

Russian scientists have been obsessed with Phobos for decades. There is a lot of science and discovery on that tiny moon, including samples of Mars (blown into space and swept onto Phobos) and other solar system bodies. Landing on Phobos is worlds easier than Mars itself, and there is an amount of preservation available that isn't available on Mars. The Phobos lander would be able to pick up (if it can find them) pieces of Mars that are truly ancient, and they won't have weathered as on the planet.

The single biggest question that Phobos-Grunt will answer is absolutely critical to future space development: How much water does Phobos contain and where is it? Phobos is easier to get to energy-wise than Luna. If it really is 1/3 water then it can become the fuel station for all of human space activity.

Josh
www.postcardstospace.com Send a Note to the Cosmos!

China and Russia.. (1, Funny)

nxsty (942984) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977826)

Just like old times!

Bzzzt! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15977956)

Actually, the USSR and the PRC didn't get along.

Re:China and Russia.. (-1, Troll)

mama_tatha (997791) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978122)

Like USA put a film set in Nasa/Hollywood and fake landed in Moon(1969)
Flag is flying very nice.

US can make an exploration in 60's technology and never made the follow up exploration in 21 century technology. Hard to take.

Space Race?? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15977842)

Hopefully this will kick off another space race and we can get NASA's butt back in gear to get a man on Mars first.

Re:Space Race?? (2, Insightful)

sheridan3003 (165213) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978720)

I wouldn't count on it until we get more people interested in space again. Too many people think other things are more important that science and research for it's own sake. Now if we could find gold or oil on something out there that we could get back on terra firma easily, that would be a space race!

Capricorn 2 (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977843)

The day has arrived when a Russian/Chinese announcement of a Mars mission is believable, while the American president's announcement [google.com] is mere political propaganda.

Re:Capricorn 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978137)

Believable!? I'll believe it when it's no longer political propaganda and they actually have real spacecraft and equipment to execute these missions with.

I'm so tired of you liberals (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978146)

Can't you set aside the Bush hate just once? Bush is sincere in everything he does, and his Mars by 2015 is no exception. He is single handedly pulling this country out of the mess the Clinton years produced.

WWJD?

Re:I'm so tired of you liberals (4, Informative)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978511)

He is single handedly pulling this country out of the mess the Clinton years produced.

Er, not exactly... http://www.factcheck.org/article148.html [factcheck.org]

/No, my scarcasm filter isn't broken, I just wanted to set the record straight on this particular issue.

Re:I'm so tired of you liberals (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978873)

Perhaps, but the "budget deficit" is meerly the measure of government spending whose cost has not yet been taxed. It is an essencially irrelevant number as far as economic indicators go because it doesn't say anything at all about how much effort is siphoned off for government use rather than remaining in the economy. By definition, all government spending is an economic damper, so the most important number is total budget*. It doesn't matter whether the budget is paid for in taxes, recorded debt, or inflation due to unchecked printing of money. The result is the same.

*the next most important number is quality of damper. For instance, government building a light rail system has some economic benefit, so although the money is not being spent efficiently, it's not being spent 0% efficiently either. On the other hand, if the government spent the money building a big hole and piling the spoil up next to it, there would be no economic benefit to anyone whatsoever. All those workers' efforts are completely wasted: 0% efficiency.

In total numbers, I'm pretty sure the Bush administration has presided over the worst of it. In relative numbers I'm not sure, but surprisingly, the war isn't main problem by any reckoning.

Re:I'm so tired of you liberals (1)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979068)

I found some other interesting information on this subject, BTW. The US Government expenditures an average double every 10 years, and have since basically World War II - but they aren't doing that anymore. Since 2000, the growth rate has slowed significantly [infoplease.com].

I find this interesting because I have always assumed that the way to lower spending is to have Congress and the President in opposing parties - but the evidence does not seem to favor that.

Re:I'm so tired of you liberals (1)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979267)

According to the figures in your link, the growth rate in the 90's was 3.7% a year. The growth rate from 2000-2005 is 6.7% a year.

In the future, you might want to link to pages that support your argument, not refute your argument.

Re:Capricorn 2 (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979170)

Moderation +1
    60% Insightful
    20% Flamebait
    10% Troll

TrollMods think Bush will invade Mars for them, if only the antiscience liberals would get out of the way of their can-do Republican Congress.

am I the only one.... (5, Interesting)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977863)

who hopes this sparks a real space race? Although, it would be a shame it was all for the sake of going there and then doing nothing again for 40 years.

US mothballed half its space missions (4, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977864)

HASA has either suspended or cancelled outright nearly half of its space probe missions due to cost constraints. These compete against the Shuttle Return To Space, the new Orion manned spacecraft, ISS construction, and the presidential Return to the Moon and Mars initiatives. So its nice other countries are picking up the slack.

