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  • Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

    Leslie M. Golden
    Published January 20, 2004

    Oak Park -- As an astronomer who worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Aerospace Corp. in El Segundo, Calif., before entering academia, I am glad to respond to the lack of vision expressed by numerous writers to your page on Jan. 16 criticizing President Bush's moon/Mars initiative.

    One letter went on and on about the need for medical research. The low mass, low size and low power requirements of space technology have yielded devices such as CAT scans, MRI machines, programmable heart pacemakers, laser surgery, stent arterial implants and kidney dialysis machines. These have saved countless lives and have increased the quality of life for countless more.

    In response to the funding that resulted from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, tens of thousands of the brightest Americans entered into engineering, physics, mathematics and computer science. With the end of Apollo, that workforce was disassembled; the demand for people in these fields decreased; university departments in physics, astronomy and geology were disbanded; and we lost this educated base. Only with a massive venture such as President Bush envisions will the tens of thousands who love mathematics, astronomy and physics again find career opportunities in those fields, and we will no longer find that the world expertise in computer software, manufacturing and engineering resides in China, Hong Kong, India, Israel and Ireland.

    The letter questioning the "practical benefits" of such a program ignores the spin-off of the previous space venture. Communication satellites, cell phones, PCs, palm pilots, weather satellites, Doppler radar, digital cameras, microwave ovens, quartz watches, TV satellite dishes, home security systems and countless other devices benefit hundreds of millions worldwide.

    Even in astronomy, arrays of telescopes operating from gamma rays to radio waves and separated by distances as great as the diameter of the moon could be constructed. Such would allow ease of maintenance and upgrading by moon-based astronomers that would be accomplished with great difficulty for telescopes in orbit.

    Bush's bold new venture will require 21st Century research. In materials, ultra-strong, light, radiation-resistant material for the spacecraft outer layers will have to be developed. Mega-wideband communication technology will be developed for transmission of data. Safe, radiation-shielded, nuclear engines are proposed for the flight to Mars.

    Clearly the time will come when such technology will be applied to commercial aircraft, shipping, land-based transportation and factories, decreasing our demand for oil and removing a major source of global warming. The physiological effects of weightlessness will be studied intensely.

    The results of such new technology can only be guessed. One, however, can envision benefits in medical technology, materials, communications, electronics, transportation, physiology and geriatrics, which will dwarf the benefits of the much more modest Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.

    Studies show that the expenditures on the space program have generated the greatest benefit per dollar spent. That's what happens when the brightest are fully employed. This is in addition to the glorification of the human spirit, the fulfillment of our need for exploration, and the global goodwill that will result from what will be an international effort.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/p...commentary-hed
    Please Re-update your Signature

  • #2
    Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

    India makes history by being the first nation to successfully keep a satellite in Mars Orbit in the first attempt

    More here
    Not knowing what one doesn't know will lead to difficulty

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars




      (CNN) -- India's Mars Orbiter Mission successfully entered Mars' orbit Wednesday morning, becoming the first nation to arrive on its first attempt and the first Asian country to reach the Red Planet.

      "We have gone beyond the boundaries of human enterprise and human imagination," declared India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who watched from the space agency's nerve center in Bangalore. "We have accurately navigated our spacecraft through a route known to a very few."

      The staff at the Indian Space Research Organization erupted into applause and cheers after learning that the Mars Orbiter Mission, also known as Mangalyaan, reached the planet's orbit and the history books.

      Before Wednesday, only the United States, Europe and the Soviets have successfully sent spacecraft to Mars.

      "The odds were stacked against us," Modi said. "Of the 51 missions attempted so far, a mere 21 had succeeded. But we have prevailed."

      And India reached Mars with significantly less money.

      With a price tag of $74 million, the Mars Orbiter Mission cost a mere fraction of the $671 million NASA spent on its MAVEN spacecraft, which arrived to Mars earlier this week. Some space observers noted that India's Mars orbiter cost less than the $100 million budget for the space thriller film "Gravity."

      Interactive: Exploring Mars from Viking to MAVEN

      "It shows how optimal is the design, that way we're able to cut cost and we're not compromising quality," said S. Satish, a space expert based in Bangalore.

      The groundbreaking Mars mission wasn't without controversy -- with some critics who said India should spend the money on other issues.

