Manned Space Travel To The Planet Mars - Another Popular Public Myth Funded With U.S. Federal Tax-$

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This is in response to a posting by bellavistabear in which he, on August 24, 2007, posted a poem acclaiming the future of manned space travel. To Mars and, perhaps, other planets. Or so he seems to believe. Here is his posting.

Following his posting and my response to it is some correspondence between myself and others discussing this issue.
____________________________________________________________


Science Fact
A Poem By: bellavistabear
Poetry


Tags: Science fiction, Technology, Tomorrow, Aliens, Space, Planets.

The musings of life in the future. View table of contents...

Submitted: Aug 24, 2007 Reads: 8 Comments: 1


Today's Science Fiction

Will be tomorrows Science Fact.

Tourist on the moon.

Millions it will attract.


Colonies on Mars

It's not so hard to think.

Freighter mining ore

We are on the brink.


Interstellar flights

Can you say Star Trek?

Today's Science Fiction

Will then be Science Fact.


Reverse engineering

From downed Alien ships

Will supply us with the technology

To Power us on those trips.


Beings from other galaxies

Will be allies or foes.

Intergalactic wars

Will replace those of old.


The world of tomorrow

Will not look like today.

Science Fact will take us

Far, Far away.


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Comments:
EdwardJBradleySr
bellavistabear:

Man! Are you ever mistaken. Read what follows.

Personally attended a meeting of former and current NASA scientists/physicists who admitted, to the limited audience in attendance, that inter-planetary manned space travel is virtually impossible. This is not shared with the public because it might threaten their federal funding. When G.W. Bush talks about humans traveling to Mars this is just so much spin. To make him look good. Which is to say: knowledgeable about scientific matters.

Manned travel to the moon is possible only because the moon resides/orbits within the Earth's magnetic field to protect it (as it protects all of us) from the radiation bombardment that irradiates all things in outer space.

The planet Mars has no protective magnetic field surrounding it. This is because it several magnetic poles which are (mis-)placed in an irregular and haphazard way so that they cannot produce such a magnetic field. The planet Earth has just 2 magnetic poles which are diametrically opposed to one another and upon or around which the planet Earth revolves. Thereby enabling the protective magnetic field can be and is generated. Because of this, life (as we know it) exists and can thrive on Earth but has never existed on Mars, as it cannot. So you see, it takes more that carbon, iron and water to sustain life of the type known to exist on Earth. Something to think about.
_______________________________________________________

Manned mission is not in Mars' future

By ANNE APPLEBAUM
First published: Friday, January 9, 2004

WASHINGTON -- The first color pictures from the NASA space probe expedition to Mars have now been published. They look like -- well, they look like pictures of a lifeless, distant planet. They show blank, empty landscapes. They show craters and boulders. They show red sand.

Death Valley, the most desolate of American deserts, at least contains strange cacti, vicious scorpions, the odd oasis. Mars has far less than that. Not only does the planet have no life, it has no air, no water, no warmth. The temperature on the Martian surface hardly rises much above 0 Fahrenheit, and can drop several hundred degrees below that.

Mars, as a certain pop star once put it, isn't the kind of place where you'd want to raise your kids. Nor is it the kind of place anybody is ever going to visit, as some of the NASA scientists know perfectly well. Even leaving aside the cold, the lack of atmosphere and the absence of water, there's the deadly radiation.

If the average person on Earth absorbs about 350 millirems of radiation every year, an astronaut traveling to Mars would absorb about 130,000 millirems of a particularly virulent form of radiation that would probably destroy every cell in his body. "Space is not 'Star Trek,' " said one NASA scientist, "but the public certainly doesn't understand that."

No, the public does not understand that. And no, not all scientists, or all politicians, are trying terribly hard to explain it either.

Too often, rational descriptions of the inhuman, even anti-human living conditions in space give way to public hints that more manned space travel is just around the corner, that a manned Mars mission is next, that there is some grand philosophical reason to keep sending human beings away from the only planet where human life is possible. One actual "Star Trek" actor, Robert Picardo, the ship's holographic doctor, enthused this week that "we really should have a timetable to send a man to Mars. ... Mars should be part of our travel plans." Naive, perhaps, but fundamentally not much different from President Bush's grandiloquent words after the Columbia disaster: "Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on."

But why should it go on? Or at least why should the human travel part of it go on? Crowded out of the news this week was the small fact that the troubled international space station, which is itself accessible only by the troubled space shuttle, has sprung a leak.

Also, somehow played down is the fact that the search for "life" on Mars -- proof, as the enthusiasts have it, that we are "not alone" in the universe -- is not a search for sentient beings but rather a search for evidence that billions of years ago there might possibly have been a few microbes. It's hard to see how that sort of information is going to heal our cosmic loneliness, let alone lead to the construction of condo units on Mars.

