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View Poll Results: Mars or the moon

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  • Moon

    9 81.82%
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    2 18.18%
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Thread: Mars or the Moon????

  1. #1 Mars or the Moon???? 
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    Hello, this is a hot subject, what do you think, should we prepare to go to mars or back to build a colony on the moon, we've already tested it for water, and chances are it's there, but if we do mars no other nation could easily duplicate that, so it's up to you, i think it should be mars, what do you think, and please put an explanation post in.


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  3. #2  
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    Moon; its closer, we've been there before
    Mars is far and we haven't been. We should go to mars within the next 25 years however and by then should have bases on the moon WITH artificial gravity.

    Scientists need to stop being bribed by the oil manufacturers and really take control. If any scientist is reading this, appeal to the common man with ANY fusion power technology and find a way to give it to us all.

    Its either this or this:

    A: Run out of oil and suffer World War III, potentially extincting humans or at best setting us back 1000s of years.

    B: Find fusion power, use it worldwide and move towards utopia.

    And I can tell you now ladies & gents, if you aren't helping B, then your helping A.

    No seriously, we are going to have to do something it is very important, when resources get REAL low, war will break out its ALL OVER HISTORY. Do or die time.


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  4. #3  
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    I voted for Mars, but I'd settle for the moon. The reason for my Mars vote is simply a greater potential for discovery and engineering advancements. At least I think the potential is greater....
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  5. #4  
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    I vote for the Moon. It's the key to unlocking everything else. If we can set up enough infrastructure there to refine some kind of fuel in-situ, then we can start dropping fuel containers down into low Earth orbit.

    Once we've got fuel containers floating around in Low Earth orbit, the same space shuttle setup we're using nowadays to repair/place satellites suddenly becomes a viable Earth to Moon craft. (It can pick up fuel in low Earth orbit before proceeding to the Moon.)
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  6. #5  
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    Interesting; At first glance I expected another terriforming thread, which is quite hot....still. Hasn't NASA already released plans to both revisit the moon, think 2022 or 2024 and Mars sometime around 2040. They operate the the Ant Arctic Observation Station, much as one would be on the moon, but Mars would probably be similar to the first moon landing (drop down from a mother ship) one or more times and a return to earth.

    Cute; We're starting to talk seriously about a potential 'Space Elevator', maybe we can start thinking about a pipeline from the moon for whatever....Then we can't forget teleporting, is being studied. Beam me up Scotty.
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  7. #6  
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    As I understand it, the reason we were looking for water on the moon is so we can build a base there, the reason we want to build a base there is so we can build one on Mars, the reason we want to build a base on Mars is because it's the only way to practically justify sending any humans there at all.

    To the people who say "we've never gone to Mars before," I would say that you're wrong. We've already gotten to Mars, even if we've never sent a human there. A single manned mission to Mars wouldn't be able to gather anywhere near as much data as what has already been gathered by our two rovers. People need food, water, and life-support. Rovers just need sunlight. People would only be able to take enough with them to stay a few days. Spirit and Opportunity were intended to last a minimum of six months. Here it is almost six years later and they're both still up and operational (even if one is stuck in the mud.) The missions were so successful that there's already plans for a new rover which has recently been named Curiosity.

    And to the people trying to turn this into an "oil" debate, it will probably be centuries before there's any industrial application for Helium 3, let alone a way to "mine" it and send it back to Earth. NASA's real value has always been technology. Every technological advancement made by NASA is the patented property of the US government and is already applicable in the ever-expanding communications industry. It's probably one of the most directly lucrative government institution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    Cute; We're starting to talk seriously about a potential 'Space Elevator'...
    The space elevator is very unsettling to me. I don't know exactly why. The physics behind it just doesn't seem like the sort of thing that should be allowed to happen. It's still insanely awesome though, as Lord of Space: Neil Degrasse Tyson explains.
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  8. #7  
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    There's no water on the moon. Plate tectonics died on the moon 4Ga.
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  9. #8  
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    I understand the sex appeal of driving cars on alien landscapes. But come on this is really silly. We need to put down more robots, and when they're sent to study soil remember shovels will be wanted!

