McCain: lets go to Mars

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docm

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<p>Link....</p><p>Quote:</p><span class="lingo_region">Presumptive Republican White House nominee John McCain said Thursday he would like to see a manned mission to Mars as part of a "better set of priorities" for NASA that would better engage the public. </span><span class="lingo_region"><p>At a townhall event in Florida, the Arizona senator was asked about funding for the US space agency's shuttle program, which is due to end in 2010. </p><p>He said he "would be willing to spend more taxpayers' dollars" to continue the program but argued that NASA must do a better job of inspiring the American public, as when it sent a man to the moon in 1969. </p><p>McCain said one of his favorite books as a child had been Ray Bradbury's 1950 novel "The Martian Chronicles," about humans colonizing the Red Planet. </p><p>"I am intrigued by a man on Mars and I think that it would excite the imagination of the American people if we can say, 'Hey, here's what it looks like," he said. </p><p>"We know that now, and here's what may be there and let's all join in that project. I think Americans would be very willing to do that." </p><p>&nbsp;</p></span> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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shuttle_guy

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Link....Quote:presumptive Republican White House nominee John McCain said Thursday he would like to see a manned mission to Mars as part of a "better set of priorities" for NASA that would better engage the public. At a townhall event in Florida, the Arizona senator was asked about funding for the US space agency's shuttle program, which is due to end in 2010. He said he "would be willing to spend more taxpayers' dollars" to continue the program but argued that NASA must do a better job of inspiring the American public, as when it sent a man to the moon in 1969. McCain said one of his favorite books as a child had been Ray Bradbury's 1950 novel "The Martian Chronicles," about humans colonizing the Red Planet. "I am intrigued by a man on Mars and I think that it would excite the imagination of the American people if we can say, 'Hey, here's what it looks like," he said. "We know that now, and here's what may be there and let's all join in that project. I think Americans would be very willing to do that." &nbsp; <br />Posted by docm</DIV></p><p>McCain is our only hope in this election............</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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qso1

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<p><em>He said he "would be willing to spend more taxpayers' dollars" to continue the program but argued that NASA must do a better job of inspiring the American public, as when it sent a man to the moon in 1969.</em></p><p>This is the sort of thing I always have concerns about. On one hand, its good to see Mcain address the NASA funding issue but on the other...how is NASA supposed to do a better job of inspiring the American public if it does not get the funding to send astronauts to mars where the best inspiration job possible can be done?</p><p>Apollo inspired because the first step...funding...had been taken by the JFK/LBJ Administrations.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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baulten

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<p>With his promises to remain in Iraq as well as continue the Bush tax cuts, I have no idea how he could fund NASA more than it already is.&nbsp; </p><p>This is one of the aspects of election I agree more with McCain on than Obama.&nbsp; But I really doubt that with McCain's plan of continueing down a similar road as Bush that we'll be able to afford more funding to NASA. </p>
 
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cosmictraveler

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<p>&nbsp;</p><p><font size="4">It would be great if humans could go there SAFELY, but alas they haven't as yet developed any way to protect the humans from cosmic radiation that would cause permanent destruction to their DNA, blood cells and other tissues while on a flight to and from Mars. The size of the ship also would be rather large in order to carry a crew of 6 with everything they would need. Look at the ISS right now. They have to keep replentishing it with food, water, materials for things that break as well as a multitude of other things. Imagine what room would be needed just for fuel alone! </font></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><font size="4">Robotic spacecraft can get the exploration done that we need for the time being until many problems are overcome. The speed MUST be increased so that the craft doesn't take more than a few months to get there, that way less damage will occur and fewer supplies will be needed. Let us wait until the time is right. Do not send humans away to a mission that will fail one way or another. Remember that over 30 robotic spacecraft were sent to Mars but onmly 13 have made it there safely. Let us get better at at least that area of technology.</font></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>It does not require many words to speak the truth. Chief Joseph</p> </div>
 
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spacelifejunkie

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<p>"With his promises to remain in Iraq as well as continue the Bush tax cuts, I have no idea how he could fund NASA more than it already is."</p><p>The war in Iraq is peanuts compared to the entitlement spending the US Government engages in.&nbsp; We also send hundreds of billions of dollars overseas to finance the economies of China, India, Europe and Saudia Arabia.&nbsp; America has cut her own Achillles heel economically speaking over the last fifty years and gave away&nbsp;her economic leadership.&nbsp; There is plenty of money for doubling or even tripling NASA's budget, even during a time of war.&nbsp; It is simply a matter of priority.</p><p>SLJ</p>
 
