[ExI] Manned Spaceflight (Was: future fizzle)

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun May 31 23:19:45 UTC 2009

2009/6/1 John K Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net>:
> "Stathis Papaioannou" <stathisp at gmail.com>
>> If the goal is to put people on Mars, then unmanned missions,
>> unless part > of the preparation, are by definition a failure.
> If the final goal is to put somebody on Mars just so we can put somebody on
> Mars and is not just part of a greater goal then it will lead nowhere. There
> are only 4 general reasons to put people into space:
> 1) Military reasons
> 2) Commercial reasons
> 3) Scientific reasons
> 4) Entertainment reasons
> Nowadays the first 3 can be accomplished much much cheaper and quicker with
> unmanned vehicles, and the fourth reason is quite ephemeral. The first time
> humans went into low earth orbit the world was enthralled, but we've been
> doing it for nearly half a century now and it has turned into a colossal
> bore. The first moon landing was a big hit, everybody loved it, but the
> second time it felt like a repeat and viewers wrote the networks complaining
> that the extended news coverage was interfering with their soap operas.
> Interest picked up again for the third Apollo moon flight, but only because
> it was a failure. I predict that the second successful Mars landing would be
> greeted with a collective yawn and so would not meet any of the 4 reasons
> listed above. So why do it?

Most of science, commerce and even military spending is ultimately for
entertainment purposes, since everything above subsistence is

Stathis Papaioannou

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