Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

MARS, sucker...


Remember that? No?


Anybody who actually listened to the State of the Union address ought to be laughing their head off at all of Bush's "plans". And anybody who actually believes a single word the lying jerk says ought to be sent to remedial kindergarten class to learn the difference between truth and fiction.

MARS, bitches. MARS. Dig?

-- Badtux the Laughing Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 1/31/2006 09:09:00 PM  


Humans aren't going to Mars unless they plan on never returning to Earth. One simple reason: the human body is not cut out for space travel. The only way colonizing Mars would even begin to be feasible is if Mars had a general climate similar to Earth's, which it most certainly does not.

NASA figured out that human space travel was impractical early on -- they just didn't blab it out at the time. After Apollo 17, NASA quietly shelved the manned lunar expeditions and eventually turned to robot-manned projects, which, fortunately for us, work very well -- and they ought to stick with what works at least until someone invents a "warp coil" that defies all laws of physics or something.

Zero gravity plays hell with human bodies. Muscles atrophy, blood pressure goes up, risk of heart failure goes up, depression and insomnia are common -- there's no "day" and "night" in space, just night -- and there are a host of other ailments as well. And then there are the solar storms which occur roughly every six months -- cosmic radiation is far worse than gamma rays. It would take a minimum eight or nine months to get to Mars, so the crew would be looking at a minimum of one solar storm on the trip.

Even if they get there alive, they'll be so physically weak and mentally fucked that they won't be in much of an exploring mood. Last time I checked, Mars didn't have a single Red Roof Inn...
# posted by Mimus Pauly : 1/2/06 10:06 AM  

Actually, the Russians proved that you can take long trips in zero gravity and still survive the return back. They had one poor sod who was up in space for 18 months back in the Mir days, as part of an experiment to see whether human beings could survive a trip to Mars and back. They had to haul him out of the space capsule on a stretcher when he got back, but he survived.

I do agree that, at present, there is absolutely no reason to put a human on Mars. Mars is at the bottom of a deep gravity well, so presents enormous complications compared to sending people to the moon. Specifically, the complication of getting the people back up once they're down! Thus it makes far more sense to send robots, which you can simply abandon once their useful life is over.

The point, though, is that Bush promised to send Man to Mars in his State of the Union address. And that's the last we ever heard of it.

I.e., if Bush says he's going to do something in his State of the Union address, and you believe it... well, time to go back to remedial Kindergarten class to re-learn the difference between truth and fiction!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 1/2/06 10:30 AM  

Well, obviously, if Bush makes a promise, we can expect it to be broken. It's just that when I was a kid, I dreamed of being an astronomer, and maybe going the whole hog and becoming an astronaut, so I knew a wee bit about the nastiness of outer space (which is anything but empty -- cosmic rays coming from and going to all directions, you know) when Bush said what he said. It just confirmed what i already knew: Bush is a goddamned idiot.

The Russians proved something else when they brought that dude back: We humans have no business launching ourselves into space. I wish more people realized that this here Earth is all we've got in this universe to hold onto.

Carl Sagan left us too soon...
# posted by Mimus Pauly : 1/2/06 9:01 PM  

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