A study into who a mission to Mars would benefit and in what way, by looking at the power certain groups have such a mission and the Kairos (today’s opportunity) of going to Mars. Mars: Small Step or a Giant Leap?
Background Neil Armstrong landed on moon in 1969. The next goal for human space exploration is to put a man on Mars. NASA, along with other international space organizations, are currently performing tests and planning to go to Mars.
NASA would have clear benefits from an American funded mission to Mars, as it is part of their mission to “reach for new heights and reveal the unknown.”
Power Kairos NASA hopes to get a man on Mars by 2037 (Griffin) Designing a rocket Training astronauts Performing test runs Receiving enough funding Going there and back Numerous Economic incentives 18,000 employees (“Space”) 400,000 people from over 20,000 firms and universities worked on Apollo (“NASA”) Space advocacy organizations (“Public”) NASA needs the support of the American people.
Americans are very evenly divided on the subject, with 51% believing the US should send astronauts to Mars (Montopoli)
Power Kairos There is a new space race China National Space Administration is taking part in mock Mars landing (“Simulation”) Winning would boost national pride Costs Public debt is already over $14 trillion (“US”). limited. Politicians can generally act in their own interests. During the Apollo program (1965-69) 40% of Americans wanted to cut space funding, yet only 14% wanted an increase (Launius). Americans must rely on their elected government.
The US government makes the final decision on where funding goes.
Power Kairos Economics The recent bailout cost $4.72 trillion (“Total”) Mars mission estimates range all the way from $20-450 billion (Rincon) Political careers A politician who comes out in favor of space exploration tends to win the respect of the people. Ultimate decision maker The House of Representatives recently passed a bill giving NASA $58 billion over the next three years (Associated) Barack Obama is committed to manned spaceflight (Obama). Still must ensure it has the support of the American people
Outcomes Manned mission to Mars likely in this century NASA must be able to get the US government to appropriate enough funding to such a mission An involved, interested, and unified American people hold ultimate power over their government
Works Cited Associated Press. “Congress backs Obama plan on NASA’s future.” 30 Sept. 2010. The Oakland Press. 21 Feb. 2011. Griffin, Michael. International Astronautical Congress. Hyderabad, India. 24 Sept. 2007. Launius, Roger D. “Public opinion polls and perceptions of US human spaceflight.” Elsevier. 2003. Montopoli, Brian. “Poll: Americans Say U.S. Should Go To Mars.” 20 July 2009. CBS News. 21 Feb. 2011. “NASA Langley Research Center’s Contributions to the Apollo Program.” NASA. 22 Feb. 2011. Obama, Barack. Kennedy Space Center. Florida. 15 April 2010. “Public Opinion of the American Space Program.” NASA. Feb. 2010. 22 Feb. 2011. Rincon, Paul. “Will we ever send humans to Mars?” 5 Oct. 2007. BBC News. 21 Feb. 2011. “Simulation crew takes first steps on mock Mars.” MSNBC. 14 Feb. 2011. 22 Feb. 2011. “Space Organizations Part 1: NASA - Nasa's Workforce.” Library Index. 2011. 21 Feb. 2011. “Total Wall Street Bailout Cost.” Source Watch. Sept. 2010. 22 Feb. 2011. “US Debt Clock.” 21 Feb. 2011.