Having read the article I wonder if this will just result in more plans that eventually get dropped for lack of continued interest or money.
I have been reading some of David S. F. Portree's blogs about previous plans for going to space that didn't materialize. We seem to be good at generating ideas but not so good at following through to implementation. If you check out some of links in the blog below you will see what I mean.
Recently a correspondent asked me to identify my top 10 favorite Beyond Apollo articles. Here's the list, in case anyone else is interested. I found that I couldn't stop at 10, so I decided to list one for every 10 Beyond Apollo articles. I think that this list is a good place for a newcomer to start their exploration of Beyond Apollo, which currently amounts to more than 230 articles.
We will be watching how the latest Mars rover mission, Curiosity, does on its way to Mars. Even while still in its shroud the mission begins with turning on the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD). Wish them luck on its way to a Martian landing.
Dec. 13, 2011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena,Calif.
NASA MARS-BOUND ROVER BEGINS RESEARCH IN SPACE
WASHINGTON -- NASA's car-sized Curiosity rover has begun monitoring space radiation during its 8-month trip from Earth to Mars. The research will aid in planning for future human missions to the Red Planet.
Curiosity launched on Nov. 26 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., aboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The rover carries an instrument called the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) that monitors high-energy
atomic and subatomic particles from the sun, distant supernovas and other sources.
These particles constitute radiation that could be harmful to any microbes or astronauts in space or on Mars. The rover also will monitor radiation on the surface of Mars after its August 2012 landing.
"RAD is serving as a proxy for an astronaut inside a spacecraft on the way to Mars," said Don Hassler, RAD's principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo. " The instrument is deep inside the spacecraft, the way an astronaut would be. Understanding the effects of the spacecraft on the radiation field will be valuable in designing craft for astronauts to travel to Mars."
And while reading about ways to get to Mars, just happened to see the movie Red Planet on cable TV. Not the best but points out that things can go wrong. Doesn't help that you used some military hardware for your robot, AMEE which complicates your crash landing.
In 2056 AD, Earth is in ecologic crisis as a consequence of pollution and overpopulation. Meanwhile, automated interplanetary missions have been seeding Mars with atmosphere-producing algae for twenty years as the first stage in terraforming the planet. When the oxygen quantity produced by the algae is inexplicably reduced, the crew of Mars-1investigates, and must continue the mission of terraforming the planet for human colonization.
The landing craft is damaged entering the Martian atmosphere, veers off course, and crash-lands far from their landing zone near the habitat. In the process, they lose track of "AMEE"(Autonomous Mapping Exploration and Evasion), a military combat robot re-purposed to serve as their "Mars surface navigator", and Chantillas suffers a ruptured spleen in the crash landing. With limited air, Chantillas is left behind to allow the others to complete the mission.
The film received negative reviews, with only a 14% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 100 reviews.Stephen Holden's review in the New York Times was almost entirely negative, calling the film "a leaden, skimpily plotted space-age Outward Bound adventure with vague allegorical aspirations that remain entirely unrealized."
Due to significant scientific inaccuracies, NASA refused to serve as a scientific adviser for the film, which it normally does for science fiction films. "The science was just so off the wall that eventually we felt, 'You guys go ahead and make your movie.' If there's something that's going to be so misleading to the public that we don't want to participate, then we'll say no," said Bert Ulrich, a NASA spokesperson. "The big thing is, we want to make sure we're not misleading the public completely."
Hmmmm, must watch out for those significant scientific inaccuracies.