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Posted: 12/17/2001 12:41:58 PM EDT
Hi, I was wondering who here would support some kind of goverment launched manned mission to Mars? Just wondering because it seams like it might acutaly happen now with the findings of the 2001 Mars orbiter. A great book to read on the subject is The Case for Mars, by Robert Zubrin.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 12:46:11 PM EDT
Mars, Europa - let's get off the earth. I'd like to see us get all we can from unmanned flights - less money - and then move to manned flights to the places of the most interest.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 12:48:40 PM EDT
Yes, but I don't want just an Apollo program go-and-then-forget-it approach. We need to have an active human colony on Mars.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 12:51:28 PM EDT
prince henry the navigator and ferdinand and isabella sponsored exploration, so why not? i'd like to get off this little dustmote before we ruin it.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 12:51:48 PM EDT
I agree, another flags and footprints program would be a disaster, when we go to mars or back to the moon for that matter it should, and it will be to stay.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 1:10:56 PM EDT
One step at a time guys! I think a base on the Moon or at least a decent space station complex would be needed first to aid in vehicle assembly and preparation. We can't launch an Earth to Mars capable vehicle in one piece. I totally support the goal of getting a self-sufficient colony started off-Earth. Has anyone done serious research about firearms that work in a vacuum? I heard the Soviets had an AK-47V("V" for vacuum), can anyone confirm this rumor?
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 1:19:22 PM EDT
AR, AFAIK, ANY firearm with self-contained cartridges should work in a vacuum: the oxygen needed to ignite the gunpowder is contained within the case. At least that is what I have read on the subject.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 1:25:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2001 1:17:52 PM EDT by lurker]
Originally Posted By RikWriter: AR, AFAIK, ANY firearm with self-contained cartridges should work in a vacuum: the oxygen needed to ignite the gunpowder is contained within the case. At least that is what I have read on the subject.
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but you'd definitely want a good muzzle brake to keep from recoiling off into space. vacuum is no problem, but zero-g is. next question, what are we planning to shoot at in space?
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 1:28:28 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 1:30:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 1:34:03 PM EDT
I could not disagree more with AR-10 pointer, no offense. The principal reason that the bush atempt to launch a Manned Mission to mars, dubed the Space Exploration Initive failed to receive support was that it called for a comic book infrastructer in space before a mission could be atempted. Also the mission archeture had the crew spend nearly all their time in space, and only 1 month on the surface, that seems kinda small to me on a two year mission. The beter architecture, and the current baselin is called and conjunction class mission in which a craft is launched when mars is just bellow the horizion, and rendevous with mars just as it swings past earth. With this mission it's 6 months out, 14 months on the surface, and 5 months back. Also the need for on orbit assembly and infrastructure should be kept to a minium in the intrest of a program that is both robusy, and cost effective, there for sustainable. The mars direct plan requires three launches of a saturn V class boster every 2 years. One carries out an earth return vehicle, the other two launched at the next window are a hab and a backup ERV. The hab arrives first and the first ERV site, the second ERV, assuming all goes well and it's not needed is directed to land a second site in preporation for the next mission. This is made possible by using the resources avalible on Mars, namley that atmoshphere to create air and fuel. I am willing to guess that the mass estimates for Mars Direct are a little on the low side, and thaat 5 launches every 2 years would be required to sustain a permant effort. This is a very affordable proposition, estimated at around 3 billion anualy, or the cost of four shuttle launches. Recent technologies such as the inflatavle Transhab and solar electric propolsion may drive down the cost/launch mass even more! All of this can be done without a lunar base or a space station.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 1:43:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: Good Grief! Didn't you watch any Sci-Fi/Monster flics when you were a Kid? Space is crawling with all sorts of, of, ALIENS!
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these aliens, are they from (shudder) france? the horror!
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 1:48:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 1:58:08 PM EDT
where is the begin colonizing option???? I want to be the warlord of mars....
