POLL: Will NASA Ever Go to Mars?

Will NASA Ever Go to Mars?

  • Yes. Obama's new plan can work.

    Votes: 18 20.5%
  • Maybe, but there has to be serious funding and political commitment.

    Votes: 27 30.7%
  • Not likely. We've been hearing about Mars as a destination for years now.

    Votes: 43 48.9%

  • Total voters
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From the article:
http://www.space.com/news/obama-space-p ... 00415.html

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - President Barack Obama unveiled a sweeping new space vision for NASA and the United States Thursday, one that aims to send astronauts to a nearby asteroid and ultimately on to Mars in the mid-2030s.

Speaking to a crowd of more than 200 that included scientists, astronauts and policy makers here at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, President Obama outlined his plan for NASA's future space exploration. That plan includes resurrecting a pared down version of the capsule-based Orion spacecraft initially slated to be scrapped under the president's cancellation of the Constellation program in February.

By 2025, the United States should be ready to test manned spaceships for deep space exploration, vehicles capable of exploring beyond the moon on the first-ever manned trip to an asteroid, Obama said.

"By the mid-2030s I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth," President Obama said. "And a landing on Mars will follow, and I expect to be around to see it!"

Your thoughts? Let us know!


'Obama's' plan can work IF there is serious and long term (i.e. administration spanning) political commitment, funding and public support.


This "another 20 years" business is getting to be quite an interesting phenomenon. :ugeek:


Are you Kidding ,they just wasted 9 billion.do you think that another 40 billion wont get wasted again.We as a human space exploration nation have had our guts ripped out and we will now become a 5th rate third class country because we would rather give big business hundres'd of billions yet the space program that need a drop i the bucket compaired to corporate america and the other nations of the world that we give our money to, comr first.


not until there is a sea change in the way the American people think about space. We may even do a boots and flags there, but not a long term commitment.

its not upto NASA or the government, its up to the people to decide that.


I don't think the public needs to be as dedicated as the government does. The people might provide the money via taxes & whatnot but the government allocates it (to their pockets) and spends it. The government would rather worry about non-essential issues while the only real one that matters in the grand scheme of things is almost completely ignored. It's very sad, maybe one day in the future (like within 20 years) they might get it.

I don't know who I'm trying to kid.

Let me be more specific before people assume I am strictly talking about Mars, which I am not. I am referring to the Universe as a whole, not just a dry & desolate planet.


NASA has been going to Mars since the agency was created.... The question should really be - Will they ever GET THERE? And the answer seems to be - When Hell freezes over! If NASA ever gets there depends on the political will of those pulling the purse strings in this country... as of now it seems highly unlikely that government involvement will ever result in tangible steps taken on the road to Mars - or anywhere else in space for that matter. Even after Obama's speech - this outcome is more than likely - as these are only words... I would rather see action! Perhaps if people like Mr Rutan and Mr Bigelow were given the marching orders - THEY would produce the results - and a lot sooner and with better safety margins than our pitiful government could ever accomplish!


This is nuts. If it's too expensive to go back to the moon, why would it then suddenly be OK to go to Mars, which has 200 times the technical difficulties. Wasn't there a recent study that humans had a high probability of being killed on a long Mars trip? Just the long duration, the loss of protection of Earth's magnetic field, solar flares, etc. The longer you are in a hostile environment, the more likely you will die. If you have an Apollo 13 accident, well, you're dead, it's too far to make it back just holding your breath.

I'm not saying these problems are insoluble, but shouldn't we start with relearning how to get back to the moon, and test the Mars technology that way?


Another 20 years or more! Good Greif! I’ll try to stay alive that long.


science is not enough to get man to mars.The powers that run the space program (big business) need a make money reason . like oil or gold or some other big money game


MrcACrl":1h4be345 said:
'Obama's' plan can work IF there is serious and long term (i.e. administration spanning) political commitment, funding and public support.

