Perched Above Gusev Crater - This approximate true-color image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows a rock outcrop dubbed "Longhorn," and behind it, the sweeping plains of Gusev Crater. On the horizon, the rim of Gusev Crater is clearly visible .
Why are we gonna spend billions of dollars to do this? People are always saying we've gotta solve our problems right here on Earth before we go spending money out in space. It makes me puke, frankly.
Check back in 500 or 1,000 years and people are still gonna be talking about all the problems that need to be solved. It's a goal-less, rudderless society dedicated to increasing security and creature comforts.
Why Do We Keep Building Launchers to Lift Propellant?
There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, nor perilous to conduct, nor more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things…because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions…
- Niccolo Machiavelli
Launch a two-pronged attack on the old paradigm
Develop better in-space transportation
Develop ways to make and store propellants from off-world
February 10, 2010 -- For further information about the Mars society, visit our website at www.marssociety.org
In its lead editorial February 9, the New York Times called on the Obama administration to make human missions to Mars the goal of the American human spaceflight program.
Commenting on the administration’s new space policy released February 2, the Times said:
“ If done right, the president’s strategy could pay off handsomely. If not, it could be the start of a long, slow decline from the nation’s pre-eminent position as a spacefaring power.”
Continuing, the Times, then zeroed in on the central defect of the Obama plan:
“ We are particularly concerned that the White House has not identified a clear goal– Mars is our choice – or even a notional deadline for getting there. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Congress need to keep the effort focuses and adequately financed.”
After commenting on the pluses and minus of other aspects of the policy, the Times, in language mirrored many of the points made by the Mars Society in its testimony to the Augustine, returned to the central theme:
“ The new plan for long-distance space travel also needs clear goals and at least aspirational deadlines, that can help drive technology development and make it clear to the world that the United States is not retiring from space exploration but pushing towards the hardest goal without plausible reach.
“ We believe the target should be Mars – the planet most like the Earth and of greatest scientific interest.
“ Many experts prefer a flexible path that would have astronauts first travel to intermediate destinations…That makes sense to us so long as the goal of reaching Mars remains at the forefront.”
The critical response of the Times, which ordinarily has been strongly supportive of all Obama administration initiatives, underscores the potential for a broad consensus for a much better goal-driven space policy. The Mars Society will seek to work with all others to try to insure that the new space policy that emerges from the current fluid situation does not settle for yet another decade of random walk spending and stagnation in Low Earth orbit, but rather sets a course that break will the bonds of Earth and take humans to the Red Planet.
A complete discussion of the current political situation and potential initiatives for dealing with it will be held at the 13 th international Mars society convention, August 5-8, 2010, Dayton Mariott, Dayton, Ohio. Registration for the conference is now open at www.marssociety.org .
For further information about the Mars Society, visit our website at www.marssociety.org . Your donations are welcome.
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