None of which is to say that it isn't interesting or important for NASA to send robotic probes to other planets. It's interesting in the way that the exploration of the bottom of the Pacific Ocean is interesting, or important in the way that the study of obscure dead languages is important. Like space exploration, these are inspiring human pursuits. Like space exploration, they nevertheless have very few practical applications.

But space exploration isn't treated the way other purely academic pursuits are treated. For one, the scientists doing it have perverse incentives. Their most dangerous missions -- the ones involving human beings -- produce the fewest research results, yet receive the most attention, applause and funding. Their most productive missions -- the ones involving robots -- inspire interest largely because the public illogically believes they will lead to more manned space travel.

Worse, there is always the risk that yet another politician will seize on the idea of "sending a man to Mars," or "building a permanent manned station on the moon" as a way of sounding far-sighted or futuristic or even patriotic. President Bush is allegedly considering a new expansion of manned space travel. The Chinese are embarking on their own manned space program, since sending a man to the moon is de rigueur for would-be superpowers. The result, inevitably, will be billions of misspent dollars, more lethal crashes -- and a lot more misguided rhetoric about the "inspiration of discovery," as if discoveries can only be made with human hands. Anne Applebaum writes for The Washington Post.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

PS - Liked the rhyming scheme and rhythm. Just the content is the problem.

Posted: Sep 14, 2007

Submitted: September 15, 2007

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 15, 2007

A A A

A A A


Manned mission is not in Mars' future

By ANNE APPLEBAUM
First published: Friday, January 9, 2004

WASHINGTON -- The first color pictures from the NASA space probe expedition to Mars have now been published. They look like -- well, they look like pictures of a lifeless, distant planet. They show blank, empty landscapes. They show craters and boulders. They show red sand.

Death Valley, the most desolate of American deserts, at least contains strange cacti, vicious scorpions, the odd oasis. Mars has far less than that. Not only does the planet have no life, it has no air, no water, no warmth. The temperature on the Martian surface hardly rises much above 0 Fahrenheit, and can drop several hundred degrees below that.

Mars, as a certain pop star once put it, isn't the kind of place where you'd want to raise your kids. Nor is it the kind of place anybody is ever going to visit, as some of the NASA scientists know perfectly well. Even leaving aside the cold, the lack of atmosphere and the absence of water, there's the deadly radiation.

If the average person on Earth absorbs about 350 millirems of radiation every year, an astronaut traveling to Mars would absorb about 130,000 millirems of a particularly virulent form of radiation that would probably destroy every cell in his body. "Space is not 'Star Trek,' " said one NASA scientist, "but the public certainly doesn't understand that."

No, the public does not understand that. And no, not all scientists, or all politicians, are trying terribly hard to explain it either.

Too often, rational descriptions of the inhuman, even anti-human living conditions in space give way to public hints that more manned space travel is just around the corner, that a manned Mars mission is next, that there is some grand philosophical reason to keep sending human beings away from the only planet where human life is possible. One actual "Star Trek" actor, Robert Picardo, the ship's holographic doctor, enthused this week that "we really should have a timetable to send a man to Mars. ... Mars should be part of our travel plans." Naive, perhaps, but fundamentally not much different from President Bush's grandiloquent words after the Columbia disaster: "Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on."

But why should it go on? Or at least why should the human travel part of it go on? Crowded out of the news this week was the small fact that the troubled international space station, which is itself accessible only by the troubled space shuttle, has sprung a leak.

Also, somehow played down is the fact that the search for "life" on Mars -- proof, as the enthusiasts have it, that we are "not alone" in the universe -- is not a search for sentient beings but rather a search for evidence that billions of years ago there might possibly have been a few microbes. It's hard to see how that sort of information is going to heal our cosmic loneliness, let alone lead to the construction of condo units on Mars.

None of which is to say that it isn't interesting or important for NASA to send robotic probes to other planets. It's interesting in the way that the exploration of the bottom of the Pacific Ocean is interesting, or important in the way that the study of obscure dead languages is important. Like space exploration, these are inspiring human pursuits. Like space exploration, they nevertheless have very few practical applications.

But space exploration isn't treated the way other purely academic pursuits are treated. For one, the scientists doing it have perverse incentives. Their most dangerous missions -- the ones involving human beings -- produce the fewest research results, yet receive the most attention, applause and funding. Their most productive missions -- the ones involving robots -- inspire interest largely because the public illogically believes they will lead to more manned space travel.

