Russia going to the Moon, then Mars

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signalhill

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>even being optimist, when I see those decades being thrown about as targets for going to Mars, I don't have any faith it will happen in those time frames and not even with some five or ten year added to it (as with initial plans for ISS for example) but more like fifty or what putting is safely beyond my expected lifespan and therefore care, point is US public doesn't see space exploration as any priority at all and today's plans may happen but also may not (or happen way too much later)<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Exactly my point.<br /><br />This once in a while press-release 'throw a bone' thing, purporting "25 to 30 years" to Mars is absolutely, unequivocally, false. My decadal breakdowns shed stark light on this. There is no way in nine ways to Sunday such a timeframe is at all realistic. 25 years? Who are we kidding? It will take an additional decade to just "figure out" what further use the ISS will make. Then another 20 years to "go back to the moon." <br /><br />This is just to go back to the Lunar program. An actual functioning Lunar "trailer park" will not be realized for probably a time frame beyond all of our lifetimes or useful segments of our lifetimes. <br /><br />A Martian outpost for a first rock collecting vacation will not happen for at least fifty years. With anything related to space funding through NASA or any other chain of government bureucracy, add five, ten, fifteen years to any publicly stated estimate, <i>then double that figure whatever it is.</i> <br /><br />To then "practice" in-situ "Martian conditions" on the moon to gain "knowledge," assuming such an outpost is ever even made functional (the Lunar surface equivalent of the ISS --something NOWHERE near being made reality as the ISS itself is nearly TEN YEARS old and not even finished) would require <i>decades of "research" and funding for Lunar surface "missions."</i> And then how many manned Lunar stays/projects must elapase over h
 
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JonClarke

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<i>Exactly. But the sad truth is that most of what motivates space exploration is militarily motivated/competitive.</i><br /><br />In case you haven't noticed, the cold war ended more than a decade ago. Space exploration is still happening. In fact you would be hard pushed since the early 70's to find an example of competitive space exploration. As for the military, they have almost zero interest and involevment in space exploration. <br /><br /><i>This is why pet projects like the mission to Pluto, as modest and tiny as it is, falls upon deaf and uninterested ears.</i><br /><br />If the ears were that deaf and uninterested why is New Horizons on the way to Pluto? <br /><br />Jon<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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signalhill

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You can say with unequivocal authority that the military has absolutely ZERO interest in space exploration when that was exactly what motivated NASA to go to the moon? And robotic space probes carry the same measure of public impact as a manned program? NO WAY. <br /><br />Most people do not care one iota about Cassini or the Mars rovers. You send a man to Mars: all of planet Earth will be united under a common fascination.<br /><br />New Horizons BARELY made it to reality. BARELY. There was nearly zero actual investment interest, and it was a TINY project! The planning for that began YEARS ago and almost never became actualized. Were they to have waited any longer beyond their launch date window, the Pluto mission would have perhaps NEVER happened in our lifetimes. <br /><br />Big projects need gigantic pockets. Like from governments. Or very wealthy benefactors. And most often this involves something being "at stake." For Pluto, almost absolutely nothing was at stake to stir much interest from government entities.
 
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vandivx

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Sure they could do it. I hope they do, in fact.<br /><br />But to what real end? The Russians and the Chinese are no different than the 2nd and 3rd guys to climb Everest.<br /><br />There was Sir Edmund Hillary and then everyone else. See what I mean?<br /><br />I think the absolute worst reason, especially in this day and age to "go boldly" is because the other guy might beat you to it.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />the analogy to Mt Everest doesn't quite hold, at least not for some years yet - untill space (Moon) going will become as common as going up Everest, going to the Moon still gives international prestige never mind how it is achieved or for what reason<br /><br />for example scaling Everest with oxygen today is only for those who want to see with their own eyes where those pioneer mountaineers had been but getting to the Moon gets one prestige as long as one gets there at all, it is thought to imply certain technological maturity to be able to do that and to some extent I think that is so but not always and not quite, it depends how much gets copied over and how much your luck holds on the trip<br /><br />America of the 1960s was very much different from what it is today, it has no more of that enthusiasm of Buck Rogers of the 1930s-40s-50s that still lived on into sixties, that's why I am kinda pesimistic today, I think of Magellan's voyage and of Columbus' one, not saying we should today go to Mars with the same risks as they took but if somebody would go anyway (private enterprise) I would admire them<br /><br />after all mountain climbers even today still climb K2 which is no guaranteed goal by any means no matter how you attempt it and people die there quite often, I am sure if such adventurers (that is their space exploration equivalents) were given chance to man the rocket to Mars in five years say, they would be found and willing, problem is today's safety freaks wouldn't allow them to go if they were f <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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kelvinzero