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crazyeddie

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>"With his promises to remain in Iraq as well as continue the Bush tax cuts, I have no idea how he could fund NASA more than it already is."The war in Iraq is peanuts compared to the entitlement spending the US Government engages in.&nbsp; We also send hundreds of billions of dollars overseas to finance the economies of China, India, Europe and Saudia Arabia.&nbsp; America has cut her own Achillles heel economically speaking over the last fifty years and gave away&nbsp;her economic leadership.&nbsp; There is plenty of money for doubling or even tripling NASA's budget, even during a time of war.&nbsp; It is simply a matter of priority.SLJ <br /> Posted by spacelifejunkie</DIV></p><p>There's not much you can do to reduce the entitlement spending, since some of those programs are already underfunded for the baby boomers who are about to retire. &nbsp;Cutting those programs would be political suicide to any politician who wants to get reelected, so don't count on that happening. &nbsp;The military has a huge chunk of the discretionary spending, and much of it is being sucked down the black hole that is Iraq. &nbsp;McCain may only be expressing wistful platitudes about Mars. &nbsp;He knows damn well that unless he allows the Bush tax cuts to expire and pulls us out of Iraq, there will be no missions to the Red Planet while he is president, or any time soon thereafter (assuming he gets elected....and I don't think he has a chance, personally).</p><p>If Obama can restore some sound fiscal policy during his administration, maybe there will be money for a manned Mars mission in a couple of decades.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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qso1

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<p><font color="#800080">There is plenty of money for doubling or even tripling NASA's budget, even during a time of war.&nbsp; It is simply a matter of priority.SLJ Posted by spacelifejunkie</font></p><p>Hit the nail right on the ole head there.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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<p><font color="#800080">It would be great if humans could go there SAFELY, but alas they haven't as yet developed any way to protect the humans from cosmic radiation that would cause permanent destruction to their DNA, blood cells and other tissues while on a flight to and from Mars. The size of the ship also would be rather large in order to carry a crew of 6 with everything they would need. Look at the ISS right now. They have to keep replentishing it with food, water, materials for things that break as well as a multitude of other things. Imagine what room would be needed just for fuel alone! &nbsp;Robotic spacecraft can get the exploration done that we need for the time being until many problems are overcome. The speed MUST be increased so that the craft doesn't take more than a few months to get there, that way less damage will occur and fewer supplies will be needed. Let us wait until the time is right. Do not send humans away to a mission that will fail one way or another. Remember that over 30 robotic spacecraft were sent to Mars but onmly 13 have made it there safely. Let us get better at at least that area of technology. Posted by cosmictraveler</font></p><p>There are still some serious technical issues to be overcome in order to send humans to mars. Right now we still have to come up with a sensible reason rather than just go for the sake of going. Robotics will be sufficient for now. But I tend to think if there is any sort of biological activity on mars, robotic findings won't be sufficient to scientists who want to be able to say life exists on mars with absolute certainty.</p><p>So unless the life forms in question...assuming there are any but unless they squirm under robotic eyes to the world. I think a human mission with the goal of setting up a base to study life if found, would be a reason to go. This would be the discovery of the ages for humanity and its tough to put a price on that.</p><p>Ship size, back in the mid 1990s...Martin Marrietta (Lockmart today) engineer Robert Zubrin wrote a detailed proposal along with some other engineers called "Mars Direct". A proposal using a shuttle derived launcher which he called Ares IIRC. Get vehicles to mars live off the land sort of thing. That is, have the landers make propulsion for the return trip using tried and true methods that worked in the 1800s.</p><p>Of course all things being a little flawed from time to time. Roberts proposal wasn't quite good enough. I thought it needed a little better safety margin. And so did NASA. NASA proposed Mars Semi Direct in response. And that became for me, the best possible option economically and technically. There are still some concerns such as those you mentioned.</p><p>And we won't find a solution to those until we have a reason to go to mars and we actually begin the technology development that will allow funding of the research that will lead either to solutions, or an acknowledgment that humans to mars may not be doable after all. BTW, ISS is an excellent example of the reality we still face where mars missions are concerned. &nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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<p><font color="#800080">There's not much you can do to reduce the entitlement spending, since some of those programs are already underfunded for the baby boomers who are about to retire. &nbsp;Cutting those programs would be political suicide to any politician who wants to get reelected, so don't count on that happening. &nbsp;The military has a huge chunk of the discretionary spending, and much of it is being sucked down the black hole that is Iraq. &nbsp;<em>McCain may only be expressing wistful platitudes about Mars. &nbsp;He knows damn well that unless he allows the Bush tax cuts to expire and pulls us out of Iraq, there will be no missions to the Red Planet while he is president, or any time soon thereafter (assuming he gets elected....and I don't think he has a chance, personally).</em>If Obama can restore some sound fiscal policy during his administration, maybe there will be money for a manned Mars mission in a couple of decades.&nbsp; <br /> Posted by crazyeddie</font></p><p>I slanted some of what you said to focus attention to that. I totally agree that Mcain may well be simply engaging in wishful thinking. Unfortunately, we will never go to mars as I see it...as long as we rely solely on the government. And this is not to slam gov. But more to acknowledge most folks are not interested in humans to mars in light of the cost.</p><p>Those entitlement programs are certainly and i some cases urgently needed. Even I don't advocate cutting any social programs to fund a mars mission. But we wouldn't actually need to. Lets say we get a really good reason to go to mars. NASA proposes a program and estimates the cost at $50 billion. We can be smart and pull out of Iraq and get NASA funds and have a bonus for entitlement programs to boot.</p><p>Unfortunately, reality does not work this way.</p><p>We in fact had a shot at mars just a decade ago. Between the Robert Zubrin proposal which greatly lowered the cost, and four years of Clinton Admin budget surplusses...two of which dwarfed NASA budgets then and now. We still failed to mount a mars mission. To detail this...Zubrin proposed "Mars Direct" for $20 billion in 1993 or so. NASA revised the proposal, made it a little safer because they knew they could and still come in at 1/10th the cost of their own previous proposal under Bush 1.</p><p>NASA estimated "Mars Semi Direct" at $50 billion while the Bush 1 idea was half a trill. The 1998 budget surplus, first surplus since 1969...was $70 billion dollars. NASAs budget was still cut that year and was only about $14 billion anyway.</p><p>By 2000, the surplus swelled to a whopping $237 billion. NASA was cut. Then came 911 and all bets were off. Budget surplusses were history after 2001. NASA finally got an increase in 2001 but just the usual modest increase that occurs from time to time.</p><p>The above budget data is from the "World Almanac And Book Of Facts" various years, which publishes their numbers directly from the OMB.&nbsp;</p><p>Were not going to send humans to mars and indeed, we don't actually have a pressing reason to do so at this time. But if we were to discover life on mars...seems to be reason enough for me. However, given what I have seen in the way of NASA budgeting since Apollo...I have concluded we will never send humans to mars unless or until the private sector can take over the bulk of the funding. And they will only do that if they can make it profitable which is understandable.&nbsp;</p><p>Short of finding life on mars, the public will for a human mission is simply not there.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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aphh