    As for the "human challenge" why not go over Niagara Falls in a barrel or open a McDonalds in the Mariana Trench? A goldfish may aspire to reach the summit of Everest, but carried in a thermos what does the goldfish really accomplish at what expense? Purposeless bodies as symbolic cargo?

    I vote for more humans in orbit, conducting more great research. Soyuz and ISS!
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  10. #9  
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    Are you certain we ever went to the moon in the first place? Some people are convinced we didn't.

    Anyway, I don't know if the technology exists to build workable bases on the moon or elsewhere. This area has lagged a long way behind the sci-fi projections of Arthur c. Clarke. I think the forseeable future of space exploration would be better unmanned and robot technology.
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  11. #10  
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    thanks for your replies, interesting, as for the 6 month thingy, it could be cut short if we used nuclear energy and hydrogen instead of just hydrogen, and believe me there studying this just keeping it secret because of feuirgners( not spelled right) and other people who may just be a pain and can't keep a secret, now in order to go anywhere we need a new shuttle and nasa is working on that, but the research is going slower than normal due to funding, as for the writer that said the gateway to space your right, but why not claim the moon at the same time as building a moon base, and all the space haters need to really check and see what science is really all about, but the moon is in are grasp, it's just that there still declassifing some things, please continue to post.
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  12. #11  
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    Suppose that, instead of trying to gather fuel as such, and process it on the moon, instead we just grab materials that can potentially be processed into fuel, put them in a big container, and drop the container down into low Earth orbit. Then we could set up a space station in low Earth orbit that does all the processing. The Moon just supplies us with the raw materials, nothing more.


    Apparently Nasa has a really solid grasp on how to get into low Earth orbit, so I really can't see any problems with trying to get the fuel processing station up.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Suppose that, instead of trying to gather fuel as such, and process it on the moon, instead we just grab materials that can potentially be processed into fuel, put them in a big container, and drop the container down into low Earth orbit. Then we could set up a space station in low Earth orbit that does all the processing. The Moon just supplies us with the raw materials, nothing more.


    Apparently Nasa has a really solid grasp on how to get into low Earth orbit, so I really can't see any problems with trying to get the fuel processing station up.
    I do not doubt that. But what you're talking about is phenomenally expensive and wouldn't be practical on a large scale in any way.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finger
    I do not doubt that. But what you're talking about is phenomenally expensive and wouldn't be practical on a large scale in any way.
    How large a scale do we need?

    This is the spark that lights the fire. Get enough material into low Earth orbit so that you can start sending stuff to the Moon less expensively (Don't need those giant rockets to deliver a space shuttle sized payload anymore), and adding the next layer of infrastructure becomes exponentially cheaper.

    The question is what kind of machinery do we need in order to extract lunar rock and eject it into space at exactly the right trajectory to make in reach low Earth orbit? I don't know how predictable the orbital insertion can be, or if it's just too chaotic. We'd need something to gather it, and then a launch mechanism. Ideally it would be solar powered so that it could keep going for a long time autonomously. That way we get lots and lots of material for a one time investment. As for processing, maybe the existing international space station could be re-fitted?
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  15. #14  
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    I voted for the Moon, but Im not in favor of 'there and back' trips, but rather in favor of a permanent sustainable (and eventually relatively autonomous) colony on the moon.

    My ideal scenario would be to send a mission to setup an outpost for construction robots including automated workshop/repair station and recharge station. Send materials (spare parts) to be assembled by the robots(automated and remote controled), then send hydroponic modules, and then finish up with a few astronauts.

    Once we have a sustainable outpost that can grow its food, we can expand the outpost (convert moon dust and minerals into building materials?) into a town/city/colony. Once a human colony is established on the moon we can benefit from the advances made for and by this colony and plan a colony on Mars.
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  16. #15  
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    I'm thinking we should tunnel underground to build the base, because that would give us the walls and roof, and the overhead rock would be sufficient to protect the inhabitants from radiation. Then we could use molten Regolith (Moon dust) to make it it air tight.


