A Conversation for The Exploration of Mars

Voyage

Post 1

PaulBateman

In the book Voyage by Stephen Baxter it is argued that a manned mission could have occurred in the 1980's. The reason for this not happening was that Nixon had to choose between a reuseable shuttle programme or Von Braun's plans for further Apollo missions and a journey to Mars. The book is really an alternative histiry of what could've happened had Nixon chosen differently. Essentially getting to Mars isn't a problem in terms of technology. But it is a problem in terms of psychology (could people cope that long in space so far away?) and money though saying that the space station will cost about $98,000 million when complete. One arguement for going to Mars in person rather than just sending probes is that even though the journey may have little value in itself, it has the power to inspire others into science the way that the Apollo missions and Yuri Gagarin (I can never spell his name) did.


Voyage

Post 2

Alex A (Keeper of 7)

Excellent book (& BBC Radio4 dramatisation). Mission relies on Venus swing-by to reduce fuel requirements.

I too noticed that for the cost of ISS we could have has a manned Mars mission.

Myabe the US could put similar money into Mars once ISS is complete.


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