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Right now we still have to come up with a sensible reason rather than just go for the sake of going. <br /> Posted by qso1</DIV></p><p>I don't fully agree. The engineers, scientists and astronauts are ready to tackle every challenge of the Mars journey. While doing that, a multitude of new and improved technologies will be invented, that will amaze every one of us.</p><p>We need exceptional individuals and a exceptional project management, but it can be done. </p><p>Let us go, we can do it. </p>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<font size="2">Private Enterprise will beat Governments to Mars.</font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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baulten

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>There's not much you can do to reduce the entitlement spending, since some of those programs are already underfunded for the baby boomers who are about to retire. &nbsp;Cutting those programs would be political suicide to any politician who wants to get reelected, so don't count on that happening. &nbsp;The military has a huge chunk of the discretionary spending, and much of it is being sucked down the black hole that is Iraq. &nbsp;McCain may only be expressing wistful platitudes about Mars. &nbsp;He knows damn well that unless he allows the Bush tax cuts to expire and pulls us out of Iraq, there will be no missions to the Red Planet while he is president, or any time soon thereafter (assuming he gets elected....and I don't think he has a chance, personally).If Obama can restore some sound fiscal policy during his administration, maybe there will be money for a manned Mars mission in a couple of decades.&nbsp; <br /> Posted by crazyeddie</DIV></p><p>I agree with this, and I also agree that it is a matter of priority.&nbsp; In case anyone was wondering, my earlier post wasn't intended to bash McCain, just pointing out what he plans to do and how it would effect any trips to Mars.</p><p>Private companies will hopefully come through. </p>
 
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spacelifejunkie

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<p>"<font size="2">Private Enterprise will beat Governments to Mars."</font></p><p><font size="2">Boris, I couldn't agree more.&nbsp; I will one up the stakes, though.&nbsp; The next people to set foot on the moon will ride SpaceX rockets, stay in Bigelow inflatables and wear Orbital Outfitters suits.&nbsp; NASA is perfectly capable of realizing VSE on schedule but politics as usual will hamstring them.</font></p><p><font size="2">SLJ</font></p>
 
