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Race To Mars
September 7, 2007 11:35 AM   Subscribe

"Somewhere on the planet are ten-year-olds who, someday, will be the first people to set foot on Mars" 300 scientists and space-experts contributed to what's billed as "a realistic vision of the first Human Mission to Mars" -- Race to Mars. Discovery Channel Canada used Hollywood special effects, but for added realism rather than ray-guns and aliens. On the website, you can argue about whether they got it right. www.racetomars.ca
posted by richlach (24 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, I heard the same thing when I was ten years old. However, instead of space travel, the future has delivered monumental amounts of free porn. I'm guessing the current crop of ten-year-olds will get similarly stiffed.
posted by mullingitover at 11:38 AM on September 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ain't gonna happen. Not as long as chasing a buck trumps pure exploration as a prime human motivator.

Unless they find oil up there, of course. Then we have synergy and corporate money out the wazoo.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:43 AM on September 7, 2007


The reality better have clearer instructions than the game
posted by A189Nut at 11:44 AM on September 7, 2007


I myself couldn't care less about another space race but what you guys need is a big plan by the Chinese to plant their flag on Mars; then the USA will have to chase them the way they chased the Russkis who wanted to pollute with unholy communism that pristine dust bowl, the moon.

and then millions of space dorks worldwide will experience a collective, for once not self-inflicted, orgasm.
posted by matteo at 11:46 AM on September 7, 2007


...the future has delivered monumental amounts of free porn. I'm guessing the current crop of ten-year-olds will get similarly stiffed
posted by uncleozzy at 11:49 AM on September 7, 2007


I have a ten-year-old. He does not have my permission to go to Mars.
posted by Rawhide at 11:50 AM on September 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Not as long as chasing a buck trumps pure exploration as a prime human motivator.

Then how do you explain the Moon? What was exploited there? (Yes, the push to get to the Moon paid us back many times over, but that's very different than saying we did it to exploit something.)

Exploitation is not the prime human motivator except for a small number of individuals.
posted by DU at 11:59 AM on September 7, 2007


That said, kids who were 10 in 1997 (the last time I heard this claim) are now 20 and are not one inch closer to Mars. Less screwing around with 30 year old technology that didn't even make sense at the time and more progress, kthx.
posted by DU at 12:01 PM on September 7, 2007


what you guys need is a big plan by the Chinese to plant their flag on Mars;

That's actually what they have in the show:

In the year 2030, the race to be the first to reach the Red Planet is on. China has stunned the world by leapfrogging over America's long-term plans and has landed a series of advanced rovers and robotic landers in their quest to make the most important discovery in history
About Race to Mars
posted by richlach at 12:02 PM on September 7, 2007


Exploitation is not the prime human motivator except for a small number of individuals.

yes but that particular small minority runs the show now.

and how dare you contradict the central dogma!
posted by saulgoodman at 12:09 PM on September 7, 2007


Anyone think the private space/rocket companies (XPrize folks, Virgin Galactic/SpaceShip One, Armadillo etc) are going to have an effect on this? I think they'll push us to more of a presence in orbit faster, and maybe get space-tourism into the realm of the ridiculously-wealthy (instead of just the really ridiculously wealthy), but I'm not sure they'll get us to Mars any faster.

Or maybe just having regular/cheaper freight into orbit is what we need to get Mars happening
posted by richlach at 12:15 PM on September 7, 2007


Well, I was 15 when this was published. I didn't believe we'd get to Mars in '95 but I didn't think that we'd still be thirty years away in '07.
posted by octothorpe at 12:22 PM on September 7, 2007


they're gonna have to step up their psych screening, imagine being on a mars mission with lisa nowak, her astronaut paramour, his new girl and several other randy spacejocks and hot, horny astrogirls. houston, we have an orgy!
posted by bruce at 12:25 PM on September 7, 2007


I'm checking out the fictional mission plan. I'm not real big on it. The astronauts spend most of their time in space when they could spend more time on Mars's surface. Their vehicle requires on-orbit assembly, which I don't like. It's simpler and cheaper to launch direct. Also, I don't see any evidence of In Situ Resouce Utilization, which can save a lot of fuel mass and cost. A lot of the hardware seems to be based on Stanley Borowski's ideas, which is OK.