    We'd need to send up explosives to blast through the rock (using some kind of chemical composition that doesn't require oxygen.) As for the molten regolith, I read about a NASA researcher once who put some imitation Regolith in his home microwave, and the energy from that was sufficient to melt it. Or.. another possibility might be to send up a carefully shaped mirror to focus sunlight on the stuff we want to melt.
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  17. #16 Re: Mars or the Moon???? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaCarter
    Hello, this is a hot subject, what do you think, should we prepare to go to mars or back to build a colony on the moon, we've already tested it for water, and chances are it's there, but if we do mars no other nation could easily duplicate that, so it's up to you, i think it should be mars, what do you think, and please put an explanation post in.
    The Moon is a dead lump of rock. Mars very possibly has life under it's surface (methane released every summer) and water too. We are not going to need a jumping off place for the rest of the solar system any time soon, and no one is going to build rockets on the Moon in the foreseeable future. we need a method of getting to Mars within a month or two, and a new Russian rocket being designed and built may help us towards that.
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  18. #17 Re: Mars or the Moon???? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojax
    I'm thinking we should tunnel underground to build the base, because that would give us the walls and roof, and the overhead rock would be sufficient to protect the inhabitants from radiation. Then we could use molten Regolith (Moon dust) to make it it air tight.

    We'd need to send up explosives to blast through the rock (using some kind of chemical composition that doesn't require oxygen.) As for the molten regolith, I read about a NASA researcher once who put some imitation Regolith in his home microwave, and the energy from that was sufficient to melt it. Or.. another possibility might be to send up a carefully shaped mirror to focus sunlight on the stuff we want to melt.
    I agree using tunnels is an interesting possibility. I read that theres a lot of radiation comming from the moon (underground/rocks) itself but I'm not sure if its true nor if its relevant. For digging it might be best to use methods that can use energy that is accessible from the moon, like digging equipment and lasers powered by solar panels, as much as possible.
    Also I read that moon dust is very abrasive and degrades equipment, a solution to that also would be required.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia
    The Moon is a dead lump of rock. Mars very possibly has life under it's surface (methane released every summer) and water too. We are not going to need a jumping off place for the rest of the solar system any time soon, and no one is going to build rockets on the Moon in the foreseeable future. we need a method of getting to Mars within a month or two, and a new Russian rocket being designed and built may help us towards that.
    Mars is more interesting although more ambitious, but woulnd the moon be easier to provide supplies for (even using the russian starship) than Mars? And wouldnt the life-support(recycling/hydroponics/etc) and remote/robotic construction expertise be valuable for an eventual colony on Mars?
    On Mars it might be an idea to plant genetically engineered lifeforms that can grow on Mars to provide materials.
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  19. #18 Re: Mars or the Moon???? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Mars is more interesting although more ambitious, but woulnd the moon be easier to provide supplies for (even using the russian starship) than Mars? And wouldnt the life-support(recycling/hydroponics/etc) and remote/robotic construction expertise be valuable for an eventual colony on Mars?
    I think Cyberia meant return mission. The logistic difference is true in any case. ISS works because a) it's modest, b) it's robust, c) people have useful things to do in that setting.

    Boots on Mars don't help us test for life. Packing along a can of unwashed humans complicates and possibly compromises such a mission. And we're going to want the samples examined on Earth anyway. More appropriate then is a wide scattering of single-purpose non-roving landers, that core ~1m into Martian soil and shoot the sample into Martian orbit with a rocket. A single unmanned orbiter could redirect dozens or hundreds of these samples, to Earth, over years and decades. In such program occasional lander/sample failure is acceptable.
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  20. #19 Re: Mars or the Moon???? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    I agree using tunnels is an interesting possibility. I read that theres a lot of radiation comming from the moon (underground/rocks) itself but I'm not sure if its true nor if its relevant.
    I didn't think about that. If the radiation's origin is the Moon itself, then I guess tunneling underground won't solve anything, will it?


