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1 Round Trip To MARS, Please

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posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 08:30 AM
Attention, Earth people: We are going to Mars! Not a sci-fi fantasy at all. Over the past two years, NASA has been gearing up to meet the Geo W administration's -GOAL- of landing humans on Mars by around 2030. [HEY Don’cha know that was a diversionary ploy by Geo W to take the heat off him fouling up the Second Punitive Expedition to Iraq?]

NASA plans to set up a base on the Moon by 2020 to act as a staging area; that effort alone is projected to cost at least $104 billion. [HEY, I can tell you right now, that is a LOW estimate. A smart trip to MARS will cost $2T. By “smart” I mean to get them there and bring them back. Just to get them there will cost a HALF TRILLION, but the getting them back part will triple that cost.]

Throw in the round-trip voyage to Mars, and John Edwards, space systems analyst at Forecast International, estimates that the total cost of the program will top $400 billion - making it history's largest government-backed science project. [SINCE Gen. Leslie R. Groves brought in the 1941 Pentagon construction project in, we have not had a large project come in ON TIME and UNDER budget. This is not because we are dumb or have forgotten how to add and subtract. It is because if the people were told the truth UP FRONT, there would be NO Journey to Mars project. With 45 million Americans without health insurance, and over 20,000 children dying of starvation every day around the planet, it will be an IMPOSSIBLE sell if the truth of the cost of sending 4 people back and forth to MARS was revealed.]

Money is already being spent: NASA's 2006 budget allocates $16.4 billion, much of it for the development of a new spacecraft, called the crew exploration vehicle, that will replace the trouble-plagued space shuttle and carry humans "to the Moon, Mars, and worlds beyond. [" HEY, the 1981 Shuttle Columbia proved the SAFE life expectancy of the shuttle is about 20 mission. Discovery, 1983, Atlantis, 1985, Endeavor 1991, which “replaced” Challenger, lost in 1086. Touted as good for “100 missions” we know that is was a deliberate gross exaggeration to “deflate” the cost per mission.]

The candidates to design and build the CEV are familiar names - Lockheed Martin - and a combined Northrop Grumman Boeing team are the leading contenders right now but NASA's multibillion-dollar shopping spree will create unprecedented opportunities for companies that haven't traditionally been involved in spaceflight.

For example, heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has worked with the space agency to develop "regolith-handling" construction machinery. "Regolith" is the geologists' term for extraterrestrial dirt. Hundreds more contracts will be signed in the decades ahead as the space agency seeks to address the basic needs of deep-space astronauts - oxygen to breathe, food to eat, fuel to burn, and communications networks to stay in touch. These three companies are already positioning themselves to secure a lucrative spot on the launchpad. [I LIKE THIS, “lucrative” is the operative word! Say hello Halliburton!]

COMMENTARY. FOR One-Tenth the cost of one MARS trip, we can continue with unmanned explorations of Mars. We cannot explore Venus because it is too hot and too dense at the surface. Global Warming in the extreme. We could operate a space station on the Moon for a decade for about ONE TRILLION Dollars. No taxpayer would ever agree to this, voluntarily or give “informed consent” to such a project if he was told how little otherwise unavailable SURVIVAL information such a project is likely to produce. The only people who can MAKE IT BIG in this SCAM are the top executives of those corporation who WILL get an UNLIMITED tap into the Public Treasury.

AND the Congresspersons who follow Mr. Cunningham’s example and charge $50,000 per million dollars of contract money. Hmm? Sounds like we still have a lot of work to do. We know Congressman Cunningham took at least $2.4 million in bribes. He was just sentenced to 8 years to serve, but how about the persons who GAVE him the bribes? Where is the list of their names and when will they be indicted?
As the emperors learned in Ancient Rome, Give the People a Circus to Keep their Minds off the real problems we face! [My comments in caps and brackets.]

[edit on 3/9/2006 by donwhite]

posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 10:52 AM
So, one round-trip to Mars will put the nation so much farther into debt, that each American will have to cough up eleventy-gajillion dollars just to help pay the interest.

I vote that we just send some of those archaeobacteria to Mars to start life for us. Archaeobacteria are those really rare bacteria that only live in extreme conditions, like on the edge of lava pits and geysers and raw sewage and really acidic environments. If we can gather enough diverse species of these and send them to Mars, maybe.... juuuuuust maybe, with a little luck and a whole lotta patience, perhaps one of them will be able to survive on the environment.

We just have to let evolution take its course from there. Judging by the time that it took humans to evolve on Earth, I predict that we can have a Man or Mars by 2,000,002,006 for maybe just a few billion dollarinos.

So, if you wanna put a man on Mars, and don't wanna spend a whole lot doing it, vote Ralph the Wonder Llama for President in 2008!

posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 12:20 PM

Originally posted by Ralph_The_Willing_Llama[/I]
One round-trip to Mars will put . . us so much farther into debt, that each American will have to cough up eleventy-gajillion dollars just to pay the interest . . I vote we just send some of those archaeobacteria to Mars to start life for us. [Edited by Don W]

That is a splendid idea, R/T/W/L. We have spent a lot of time and money trying to “sanitize” our Mars shots, but who knows, maybe there are bacteria from earth already there. Maybe a panspermia in reverse?

Archaeobacteria are those rare bacteria that live in extreme conditions, like on the edge of lava pits and geysers. If we gather enough diverse species and send them to Mars, with a little luck and a whole lota patience, perhaps one of them will be able to survive in the environment?