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Exactly. But the sad truth is that most of what motivates space exploration is militarily motivated/competitive. This is why pet projects like the mission to Pluto, as modest and tiny as it is, falls upon deaf and uninterested ears. But if China was doing it, we'd suddenly listen. <br /><br />Very sad. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />I thought you were depressed about how long it might be before we get to mars. Sounds like if competitiveness drove the human race to get there in a decade or two you'd be depressed about them doing it for the wrong reasons. No pleasing some people <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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agent99

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<font color="yellow">In case you haven't noticed, the cold war ended more than a decade ago.</font><br /><br />Actually, by the looks of things, with the Soviet empire flying nuke capable bombers fringing British airspace just recently [3 times] It looks to me that we have a deliberately engineered re-visit to the cold war comming to a nation near you, even as we speak.<br /><br /><font color="yellow">Space exploration is still happening. In fact you would be hard pushed since the early 70's to find an example of competitive space exploration.</font><br /><br />That's true. And it's no wonder that Moon exploration and visits have bombed out. When there is no war strategy, and peace is current, sleeping dogs continue to sleep. I can't understand why the russians just "gave up" on a manned mission to the moon, untill now? Yeah, I know, you'll say that russia was a broke nation with no readies to fund such a thing. But at the time of the race to the moon, they "appeared" to be contestants didn't they.<br /><br /><font color="yellow"> As for the military, they have almost zero interest and involevment in space exploration.</font><br /><br />Now that is.....Untrue. Everything that has ever been invented that could benefit mankind in a real meaningfull way has been siezed upon by the military. It's out of national interest and pride and the "national security act", you should know that. <br /><br /><br /><font color="yellow">If the ears were that deaf and uninterested why is New Horizons on the way to Pluto?</font><br /><br />Maybe to limit budget availibility to projects where it would otherwise be needed. Sounds a bit like investing in solar pannels to curb oil demand, it's just a tickler, imo. <br /><br />Jon, It has been said by the above poster that it only took ten years to send men to the moon. And those craft were knocked up like sardine tins without the sauce. Why can't we do that now, imo, we could setup a hydrogen plant on the moon
 
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agent99

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KelvinZero,<br /><br /><font color="yellow">I thought you were depressed about how long it might be before we get to mars. Sounds like if competitiveness drove the human race to get there in a decade or two you'd be depressed about them doing it for the wrong reasons. No pleasing some people</font><br /><br /> There's a difference between a race to the moon out of friendly rivalry, and a race to the moon to house a military advantage rite? But then who's to say that the race to the moon wasn't just a public relations exersize to hide military planning. Much of Nasa's budget comes from military funding through assignments with the strategic commanders. <br /><br />Bring on private enterprise I say!
 
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JonClarke

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<i>You can say with unequivocal authority that the military has absolutely ZERO interest in space exploration when that was exactly what motivated NASA to go to the moon?</i><br /><br />I said “almost zero†not “absolutely ZEROâ€. There is a difference. The US military put up 6 space probes 1958-1960 (Pioneers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). That was it except for the Clementine mission in 1994. In the same period NASA, a civilian agency, launched more than 50 deep space probes. By and large the US military is not mandated to explore space and has its own very large budget to do the things it is mandated to perform – space based intelligence gathering, communications, navigation, etc.<br /><br />NASA went to the Moon because it was told to. The goals were strategic and political, but not military.<br /><br /><i>And robotic space probes carry the same measure of public impact as a manned program? NO WAY.</i><br /><br />So what? They are sent to do science, not impress the public. <br /><br /><i>Most people do not care one iota about Cassini or the Mars rovers.</i><br /><br />But in fact the public is very interested in the Mars rovers and Cassini. Interest in the MERs in particular has been enormous.<br /><br /><i>You send a man to Mars: all of planet Earth will be united under a common fascination. </i><br /><br />Agreed. But they soon will get bored. But this will not diminish the importance of what they will be doing. Given the emphemeral nature of the public's attention it should not be used to justify space exploration.<br /><br /><i>New Horizons BARELY made it to reality. BARELY. There was nearly zero actual investment interest, and it was a TINY project! The planning for that began YEARS ago and almost never became actualized. Were they to have waited any longer beyond their launch date window, the Pluto mission would have perhaps NEVER happened in our lifetimes.</i><br /><br />Getting a probe to Pluto was quite drama. We are well aware of it and followed it closely on the <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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kelvinzero