Re:US mothballed half its space missions (4, Funny)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978194)

Yes, the Hatian [un.org] Aeronautics and Space Administration has really dropped the ball.

Re:US mothballed half its space missions (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979019)

To be more specific, NASA already cancelled a mission designed to do exactly that: Mars Sample Return (MSR).

It was supposed to be the next mission after the Pheonix lander (which would be stationary and bring much more scientific equipment than the wonder rovers.)

I worked on a an alternate baseline for this mission with a school class, with the assistance of NASA Jet Propulsion Labs, and it's a very interesting and challenging project, with the size of everything being determined that you have to bring a rocket capable of reaching Martian orbit all the way to the surface of Mars. I'm very curious to see what their plan is, whether they take NASA's simple approach, or our student projects more complex approach, or something else entirely.

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15977871)

"China and Russia are planning a joint mission to Mars [CC] that will bring back samples to earth and land on one of the red planet's tiny moons [...]
In Soviet Russia, Mars goes to you!

Why no intercontinental cooperation? (5, Interesting)

w33t (978574) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977969)

What's keeping the US from joining with them?

If it's feasable that the US alone could go to mars, and that Russia and China together can go to mars - then could not all three work together to achieve this goal better?

Or is it neccessary to have the "us" and "them" philosophy when it comes to these kinds of projects?

Must there always be an adversary?

Re:Why no intercontinental cooperation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978060)

Nothing's keeping USA from joining them except politics. Oh and the fact that the ISS is horribly behind schedule [and is being cut back] because USA failed to keep up its part of the bargain, forgivably so in the case of the explosion of the shuttle but some of the cutbacks are unrelated to that.

Yes we know you helped bail out Russia (funding crisis for initial modules) after Russia helped bail you out (6 years, millions of dollars and all you had was a bunch of papers).

America's record on international projects is ... variable at best.

But mostly it's just politics

Re:Why no intercontinental cooperation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978089)

Amongst some quarters of the space community there a sense of not wanting to take on a big project with the former colonies at the moment because of the delays to and attempts to drum up support for the cancelation of other major on-going space projects.

European countries or the ESA would probably be more welcome.

Re:Why no intercontinental cooperation? (1)

theelectron (973857) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978101)

You must be new here (the world).

It's called politics. So it'll likely never happen.

Re:Why no intercontinental cooperation? (2, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978219)

Sure, the US could push for a multilateral approach to space exploration. Now, stop and think about the current state of affairs in the 'states and you'll see why this isn't likely to happen.

Ths US has a massive deficit, and little actual interest in spaceflight. I have no doubt that NASA could get to Mars and back again, if they had both the budget and the full support of congress and the general public. But in the absence of either, there is little room for new spaceflight programs in their agenda. And even getting an unmanned probe there and back would be a challenge, since it essentially doubles all the costs associated with fuel (not just monetary costs, but weight considerations as well).

This isn't about an adversarial approach to space exploration; China and Russia aren't competing with America. For there to be competition, the US would actually have to have a similar program in place. They might see it as a space race, or national pride, or what have you, but they aren't actually trying to beat anybody.

Re:Why no intercontinental cooperation? (1)

-cman- (94138) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978523)

Actually, the main barrier seems to be the political/military calculus that China is a "threat" nation. Therefore we must avoid at all costs allowing any of our holy aerospace technology from slipping into their hands due to the dual-use nature of rocketry, guidance, et. al. technology.

Witness prosecutions [sfgate.com] against defense contractors who either deliberately or accidentally transfer aerospace tech to China.

Re:Why no intercontinental cooperation? (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979325)

This isn't about an adversarial approach to space exploration; China and Russia aren't competing with America. For there to be competition, the US would actually have to have a similar program in place.

Huh?

Number of space probes has the USA launched or operated at Mars in the 2000s: 5 (Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Spirit, Opportunity, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter)

Number for Russia: 0

Number for China: 0

Re:Why no intercontinental cooperation? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978270)

Or is it neccessary to have the "us" and "them" philosophy when it comes to these kinds of projects?

I think it's necessary to have competition. Plus, the record on international cooperation on large scale space projects isn't that great.

American are weenies and... (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978329)

Why no American involvement?

1) Americans have lower tolerances for dangerous situations; there is much less concern about the political fashions of "soccer moms" in countries where life is already cheap.

2) American space agencies can't do anything without checking with their defense contractors and their home states first to make sure the money will flow to political contributors and reliable voters.

You're welcome.

Re:Why no intercontinental cooperation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978341)

> What's keeping the US from joining with them?

The fact that all of the other nations on the planet hate our policies and our behaviour?

OK, that may be a bit of a stretch, but not by much. Most nations don't seem eager to help us out anymore, and with good reason. The Democrats have given Junior everything he wanted, and the Republicans have denied him the only thing he needs: Oversight.

The only way we, as citizens, can change Washington's policies is by changing the folks we send there. Keep that in mind in November...

