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Mars Advertising NASA Space Science

'Colonizing the Red Planet,' a How-To Guide 288

Velcroman1 writes "A manned mission to Mars would be the greatest adventure in the history of the human race. And one man knows how to make it a reality. In fact, he just wrote the book on it — literally. Joel Levine, senior research scientist with NASA's Langley Research Center and co-chair of NASA's Human Exploration of Mars Science Analysis Group, just published 'The Human Mission to Mars: Colonizing the Red Planet.' The book reads like a who's who of Mars mission science, featuring senators, astronauts, astrophysicists, geologists and more on getting to Mars, studying its atmosphere and climate, the psychological and medical effects on the crew and other details. The most interesting bit: Levine presents is a solution for funding the trip, something unprecedented for NASA: advertising. 'The suggestion is marketing to different corporations and professional sports leagues for advertising, which is something NASA never does.'"
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'Colonizing the Red Planet,' a How-To Guide

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  • Advertising! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TechyImmigrant (175943) * on Friday December 31, 2010 @01:42PM (#34723312) Homepage Journal

    The best way to make an expensive thing look cheap.

  • by khallow (566160) on Friday December 31, 2010 @02:11PM (#34723586)

    The worst places on Earth are far easier to explore and colonize than Mars. Even Luna is easier to work with. A base on Luna is mostly a logistic problem; with enough lift capacity, it could be done today. But none of this will ever happen with chemical rockets, except as a nationalistic ego trip.

    Consider your job. Is it easier than living on a beach while picking fruit and fishing? If the answer is "no", then why do you do it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 31, 2010 @02:18PM (#34723664)

    And if it's anything like stadiums, the taxpayers will still pay for most of it, while $BIG_CORPORATION gets to put their name on it.

  • by khallow (566160) on Friday December 31, 2010 @02:21PM (#34723682)
    But there is the crippling counter argument. Mars has ground. Everything you build on Venus either has to be built from the atmosphere or imported. It also can't be too dense that it won't float. That greatly limits what you can do.
  • by perpenso (1613749) on Friday December 31, 2010 @02:36PM (#34723820)

    Really, what's on Mars that can't be done more cheaply by building near earth orbital environments?

    The real estate to spread a colony upon. 1/3 gravity would be healthier. Local water is pretty damn nice too. Easier construction environment, simpler building designs, etc.

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Friday December 31, 2010 @02:41PM (#34723872)

    Mars has a LOT of hydrogen, in the form of good old H2O.

    Venus is a dead end. Sure, you can make floating cities, but HOW would you do this? Venus has no satellites to mine and conditions on the surface are waay too extreme.

  • by khallow (566160) on Friday December 31, 2010 @02:54PM (#34723994)

    well, the modern life is about 10^6 times more pleasant than the hunter gatherer existence, so i will disagree with you there.

    It's not more pleasant than the easiest hunter gatherer existence.

  • Re:Um, why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BadEvilYoda (935532) on Friday December 31, 2010 @03:05PM (#34724076)
    Here's a good answer. At the moment, all of humanity's eggs are in one, and some might argue very fragile, basket. We're exactly one extinction level event away from going the way of the dinosaurs. I agree that another "boots and flags" mission is fairly pointless. But setting up a long-term viable colony on the moon, or Mars, such that the human race has a chance at surviving even if some catastrophe was to happen to Earth, seems like a pretty decent idea. If Shoemaker-Levy 9 had Earth in its crosshairs instead of Jupiter - we had absolutely no chance of stopping it. And, if you want to go out out on an even longer timescale - the sun isn't going to be here forever. Of course, hopefully by that time we will be well past the point of using chemical rockets, etc. But, babysteps... get off this rock first.

10 to the minus 6th power Movie = 1 Microfilm