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><br />There's a difference between a race to the moon out of friendly rivalry, and a race to the moon to house a military advantage rite? But then who's to say that the race to the moon wasn't just a public relations exersize to hide military planning. Much of Nasa's budget comes from military funding through assignments with the strategic commanders. <br /><br />Bring on private enterprise I say! <br /><p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Im just really happy someone did it.<br /><br />If any money was taken from the budget that would otherwise have been spent building the bombs to destroy the world 47 times over in any 15 minute interval is just another plus to me.<br /><br />I would love private enterprise to take off, there just doesnt seem to be much easy money to be made, so its slow coming.
 
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JonClarke

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<font color="yellow"> In case you haven't noticed, the cold war ended more than a decade ago. </font><br /><br /><i>Actually, by the looks of things, with the Soviet empire flying nuke capable bombers fringing British airspace just recently [3 times] It looks to me that we have a deliberately engineered re-visit to the cold war comming to a nation near you, even as we speak. </i><br /><br />Russia is not the Soviet empire. Please do not resurrect cold war invective in the 21st century.<br /><br />The Russians are entirely within their rights to fly their aircraft in international airspace. Such activities do not mean a return to the cold war no matter what sabre rattling politicans and scare mongering journalists would have. <br /><br />Note that any further discussion on this topic is not appropriate in this forum.<br /> <br /><font color="yellow">Space exploration is still happening. In fact you would be hard pushed since the early 70's to find an example of competitive space exploration. </font><br /><br /><i>That's true. And it's no wonder that Moon exploration and visits have bombed out. When there is no war strategy, and peace is current, sleeping dogs continue to sleep. I can't understand why the russians just "gave up" on a manned mission to the moon, untill now? Yeah, I know, you'll say that russia was a broke nation with no readies to fund such a thing. But at the time of the race to the moon, they "appeared" to be contestants didn't they.</i><br /><br />The lack of a “war strategy†as you call it is a good thing. It is a very poor justification for space exploration and one that is unsustainable – as events proved. <br /><br />The reasons why the USSR “gave up†is well understood. During the 60’s they were interested primarily in space spectaculars. Landing on the Moon was the ultimate achievement in such ventures. Having failed to achieve that and with the second option, going to Mars unrealistic at the time, the focus shifted to <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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agent99

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<font color="yellow">NASA went to the Moon because it was told to. The goals were strategic and political, but not military.</font><br /><br />What's the difference between "strategic" and "military" in this case? <br /><br /><font color="yellow">So what? They are sent to do science,</font><br /><br />Science i'm sure is one aspect.<br /><br /><font color="yellow">not to impress the public.</font><br /><br /> But isn't it public outcry that got the "New Horizons" going in the end? Afterall you did also say <font color="yellow">"Some of us, myself included, signed petitions to make it happen.</font><br /><br /><font color="yellow">Agreed. But they soon will get bored.</font><br /><br />I think it would be unlikely people would get bored with a manned Mars mission. Mars is full of mystery etc etc, much more so than what the moon was. There is so much to find out about Mars. Probes and robots just don't convince people that there are no Pyramids on Mars. <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><br /><br /><font color="yellow">If you find a wealthy benefactor who will fund space missions let me know!</font><br /><br />How about Sir Richard Branson <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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signalhill

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><br />I thought you were depressed about how long it might be before we get to mars. Sounds like if competitiveness drove the human race to get there in a decade or two you'd be depressed about them doing it for the wrong reasons. No pleasing some people <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />It's unfortunate that often a military race or escalation is what is most often the catalyst for such an endeavor as manned space travel. Until humanity gets past that, and if that is to be the main driving force today, then that is what it is. <br /><br />If we get to mars 2 years from now because of some military race, then that is only a plus for those interested in Mars for purely scientific reasons. In a way it is too bad that China is not very advanced in their space program. Were they to announce a 5 year time window to land on the moon, and were serious, that would perhaps jump-start more serious talk of a Mars mission. We would have to "top" China in that regard. <br /><br />It would take on more severity were both Russia and China to jointly declare that they were going to either the Moon or Mars as a team. We would then be in a full-blown race back to space, with the underlying suspicions that they have some military motive, even if they did not. We never trust them completely. So in my opinion the military branches of our government would be heavily "ruffled" to hear of a "commie" government eyeing somewhere off our planet to plant their flags. <br /><br /><br />
 