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 2:04:10 PM EDT
I am a NASA employee, and, yes, most emphatically, we should go to Mars and do it soon. We have all the technology we need, not to mention adequately trained and motivated volunteers, to pull it off very successfully. I, too, have read Zubrin's book and his "Mars Direct" approach (which utilizes carbon dioxide and other resources available on Mars to manufacture propellant for the return trip home) is the best I have seen so far. It basically uses the same approach all successful explorations have used to a certain extent: live off the land and the local resources! Unfortunately, there is too much politics at NASA for common sense to prevail. The only way a relatively low cost and successful Mars mission will happen is if large numbers of common sense folks like on this board would lobby Congressmen and Senators. And besides, I'd like to experiment firsthand with .223 and .308 ballistics in the CO2 atmosphere of Mars!!! [:D]
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 2:17:12 PM EDT
hey, I really want to try skeet shooting in mars gravity!
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 2:50:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 2:57:39 PM EDT
Lets put all the liberals on a spaceship to colonize Mars and accidentally forget the extra Oxygen supply.......Oops............
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 3:01:41 PM EDT
I don't know.......who do you want to send?
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 3:41:05 PM EDT
Here is another thought on conventional weapons in the vacuum of space. Would a normal cartride stay together in a complete vacuum? Some say it would fire because the oxygen that is needed for the propellant is already contained in the cartridge, but in a vacuum wouldn't the ambient air trapped inside have the potential to push either the bullet or primer out of the case? I work with electronics, but don't mess much with vacuums, so someone please enlighten me.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 3:47:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ponyboy: Some say it would fire because the oxygen that is needed for the propellant is already contained in the cartridge, but in a vacuum wouldn't the ambient air trapped inside have the potential to push either the bullet or primer out of the case?
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No.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 3:49:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2001 3:43:13 PM EDT by fight4yourrights]
[size=5]NO! Avoid the gravity well! Go to the asteroid belt, everything we need is there. Why do Mars? There isn't much there for us and it's too energy intensive.[/size=5]
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 3:49:46 PM EDT
Ponyboy You raise an intresting point, the residual oxygen in a case would cause it to explode. What you would need is to use a oxidized solid propelant, not unlike solid fuel rockets. All that means is you would use a different type of powder, very doable.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 3:59:55 PM EDT
Why do Mars?
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1) Mars is mythic; it's inspired mythology for millenia and science fiction for decades. By contrast, no one is going to get excited about a mission to asteroid JDP-490232R. 2) Mars might have life. 3) Mars has the (very slight) potential of being terraformed. 4) Mars is closer. 5) Mars has better scenery.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 4:04:49 PM EDT
"slight chance of terraforming"?! I'll give when we will terraform and how long it will take are up for debate, but I think that it is one of those things that we will do inevitably.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 4:14:39 PM EDT
Sure, I'll go. Who's driving? High Performance Tactical Gear! [url]www.Lightfighter.com[/url]
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 4:32:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Renamed: 1) Mars is mythic; it's inspired mythology for millenia and science fiction for decades. By contrast, no one is going to get excited about a mission to asteroid JDP-490232R.
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Yes, but so was the moon and you can see where THAT got us. No where.
2) Mars might have life.
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Doesn't really matter. We've already gotten *proof* that life does/did exist on Mars. Unmanned probes can confirm that information.
3) Mars has the (very slight) potential of being terraformed.
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I hear that it's happening now! Global warming! Again, all the minerals and resources we need are in the asteroid belt. Once we build ships there, we can worry about paying the costs of the Gravity Well of a planet.
4) Mars is closer.
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Closer, but longer to get there. Since it's a Gravity Well, we need to bring more fuel to land. We can get to the asteroid belt faster.
5) Mars has better scenery.
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I might concede that point.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 4:59:44 PM EDT
We definitely need to push for mars. It's amazing how we managed to go from having nothing in space at all to walking a man on the moon in a single decade. If we push like that again (in all areas of useful science) we would excel beyond belief. It's frustrating looking back to predictions people had about our current time several decades ago. We seem to advance so much more slowly than we could with a little effort....
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:05:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: Well, I support the effort of exploration if for no other reason than to develop technology. No doubt we will find things of immense value, but some of these things are unknown to us at present.