We wasted 40 yrs. and now it will get done in 20 yrs , HA , China will be there waiting for us with Egg Rolls & Chow Fon :(


I'd say that Obama's plan can work, but there's the problem of successive administrations that likely will have other ideas. For something like his plan to work, it needs to be established as a long term goal that is protected by law. It literally would take an act of Congress. :)


Mars? In 6 months NASA will not even be able to get to LEO anymore. It will be years, if not decades, before this country regains even that modest capability, if ever (please spare me the private enterprise BS. So far private enterprise has had exactly 2 manned suborbital jaunts in a barely controlled spacecraft. Building a larger version of the same that can actually fly more than 1 person into sub-orbit has taken 6 years. Do we really think private enterprise is going to be able to launch a relatively safe, man rated orbital craft within anything south of 10 years?).

Enjoy the last 3 shuttle launches my friends. They will be the last manned launches this country ever undertakes.


Maybe it's me, please forgive my opinion on this, but I have to say I find this poll wholly skewed to hear views for a different question.
I would vote if the options were more along the lines of:
1- Yes, in the next 20-30 years while the necessary technology is being invested in.
2- Yes, but not in my lifetime. Congress refuses to allocate the money to pay for it.
3- No, there is no will because there is no education about how useful and/or important space travel is.
4- No, NASA is a bureaucratic nightmare and/or shadow of its former self and will likely not survive long enough to see any humans on Mars, let alone send any there.

I absolutely loved the interview at the bottom of the page: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/secretlife/ called "Lion and Tigers, Colbert, Oh My!" on this subject. I hope to find more video by Neil deGrasse Tyson. He has an enthralling personality and the scientific community could really use more people like him to bring more people's interest to space and astronomy.


I really have to wonder if its even responding to some people.

First you have the crowd that blindly follows Obama, and hates every person he is told to hate. They always make comments about how big business is running everything and how evil republicans are and how we just want oil, but oh they are more than willing to trust the mighty Obama who of course is a saint. Just like the German's trusted Hitler.

Hell, I will take big business over a fascist government any day of the week, if the government wasn't BAILING OUT THE BIG BUSINESSES the free market would correct itself and they would be bankrupt. Sadly, it is the left, not just the right that is entrenched with big business.

As for the people who bash America, I'm sick of it, please please, can we just form two countries, let the parasites have their socialist state, let us have our constitution and freedom and our evil big businesses, and the military since you hate it, let us have capitalism, and we will see who helps the poor more, republican states out-give democratic states by a HUGE MARGIN. There is NOTHING to back what liberals talk ideologically, character-wise, or fact-wise. They can only spew ignorant hate and emotion. The same people who told Bush to F-off and who have violently protested for decades are calling the teapartiers violent, those tea-parties are full of Americans talking about freedom, singing the national anthem, and waving the American flag, and security wise, you have maybe 3 or 4 cops directing traffic, unlike the liberal protests which have frequently required riot police.

And I "F Bush, F America, Revolution is the only war we will fight" - The chant of liberals, the same ones who now try to paint us as being violent.

Historically, socialism does not work, fascism does not work, communism does not work, yes, at first fascism appeared to help Germany, then they realized what it was, and how evil big government is.

Everyone would be happier if we returned the constitutional form of government where states DECIDED ALL ISSUES NOT SPECIFICALLY GRANTED TO THE FEDERAL government.

Why do liberals want a congress that they give an 10% approval rating running their healthcare and deciding if they live or die?

NASA has failed, not because of technological capability or funding but because they are a symbol of what the federal government comes, a useless, wasteful, bloated bureaucracy that is more worried about political correctness than achievement.

Are people going to support billion dollar probes that snap a few photos? No.

Exploration is what brought the west into the modern era, science pays for itself, the first colonies required huge investment, but soon were self-sufficient and soon were exporting technological capability as well as other products and services.

If we are going to spend $1 trillion dollars, if we want to be socialist or national socialist, we need to do it right? What happened to the huge projects FDR (quazi-communist) advocated? FDR wasn't perfect but you can't deny that he contributed even if you disagree ideologically and think he was power-hungry for staying in for 4 terms. Did FDR save the country by giving out unemployment checks? HELL NO he didn't, he created huge work projects.

America's infrastructure is aging, its about to die. Not just the roads, the pipe systems, everything. If a man doesn't work he shouldn't eat. You energize a nation by uniting it in common goals.

