9

"We should wait for all the problems on earth to be solved before going into space". I've seen this sentiment multiple times, and I disagree vehemently. 1. There are other much more worthy targets of this kind of argument Whenever a space mission has cost overruns in the billions, I convert the dollar amount into B-2 bomber equivalents. That is, 2 billion ...


6

Possibly there need to be some definitions here in 'Conquer Mars'. Humanity has had the capability since the Apollo program to fly a small number of people to mars, land them there and maybe even get them back home as long as a large enough pile of money was available (on the order of the entire Apollo budget per mission, but less than US GNP). This concept ...


6

I don't know if planning for a manned Mars mission has progressed to that level of detail yet. I do have some data for the current Mars missions. For the MER missions, the operations team on Earth initially synchronized their schedules to the Mars sol. This was found to be effective, but uncomfortable as it would disrupt the circadian rhythm (they'd be ...


4

Going by delta-v, the Moon is pretty close. The reason we needed such a large rocket for the Apollo missions was that we wanted to land a really heavy spacecraft on the Moon. It needed to be that heavy to be able to take off again, and get back to Earth. The CSM+LM weighed about 45 tons at the start of the mission. In contrast, the Voyagers weighed only ...


4

To my knowledge no mission has attempted to generate electricity from Titan/Saturn's magnetic fields (or Jupiter's for that matter), a list of missions to-date includes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_11 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassini%E2%80%93Huygens Planned ...


3

"We shouldn't spend any money on [insert item of your choice here] until we have solved [insert interest that is dear to your heart here]." In practice, that means we would never spend money on the venture because we can safely assume that the problem that must be solved first will never actually be solved. Anything that is not the problem that needs to be ...


2

Governments do lots of things despite the existence of poverty. Investment in all kinds of science, in the military, in infrastructure, etc. all proceed despite poverty. And this is a good thing. If governments limited themselves to fighting poverty, they might eradicate poverty but we'd be stuck in the 1940s technology-wise. Computers, the internet, modern ...


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