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I think you've hit the nail on the head with that. I wonder what this new guy in charge of NASA thinks about a mars mission. I heard that the last guy had been ridiculed for pushing too hard for mars...and I was a little shocked because I never thought he was doing nearly enough.
But I hope you have effective counters to all the "What about the POOR?, What about the CHILDREN?, and the What about the HOMELESS? counter-arguments you'll get.
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"Get a job" except for the kids, who can "get an education"
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:12:08 PM EDT
We have a go for launch.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:30:39 PM EDT
Years ago I was working on cases to haul modules for the Space Station. At that time, we had spent $9 billion on the Space Station and had NO HARDWARE to show for it. All the money was burned up in redesign after redesign as Congress kept playing with the funding. Mars sounds good, but what then? Get there like we did the moon and then sit back and say "done"? No. We need a solid plan with long term, stable planning.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:38:32 PM EDT
[i]In an alarming forecast, Steven Hawking states "I don't think that the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space." "Although September 11 was horrible, it didn't threaten the survival of the human race, like nuclear weapons do." "In the long term I am more worried about biology. Nuclear weapons need large facilities, but genetic engineering can be done in a small lab. You can't regulate every lab in the world." "The danger is that, either by accident or design, we create a virus that destroys us. I don't think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet." "But I'm an optimist. We will reach out to the stars."[/i]
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 6:04:04 PM EDT
I think Hawking is showing an alarmism that stems from commenting outside his field (the bane of many a specialist). Yes, genetically engineered virii could kill a signifcant portion of humanity, but it could not kill off everyone. It could even, conceivably, cause a partial collapse of civilization, but it will not kill off the species.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 6:05:50 PM EDT
January 31 2009. The first humans land on the dusty planes of Utopia Planeta. They land within 5 meters of their ERV and spend the next year exploring mars with preasurized rovers. July 7 2010. The first arives in Earth Orbit, dock at a second generation comercial space station and return to earth on a Aurora derived civilian SSTO. Febuary 3 2011. The second crew arives Utopia Planeta base camp and add dock their hab to the first doubling the size of the camp. This crew brings with them drilling equipment and takes advantage of a hot spring a few miles from base camp discovered by the first mission. A pipeline is layed down and the base now has an ample supply of water. Due to this future ERVs can carry more cargo due to they will no longer have to bring hydrogen to make fuel. January 6 2013. The third mission brings equipment to constuct a more permanant base, this will be the first crew to stay over for two mission segement. and so it goes every 2 years another crew is sent out adding to the base and bringing more eqipment to make it more and more self contained until it can support terraforming, terraforming would start in the 2030 time frame and be done in the early 2090's to 2130's.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 6:54:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2001 6:47:44 PM EDT by zonan]
Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist: January 31 2009. The first humans land on the dusty planes of Utopia Planeta. They land within 5 meters of their ERV and spend the next year exploring mars with preasurized rovers. July 7 2010. The first arives in Earth Orbit, dock at a second generation comercial space station and return to earth on a Aurora derived civilian SSTO. Febuary 3 2011. The second crew arives Utopia Planeta base camp and add dock their hab to the first doubling the size of the camp. This crew brings with them drilling equipment and takes advantage of a hot spring a few miles from base camp discovered by the first mission. A pipeline is layed down and the base now has an ample supply of water. Due to this future ERVs can carry more cargo due to they will no longer have to bring hydrogen to make fuel. January 6 2013. The third mission brings equipment to constuct a more permanant base, this will be the first crew to stay over for two mission segement. and so it goes every 2 years another crew is sent out adding to the base and bringing more eqipment to make it more and more self contained until it can support terraforming, terraforming would start in the 2030 time frame and be done in the early 2090's to 2130's.