      The spacecraft launched on November 5, and has traveled over 650 million kilometers to enter Mars orbit. Its mission is to orbit the Red Planet, mapping its surface and studying the atmosphere.

      The mission has been freighted with patriotic significance for India since its inception and is seen as a symbolic coup over its rival, China, which is also ramping up its space ambitions.

      China's joint mission with Russia in 2011, which contained the Chinese Mars satellite Yinhuo-1, stalled and eventually fell back to Earth. Japan's 1998 attempt with the spacecraft Nozomi was also unsuccessful due to fuel problems.

      READ: Is India's Mars mission the latest escalation in Asia's space race?

      Once nears Mars' orbit, India's spacecraft had to execute a series of complicated and critical maneuvers. About half of all spacecraft sent on missions to the planet have veered off course, malfunctioned or crashed.

      India's Mars Orbiter Mission is in the company of NASA's two Mars rovers on the ground, a European orbiter and NASA orbiters including the MAVEN, which has been there since Sunday.

      The United States has expressed interest in cooperating with India as their spacecraft gather data about the planet.

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      Not knowing what one doesn't know will lead to difficulty

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      • #4
        Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

        This is a wonderful moment for India. I am happy to hear of the successful insertion into Mars orbit of the MOM spacecraft.

        History has shown us that this is no easy feat. Mars is like a "Bermuda Triangle" for craft sent there.

        To achieve this on the first try is really exciting and something to be proud of.
        Not knowing what one doesn't know will lead to difficulty

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

          Animation of the MOM Orbit

          http://www.space.com/27239-india-s-f...animation.html
          Not knowing what one doesn't know will lead to difficulty

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

            Originally posted by Vishnu View Post
            This is a wonderful moment for India. I am happy to hear of the successful insertion into Mars orbit of the MOM spacecraft.

            History has shown us that this is no easy feat. Mars is like a "Bermuda Triangle" for craft sent there.

            To achieve this on the first try is really exciting and something to be proud of.
            A better use of resources for India would be to eliminate it's caste system, it's poverty problem where people use the rivers for bathing, laundry and refuse. What good does a satellite orbiting Mars do for the overwhelming majority of Indians back home?
            "When a man sees the road as long he weakens in his walk." Ibn Qayyim

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

              Originally posted by Musbah View Post
              A better use of resources for India would be to eliminate it's caste system, it's poverty problem where people use the rivers for bathing, laundry and refuse. What good does a satellite orbiting Mars do for the overwhelming majority of Indians back home?
              Everything has its place

              One need not be in exclusion of other

              Technological advancement takes its own time, just like poverty alleviation. A nation cannot make up one day and say, I want to put my own weather / communication / defense reconnaisance satellite by next year. Things like these are developed over decades.

              India is making a slow progress in achieving better standard of living for its people. Decade on decade, living standards have improved, though there is a lot yet to be done

              Stopping one field doesn't result in advancement of other
              Not knowing what one doesn't know will lead to difficulty

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

                I'd love to travel in space

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

                  Originally posted by Musbah View Post
                  A better use of resources for India would be to eliminate it's caste system, it's poverty problem where people use the rivers for bathing, laundry and refuse. What good does a satellite orbiting Mars do for the overwhelming majority of Indians back home?
                  Wow, do you also spend your time making those nasty troll posts on all the youtube videos ?

                  What a horrible jealous post you just made Musbah.

                  Well done India, this was a remarkable achievement. The technological advances made along with the highly trained workforce India is now producing will attract investment and will eventually help those in India who are less well off.
                  ''....And from the best ways of dealing with the ignorant is to ignore and avoid them. This is because if you debate with them, they beat you, and if you beat them they will end up hating you, and will not admit you are correct. Therefore ignore them''

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

                    Whenever I hear stuff about "technological advances," I just ask myself what is the point?

                    Yeah "resources" this and "minerals" that, but why bother? Why not spend time working on the issues we have here instead of "exploring" and only creating more issues?

                    Speaking of which, Musbah makes a good point. India has one of the worst, if not the worst, poverty issue. It's truly disgusting when people can spend on so much unnecessary extravagance and can't put a dime in the cup of a homeless man.