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keermalec

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>"We also send hundreds of billions of dollars overseas to finance the economies of China, India, Europe and Saudia Arabia.&nbsp;". <br />Posted by spacelifejunkie</DIV></p><p>This is incorrect and misleading. The USA does not "finance" any other country's economy. When you hear talk of an "aid package" to country X, what is&nbsp;usually meant is long term lending at favourable interest rates. The only direct aid&nbsp;that the better-off countries, such as the USA, Europe and&nbsp;Japan, but also China and others, currently give, is in the form of humanitarian aid (international assistance), "favoured trading partner" status etc. Look at the Federal Budget you previously posted yourself. There is no such thing as financial aid to foreign countries.</p><p>What&nbsp;that&nbsp;website actually points out, which is a wake-up call in my opinion, is the amount the US (and other developed economies also, for that matter) are paying simply as interest payments.&nbsp;Reducing external debt&nbsp;is the real problem and the real priority if you ask me. </p><p>To come back to McCain, if I may venture an opinion, his talk about going to Mars sounds a lot like sweet-talking a certain&nbsp;part of the public to get votes. I am not sure the US can, or should, afford a manned Mars mission today on its own, even if I for one, want to go to Mars too <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-smile.gif" border="0" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>“An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” John F. Kennedy</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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<p><font color="#800080">I don't fully agree. The engineers, scientists and astronauts are ready to tackle every challenge of the Mars journey. While doing that, a multitude of new and improved technologies will be invented, that will amaze every one of us.We need exceptional individuals and a exceptional project management, but it can be done. Let us go, we can do it. Posted by aphh</font></p><p>I think the very people you mentioned would agree to have something that resembles a good reason to go. If they can sell something like new tech development or some other reason, as a reason to go, I'm all for it.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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<p><font color="#800080">To come back to McCain, if I may venture an opinion, his talk about going to Mars sounds a lot like sweet-talking a certain&nbsp;part of the public to get votes. I am not sure the US can, or should, afford a manned Mars mission today on its own, even if I for one, want to go to Mars too Posted by keermalec</font></p><p>I agree, Mcain is looking for the space supporter vote which is fine. Least someone wants our vote.</p><p>I'm of the opinion that if there were some pressing political reason to go to mars, the government would say money be damned and go. The idea of affordability IMO is relative. When JFK committed the nation to the moon race. There were people who were criticizing the race on cost grounds well before Apollo missions began. Point being, if we as a nation really wanted to send people to mars, we would.</p><p>Estimates for a fairly conventional mars mission hover around $500 billion which would cover at least a decade. The National debt is over 7 trillion for one year as it grows each year. That being the case, if thats really our concern then we have a few other places government ought to start cutting funds on since there is currently no approved human mars mission plan.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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spacy600

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<p>Flags and Foot prints gets us now where, for a lot of money.</p><p>Glory for the nation, Glory for all mankind, nice words, but unsustainable.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>How about a port authority in LEO? </p><p>A gas staion in orbit</p><p>viable&nbsp; manufacturing on orbit?</p><p>&nbsp;Then cycler ships to the moon, L5, and Mars</p><p>expand the worlds economy&nbsp; to orbit, then see how fast we colonize the solar system.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
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spacelifejunkie

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<p>Keermalec, my comment regarding "financing other countries" was not based on government tax money being shifted to overseas as a handout.&nbsp; From that viewpoint, you are absolutely correct.&nbsp; "Misleading" is proabably an accurate word, I should have clarified!&nbsp; But, when corporate taxes are the highest in the world and it's against the law for us to become energy independent (no local drilling), then&nbsp;my&nbsp;point&nbsp;becomes more clear.&nbsp;&nbsp; American business goes overseas and south of the border because taxes and labor are cheap in comparison.&nbsp; American businesses hire illegal labor inside America because it's cheaper.&nbsp; The environmental lobbies have stopped all new paths to energy independence despite the fact that all other nations in the world are drilling new holes.&nbsp; The synergistic consequence of all of these factors has caused a plummetting US dollar and a cash infusion into many, many other countries.&nbsp; Combined with humongous entitlement spending and a war in Iraq and tadaaa, NASA's funding is in deep you know what.</p><p>SLJ</p>
 
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spacy600

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>The environmental lobbies have stopped all new paths to energy independence despite the fact that all other nations in the world are drilling new holes.&nbsp; The synergistic consequence of all of these factors has caused a plummetting US dollar and a cash infusion into many, many other countries.</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Drilling holes is not the answer.</p>http://tinyurl.com/3zb7dk<p>We need to get off oil and on to something more sustainabe. Like SBSP</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
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spacelifejunkie