    For digging it might be best to use methods that can use energy that is accessible from the moon, like digging equipment and lasers powered by solar panels, as much as possible.
    Also I read that moon dust is very abrasive and degrades equipment, a solution to that also would be required.
    I very much agree. Solar is probably the most available (Unless we really think we're going to get a nuclear reactor going up there. )

    As for the abrasive quality of Regolith, you'd think that could be put to a positive use when we're trying to drill into the rock underneath. I don't know. It has a low heat tolerance, so maybe it would just melt into sludge instead of wearing away at the rock.

    And wouldnt the life-support(recycling/hydroponics/etc) and remote/robotic construction expertise be valuable for an eventual colony on Mars?
    .
    For robotics, the Moon is about 384,000 km away, so a radio signal takes just over 2 seconds to complete a round trip. Mars is about 54,000,000 km away at its closest approach, so we're looking at about a minimum of 6 minutes.

    I think controlling a construction machine by remote control would be a lot easier on the Moon.
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  21. #20 Re: Mars or the Moon???? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Boots on Mars don't help us test for life. Packing along a can of unwashed humans complicates and possibly compromises such a mission. And we're going to want the samples examined on Earth anyway. More appropriate then is a wide scattering of single-purpose non-roving landers, that core ~1m into Martian soil and shoot the sample into Martian orbit with a rocket. A single unmanned orbiter could redirect dozens or hundreds of these samples, to Earth, over years and decades. In such program occasional lander/sample failure is acceptable.
    We have sent a number of rockets to Mars and they have found nothing. They have done almost nothing there. Having humans on Mars could do more in one day that all past landers. They can do any number of tests, adapt to most situations, jump over rocks which would stop a mobile vehicle, explore in any direction, carry out many experiments which would not be possible with the severe weight restrictions of a mechanical lander which would make a huge difference.

    I still remember the first or one of the first landers on Mars where they used the same camera the lander was using (on Earth) and had a parade march past and the camera saw nothing because it's scanning optical system was too slow. If insects existed on Mars, we would probably not know it, even with the latest cameras.
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  22. #21 Re: Mars or the Moon???? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia
    I still remember the first or one of the first landers on Mars where they used the same camera the lander was using (on Earth) and had a parade march past and the camera saw nothing because it's scanning optical system was too slow.
    A Martian dust devil:

    OK what I still remember is the rover whose mission was to inspect soil, forgot to bring a friggin shovel. We were so fixed on this idea of roving around free to explore valley after valley, like if we just drive around enough we might discover a nice little restaurant or artistic boulder or something. Finally we lucked out when one wheel seized up and gouged a revealing rut to the subsoil. We actually worked the rover back and forth attempting to dig... with camera peering into the rut. That's the most pathetic "stupid human" moment in space exploration history IMO.

    I still think soil inspection and sample return should be the focus, not trying to project humanity. The manned mission proposals are all about projecting humanity and our trappings.

    Strange you mention weight restrictions. Like loading a big can of humans is not heavy? We and our useless crap (including literal crap) would comprise the bulk of the mission, deadweight effectively.
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  23. #22 Re: Mars or the Moon???? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia
    We have sent a number of rockets to Mars and they have found nothing. They have done almost nothing there. Having humans on Mars could do more in one day that all past landers. They can do any number of tests, adapt to most situations, jump over rocks which would stop a mobile vehicle, explore in any direction, carry out many experiments which would not be possible with the severe weight restrictions of a mechanical lander which would make a huge difference.
    If all we're going to do is walk around a bit, and take a few samples, I think the money could be better spent on public works projects, cutting taxes, or even buying more bullets to shoot hapless Afghans with. What is the most impressive scientific discovery we're likely to make? Maybe there's life on Mars??? Big deal. And we'll spend the next ten years debating whether that refutes or confirms the existence of a God, as though that were the biggest question concerning humanity's survival or something. It's not like we're going to find a cure for cancer in Martian bacteria. (Feel free to tell me "I told you so" if we do. )

    Anyway, remember that most of our experience with unmanned robot missions was back in the 90's with 90's technology. Computer processing has gotten a lot more powerful since then, and probably robotics too. If we send up another robot, it will probably be able to dig for samples on its own.
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  24. #23  
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    It think the real question facing us is which direction do we want to take space exploration in general? Is our primary interest economic, or informational? It's like there's two camps. There's the science camp, who just want to look, but not interfere with what we find. Then there's the prospector camp: the explorers who are more interested in taking tangible things back to Earth with them.