Why not use the trillions spent to rebuild our infrastructure and to lead our country into a new age of exploration?

For $400 billion, we could easily send enough cargo into orbit to build a deep-space spaceship that never entered or left orbit, a "mother ship" that was powered with ion thrusters and nuclear reactors. This could take an all-volunteer crew on a one-way mission to Mars quite easily, they could most likely return some day, if they chose. A site would be selected where a self-sufficient colony could be erected. Mars is the best space port in the known universe. It has gravity, water, safety for humans, geothermal energy, raw materials, a 17 mile tall space elevator (olympus Mons), can suffort bacterial life RIGHT NOW, and best of all it has 2.4 times less gravity than Earth. That means getting in and out of orbit will be much much easier there.

What can Earth export to Mars? Thats easy, uranium and other nuclear fuel, seeds, spices, other things along that nature. The asteroid belt is within close proximity to Mars as well.

You want to energize a nation? Unite it in a common goal, through achievement, not through government handouts and cutting of technology.

Socialism simply brings every down, it doesn't bring people up. The problem with socialism is that eventually, you run out of other peoples money. Psychologically, dependency destroys a person. It destroys character and creates a sense of entitlement.

A colony on Mars would ignite a space economy, with its chief export being extreme advances in technology.

Mars will not be livable any time soon but within our lifetime we could drastically change the planet. Release extremely focused green house gases, melt the polar ice caps, detonate small dose low/no radiation nukes to blanket the poles in dust to create a heat blanket, release microorganisms in the ground and you will begin terraforming the planet, creating an atmosphere. Even warming the planet one degree will melt large amounts of ice, which will in turn warm the planet as more ice melts and an atmosphere (heat blanket) forms.

The good news for a colony is that it will be located in a crater. The atmopshere will first blanket the lowest levels of the planet. (currently Mars thick atmosphere is only a few feet I believe). As the atmosphere increases, radiation damage will decrease, life will breed more and more, and air pressure will be created.


NASA? Not as a space agency with human astronauts.
If there even is an interest for American "private" business (what does that even mean? Apple even builds its computers in China) to get into the area with its own $$$, that's where the astronauts will go - just like private pilots.
The US government is too vested in militarizing space, to put any resources in the 'civilian' agency.
Not to mention with other nations in the nascent stages of developing their own programs, with all the metallic paint chips, and the like, being put in orbit, the odds of safely getting a astronaut beyond LEO in 2030 (WTF?!) will be a new betting line in Vegas.
If Mankind does get there, America most certainly won't be a dominant player.
American astronauts will be hitching rides on another nation's taxi, like Canada did with the space shuttle.

When the Apollo missions were being flown, American universities were teaming with optimistic minds getting their degrees and Phd's in disciplines like astrophysics, and Aerospace Engineering. That is not likely to be the case anymore, in fact start following the applications to these, and other related advanced degrees, in the US, for just the next 5 years. I would bet the numbers start to fall dramatically.

I'm no fan of this new 'I got No Plan Obama' non-directive, but the sad fact is there has been next to no political will for NASA remaining a viable agency, for years now. You might as well call them EPA II.

No bucks, no Buck Rogers. There has never been a more accurate axiom, ever.


Will NASA? Doubtful.
Or at least they won't be the first there.

I've dreamed of missions to Mars my entire life.
Well now I'm 36 and we haven't gotten any closer than a hundred or so miles up.

NASA has spent the money needed to get humans to Mars many times over so funding isn't the issue, the courage and determination to do so is. The US is now a country in decline and will soon forfeit it's leader status.