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<p>"Drilling holes is not the answer."</p><p>Drilling holes <em>is</em> the answer.</p><p>http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.07/oil.html</p><p>http://ostseis.anl.gov/guide/index.cfm</p><p>http://www.moneyweek.com/file/13377/could-coal-replace-oil.html</p><p>http://www.sptimes.com/2005/06/13/Worldandnation/Oil_rigs_thirsting_fo.shtml</p><p>http://tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080514/OPINION05/805140326/1006/OPINION</p><p>There is not an oil shortage.&nbsp; Let me repeat, there is <em>not </em>an oil shortage.&nbsp; Oil shale, tar sands and deep drilling as well as coal to oil can be made domestically at half the price of Saudi Arabian, light, sweet crude.&nbsp; All we have to do is go get it.&nbsp; We have enough potential gasoline in North America alone to make cars run for another century.</p><p>However, this is a short term fix.&nbsp; I do agree, technology and alternative energy is the ultimate solution.&nbsp; But, it doesn't exist yet and Americans are hurting.&nbsp; We need a President that will stand up and say that all of our energy needs will come from North America.&nbsp; Period.&nbsp; In another decade, electric cars will begin to make the internal combustion engine obsolete but it will take 25 years to complete that cycle.&nbsp; In the mean time, drill, drill, drill!</p><p>SLJ<br /></p>
 
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spacelifejunkie

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<p>I'm not here to hijack the initial post but I do think many things are related and thus, have impact on NASA and it's budget.&nbsp; NASA's future is a dead end unless Washington DC gets there head out of their YOU KNOW WHAT.</p><p>SLJ</p>
 
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scottb50

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>To come back to McCain, if I may venture an opinion, his talk about going to Mars sounds a lot like sweet-talking a certain&nbsp;part of the public to get votes. I am not sure the US can, or should, afford a manned Mars mission today on its own, even if I for one, want to go to Mars too Posted by keermalecI agree, Mcain is looking for the space supporter vote which is fine. Least someone wants our vote.I'm of the opinion that if there were some pressing political reason to go to mars, the government would say money be damned and go. The idea of affordability IMO is relative. When JFK committed the nation to the moon race. There were people who were criticizing the race on cost grounds well before Apollo missions began. Point being, if we as a nation really wanted to send people to mars, we would.Estimates for a fairly conventional mars mission hover around $500 billion which would cover at least a decade. The National debt is over 7 trillion for one year as it grows each year. That being the case, if thats really our concern then we have a few other places government ought to start cutting funds on since there is currently no approved human mars mission plan.&nbsp; <br /> Posted by qso1</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I agree, to a point. When Kennedy made his Moon in this decade pledge Apollo was well under way. It didn't start in 1961, it started much earlier. Not that it wasn't all simply on paper, but it was pretty well understood it could be done before Kennedy committed to it. The same would hold true for Mars, we have sent a fleet of vehicles to Mars and the technology has existed since the Apollo days to send a manned mission, it's more a matter of why bother. Tang, PC's and other leaps in technology came about from Apollo. So why could we not expect the same from Mars?</p><p>The biggest problem is everyone sits back and expects NASA to lead the way, the problem is they have already lead the way, they have shown it can be done so it is up to the commercial sector to do it, not NASA. The White Knight II might be the first answer. It will take tourists to the edge of Space, but it could also take an upper stage that could reach orbit, if you could take a bunch of upper stages to orbit and assemble them then you have a vehicle to go somewhere else. The problem being it would take a number of flights to assemble a vehicle to the moon, on the scale of the White KnightII, but if each flight is a fraction of an existing launcher then so much the better.</p><p>Not having a clear reference, a White KnightII could put 3-4 people into orbit, if they didn't want to come back. It could, maybe, put a return capsule for that number in orbit, with no passengers, so we are on the fringe of commercial Space. The upper stage is the key, air-dropped at 50,000 feet it would take roughly three times the propellant as a Centaur upper stage has now, to make up the loss of velocity with an eqivelent payload. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<font size="2">Bigelow has 2 test modules in orbit & will, within 3 years, have one capable of being occupied in orbit. SpaceX & ULA are both talking to him on providing transport & supply. One of them will succeed, if not both.<br />Nearly 20 groups competed for COTS. Some of them will succeed too.<br />NASA & the RSA have already blazed the trail, Private Enterprise has already picked up the ball & taken a couple of steps. As soon as they are able to turn a profit & make it pay for itself we'll see some truly amazing progress.<br />I'm betting on Lunar Platinum as the first big money enterprise. If that happens we'll see an order of magnitude change in energy production from Platinum Catalyst Fuel Cells. <br /></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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