[ExI] future fizzle

Dave Sill sparge at gmail.com
Sun May 31 01:06:15 UTC 2009

2009/5/30 Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>:
> On Sat, May 30, 2009 at 8:43 PM, Dave Sill <sparge at gmail.com> wrote:
>> We stopped planning for a manned Mars mission when we realized we
>> could accomplish a lot more for the same cost with unmanned missions.
>> They're not as sexy as manned missions, but they're a lot smarter.
> This is a nice rationalisation, but one which ramains at odd with the stated
> plans of the main space agencies of the world.

Firstly, I'm not associated with NASA's space program and I have no
need or desire to rationalize anything in that respect. That's just my
understanding of the facts. Secondly, I don't know the stated plans of
the main space agencies of the world, but I'm pretty sure NASA is the
only one currently exploring Mars--and I think unmanned exploration
that actually happens is way more useful than manned missions that are
always 5 years away.

> And... accomplish what?

Um, exploring Mars?

> In terms of engineering prowess, e.g., nobody would
> deny that unmanned missions executed sofar are *way* less ambitious than
> anything imagined during the Gemini-Apollo age, irrespective of the presence
> of a crew or not...

So you see space missions as a kind of international dick size
contest? NASA may have a small dick, but at they're getting laid.


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