reply to post by CarbonBase
You do realize that Science and Engineering go hand in had I would hope. I'm an engineer myself and without science to base the engineering on, it
would be more like "The Three Stoogies Build A Rocket"
So you feel that NASA/JPL is "wasting" money on science, and that they should be spending their budget (which is right now at 0.48% of the total
federal budget right now) on building a spaceship.
Okay. What KIND of spaceship? You do realize that before you "build" a spaceship, you need to figure out just where you're going to send it, so
that you'll know how to build it, right?
You also realize, I really hope you do, that a lot of the probes we've sent out to do all that nasty "science" that you are griping about, have
done a LOT of engineering too that help us learn how to build space ships:
Gravity sling shots.
Or would you rather we had just slapped a rocket together, stuffed some humans in it, and said: "Hope to god this works, we've never tried it, and
there is nothing we will be able to do to save you. Your wills are up to date, right?"
Why Mars? Why not? Ask yourself this:
"Of all the planets, save Earth, that we'd want to send people to, which ones should we?"
Mercury: It's a very hot/cold barren ball of rock. Because it's so close to the sun, it takes us YEARS to get there, as Mercury is slinging around
the sun much, much faster than Earth. We have to speed up any craft quite a bit to get to it and get into orbit around it.
In 1998, a study detailed a proposed mission to send an orbiting spacecraft to Mercury, as the planet was at that point the least-explored of the
inner planets. In the years following the Mariner 10 mission, subsequent mission proposals to revisit Mercury had appeared too costly, requiring large
quantities of propellant and a heavy lift launch vehicle. Moreover, inserting a spacecraft into orbit around Mercury is difficult, because a probe
approaching on a direct path from Earth would be accelerated by the Sun's gravity and pass Mercury far too quickly to orbit it. However, using a
trajectory designed by Chen-wan Yen in 1985, the study showed it was possible to seek a Discovery-class mission by using multiple, consecutive gravity
assist, 'swingby' maneuvers around Venus and Mercury, in combination with minor propulsive trajectory corrections, to gradually slow the spacecraft
and thereby minimize propellant needs
Venus: besides the same problem as above with getting there, the only things our astronauts would be able to do there right now is fly by it. They're
not going to be able to land and walk around, as the environment on Venus is too harsh for the suits we have (or any landing craft for that mater).
There was a Manned Venus Flyby
proposal for a launch in 1973, that would have taken a year
for the Astronauts to do.
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune: These would be very long voyages, some very long, and they would not be landing there of course being Gas and Ice
There would be their moons to explore......but at what cost in fuel, air, water, food.....all things that a probe does not need.
Mars. Mars has potential. While neither you nor I could walk out of a lander in shorts and a T shirt, our current space suits can handle it. The
logistics of setting up a base or colony there is actually not beyond our current technology level. A manned mission would cost a lot more than probes
and rovers, but is not beyond the ability of us humans at this point.
Dead? I don't know if I would call it "Dead". It may not be covered with oceans and forests with animals....but at one time in it's past it did
have a lot more water and atmosphere than it does now. For all we know, there are pockets of life (even if it's just microbes) that exist their
Go to another star: At our current level of technology that we have, it would take a very long time to get there. You'd be dead when it got
there....and that's if we (the entire planet) spent a impossible amount of resources building this interstellar ship that would take generations to
get to even the closest star, which so far has planet that's way too close to it's star to support life as we know it (meaning it would be a one way
Planets that we've discovered so far that might have life as we know it (being in the "Green" zone) (discovered by that nasty "Science" you hate)
are hundreds and over a thousand light years away......
So again, what kind of ship do you want them to build and where do you want it to go? On a budget that is a shadow of it's former glory from the