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Mars NASA Science

NASA, European Space Agency Want To Go To Mars 129

Posted by Soulskill
from the merging-to-beat-their-competitors dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are aiming to cooperate on all manner of robotic orbiters, landers and exploration devices for a future trip to Mars. Specifically, NASA and ESA recently agreed to consider the establishment of a new joint initiative to define and implement their scientific, programmatic, and technological goals for the exploration of Mars. The program would focus on several launch opportunities with landers and orbiters conducting astrobiological, geological, geophysical, climatological, and other high-priority investigations and aiming at returning samples from Mars in the mid-2020s."
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NASA, European Space Agency Want To Go To Mars

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  • My 3 year old and 2 year old are aiming to cooperate on all manner of Lego robotic orbiters, landers and exploration devices for a future trip to Mars. Specifically, they recently agreed to consider the establishment of a new joint initiative to define and implement their scientific, programmatic, and technological goals for the exploration of Mars. The program would focus on several launch opportunities with Lego landers and orbiters conducting astrobiological, geological, geophysical, climatological, and
  • Cooperation (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:04PM (#30073636)

    As long as they agree on one set of units it should be fine.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I doubt it. ESA will defenitely work with SI units. And I assume NASA wants to use their old units for their old stuff. However, if they cooperate on a component level, this should not be a big problem as long as the systems are not integrated. For example rocket from NASA and rover from ESA.

      • Re:Cooperation (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:23PM (#30073858)

        I doubt it. ESA will defenitely work with SI units. And I assume NASA wants to use their old units for their old stuff. However, if they cooperate on a component level, this should not be a big problem as long as the systems are not integrated. For example rocket from NASA and rover from ESA.

        NASA has used Metric for a long, long time now. It was a subcontractor who used Imperial that screwed up the Mars lander.

    • (Mars lander smacks into planet at ballistic speeds)

      "I don't understand. By my calculations 1000 foot-pounds was enough thrust to bring the lander to soft landing." - NASA engineer

      "Foot-pounds? What the hell are they? I I built the rockets for maximum 1000 newton thrust." - ESA engineer

      "Oooops."

      • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:43PM (#30074142) Homepage

        (Mars lander smacks into planet at ballistic speeds)

        "I don't understand. By my calculations 1000 foot-pounds was enough thrust to bring the lander to soft landing." - NASA engineer

        "Je ne vous comprends pas, culturelement appauvri impérialiste chien de porc." - ESA engineer

        Fixed that for you.

      • by 4181 (551316)
        Comparing foot-pounds to newtons is like comparing tens of apples to dozens of oranges -- you have more than systems of measurement to be concerned about.
  • China/Japan/russia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:32PM (#30073980)

    China seam to have more money to throw about, I hear Japan are pretty good at technology and russia seam to be the goto guys if you want something launched. If getting to Mars is a serious scientific venture and not a cock swinging contest, why not work with them as well?

    • If getting to Mars is a serious scientific venture and not a cock swinging contest, why not work with them as well?

      Indeed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by J_Omega (709711)
      Sometimes serious scientific ventures are ALSO cock swinging contests.
    • || ...not a cock swinging contest.... ||

      I guess this must be a new version of the old tried and true "cock measuring contest" (TM).

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      If getting to Mars is a serious scientific venture and not a cock swinging contest, why not work with them as well?

      It's not serious science, but rather a PR game. Remote-control robots are much cheaper and obviously safer for collecting materials. A few will disagree, but remote robots have potentially better vision than on-site humans and more experts to review the images before selecting.

      Being slow is not a problem: the tortoise wins this one. But things may be faster than MER (current bots) if there's a

    • by khallow (566160)
      The more parties you involve, the more difficult it becomes to get things down.
      • Yes, but Russia, ESA, and NASA have been working together for sometime. I have to say that I am surprised that RSA is not invited to this. It really makes sense to have them.
    • by physburn (1095481)
      A global Mars mission would certainly have the sort of budget we'd need for a manned mission, and we've managed (just) to run an international station (without china though). However the more partners in the group, the more politics the more potential incompatiblity between different components. In someways it makes sense to go on from an International space station, to an international moon base, to an international mission to mars. Up to the politians first, and the trouble is that the often go back upon
    • by MtViewGuy (197597)

      But the problem with China is they're still at least a decade away from building a rocket big enough to carry a sizable probe to Mars. Meanwhile, the US can do it with the Atlas V rocket or Delta IV Heavy rocket, Russia can do with the latest Proton rocket, and the Europeans can do it with the Ariane V rocket.

  • Go to Mars (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:39PM (#30074080) Homepage Journal

    Just wait until you don't have to borrow the money to do so.

    The US needs to figure out its side of the equation, what is more important, buying votes or science?

    • by jamstar7 (694492)

      Just wait until you don't have to borrow the money to do so.

      The US needs to figure out its side of the equation, what is more important, buying votes or science?

      We're screwed then. Politicians look at everything in the light of "Will this help me win the next election?" The people for the most part aren't interested unless it's American Idol or some such nonsense. Us hardcore science geeks are left out in the cold, marginalised beyond belief.

    • by khallow (566160)

      The US needs to figure out its side of the equation, what is more important, buying votes or science?

      That's not the real question either, since science as an end in itself isn't much more important than buying votes. We fund science to considerable levels now because we expect it to pay off. What happens when that's not true? What's the point of gathering tremendous information about the Solar System, if nobody is going to be using it aside from a few scientists? Second, science in space costs about one to three orders of magnitude more than equivalent science on Earth. We could be doing a lot more science

  • NASA, European Space Agency Want To Go To Mars

    Great, with NASA and ESA "gone to Mars," maybe we can get some fresh blood (competition) into space exploration? Like, from some private folks?

    Hell, let them milk some millionaires for a few seconds in space to push space flight technology forwards.

  • they NEED commercial space. In particular, they need Bigelow to build their units and test them in space here as well as transporting to the moon, and then living on the moon. We need to have better tested equipment. Finally, we need to skip the idea of sending a mission there AND then coming back. It should be ONE WAY ONLY.
  • NASA's budget of about 17 billion sounds like a fair amount - more so than any private venture could hope to raise.

    However, consider that the US market for cell phones and related service is expected to top about 37 billion for 2009. Ringtones alone account for about half a billion.

    Sales of Subway's "5 dollar footlongs" have amounted to around 2.6 billion so far.

    I really do not consider money to be the issue blocking space access. Remember, the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and shuttle programs were all funded

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