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Geekend: 2 Steps Closer To Mars
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rhubarbjackson
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rhubarbjackson,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/1/2014 | 11:43:44 AM
Mars
Last time I checked, the temperature on Mars was minus 200 degrees F.  Better bring some space heaters.  Lol.  Also Mars has no magnetic field, so anyone that does happen to make it there will have to contend with waves of charged particles bombarding them on a regular basis and mutating their DNA.  Sorry to burst your bubble.  Let's focus our resources on taking care of our own planet, the one that we can actually live on.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
8/1/2014 | 12:10:19 PM
Re: Mars
@rhubarbjackson- Well, the International Space Station has to deal with -255 degrees on one side of the earth and +250 on the other side. We've got people floating there right now. So I think NASA has handled the space heater problem. :)

As for the radion and charged particles, I mentioned that in the article as an obstacle to overcome. The ISS is subject to them now and uses a combination of shielding and rotation to minimize the exposure. Longer flights will require more advances.

But isn't that a good thing we work on problems like these? While the earth's atmosphere protects us from many of the dangerous particles, we create some ourselves and put ourselves in danger. We also have hurt our own atmosphere and changed what types of radiation gets through in places. What if we continue to do that? Also, if we ever have any intention of doing anything in space ever, this is a problem to solve.

As i mentioned in the article, nearly everything we've learned to do in space has had a profound and lasting impact on earth. Check out the list of things NASA has gifted to the world. It really does show how space travel does in fact mean "investing in resources down here."

At any rate, yes, that's still a problem we're working on. so is a propulsion system to make the trip. Also, spacesuits need to get better. There are all sorts of steps left. Thanksfully, we've got people working on them. But these were two steps that brought us a little closer.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
8/1/2014 | 12:34:33 PM
Re: Mars
@dave  -- nice Geekened article

>> I think it should be one of humanity's top goals, not only because of the stunning achievement, but also because the attempt would yield technology we could use to improve life here on Earth.


We could get some good technology out of it, but I wonder aout the geopolitics of it all--if we can't get along on Earth, why go somewhere else to fight?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
8/1/2014 | 1:13:35 PM
Re: Mars
We could get some good technology out of it, but I wonder aout the geopolitics of it all--if we can't get along on Earth, why go somewhere else to fight?


@jastro- An excellent question. I'm hoping this would be the kind of thing we could do together to help stop the fighting. For instance, i don't think NASA could get to MArs without Russia. But i don't think Russia could get to Mars without NASA. The European Space Agency, China, India, Japan, etc also could say the same thing. 


My dream would be a multinational effort with a multinational crew.

Of course, that's probably just a dream.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
8/1/2014 | 3:40:04 PM
Re: Mars
Wish this had come out before this story went to press. Long way to go on this, but extremely interesting.

Theoretically, if they can get this to work it would lower the time to Mars from months to weeks. That's a long way off, but still...

http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/1/5959637/nasa-cannae-drive-tests-have-promising-results

 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/1/2014 | 7:38:31 PM
Re: Mars
I agree about making Mars a priority. It would be worth the (enormous) cost in my opinion. 
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
8/2/2014 | 7:11:44 AM
Re: Mars
Happy Geekend, earthlings! Mars is still a little bit far away from us at this moment. But it's worth of the cost and effort to develop new technologies so that one day the immigration is possible. The earth is too heavily loaded and it's hard to imagine how it will look like after 100 years!
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
8/3/2014 | 5:16:19 PM
Re: Mars
I agree. I hope this technology becomes more developed as time progress.  I think traveling to mars is a well intentioned effort.  I do agree that I won't see it in my lifetime, may be my grand children would.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
8/3/2014 | 8:11:51 PM
Re: Mars
> -if we can't get along on Earth, why go somewhere else to fight?


I'd much rather have them fight on Mars then here on Earth. That way, innocent bystanders (like me) won't get hurt. Would you rather see a couple of dozen get killed on Mars than a couple of billion on Earth?
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
8/3/2014 | 9:28:38 PM
Re: Mars
It would be nice if the moon's resources such as helium-3 was mined, processed, converted into energy and then beamed back to earth. Energy or any kind of resource gain would make the moon economical -- creating a long term base on the moon. Next, the moon could be used for training and testing future mission to mars.
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