    For the first camp, Mars probably would be more interesting, because it actually has the potential to have developed a rudiamentry ecosystem. They're probably burning up with curiousity over whether the rover samples were actual life forms, or just chemical interactions that created CO2. For the second camp, the Moon is just as good, because neither celestial object is more or less likely to contain economically valuable materials, but the Moon is easier to get at.

    I would say the American public is mostly in the second camp. If we want NASA to get better funding, we should appeal to them. Remember: neither mission happens unless NASA gets some love. Ask yourself where the majority of NASA funding came from in the 1980's and 1990's? Was it more about putting telecom satellites in space, or probing the depths?
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    It's like there's two camps. There's the science camp, who just want to look, but not interfere with what we find. Then there's the prospector camp: the explorers who are more interested in taking tangible things back to Earth with them.
    The division I see: those who want to do stuff (e.g. drive lunar golf carts) vs. those who want to gather information (drop suicide-probes into Venus, just for 30 seconds of telemetry). The former "stretch the envelope" - which is good - and their proposals sure are sexier. They argue that we learned so much developing space-pens and space-toilets for the Apollo program.

    The latter camp does want to take tangible things back to Earth, however, more I think than the former. We want samples we can study in fully equipped Earth laboratories. I've argued human hands just aren't needed for sample return, and sending-then-returning human hands not only wastes resources but also encumbers the "real mission".

    The programme I envision features a hard-landing (unmanned!) stage that uses the inertia of impact to core a sample. The bulk of the vehicle would be a rocket, which violently thrusts a packaged sample out of the gravity well, for pickup and eventual Earth reentry aboard Shuttle or Soyuz. I imagine these brute sample-ejectors would be cheap and applicable to various bodies - like Mars, Mercury, Titan, Halley's Comet - and we'd employ hundreds before growing bored.
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  26. #25  
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    So.... maybe there's a third group, that wants to just build infrastructure until we can do something industrially significant up there.

    I guess they're just not very popular these days. I think putting satellites in space for military and telecom purposes is probably the only thing that kept NASA alive in the 1980's and 1990's. I suppose this third group is the group that doesn't care at all about science or exploration until it affects them materially. They're not enthusiasts, but their money is good.

    This group could be sold on the Moon if it offered them business or industrial opportunities that were not otherwise available to them. And... the real scientists can ride for free on their transport runs. I think everybody wins, except the Moon, ....which gets strip mined unfortunately.
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  27. #26  
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    Moon is an easy choice b'cause there is water found there and its quite near.
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  28. #27 Re: Mars or the Moon???? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    If all we're going to do is walk around a bit, and take a few samples, I think the money could be better spent on public works projects, cutting taxes, or even buying more bullets to shoot hapless Afghans with. What is the most impressive scientific discovery we're likely to make? Maybe there's life on Mars??? Big deal. And we'll spend the next ten years debating whether that refutes or confirms the existence of a God, as though that were the biggest question concerning humanity's survival or something. It's not like we're going to find a cure for cancer in Martian bacteria. (Feel free to tell me "I told you so" if we do. )

    Anyway, remember that most of our experience with unmanned robot missions was back in the 90's with 90's technology. Computer processing has gotten a lot more powerful since then, and probably robotics too. If we send up another robot, it will probably be able to dig for samples on its own.

    No one wanted to finance Columbus' trip to America. It was said to be a waste of money. People knew the Earth was round and just expected to find more of the same there, like they had back home, which basically they did.

    NASA and many others believe that there is life on Mars, due to the gassing off of methane every Martian summer, and confirming it would tell us that life could be plentiful in the universe (though probably over 99% of it would be of a similarly low level to Mars bacteria.)

