NASA to announce 2005 mission to Mars.
October 27, 2000 9:04 PM   Subscribe

NASA to announce 2005 mission to Mars. Forget the mapping missions. Send over some monkeys already!
posted by Brilliantcrank (9 comments total)

 
Right: I volunteer to be monkey Number One!
posted by aramaic at 9:10 PM on October 27, 2000


Would anyone be interested in some sort of campaign to get the government to send humans to Mars? This current plan sounds very boring, with a bunch of robotic probes - no romance or pioneering on a human scale there...
posted by owillis at 9:18 PM on October 27, 2000


it'll be yucked up, romantic adventurous tv coverage will occur.
posted by dominic at 12:14 AM on October 28, 2000


Provided they gave us enough to eat and drink and didn't bombard us with stupid messages from Mission Control all the time, I think I'd go. I am kind of scared of flying so they'd have to knock me out for the first 24 hours or so. In fact, it'd be best if they didn't tell me exactly when the launch date was but just slipped me a mickey when I least expected it and hauled my unconcious body to the launch pad.
posted by leo at 3:48 AM on October 28, 2000


I don't think I could live in a preassure cooker for the few years it would take to get their. I don't mind flying when I know I will get out of the tube in a few hours.

But monkeys wouldn't mind. Send the monkeys!
posted by Brilliantcrank at 8:56 AM on October 28, 2000


Just like the first earthling in space it'll be euthanized. After it lands there, the cost of bringing a monkey back from Mars is literally astronomical, so its going to stay for a long, long while.

I don't see why anyone should step on Mars. Instead of building a permanent base on the moon we're focusing on Martian Monkeys? <-- potential band name


posted by skallas at 2:50 PM on October 28, 2000


I don't see why the loss of two cheap probes was enough reason to end the "faster, better, cheaper" strategy. Weren't all the probes only around $120-150 million? That's just a little more than twice as much as Ken Starr's investigation cost.

Warning, Eurocentric analogy: Around '95 or so, the space program could be likened to European exploration in the mid-fifteenth century (I guess Dan Goldin would be Prince Henry :)), coming out of the post-Challenger dark ages (with anti-nuke "Star Wars" plans being the expensive, impractical castles I suppose). But with the recent remission, I'm not so sure...

At least it's a robot and not a manned mission though. The cost of sending a small robotinc input device that can be powered down and then activated upon arrival is extremely small compared to the cost of rocketing tons of water that would have to go with a human.
posted by kidsplateusa at 3:24 PM on October 28, 2000


Yeah! Let's go to Mars! Who wants to start a campaign to repeal the atmospheric test ban treaty? Ain't no way we're ever getting humans past the moon without nuclear propulsion...

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 5:08 PM on October 28, 2000


Those interested in lobbying for further exploration of Mars will want to join the Mars Society. Founded by Robert Zubrin, the brains behind the "faster better cheaper" analog for human exploration that he calls Mars Direct. (That is, skip the big-ass spaceships built in orbit, skip the orbiter/lander concept, don't spend $billions for six weeks on the surface, just send a hab/lander directly to Mars, leave the crew there a year, and have them return on a handy-dandy earth-return vehicle that we sent there BEFORE they even left Florida. Costs much less, science return is many times bigger, and we can do it decades sooner.)

I don't know what the howling is all about, though. The NASA manifest for Mars exploration has actually increased, with a higher level of annual funding than before, and though some missions like sample return have been delayed, I don't see this as a huge loss in the greater scheme of things.
posted by dhartung at 8:01 PM on October 28, 2000


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