Worse, there is always the risk that yet another politician will seize on the idea of "sending a man to Mars," or "building a permanent manned station on the moon" as a way of sounding far-sighted or futuristic or even patriotic. President Bush is allegedly considering a new expansion of manned space travel. The Chinese are embarking on their own manned space program, since sending a man to the moon is de rigueur for would-be superpowers. The result, inevitably, will be billions of misspent dollars, more lethal crashes -- and a lot more misguided rhetoric about the "inspiration of discovery," as if discoveries can only be made with human hands. Anne Applebaum writes for The Washington Post. 
_______________________________________________________----- Original Message -----

From: EDWARD BRADLEY

To: tierney@nytimes.com Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 8:37 PMSubject: Your article of August 2, 2005: Manned Space Exploration Of The Planet MarsJohn:You need to update your scientific knowledge about manned space exploration which the aeronautical sciences people are withholding from the tax-paying public and from you as well.  The main reasons for not sending people beyond the earth's orbit are, in large part, spelled out in Anne Applebaum's attached article.Radiation bombardment and destruction of living organisms is the main problem.  Earth's diametrically opposed bipolar magnetic field which protects all life on the planet Earth from this radiation bombardment is not present on the planet Mars.Mars is multi-polar and, as such, none of these magnetic poles can generate such a protective force field because the magnetic poles are scattered across the planet in an irregular way.  If this has always been true then Mars has never been able to support life (Even if water ever existed there.) as it is known to exist on Earth.  Manned space exploration beyond Earth's orbit is impossible and all aerospace scientists know this.  But they keep talking about it as a real possibility, but knowing it is a false promise, so as to keep the federal funding coming.  Whether of not President Bush knows this is another question.  Your little expedition, in Canada, 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle and from the point of view of real science, was a meaningless activity and nothing more than the most recent chapter in a long series of useless publicity stunts.Regards,Edward J. Bradley, Sr_______________________________________________________----- Original Message ----- From: WallyTo: EDWARD BRADLEY Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 6:46 PMSubject: RE: Your article of August 2, 2005: Manned Space Exploration Of The Planet MarsWhere do you get this knowledge?_______________________________________________________

 ----- Original Message -----

From: EDWARD BRADLEY
To: Wally
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 9:33 PM
Subject: Re: Your article of August 2, 2005: Manned Space Exploration Of The Planet Mars

Wally:
Got it at an astronomy/aerospace symposium held at Union College/University in Schenectady, N.Y. last year.  Many of the panelists were college level science professors (physics, astrophysics, engineering, astronomy, etc.), many of whom were also current and former employees of NASA.  Or so they said and I think they were to be believed.  One of the scientists, in the audience, brought up the topic and it was really surprising to me when I heard it.  The only possible solutions put forth were:
1. Completely encase the entire space craft in lead which would protect the passengers from radiation but would prevent viewing outer-space, during the trip, directly through glass windows as space travel is often depicted on TV.  Astronauts who travel to the moon are still within Earth's orbit though their exposure to this radiation is much greater because Earth's protective magnetic field becomes weaker the further one may be above sea level and from the surface of Earth.  Even airline passengers receive greater exposure to this same radiation than do those traveling on land.  The main logistical problem here is the sheer weight of the amount of lead required to encase the space ship.  In other words, as a unit constructed here on Earth, it could not be transported from Earth into orbit around Earth at this point.  Furthermore, sensing devices would still have to be placed outside of the lead encasement and wired to the interior so that the space travelers could intelligently and effectively navigate the space craft.
2.  Completely encoil the entire space craft in conductive (copper, gold, silver, iron?, etc.) metal wire which when it has direct current transmitted through it would generate it's own protective magnetic field around the space craft as long as there is no power failure during the journey until arriving at a planet with it's own protective magnetic field.  This might be able to be done while in orbit around the Earth as the wire could be delivered from Earth, over a period of time, in installments, as part of multiple payloads.  Of course, the same visual limitations, during space travel beyond Earth's gravitational pull, would apply as for the lead encasement.
3.  Another issue is this:  Mars is the only planet considered as the only feasible planet to which to travel as it is in an orbit which is on the same side of what is known as the "asteroid belt" as is Earth.  Successfully traveling though the "asteroid belt", without being "whacked", is considered to be an even more difficult feat to accomplish than is traveling to Mars, which, at this point and for the aforementioned reasons, is a practical impossibility for manned flight.  All other planets, in our solar system, are supposedly beyond this treacherous "asteroid belt".  This doesn't make complete sense as Earth is the 3rd planet from the Sun and, though 2 of the others are closer to the Sun, unmanned space craft have traveled to other planets besides Mars.  Don't know much more than this, I guess.
Happy trails,
Ed Bradley.

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