Skipping Apollo

I wanted to write about something else, but got behind schedule. This has something related to what I was going to say, but it’s not the lengthy post I had planned.

The Presidents of the United States, both the current and the previous one, have pushed for NASA to go beyond low-earth orbit, but they have disagreed on the destination. One wants to go to the moon; the other wants to go to Mars. The moon was supposed to be a stepping stone to Mars. Not for the actual mission itself. It would waste fuel and time landing and relaunching. No, it would be a stepping stone for knowledge. All the countries who have a space program, whether established or developing, want to go to the moon. They know they need to land on something close-by to learn to land on something faraway.

But the US has already landed on the moon, so they know how to land on Mars, right?

Wrong. It’s been nearly 40 years since anybody’s been there. The only technology around that can do it is the Saturn V rocket, an old piece of machinery that no one really trusts to do the job anymore. How can anyone expect to go to Mars, a seven month journey for Curiosity, the latest rover that landed last week (awesome and perfect name, in my opinion), when they don’t really know how to make a four day journey? You can’t skip the moon, just because your fathers and grandfathers went there.

See you next week.

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~ by lukebringer on August 13, 2012.

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