A bit more Victorian "spunk" should see us safely through.
I've been enjoying reading around/about Mars in various ways recently, such as enjoying The Martian film of the The Martian book by Andy Weir (what a hell-hole!). I've also read a number of other scifi books that relate to Mars variously too, such as The Sirens Of Titan and Man Plus. And most recently there's an interesting boardgame that I may decide to get my hands on called "Terraforming Mars":-
The goal is simple (!!!): make Mars habitable. Forget Matt Damon as the primitive first "Martian"; Terraforming Mars takes place much further in the future and unfolds over centuries, ending with a green and blue map of a Red Planet covered with cities, vegetation, and oceans.In fact I looked into the scientific investigation of this subject briefly and it's very interesting looking at how damn difficult and how long in scale any such attempt would be to Terraform Mars into a "Living Planet" such as Earth.
If you look at the above TIME magazine you'll note it accurately points out the relevance of the science AND politics of our attempts and interest in The Red Planet (as opposed to our Blue Planet). Considering what a complete headache it would be to make Mars habitable in an ecological sense, is quite useful: Our ambitions reach their limits and we may decide that working on what we already have in front of us, is probably a more efficient option? But for that to happen, we have to have a huge political change in the world's ability to organize as per the wishes of the population and their mentality or world view. Here the "Mission To Mars" does seem to provide a politically useful and tangibly real tool to achieve this mental change at the scale of millions and perhaps billions? In fact all the above scifi books are excellent in identifying this in their various enthralling and insightful ways.
But it's interesting that the initial conception of "Mission To Mars" probably has to start with the explicit will to "go further into the unknown" and "break our limits of knowledge" and perhaps find that miracle that immediately solves all our world's ills, all in one go; that's invariably over the next horizon as opposed to right in front of us??! NASA provides various reasons for the missions to mars:-
- Finding traces of Life (despite there being so much to study and understand already on Earth!)
- Sending the first people to Mars (after the "lowly" robots!)
- There's analogies to the Age of Discovery and not being "left behind" by other Space Agencies in developing "future tech" (that empowers future "PRAW-gress"!)
The other thing to note is that as a thought exercise, I don't have to think about a quick trip down to the shops. It's fairly easy to pack my bags for a trip across country to stay with friends and family. Some more planning for a holiday trip abroad and then again more planning and preparation for moving to live and work somewhere far away from where one presently lives. Perhaps if one is drafted into the military the preparation for extreme environments is much higher? Now imagine a full manned-mission to mars and the exacting conditions involved in that?!
That's well beyond me (though the military environment I have some understanding of what that entails and the commitment and sacrifice) and besides I'm more than happy living in the lush Earth ecosystems right here, particularly with Spring around the corner, too!
As a taster of one small part of making the journey to Mars for a probe:-
From: Orbital Transfers between Planetary Orbits: An Example
There's some really interesting mathematics in evidence here and it shows that even the basic or theoretical conception is a level above of planning the journey than a quick walk down the shops or grabbing an cross-country train ticket from National Rail Enquires... .
The point of pointing this out is to provide a concrete contrast to people making comments about Brexit plans to which it is the equivalent of a loud-mouthed and gobby idiot calling up NASA and blasting them for not following the faxed instructions written on the back of a beer mat to "Get Their Asses To Mars Already!" The other point of contention is to point out that the more complex the journey, and the more outside of our daily experiences, the more rigorous we need to adhere to knowledge domains and the preceding knowledge of what we can rely on in those fields compared to the risk of what can go wrong and what we do not know or cannot account for or can only account for in a limited fashion given our knowledge, experience and current state of competence. Not so long ago, with "Scott Of The Antarctic" being a saying highly relevant in my own father's lifetime.
In my next blog and aimed at a new website platform, I'll choose an area from the dozens of areas that suggests we ARE going to have to rely on what we already know, what we already have got up and running to make an effective and successful Brexit journey in terms of time and space and information change both objective and through politics the subjective transformation of peoples' attitudes: How about making use of what's already in front of us, before planning "day trips" to our neighbouring galaxy, Andromeda?
Then and again, perhaps I've missed the entire point of all this "sharing and caring" in the public discourse, the Brexit discussion in the media with the public and politicians and pundits is exactly the same drama as "football phone-ins" where "Chris or Chad or Chuck calls in putting the two teams to rights by shouting out the riot act!"??
I hope not:- EUREFERENDUM.COM by Dr. RAE North. I've had to reread these several times and often not even looking further at the various links within each. But if you want to have a go at actually "doing the math" as per the math-ed link above in calculating the orbital transfers on paper needed to send a probe to mars... here you go (!), fill your boots:-