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When do you think we wil set foot on mars?


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#16    MID

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 02:02 AM

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That's pretty much what I was going to say. How can anywhere on another planet not be interesting? How can a small planet with a 15 mile high volcano which posses a valley system that would stretch from the east coast to the west coast of the United States and where it can snow carbon dioxide at the poles not be interesting?



Yep, that's about it in a nutshell.
If it were me going, I'd land...a n y w h e r e, and I should shudder to think I'd find it uninteresting.

I don't recall, 38 years ago, thinking the Sea of Tranquility was uninteresting...in the least!

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I am slightly more optimistic than some. I think, if the will to do it is there, we could see the first human boot prints on Mars within 20-25 years.



Agreed.  I think the general NASA estimate of 2040-ish gives them some lee-way.   I personally expect it sooner...so long as the will remains...




#17    Enigma wrapped in a puzzle

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 06:59 PM

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We didn't "supposedly" do it in the 1960s.  We actually did do it.
However, social emphases and a progressively inept congressional body have, until recently, prohibited further manned space exploration efforts in the United States.   Thanks to President Bush, we now have a mandate to return to exploration, and are in the process of developing the spacecraft and systems necessary to return us to the Moon, and to develop systems which will lead to the exploration of Mars by men in the future.

It will likely be another 13 to 15 years before we return to the lunar surface with the Constellation program.  After that, perhaps a couple decades before we make it to the surface of Mars.  There is a massive amount of work to be done before such a mission can be attempted.  Were probably talking 2040 or so before a Manned Mars exploration takes place.



Boy its been a long time since we went to the moon.....  Wonder why they need to "devolpe the spacecraft and systems necessary" if we pulled off 12 successfull missions 40 years ago?   Things that make you go hmmmmmmm.

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#18    MID

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 11:57 PM

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Boy its been a long time since we went to the moon.....  Wonder why they need to "devolpe the spacecraft and systems necessary" if we pulled off 12 successfull missions 40 years ago?   Things that make you go hmmmmmmm.




Well, Enigma...it's a good question, but...


It's a long story, which involves short-sighted leadership, the tendency of the American public to swiftly become jaded as pertains to the extraordinary, and national priorites, as well as a particular President's desire to have his own space legacy (Nixon, and the Shuttle, which didn't exactly pan out for him).  In other words, we quit exploring the Moon, and scrapped all of the spacecraft we built for the effort.   And it's been that way for over 30 years.


We have new technologies, and a new mission profile to execute.  This involves voluminous studies on aspects we didn't need to study for the Apollo program, and of course new spacecraft to execute this new and much more involved profile...spacecraft which will be based on Apollo designs, but which will incorporate new technologies that have been developed since that time, with an eye toward longer stays on the surface, and long-term studies to base our Mars manned mission upon...which Apollo was not designed to do.  

We know how to get there, since we've done it already, but simply re-building Apollo wouldn't allow us to execute the new mission profile  (that would be like re-fabricating a Model T Ford to drive across country, when we have the ability to build highly more sophisticated cars that can exeucte the mission much more rapidly and efficiently).

I suppose the bottom line is that we need to develop the spacecraft and systems necessary because we aren't doing the same thing we did on Apollo...we're doing alot more, and we need alot more to allow that to happen.

M~







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