It almost brings me to tears to say it - but, I'd be pleasantly surprised if the U.S./NASA ever goes to Mars.
Our politicians' priorities are primarily those of their corporate masters. Next come those of the loudest-mouthed special-interest groups. If any of their voters are paying attention after all that, then the politicians will echo the majoritarian, lowest-common-denominator, views of those constituents. So, "back to the Moon, this time to stay," may stir us "spacers," but will only get a yawn from Joe and Jane Lunchbucket. They'll yawn about asteroids, too. One or two landings on Mars may stir their interest; but, I guarantee, they'll tune out the 3rd mission for "Dancing With the Stars" or NBA games, just like they did for Apollo 13 (until the oxygen tank explosion, natch...).
It looks like space colonization is going to have to depend on the super-rich Elon Musks and Robert Bigelows of the world for funding...unless we spacers violently overthrow the Federal and local governments and force the masses to do our bidding...like that's going to happen, LOL! If we're lucky, we might comprise 2% of the population at best.
It's really frustrating, feeling hopelessly stuck on the ground, and craving the stars. If anyone has realistic ideas about how to overcome these obstacles, I'd really like to hear your opinions.


<<By 2025, the United States should be ready to test manned spaceships for deep space exploration, vehicles capable of exploring beyond the moon on the first-ever manned trip to an asteroid....>>

Is it my imagination or are the "deep space exploration" goals of the US manned space program starting to recede into the blurry distance in a fashion not unlike a mirage?

First there was c.2020, Bush's goal for a return for the Moon. Now we hear about 2025, Obama's prediction--not to be confused with "goal"--as to the year when America "should be ready to test"--as distinct from use--"manned spaceships for deep space exploration".

Which is all very well, but what happens 4 or 8 years from now when another president with a different vision comes along, tosses out Obama's space plan (much as Obama tossed out Bush's) and starts making grand promises of his own? Will 2025 also quietly vanish into the murk in favour of some more distant prospect? The Moon by 2030, perhaps?

Talk about history repeating itself!
"It's too bad, but the way American people are, now that they have all this capability [ie Apolllo's moon landing capability], instead of taking advantage of it, they'll probably just piss it all away."

So said President Johnson (overheard during a visit to the Apollo 7 crew in training, 1968; quoted in David Harland's "Exploring The Moon: The Apollo Expeditions").

Unfortunately, that proved to be pretty much what happened when Apollo was scrapped by Johnson's successor Richard Nixon in favour of the space shuttle. An existing technological capability was simply tossed away.

The question that now arises is will Obama wind up doing a Nixon? That is, just as the decision to scrap Apollo for the shuttle stranded America in LEO for decades, will Obama's decision to end Constellation achieve the same end?

True, there's that 2025 prediction. On the other hand I'm old enough to remember the predictions that were offered for the shuttle, predictions which have since proved to be hopelessly optimistic. One of those that I still remember was the expectation that the cheap access to LEO which the shuttle would provide would open the door to manned exploration beyond LEO.

Needless to say that never eventuated. Only time will tell if Obama's belief in the magical ability of market forces to accomplish miracles in space will prove to be equally misplaced.


"No Bucks, No Buck Rogers"

I don't see NASA ever getting the funding necessary to send men to Mars. The Chinese are more likely to go there than Americans.


I remember when NASA was supposed to go to Mars by the mid 1990s. Then I remember it was going to be the early 2000s, then the 2010s. I was born just after Apollo. I can't imagine what the world was like then that such a thing could be accomplished but something has changed. The capability, or at least the will to do great things is certainly dead in the US and probably the whole world.


No they won't, it seems that sending astronauts to other planets isn't a real goal for America. President after president has been unwilling to commit the vast resources needed, over the necessary length of time. However I'm chuffed by the amount of cheddar going in the direction of commercial space. Manned spaceflight should not solely be a tool for furthering political goals, and international... erm...ego ...swinging contests. Give it chance to be an industry in its own right. And if it can't do that and dies out, well perhaps space really is for our robots, and we should watch less science fantasy on tv, grow up and accept that.


If there aren't any amaericans willing to challenge my above burst of cynicism then thats why NASA will never put people on mars. And if there are- don't message me, write to your government!


NASA's not going because apparently the country can not or more to the point will not afford it. Though at our current stage of technology the trip would be very risky we could go there today if enough of the right people wanted to. The real challenges are not so much physical as fiscal and political.

Furthermore, as the objective of any businesses is to make money will never take the risk to develop a Lunar or any other type of base. Unless a wealthy customer steps forward we'll all be wistfully starring up at the sky the next time a comet or asteroid comes to wipe out the biosphere.
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