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  (Source: scienceblogs.com)
NASA plans to explore Mars sometime in the 2030's

NASA recently announced that it has committed to a manned mission to Mars at an unspecified point in the future, and that the International Space Station will be a crucial part of reaching that goal.

Charles Bolden, NASA administrator, announced the Mars mission to a group of educators, scientists, astronauts and industry members at the International Space Station and Mars Conference on April 6. The conference is a two-day event that is presented by Explore Mars at George Washington University. Explore Mars promotes the search for technology that aids in the exploration of Mars. 

Bolden discussed the use of the International Space Station as a research and testing facility for future Mars expeditions, noting that such a voyage to our neighbor in the solar system would serve as "inspiration for a whole new generation." 

"I know my granddaughters will be witnessing humans arriving at Mars," said Bolden. "Like the President, I believe such a journey is possible in my lifetime. But what I know today is that we have an amazing engineering resource in space right now - the International Space Station. and we're moving out on the innovation and technological breakthroughs that are required to get us to our neighboring planet."

The International Space Station was built in 1998, and was the result of five space agencies representing 15 countries. This space station took $100 billion to construct and is the largest structure made in space by humans. 

"Over the next 10 years, we'll continue to collaborate with other nations to live and work together in space, and perform cutting edge research and technology demonstrations that are critical to eventual exploration into deep space with humans," said Bolden. "The ISS is the most realistic analog we have to test life support and other technologies, ensuring they function in space, and most importantly, that they are reliable.

"Any mission to Mars is likely to be a global effort. The ISS is a blend of goals among the participating space agencies, and it is truly beautiful in that regard alone."

Bolden mentioned that NASA plans to explore Mars sometime in the 2030's, but plan to travel to an asteroid as soon as 2015. In addition, NASA hopes to keep the International Space Station open until at least 2020. 


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RE: Never cut NASA
By The Raven on 4/13/2011 11:29:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Please, let's all remember that the NASA budget subsists on LESS THAN 1% of the total federal budget.

This is everyone's excuse for wasting money. At home, in business, in gov't. But at home and in business this sort of thing is certainly cut when we find that we can't afford it through financial evaluation. In gov't, it always seems to come down to this as an argument to keep crap. Well I'm no rocket scientist, but it adds up when your gov't is as big and bloated as ours.

So if you want to keep NASA around, help cut all the other crap programs that the gov't blows our money on. And I'm not just talking about the <1% of the budget types, though again, that is no excuse. I'm talking about 'defense' spending and the ponzi scheme known as social security.

No offense, but it is just that everyone uses that <1% crap excuse as an reason to argue that,"Oh since it is less than <1% of the budget we can still afford it." We should be hearing things like, "It is too bad that it has gotten to the point where we need to cut NASA. Now let's bring down social security so we can once again afford it!"

But at this point "Never cut NASA" is an asinine demand. I can't believe how many out of reality people agree with you. Well actually I can, since that is how we got into this mess.
quote:
while the rest of the industrialized nations leave us in the dust

Who has terraformed Mars? Who is even close? How are we left in the dust if we shut the program down for a few years? Earthlings haven't done JS with the moon since we touched down there. Hell, we've haven't done JS with Nevada!
Why do you think it is such a priority. I certainly can understand some importance and appreciate things that NASA has done. But to stress that it should be one of our top priorities is crazy.
quote:
I sure am glad Columbus was allowed to go on that cruise of his...

Why? You have a problem with Europe, Africa, or wherever your family is from? You hate the indigenous peoples of North and South America? You don't know that the first European to land in North America was Leif Eriksson (who did it on his own dime BTW)? Come on man, this land is great and I love it, but Columbus' 'discovery' was far from all roses (unless you were Spain).

At this point we know how to get into space and land on whatever we want. No one is leaving us in the dust (even if that was definitely a bad thing). Let's pump the brakes and wait until the ROI is MUCH greater. And certainly when we just can't afford it.


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