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signalhill

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><br />The US has launched more than 50 space exploration missions (not counting Apollo) through a civil agency compared with 6 by the military. That counts as almost zero in my book. By contrast the US military is extremely interested in space applications and has a bigger budget than NASA or this. But applications are not exploration.<br /><p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Landing on Mars would then have ZERO militaristic vested interest? NONE? The branches of the military would not at all raise an eyebrow? There is a distinct boundary of interests once we go to another planet between "applications" and "exploration?" <br />
 
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MeteorWayne

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I can't see any military value to an outpost on Mars, unless it is to prevent activities a century in the future.<br /><br />That makes no sense even for the paranoid military. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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signalhill

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I am not implying making Check Point Charlie on Mars any more than what was done on the Moon. It would be for peaceful and scientific motives, with tremendous interested parties in the military branches not only eyeing the venture, but also in support of it. Like in the case of the Moon landings. I make little distinction between the military and space science missions as the two are often overlapping.<br /><br /><br /><br />
 
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jeffhannan

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I imagine they could keep the results for themselves. Who could force them to hand that information over?<br /><br />It's like the Wild West all over again. Only more exciting.<br /><br />Jeff
 
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signalhill

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Good point. Excellent point, actually.<br /><br />Take the idea of Virgin Galactic up to a Mars mission, a private venture, with sponsors such as big drug and aerospace companies. Now imagine the ramifications of any findings on Mars in the private domain. Or what if ESA did it with Russian or Chinese cooperation? or a Korean firm did it and kept many of the findings top secret upon return.<br /><br />You think the US govt will be hands-off with that? I doubt it. It would be impossible for the NSA or CIA to feign disinterest in it. There would be instantaneous suspicions that whomever went there is hiding some of what they found.
 
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sfstar

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JonClarke<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>The US has launched more than 50 space exploration missions (not counting Apollo) through a civil agency compared with 6 by the military. That counts as almost zero in my book.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Assuming that the military is making their missions public record and taking your figures as you posted at face value, Let me get my calculator here: 6/50=12%... hmmm that's far from zero in my calculator book. Thus the military has greater than almost zero interests in Space activities. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />
 
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ariesr

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<i>You think the US govt will be hands-off with that? I doubt it. It would be impossible for the NSA or CIA to feign disinterest in it. There would be instantaneous suspicions that whomever went there is hiding some of what they found. <br /></i><br /><br />Some things they could tell some details are being hidden, but I'd say there are limits to that scrutiny.<br /><br />Besides, what could the US really do? If other countries are in the mix for space exploration there is little the US can do about it.
 
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ariesr

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<i>Russia is in no financial position to do so.</i><br /><br />Over the years Putin has been gathering oil resources back into state hands once again. That is one source of wealth.
 
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jaxtraw

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Unless the political climate changes radically (which seems a remote possibility) it's difficult to see private industry geting much incentive, since in all likelihood the plague of NGOs, pressure groups and their fellow travellers will start bellowing about Big Space stealing the bread from everybody's mouths, how space must be a commons and a wilderness, nothing but science research allowed etc. If we do find any life out there I'm sure there will be an immense campaign, channelled through the usual international bodies, to declare it off-limits entirely, and Earth will end up as a tiny dirtball in the middle of the most unimaginably vast wilderness park.<br /><br />We're not going to get anywhere in space until there's an incentive to go there; and that's gong to mean land ownership, mineral rights and all that malarkey. And frankly, I can't see that happening, with Greenpeace flinging themselves in front of rockets in silly clothes, or whatever they're bound to do once there's an endangered bacterium to shout about. They won't even let Africa develop, so the chance of Mars getting any development whatsoever seems wildly optimistic <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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signalhill

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><br />We're not going to get anywhere in space until there's an incentive to go there;<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Yes in terms of a competitive "stake" that is what it will take. Otherwise it is wishful thinking masquerading as official press-releases from NASA, lumbering bureaucratic inaction, budgetary hurdles ad infinitum, lip service, fictional moon base precursory habitats = nowhere near a manned Martian landing in this current paradigm. <br /><br />Perhaps upping the ante' would be the discovery of vast water reservoirs beneath the surface of Mars or at least vast deposits of frozen water. It would be the "eureka moment" akin to striking oil. That would maybe ramp up the incentives. At least there would be useful resources that in the coming 1 to 2 centuries, humanity could cultivate technologically for "colonies."
 
