Felix Baumgartner says "no" to Mars, but "save the planet" instead

$0 - B

Is the current plan to send men to mars a waste of our money/resources?

  • Yes, it's a waste of money

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • No, it will drive technology and human advancement

    Votes: 6 66.7%
  • I'm going to wait and see what comes out of it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I have no opinion, yet

    Votes: 1 11.1%

  • Total voters
    9

Tim

Creative Writer
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/...lix-Baumgartner-Mars-is-a-waste-of-money.html

I always thought we create a base on the moon, mine minerals, grav launch them to Earth orbit to create orbiting factories, mine the asteroids for more ore, then move on with interstellar and then inter system travel. We can't just go somewhere, and do nothing.

We went to the moon, as part of a space race, West versus East. Like a climber asked why he climbs dangerous mountains, "because it's there!" Mars may actually be a political point to make, much like the moon visits. So yes, maybe it is a waste of money and effort, and we ought to spend that money on our planet.

But whatever we spend, things aren't getting better. We see industrialised nations creating products for us and the stories that come out of downtrodden workers, industrial accidents and pollution. We see charities collecting from the people and going into countries where our governments give aid that is spent on weapons, and their leaders have palaces and fleets of cars.

Do you think the current plan for reaching Mars is a waste of money?
 

astonwest

Writing Fool
Writer
One will never know until we find out what new technologies come out of the research...heck, maybe we find a new "fossil fuel" on Mars that drives a new breed of personal transports here on Earth. If that happens, you'll see everyone trying to get there. :)
 

Tim

Creative Writer
I've expanded the options in case the original 'black and white' options lead to no voting at all!
 

Webster

The Red Tarheel
Do you think the current plan for reaching Mars is a waste of money?

Let me think about that one, Tim......no!
Ever since man first walked out of the caves, we've been an exploratory species; it's hardwired into our genes. Every time there's been an "age of exploration"(such as when the first Europeans crossed the Atlantic or when people traveled across the Appalachians into the then-frontier and so forth...) there's always been a few who say we shouldn't and it kinda' drives me bat**** crazy whenever I hear it. There have always been problems of some sort on Earth and there are always going to be problems on Earth; should that stop us from continuing to explore the new frontiers out there in front of us? No!

Just look at the benefits that each preceding exploratory age brought: advances in communications, trade & development, technology, information, learning more about how to adapt to differing environments, etc. Should we forgo this because of current problems enflicting the Earth? Me thinks ole' Felix is a bit of a neo-Luddite but he has a right to his opinion....I just hope it doesn't become the prevailing viewpoint; I shudder at the thought of an inward, withdrawn society that ignores the grandeur of what's possibly out there, all because we continue to deal with problems here on the Earth.

To quote Tsiolkovsky, "Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever."
 
There will always be problems on earth to fix, 'better' ways to spend money, however, I believe that the thirst for knowledge is key to mankind's survival. We must go forward. We must explore. Sending men to Mars is a crucial part of this in my view.

In my e-book ' Jimmy O'Brien and the Meteorite of Death' (find it on Amazon) I envisage a future where Mars is the first colony of earth. [When a meteorite is discovered heading for earth we evacuate as many children as possible to other planets. 13 year old Jimmy O'Brien ends up on Mars and the book follows his adventures.] However, without that first step I can't imagine mankind reaching out for the stars (technology permitting).

Yes, it won't be a quick trip to get to Mars, but that is likely to be key to further exploration. The sheer distance will mean that any expedition will have to be self sufficient. (Much as early expeditions on earth were). However, thinking further ahead, I expect that to get away from our immediate planets we will have to create communities in space. People may well spend their whole lives in these communities without reaching a destination. I see a visit to Mars as but a first step in this process.

For more musings see the Jimmy O'Brien website: www.jimmyobrien.net
 

Tim

Creative Writer
The sheer distance will mean that any expedition will have to be self sufficient. (Much as early expeditions on earth were). However, thinking further ahead, I expect that to get away from our immediate planets we will have to create communities in space. People may well spend their whole lives in these communities without reaching a destination. I see a visit to Mars as but a first step in this process.

Did you hear that the contract to go to Mars has been put out to private companies in an attempt to get a bid a tenth of the total cost for NASA to send man to Mars and back? The bids they are also looking at are one way trips! They want to send people there on the cheap with no immediate way of getting them back. Do or die. With, I presume cheaper, unmanned supply rockets delivering goods. Fully trained astronauts have already put themselves forward for such a trip.
 
Did you hear that the contract to go to Mars has been put out to private companies in an attempt to get a bid a tenth of the total cost for NASA to send man to Mars and back? The bids they are also looking at are one way trips! They want to send people there on the cheap with no immediate way of getting them back. Do or die. With, I presume cheaper, unmanned supply rockets delivering goods. Fully trained astronauts have already put themselves forward for such a trip.

Interesting. Quite a different approach to the moon missions when Kennedy pledged in 1961:

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth."

Note the safe return to earth was a key component!
 

Mirelly

Mouthy Cow
Baumgartner is a nobody, in my opinion. He's just an adrenaline junkie whose exploits have brought him fame and notoriety. In what way, I demand to know, did humanity benefit from his record-breaking sky-dive from near space? (Yeah I read the blurb ... most of the science data relates to the space industry which his reported comments so cynically denigrate!) Think how many African villages could have been given not only fresh water, but also solar-powered fridges for the villagers to keep their Red Bull frosty, with cash spent on his extravagantly frivolous stunt .... :rolleyes:

I voted option #2: definitely NOT a waste of money!
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
He's just an adrenaline junkie whose exploits have brought him fame and notoriety.
An adrenaline junkie who had the financial backing of a large corporation known for spending lots of money on "extreme" sports in order to promote their product; while it caught the public attention for 15 seconds it was really just another PR stunt when all is done & said.
 
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