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Raging Pencils by Mike "spokescritter" Stanfill

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Mars Needs Robots

I spent thirty-three years in the marines, most of my time being a high-class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.- General Smedley Butler, Marine

send bush to marsLet me go on record by stating we don't need manned flights to Mars.

To being with, there's no reason to go there as we will never be able to colonize the planet. And don't even THINK of terra-forming as we've already shown we're incapable of taking care of the planet we've got.

Second, humans can't survive in the environment outside the Van Allen belt. You can shield a spacecraft to resist cosmic rays, maybe, but that will make the craft very heavy, which is where the third problem comes in.

Mars has very little atmosphere and if you don't have atmosphere your parachute won't work very well. This means we have to depend on retro-rockets to land a spacecraft. But Mars has roughly three times more gravity than our moon which means more than three times as much force is necessary to sustain a controlled landing a much larger and heavier spacecraft... falling towards the planet at Mach 2.

The much better idea is to radically increase NASA's space exploration budget so that they can afford to send large, sophisticated robots to other planets instead of these miracles of miniaturization like Spirit and Opportunity.

Ex-Texas Governor Bush was really gung-ho on the Mars program back in 2004 but you don't hear him talk about it much about it anymore. To him, it was just another way to funnel boatloads of Federal dollars into useless programs designed entirely to enrich his buddies in the procurement business. Exactly like the Strategic Defense Initiative and the Iraq invasion.


end rant

Raging Pencils is a minor personal conceit of:

Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
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