I don't like this mission plan. Zubrin's Mars Direct is better, and so is NASA's Design Reference Mission.
posted by smoothvirus at 12:26 PM on September 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


If someone would just manufacture some evidence linking Mars to Al-Qaida, we'd be there in no time.
posted by brain_drain at 12:29 PM on September 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


No, what they meant was they'll be sending TEN YEAR OLD FEET to Mars. No one will actually accompany them. We'll be using the planet to dispose of medical waste, instead of just wasted dreams and squandered possibilities like we are today.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:35 PM on September 7, 2007


At ten I was promised a personal jet pack when I reached adulthood. Where the fuck is my "personal jet pack?"
posted by ericb at 12:40 PM on September 7, 2007


I'm guessing the current crop of ten-year-olds will get similarly stiffed.

Boy, they're sure growing up fast these days. I didn't get stiffed 'til I was at least 11.
posted by lodurr at 12:45 PM on September 7, 2007


smoothvirus: I don't think they'd trust to using ISRU on the first human mission...at least, not in that timeframe. I think they'd do things using the most tried-and-true techniques they could. Unless, of course, they were doing this many years later (and had performed many experiments ahead of time to prove the tech). But for 2030, I bet they wouldn't use ISRU
posted by richlach at 2:01 PM on September 7, 2007


Ain't gonna happen. Not as long as chasing a buck trumps pure exploration as a prime human motivator

Is not wanting to be taxed out the wazoo for a useless project also "chasing a buck?" Look, lets face it, there's nothing on mars that is worth doing. Spending 100 million dollars to keep a colonist alive for a year isnt a noble calling, its a stupid waste of resources. Cant we do better with this money? Space-faring will be driven by the buck, just like all exploration before it. Thats not necessarily a bad thing.

I dont understand all these grand thoughts about preserving humanity. Its not doable. We have a shelf-life. Having billions labor and pay taxes to keep a couple thousand martians in oxygen and climate control isnt sustainable. Its like the IIS except bigger, costlier, and produces nothing of value.

Drones do a better job doing exploration, unless your definition of exploration is "a man must walk on its surface."
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:34 PM on September 7, 2007


I'm guessing the current crop of ten-year-olds will get similarly stiffed.

Stiffed? Fuck Mars! Free porn!
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:35 PM on September 7, 2007


When I was a child, first introduced to speculative fiction, the universe seemed filled with promise, potential, and possibility. Where Carl Sagan once saw awe and wonder and mystery in this universe, I now see an empty vacuum. That wasn't always the case. I was not always quite this pessimistic.

Canada had a tv show called SPACE 1999. By 1999 that show theorized we'd have a lunar colony by the end of the 20th century. Of course, that show also theorized we'd run into a hot alien who knew how to turn herself into a cat.

Because we human beings require an oxygen rich atmosphere, pressurization, some resemblance of moderate gravitational forces, a temperate climate and other limitations, we're pretty much stuck on this pale blue dot, until we either find another place like this one or are able to turn another place into a place like this one.

Only a few hundred years ago, people braved an ocean in search of a New World. We have since populated that "elbow room" to near breaking point, and at seven billion people, we need even more room. I don't know about you, but I'm starting to feel a little claustrophobic.

We either have ten year olds today who will brave that new red world, terraform it, colonize it, and erect McDonalds and Motel Sixes, or those ten year olds will grow up to have more in common with canned sardines than apes.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:37 PM on September 7, 2007


"By 1999 that show theorized we'd have a lunar colony by the end of the 20th century."

Ew. Honest officer! I had no idea I was typing that fast!
posted by ZachsMind at 8:39 PM on September 7, 2007


If someone would just manufacture some evidence linking Mars to Al-Qaida Iraq Iran, we'd be there in no time.

Just to make this statement more accurate.
posted by moonbiter at 2:28 AM on September 8, 2007


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