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I hope your time frame is right, but I think it's much too optimistic in all respects...unfortunately. A manned mission to mars? Certainly not this decade, maybe not even the next. Look how little we've accomplished since the end of apollo. The last 20 years have been almost completely filled with nearly pointless shuttle launches. Now so much is being devoted to the space station, with almost no scientific value.... I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see a permanent colony on mars or the moon in the next 30, 40, maybe 50 years. And as for your timescale on terraforming.... I guess it is a gradual thing, so what do you mean by "done." If you mean human life could be supported with no equipment, that we could just walk around outside in jeans and a shirt, then your guess of c. 2100 is much too optimistic. Even establishing self-reliant, martian plant life by that time will be a very difficult task. In books like Red Planet/Green Planet/etc. by kim stanley robinson it makes it sound easy, but we're talking about increasing the thickness of the atmosphere 50-fold. Quite a task. Most people seem to think it would take 1000 years.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 7:05:41 PM EDT
I personaly think that we'll be able to terraform faster then the baseling time scales because A.) Mars is becoming warmed and wetter on it's own B.) Recent studies are showing that the volitile inventory of the planet is much higher then initialy belived, and my definition of done is shirtsleves, a breathable atmosphere will take considerably longer due to the lack of nitrogen. Personaly it is my hope that we will be able to engineer the children born on mars to have a higher CO2 tolerance so maybe as a species we could meet the planet half way. I think this decade is viable, granted unlikley but I like to be optimistic! The technology has existed for a decade. If it dosn't happen in this decade in will almost certinly in the next. Althought by that time it could very well be a private group like the Mars Society that launchs and oporates the missions rather than NASA. The WORST thing that could happen thought is if it's a NASA mission and they decide it should be multinational. That is what screwed the space station, and is the kiss of death of any major project.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 10:13:50 PM EDT
NASA doesn't have the budget for it. The budget is currently around $13B and Space Station eats about half of it. A trip to Mars would be much costlier. I don't think Congress would be willing to pony up $100B for a trip to Mars unless there was a huge return on the investment. There are no launch vehicles capable of bringing sufficient materials to build a suitable vehicle. Saturn Vs were retired many years ago. That means a bunch of Shuttle trips at roughly $500M each. There is no political will or competition from enemies to drive Americans to go on a manned mission to Mars. The trip would take upwards of 4-5 years to execute. Manned missions serve little scientific value other than researching human-space physiological interaction. Most everything can be accomplished with remote vehicles.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 10:24:33 PM EDT
I volunteer to go. I have no womenz, no job, and no life. Sitting for a year in isolation would be business as usual for me. I would be more than happy to count mars rocks and stuff.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 10:24:34 PM EDT
Yes, we should get to Mars... ...or at least fake a trip. [:D] We should also get back to the moon, and establish residency there. This will probably require some new transport equipment to be implimented.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 11:05:46 PM EDT
Can you people say MOON?, I think it would be in our best interest to explore the Moon fully before we even consider a trip to Mars.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 4:47:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist: "slight chance of terraforming"?! I'll give when we will terraform and how long it will take are up for debate, but I think that it is one of those things that we will do inevitably.
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Perhaps it is inevitable, but it will be very slow and very expensive. It wouldn't be a selling point for a Mars trip in the next few years. And for all we know, by the time we're ready to start, there could be political obstacles, too -- "Save the endangered Martian bacteria!" [whacko]
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 4:52:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Originally Posted By Renamed: 1) Mars is mythic; it's inspired mythology for millenia and science fiction for decades. By contrast, no one is going to get excited about a mission to asteroid JDP-490232R.
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Yes, but so was the moon and you can see where THAT got us. No where.
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No, it got us to the moon. Granted, we didn't do much once we got there, but there would have been no public support (and thus no Apollo program) at all if the moon hadn't been such an exciting goal.
2) Mars might have life.
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Doesn't really matter. We've already gotten *proof* that life does/did exist on Mars. Unmanned probes can confirm that information.
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We have [b]proof[/b]? Please, tell me more.
3) Mars has the (very slight) potential of being terraformed.
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I hear that it's happening now! Global warming! Again, all the minerals and resources we need are in the asteroid belt. Once we build ships there, we can worry about paying the costs of the Gravity Well of a planet.
4) Mars is closer.
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Closer, but longer to get there. Since it's a Gravity Well, we need to bring more fuel to land. We can get to the asteroid belt faster.
5) Mars has better scenery.
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I might concede that point.