Well, it happened at least one time we know of. Of course, we don’t know the conditions on or around our planet some 3 or 4 billion years ago. We don’t know what the Sun was doing either. Point? Maybe today’s Mar’s conditions are not “right” to replicate the earth experience. Or, maybe “conditions’ don’t really matter. I tend to think of life (on earth) as inevitable once you have the right chemical mix and a suitable environment. Automatic.

We just have to let evolution take its course from there. I predict that we can have a Man or Mars by 2,000,002,006 for maybe just a few billion dollarinos.

A man on Mars, on the cheap, you say? Let’s hope he she or it is capable of ASEXUAL reproduction. Otherwise it would be a one time event.

So, if you wanna put a man on Mars, and don't wanna spend a whole lot doing it, vote Ralph the Wonder Llama for President in 2008!

Are you sure R/T/W/L, you are not Kinky Friedman in disguise? Or should it be, in “drag?”

posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 08:12 AM

Originally posted by Ralph_The_Wonder_Llama[/I]
I vote we send some archaeobacteria to Mars to start life for us. If we send enough diverse species to Mars, maybe . . just maybe, with a little luck and a lota patience, perhaps one of them will survive in the environment. I predict we can have a Man on Mars by 2,000,002,006! So vote Ralph the Wonder Llama for President in 2008! [Edited by Don W]

Here’s the latest self-serving NASA propaganda! Propagated to anxious readers say taxpayers by CNN. You can tell it is getting near to budget time!

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is a latecomer to the red planet. The $450-million MRO probe will become the fourth operational orbiter around Mars and the sixth overall spacecraft to study the planet simultaneously. NASA’s twin Mars rovers are rolling across the planet’s surface, while its Mars Odyssey, Mars Global Surveyor and Europe’s Mars Express scan the Martian world from orbit.

The MRO’s mission is a two-year assignment to scan for evidence of past or present water while at the same time conducting a comprehensive survey of the planet’s surface and atmosphere. After completing its primary missions, MRO will use its large antenna to serve as an interplanetary phone relay for data and instructions between flight controllers on Earth and future landers and rovers on Mars. The entire mission carries a $720 million cost.


The NASA probe’s Shallow Subsurface Radar (SHARAD) is planned to ping the planet in 85-millisecond bursts of radar and can penetrate up 3,000 feet (one kilometer) beneath the surface, the actual penetration depending on the make-up of Mars’ upper crust. In addition to isolating potential water pockets, the MRO will record the different rock layers of Mars for geologists to study.

MRO’s will also look at Martian weather patterns. Martian winds and dust devils scrubbed the solar arrays of NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity clean during their mission, allowing them to draw more power than planned for, and to lengthen the projected lifetimes. The MRO’s Mars Color Imager (MARCI), with its horizon-to-horizon range, is designed to record daily weather maps, while the Mars Climate Sounder will study the structure of the planet’s atmosphere.

The MRO carries three cameras and a spectrometer to build a comprehensive picture of the Martian surface. Its HiRISE camera will take a close look at specified features, while the probe’s Context Camera will record strips of terrain more than 30 kilometers wide (nearly 20 miles). The fish-eyed MARCI is expected to provide an overall global coverage context and track minute changes in the atmosphere and surface at the same time.

The CRIS spectrometer will hunt for water-related minerals and determine the composition of the Martian surface in areas as small as a house with an accuracy about 10 times sharper than any other previously placed in Mars orbit. MRO will also demonstrate an optical navigation camera that may be used for future missions.

The MRO’s ability to beam data home is itself no small feat. The spacecraft’s three-meter antenna is expected to transmit about 34 terabytes of data per second. How much information is that? It is THREE times the amount sent home by NASA’s Cassini, Deep Space 1, Magellan, Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor missions COMBINED.

The electrical power supplying the MRO’s antenna and its extensive instrument package will be furnished by two of the largest solar arrays ever to fly. Made up of 7,000 solar cells and spanning 220 square feet, the arrays are anticipated to generate about twice as much power two kilowatts at Mars than the mission requires,


Another goal of the MRO mission is to aid future selections of sites for Red planet surface probes like the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory and Phoenix lander. The MRO’s suite of cameras, radar and spectrometers make it a prime instrument in deciding where landers may have the most success learning about Mars’ watery past or hints that the planet may have once been capable of supporting life.

Scientists consider water a key ingredient for life on Earth, and are eager to find underground caches of it at Mars. Should they be found, such reservoirs could be key in determining whether the planet could support life today or in the distant past.

MRO’s HiRISE camera, with its ability to resolve objects just one meter across, it is hoped it may allow NASA’s lost Mars Polar Lander to rest in peace. The lander crashed in December of 1999 and repeated searches have turned up some possible targets, but nothing conclusive. With its sharp eye and low flight orbit MRO may be able to find the lost probe and put its location to rest.

To land safely, the probe will rely on a tried and true deceleration method called aerobraking, which takes advantage of the drag from a planet’s atmosphere to shed the immense speed a probe builds up during transit and the, to shape its orbit. But the process is not without risk. A navigation error sent NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter plunging into the Martian atmosphere before it could even enter orbit in 1999 and begin aerobraking, though the Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor orbiters used the method successfully.

MRO is expected to begin an estimated hundreds of aerobraking dips into Mars’ atmosphere on March 30, ultimately shaving its initial, extremely elliptical orbit into a near-circular path by November 2006. CAPS MINE FOR EMPHASIS OR COMMENTARY.

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