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JonClarke

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<font color="yellow">NASA went to the Moon because it was told to. The goals were strategic and political, but not military.</font><br /><br /><i>What's the difference between "strategic" and "military" in this case?</i><br /><br />At level the level of the decision to send people to the Moon military implications are but a subset of the overall picture. <br /><br /><font color="yellow">So what? They are sent to do science,</font><br /><br /><i>Science i'm sure is one aspect.</i><br /><br />Please provide evidence for what the other aspects are.<br /><br /><font color="yellow">not to impress the public.</font><br /><br /><i>But isn't it public outcry that got the "New Horizons" going in the end? After all you did also say <font color="yellow">"Some of us, myself included, signed petitions to make it happen.</font>/i><br /><br />Public opinion is not unimportant as a factor. But it should not be the sole or even the pre-eminent driver. In the case of NH it was a case of the public interest providing the final incentive to get the project over the final hurdle. Much as public interest in Hubble has played a role in Hubble repair.<br /><br /><font color="yellow">Agreed. But they soon will get bored. </font><br /><br /><i>I think it would be unlikely people would get bored with a manned Mars mission. Mars is full of mystery etc etc, much more so than what the moon was. There is so much to find out about Mars. Probes and robots just don't convince people that there are no Pyramids on Mars. </i><br /><br />I wish you were right. Bute pople got bored with Apollo. They will get bored with Mars. After a couple of months people still say: “I don’t know they were still up thereâ€. That is why people who want to see missions to Mars can’t rely on public interest as the sole force.<br /><br /><font color="yellow">If you find a wealthy benefactor who will fund space missions let me know! </font><br /><br /><i>How about Sir</i></i> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<font color="yellow">Calling the Moon a springboard for Mars is misleading and incorrect. It will always be easier to go directly to Mrs rather than via the Moon.</font><br /><br /><i>come on, I am dead sure nobody here (and even most public) takes the term 'Moon being springboard for Mars' to mean launching rocket from the Moon to go to Mars, that's insulting to SignalHill poster to reply to his post like that and this type of misinterpreted replies are so arch typical of company PR representatives</i><br /><br />If I misread SignalHill’s meaning, by apologies to him/her. No insult was intended. However, it is quite a common misunderstanding to think that it is easier to physically travel to the Mars via the Moon than from Earth. Even if SignalHill understands this point, other readers may not.<br /><br /><i>your reply to him on all the points reads like some reply from a NASA PR man or a manager speaking for his company, that's why I asked not long ago (after I received a reply from you in very similar style to one of my posts) if you weren't on NASA's payroll - which you aren't as you said - still it reads like that, you just don't see an iota wrong on NASA's strategic approach to space program and that doesn't sound like good estimation (at least in my eyes)</i><br /><br />I do not work for NASA in any category. I am not a manager, nor do I work in PR. If I did, so what? They don’t change the facts of the case. Unless of course you thinking that working in NASA, or being a management, or being a PR person is a bad thing. In which case your prejudice is noted.<br /><br />But you are right in one area. I do think that the VSE is a very good thing. I see it is as the most visionary approach to space exploration in the past 50 years. This does mean I agree with every aspect of its execution, but it terms of vision it is spot on.<br /><br /><font color="yellow">However, lunar experience in almost every field will be a very powerful learning tool for going t</font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<i>Landing on Mars would then have ZERO militaristic vested interest? NONE? The branches of the military would not at all raise an eyebrow?</i><br /><br />You are the one making this claim. What is your evidence for it? What military gain would be obtained from landing on Mars?<br /><br /><i> There is a distinct boundary of interests once we go to another planet between "applications" and "exploration?"</i><br /><br />Yes there is. Application missions are do do with the provisions of goods and services to government and the community. Communications, remote sensing, position fixing, emergency locators, etc.<br /><br />Exploration is about extending human presence and understanding, whether in person or through robots into new regions.<br /><br />Eventually, of course exploration leads to applications. Some of those applications may be military. in the case of Mars, please give the potential miliary applications mission there.<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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