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Wed Dec 26, 2018, 07:56 PM

Apollo Astronaut: It Would Be "Stupid" to Send People to Mars

According to one of the astronauts aboard NASA’s 1968 Apollo 8 mission, it would be “stupid” and “almost ridiculous” to pursue a crewed mission to Mars.

“What’s the imperative? What’s pushing us to go to Mars? I don’t think the public is that interested,” said Bill Anders, who orbited the Moon before returning to Earth 50 years ago, in a new documentary by BBC Radio 5 Live.

Anders argued that there are plenty of things that NASA could be doing that would be a better use of time and money, like the unmanned InSight rover...


https://futurism.com/apollo-astronaut-stupid-people-mars?utm_source=Digest&utm_campaign=a07a1ca788-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_12_26_07_34&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_03cd0a26cd-a07a1ca788-245802101&mc_cid=a07a1ca788&mc_eid=fada54df04

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Reply Apollo Astronaut: It Would Be "Stupid" to Send People to Mars (Original post)
Duppers Dec 2018 OP
Control-Z Dec 2018 #1
exboyfil Dec 2018 #3
PJMcK Dec 2018 #5
GemDigger Dec 2018 #2
exboyfil Dec 2018 #4
cstanleytech Dec 2018 #7
cstanleytech Dec 2018 #6
Javaman Dec 2018 #8
Igel Dec 2018 #9

Response to Duppers (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2018, 08:13 PM

1. I tend to think the same about Mars and the moon,

at least when it comes to colonizing. Seems the Earth, even in its worst state, would be friendlier to colonizing.

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Response to Control-Z (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2018, 08:51 PM

3. Colonization is impractical

We need to build O'Neill cylinders as soon as practical and ensure they are are Arc worthy. Able to continue humanity in case of an impactor or nuclear war. The moon and Mars are mostly gravity wells. We can get raw materials from asteroids easier. Big reason to examine Mars is the continued search for extraterrestrial life and our robot probes can do that as well.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 26, 2018, 09:30 PM

5. Decent ideas you have there, exboyfil

From a practical perspective, that's not going to happen. Neither are the colonizations of the Moon and Mars. There isn't the national interest to support the incredible costs are prohibitive.

At the height of the Apollo program, NASA's budget was about 4% of the national budget. Today it is something like 0.025%. The kind of money needed isn't being spent and most likely won't be budgeted.

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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2018, 08:45 PM

2. Money and mining. Mining and money. Drill baby drill and all that stuff. nt

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Response to GemDigger (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2018, 08:53 PM

4. Asteroids

Side benefit is developing techniques to prevent earth impactors.

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Response to GemDigger (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2018, 11:34 PM

7. Not practical as even Mars has a gravity well and anything mined would have to

be transported off the surface first and then all the way to earth.

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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2018, 11:32 PM

6. I agree as the priority should be on investigating methods of making faster trips to

other planets both in our system and out of it.
Once we can do that then we should look at the potential for sending humans to other worlds.

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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2018, 08:32 AM

8. I agree but we are a species hell bent on exploring.

regardless of the gravity well costs and virtually no immediate benefits, we will continue to send humans out into space regardless of the cost, time and money spent in it's pursuit.

We went to the moon, not because it was easy but because it was hard.

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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2018, 04:05 PM

9. The same was true then.

The response to Sputnik was slow, and was mostly things like the National Defense Education Act of 1958.

The space race was not necessary, but was based on part fear and part jingoism (the two are never far apart). Otherwise, not much pushed us to the Moon. At lot of people thought the attempt to go to the Moon was "stupid" and that instead of even unmanned missions it was better to money to be spent at home. In the "guns or butter" tussle, NASA was still "guns".

If Nixon had won in '60 and proposed it, I suspect the (D) Congress would never have funded it. As it was, by '66 NASA funding was bitterly fought by other interests who said we needed the money to be put elsewhere. It was largely curtailed after it could be claimed we'd made our point and learned all we could from a dangerous program. Oh, yeah, and we needed to put the money elsewhere, but that was presented almost as an afterthought.

I was a big adherent of the manned Moon missions. Nobody hardly cares about unmanned probes. There's no PR in it, apart from pretty pictures. Let's face it, the pictures from Mars ... Not so pretty. From the Moon? Dismal. Let's not even discuss the Soviet Venera pictures. Cassini had some nice eye candy, of course. But not one of my students knew who Cassini was; they assumed Cassini was the designer (most thought Hubble was named after somebody still alive who designed or pushed for the Hubble. "What? He's DEAD?!!"

Without PR, you have trouble getting funding. Hubble pictures? Oooh, let's have mission to repair it, extend its life. Spitzer? Webb? Chandra? No pretty pictures. Even ALMA ...

Make the Mars mission about the people involved in it, those going on the mission, the risks and dangerous, and sure, people will split. It's a soap opera, and even the highly educated tend to like soap operas; hell, just look at how American politics is presented. But people are split already, but it's pretty much 99% uninterested and 1% interested. The new split will be much closer to 50-50%, and might actually get even those uninterested in the science thinking, "This could be cool." Even a 40-25-35% split would be a breakthrough. Musk's wanting to die on Mars created more of a stir than the Mars probes' all self-assembling into a Madonna robot and doing the hoochie-koochie would have.

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