                    And it's people like Stogie who fuel such governments and encourage them. As if the government can't afford to stop it. Do you really think this will solve the poverty issue of India? If so, then you are truly ignorant.
                    If Allah & his Messenger :saw: ordered us to breathe in a certain way, we would say: "سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا We hear & We obey"
                    “Whoever turns away from my Sunnah has nothing to do with me.” (al-Bukhaari)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

                      A lot of scientific breakthroughs have had beneficial side effects for the whole world. Space related technology has helped us to miniaturise electronic components. There's a really long list. If you're really interested you can google this.

                      I also think it's wrong to pick on India and its poverty. All the so called rich western countries have their fair share of poverty, homelessness and social ills. A lot of things have got to run hand in hand. You can't stop everything just to concentrate on one thing, then when that's sorted begin the next thing, etc. it's not possible. Governments have got to multitask. Countries need to utilise their in house expertise otherwise all the boffins run off to the west to make $$$$$$$s (in the case of India).
                      Last edited by chameleon; 24-09-14, 04:40 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

                        Originally posted by Bint Radical View Post
                        Whenever I hear stuff about "technological advances," I just ask myself what is the point?

                        Yeah "resources" this and "minerals" that, but why bother? Why not spend time working on the issues we have here instead of "exploring" and only creating more issues?

                        Speaking of which, Musbah makes a good point. India has one of the worst, if not the worst, poverty issue. It's truly disgusting when people can spend on so much unnecessary extravagance and can't put a dime in the cup of a homeless man.

                        And it's people like Stogie who fuel such governments and encourage them. As if the government can't afford to stop it. Do you really think this will solve the poverty issue of India? If so, then you are truly ignorant.
                        That was rude of you Bint Radical.

                        I find it odd that when you say that you -- "hear stuff about "technological advances," I just ask myself what is the point?"

                        Its odd because you wrote that on a computer, powered by electricity and transmitted over the internet. You probably wont die of Smallpox and your kids wont die of Dysentry, you wont freeze in the winter and you probably drive in a car to work, you can use a mobile device that sits in the palm of your hand that you can use to access the worlds knowledge on the internet or just use it to call your mum wherever in the world she may be.

                        Theres lots of points to technological advances Bint Radical, though perhaps you were vague and actually meant what technologies has space exploration given us ?

                        Well, you got satellite navigation, most of us use this a lot, you got LED lights, you got ear thermometers, oh heck, im not going to list them, I dont have the time,

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off_technologies

                        http://www.techradar.com/news/world-...ace-for-617847

                        Thats just 2 links, I could give you a dozen more links in 5 minutes if I had to.


                        The vast majority of the money that the Indian government spent on this project did not go on equipment ( India is remarkably frugal when it comes to equipment ) no, it went on paying high wages to thousands of Indian men and women over many years, who spend that money, in India, and the money trickles down.



                        I still cant believe you called me ignorant, that was really rude.
                        Last edited by Stogie; 24-09-14, 06:22 PM.
                        ''....And from the best ways of dealing with the ignorant is to ignore and avoid them. This is because if you debate with them, they beat you, and if you beat them they will end up hating you, and will not admit you are correct. Therefore ignore them''

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

                          Money 'trickling down' will not end poverty. It needs a direct approach. Paying high wages to the workers will only increase the gap between the rich and poor, making the situation worse if anything. You American? Surely living in a capitalist society would teach you this.
                          If Allah & his Messenger :saw: ordered us to breathe in a certain way, we would say: "سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا We hear & We obey"
                          “Whoever turns away from my Sunnah has nothing to do with me.” (al-Bukhaari)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

                            Originally posted by Bint Radical View Post
                            Money 'trickling down' will not end poverty. It needs a direct approach. Paying high wages to the workers will only increase the gap between the rich and poor, making the situation worse if anything. You American? Surely living in a capitalist society would teach you this.
                            He doesn't want an explanation from you. He's hurt that you called him "ignorant". Throw him an apology so he can get his dignity back..lolol
                            "When a man sees the road as long he weakens in his walk." Ibn Qayyim

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Benefits Of A Mission To Mars

                              Originally posted by Musbah View Post
                              He doesn't want an explanation from you. He's hurt that you called him "ignorant". Throw him an apology so he can get his dignity back..lolol
                              He said it himself. Obv he thinks a trip to mars will clean up the slums and end India's poverty.
                              If Allah & his Messenger :saw: ordered us to breathe in a certain way, we would say: "سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا We hear & We obey"
                              “Whoever turns away from my Sunnah has nothing to do with me.” (al-Bukhaari)

                              Comment

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