Your are viewing a read-only archive of the old DiS boards. Please hit the Community button above to engage with the DiS !
Red Mars was awesome. <3 Kim Stanley Robinson
particularly like the Three Californias trilogy, The Years of Rice and Salt, The Memory of Whiteness, and Icehenge.
went to see martin rees give a public lecture about this a few weeks ago. basically he reckons that
(a) it will be done privately rather than by NASA or the ESA
(b) the first people to make it to mars will die on impact
begs the question: would you be happy to be the first person to go to Mars if you died instantly? i reckon i'd be fine with it.
Surely thats the kind of thing they have top men working on, y'know so that sort of thing doesn't happen.
cos probably the first people to do it will be rich private investigators who do it on the cheap and send people there just because they can. whereas if NASA or the ESA tried then, because it is a public body, they can't be killing civillians left right and centre.
Surely the ultra mega rich would make sure plenty of their money was spend on safety. Whereas a body like NASA would have a government budget to work to and might have to cut corners.
nah, because the primary concern of someone who is really rich is THE GLORY - to be the first person on Mars, and because it is quite difficult to land on Mars and especially exit the spacecraft [because of the atmosphere iirc] they would likely just say fuck it and be happy to die, like the first people to explore the world on longboats and rafts who would crash and get attacked and stuff.
because NASA is publicly accountable they have to have back-up systems in place, and then back-ups for those back-ups, and all the time this needs more and more fuel so it becomes impossible to send anything into space without using up most of the GDP of the Earth
it's the same reason that stuff like the JWST will probably be cancelled
the atmosphere is pretty thin but the gravity is like half of Earth's or so?
the real issue with going that far is more likely to be prolonged exposure to cosmic rays and weightlessness and that fucking up the astronauts. and getting home. you'd either have to transport return journey fuel with you (really expensive) or source it when you get there (nobody knows what's actually there).
you're also right in that any private concern wouldn't have the multitudes of layers of safetys that a public body would provide.
Surely if they could figure out how to get people all that vast distance, they could manage the landing. Would it need to be much different from moon landings? If they could get them to work 40 years ago, why not Mars landings at some point in the future?
mars and the moon are pretty different really.
but I thought it was pretty cool. Bascially a 19yr old Egyptian girl has invented a fuel-less propultion system for space travel.
i didn't reply but i showed everyone at school it. they thought it was cool
-there's no peer reviewed research
-there's no working prototype
-this hasn't even been picked up by any reputable science news sources
Really all she has is a patent, and a patent isn't any indication that an idea is any good, particularly for highly theoretical early stage technologies. She seems smart though.
But she didn't "patent it last Tuesday", she filed an application. Which means it isn't available to read yet. And even if it had been granted that's still not an absolute guarantee that it would work, or even that a working prototype was up and running.
Would of course be great if it was all as it seemed, but there's nothing to go on (if there is: link pls, I want to read details).
I would be all over this if I was a trillionaire.
that makes me think they've severely underestimated the cost of this...
if it werent for me practical cold fusion would be more than just a fantasy,
similarly (and this is where i turn things round)
If it weren't for me we would also be extracting loads of gold from square cubic miles of seawater (this is the best analagy for travelling to mars)
or making gold from base metals