    Mars would be a staging post with eventual colonies there and further exploration of the solar system built on this. It would be like the colonisation of the New World some centuries ago, only Russia now believes it has a viable propulsion method of getting to Mars and back which could be up and running within a decade and a century from now, much of the solar system might be seen as parts of Russia who got their first.

    As to the wars, for America Iraq and Afghanistan is rapidly heading towards the $1 trillion mark (at this moment in time, over $952 billion). As to spending the money elsewhere, it would be more like spending it on red tape, on luxuries and such which would fritter away the trillions as America (and other countries) do every year with little or nothing to show for it. Back in the 60's, people like you thought it a waste of money to go to the Moon when there were other things to spend it on. We would never leave Earth but stay on this one speck forever.
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  29. #28 Re: Mars or the Moon???? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia
    Back in the 60's, people like you thought it a waste of money to go to the Moon when there were other things to spend it on. We would never leave Earth but stay on this one speck forever.
    Well suppose the Apollo budget had gone to something like ISS. Imagine ISS today ten times the size with forty continuous years of experiment and experience. Better investment than monkeying like robots can't on Luna, imho.
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  30. #29 Re: Mars or the Moon???? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    If all we're going to do is walk around a bit, and take a few samples, I think the money could be better spent on public works projects, cutting taxes, or even buying more bullets to shoot hapless Afghans with. What is the most impressive scientific discovery we're likely to make? Maybe there's life on Mars??? Big deal. And we'll spend the next ten years debating whether that refutes or confirms the existence of a God, as though that were the biggest question concerning humanity's survival or something. It's not like we're going to find a cure for cancer in Martian bacteria. (Feel free to tell me "I told you so" if we do. )

    Anyway, remember that most of our experience with unmanned robot missions was back in the 90's with 90's technology. Computer processing has gotten a lot more powerful since then, and probably robotics too. If we send up another robot, it will probably be able to dig for samples on its own.

    No one wanted to finance Columbus' trip to America. It was said to be a waste of money. People knew the Earth was round and just expected to find more of the same there, like they had back home, which basically they did.

    NASA and many others believe that there is life on Mars, due to the gassing off of methane every Martian summer, and confirming it would tell us that life could be plentiful in the universe (though probably over 99% of it would be of a similarly low level to Mars bacteria.)

    Mars would be a staging post with eventual colonies there and further exploration of the solar system built on this. It would be like the colonisation of the New World some centuries ago, only Russia now believes it has a viable propulsion method of getting to Mars and back which could be up and running within a decade and a century from now, much of the solar system might be seen as parts of Russia who got their first.

    As to the wars, for America Iraq and Afghanistan is rapidly heading towards the $1 trillion mark (at this moment in time, over $952 billion). As to spending the money elsewhere, it would be more like spending it on red tape, on luxuries and such which would fritter away the trillions as America (and other countries) do every year with little or nothing to show for it. Back in the 60's, people like you thought it a waste of money to go to the Moon when there were other things to spend it on. We would never leave Earth but stay on this one speck forever.
    I like that you're thinking about practical stuff now. That's the kind of thinking that might actually get a project funded.
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  31. #30  
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    the moon as to be a place to build , launch, test ,etc ships from . and give astronauts a taste for what they may be in for ..moon is harsher thanmars in my opinion, and there may be some forms of life on mars that if found should be studied as to not wipe out anyone who sets foot on mars ..oh but theres so many reasons and we can get helium 3 . Helium-3 (He-3) is a light, non-radioactive isotope of helium with two protons and one neutron. It is rare on Earth, and it is sought for use in nuclear fusion research. The abundance of helium-3 is thought to be greater on the Moon (embedded in the upper layer of regolith by the solar wind over billions of years)..better fuel than what we have acess to,, took this from ,,,yes
    Helium-3 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kreep View Post
    the moon as to be a place to build , launch, test ,etc ships from .
    The problem is that to build, launch and test ships you need a massive infra-structure of manufacturing, logistics, transportation, life support, food production, etc. In other words you need colony. That is a massively expensive suggestion. If peace breaks out tomorrow worldwide then the military budgets might just be enough to get it done.

    Exec Summary: Lovely idea, not practical.
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