Re:Why no intercontinental cooperation? (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979258)

If it's feasable that the US alone could go to mars, and that Russia and China together can go to mars - then could not all three work together to achieve this goal better?

The more countries the merrier, right? After all, that's done wonders for the on-budget, on-time, scientifically productive International Space Station.

(And yes, I am being sarcastic)

Demand re-unification with renagade planet (1, Funny)

BurningTyger (626316) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978042)

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Chinese should land on Mars. This way, hundred of years later, they can claim that Mars is "historically" Chinese terriroty, and setup intergalatic missles aiming at Mars to demand re-unification with the renagade RED planet.

Why Mars? (-1, Flamebait)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978094)

Why does everybody want to keep going to Mars? There are 7, no wait 6, other planets out there that we still need to visit?

Re:Why Mars? (2, Informative)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978154)

But it would be tough to keep a vehicle on the surface of Venus long enough to do much good science...Mercury isn't too terribly interesting...and you can't really 'land' on any of the gas giants. Mars is fairly hospitable to our machines (as proven by the long lives of Spirit and Opportunity) and fairly interesting from a scientific standpoint. IANARSPD

Re:Why Mars? (1)

FST777 (913657) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978426)

We were on Venus before [wikipedia.org] we came to Mars.
Venera [wikipedia.org] 4 was the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet.
The Mariner 2 [wikipedia.org] was the first spacecraft to fly by another planet.

Obviously, in the past we were more interested in the planets more towards the sun. Maybe the Cold War made everyone decide that heated missions would be better :) (or maybe just because Mars is further away then Venus (at least most on average))

(info: Mariner 4 [wikipedia.org] was the first spacecraft to fly-by Mars. Tries were made earlier, even before anyone tried to go to Venus. The Sovjet Mars 1 [wikipedia.org] was the first to try)

Re:Why Mars? (5, Informative)

SSCGWLB (956147) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978336)

Well, Mars anv Venus are closest. Unfortunately the atmosphere of Venus is very unfriendly to humans/machines.

Venus has an extremely thick atmosphere, which consists mainly of carbon dioxide and a small amount of nitrogen. The pressure at the planet's surface is about 90 times that at Earth's surface--a pressure equivalent to that at a depth of 1 kilometer under Earth's oceans. The enormously CO2-rich atmosphere generates a strong greenhouse effect that raises the surface temperature to over 400 C." cite [wikipedia.org].

The next closest planets are Mercury and Jupiter, you wouldn't want to visit them either. Mercury is basically a semi-molten ball of rock, Jupiter is no treat with its high gravity, high winds, and very little (if any) crust. The planets don't get any better the further you get away from the sun. Basically, Mars is the only planet close enough and similiar enough to Earth to have any hope of visiting (and staying) for any useful amount of time.

Competition (2, Interesting)

danilo.moret (997554) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978113)

It would be good to compare the cost of chinese and russian unmanned exploration missions to NASA's cost. If their missions turn out to be less expensive and more successful than those from the US, I think that space exploration would gain a lot with it. Cheaper missions in larger quantities, improving quality over time: that sounds like something the chinese could do better than the rest of the world right now.

--
"I, for one, welcome our new unmanned red overlords"

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978203)

Oh forget it

real win for Russia, if it happens (4, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978350)

Russia really benefits, if this goes through. This sort of thing has the potential to guarantee substantial launch volume for them. Always a nice thing to have. And given China's economy, I suspect that China sooner or later will be paying most of the bills.

I find it interesting that China apparently is forgoing the launch vehicles. I think this is a big shift in the focus of their space program. Maybe from a strategic angle, they think that they can build up their launch systems later or maybe buy/steal the necessary technology from Russia.

Food... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978361)

Ahhhh- so by the time we get to Mars there will already be some good noodle shops and attactive tennis players waiting for our scientists.

In related news... (0, Troll)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978365)

Nasa confirmed the aquisition of Pixar 3D animation studios to fake another landing.
"We hope to launch HDTV as a global mass media comunication tool as we did with the TV back in the 60's but we are going to need some serious rendering power to fill all these pixels and make it right. Oh, and don't miss the trailer (spoiler warning!) coming to theaters near you!" - the spokeman said. ;)

Details on Russian Space Plans (3, Informative)

lobotomir (882610) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978682)

This is a link [energia.ru] to an interview with the General Designer of Russia's Korolev Space and Rocket Corporation. Interesting information about the Clipper space transportation system, and also about ion engine spaceships that they plan to send to the Moon and Mars.

Joint Mission (1)

p0 (740290) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978743)

Never thought it grew on Mars so much that Russia and China would go after it. Where do I sign up?

Well, at least they'll have somewhere to stay (3, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 7 years ago | (#15979134)

Anyone else get the nice google ad?

Visiting Mars? Find Deals & Read Hotel Reviews!
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