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Link Posted: 12/18/2001 4:57:13 AM EDT
Spend billions of dollars in tax money to reach a nearly airless desert? Hell no! If private industry wants to devote their resources to it, then they may certainly do so with my blessing. I can even see giving them tax breaks for doing the R&D. This "man's destiny is in space" is a lot of Ben Bova/Isaac Asimov/Robert Heinlein hooey from the stuff they wrote in the 50's and 60's.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 5:03:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2001 4:57:53 AM EDT by DnPRK]
There are some very serious human physiology problems with long term space travel. Our bodies depend on gravity. Muscles atrophy, cartilige deteriorates and the ability to remove mucus from the nose and lungs goes to hell. The astronauts that spend months on the space station come back really f*ed up. A 1.5 year trip to/from Mars doesn't seem possible unless we can create artificial gravity or find a way to make the trip really, really fast. Besides, the socialists in .gov would never let those EEEEEEVVVVIIIIILLLLL menz have the money when there are so many crack ho's to support.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 5:27:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2001 5:21:47 AM EDT by fight4yourrights]
Originally Posted By Renamed:
Originally Posted By fight4yourrights: We've already gotten *proof* that life does/did exist on Mars. Unmanned probes can confirm that information.
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We have [b]proof[/b]? Please, tell me more.
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Umm, don't you remember the meteor they found with the fossil record? Here's straight from NSA: [img]http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/mars/images/mars_meteor2060.jpg[/img] [url]http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/mars/science/ancient/[/url]
A NASA research team of scientists at the Johnson Space Center and at Stanford University has found evidence that strongly suggests primitive life may have existed on Mars more than 3.6 billion years ago. The NASA-funded team found the first organic molecules thought to be of Martian origin; several mineral features characteristic of biological activity; and possible microscopic fossils of primitive, bacteria-like organisms inside of an ancient Martian rock that fell to Earth as a meteorite. This array of indirect evidence of past life was reported in the Aug. 16, 1996 issue of the journal Science, presenting the investigation to the scientific community at large to reach a future consensus that will either confirm or deny the team's conclusion.
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Link Posted: 12/18/2001 5:43:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Golgo-13: Spend billions of dollars in tax money to reach a nearly airless desert? Hell no! If private industry wants to devote their resources to it, then they may certainly do so with my blessing. I can even see giving them tax breaks for doing the R&D. This "man's destiny is in space" is a lot of Ben Bova/Isaac Asimov/Robert Heinlein hooey from the stuff they wrote in the 50's and 60's.
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No, it is a lot of plain, hard fact. Man's destiny is either in space or nowhere. We can either expand or die. I hope there are people wiser than yourself making those decisions when the time comes.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 6:30:28 AM EDT
The famous Mars meteorite, ALH 84001, provides evidence that Mars [b]might[/b] have supported life at one time, but it's not conclusive. [url]http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lpi/meteorites/life.html[/url] As far as I know, most scientists still consider the possibility of life on Mars (past or present) an open question.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 6:33:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: [No, it is a lot of plain, hard fact. Man's destiny is either in space or nowhere. We can either expand or die. I hope there are people wiser than yourself making those decisions when the time comes.
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On what, other than that [b]you[/b] think it is a good idea, are you basing this assessment that man's destiny is in space is a "plain, hard fact?"
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 6:59:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Golgo-13: On what, other than that you think it is a good idea, are you basing this assessment that man's destiny is in space is a "plain, hard fact?"
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I could just as easily ask on what, other than what [b]you[/b] think, are you basing your comments that we do not need to expand into space. But the facts are, species go extinct. Millions of them have gone extinct since the development of multicellular life, from a variety of causes. There is no reason to think this will change, that humans are exempt from this. If we want to avoid this, if we believe it is a good thing that the human species continues, we can't keep all our genetic eggs in the one, fragile basket that is Earth. We also know that civilization is prone to collapse...right now, we have the technological know-how and the resources to go into space. We simply lack the will. There is no way of knowing how long this period of high technological advancement will last. If we blow this chance, we may not get another.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 7:03:12 AM EDT
Your answer presupposes that preserving Homo sapiens is, in itself, necessary as opposed to simply desirable for some, a suppositon of which I am not at all convinced.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 7:05:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Golgo-13: On what, other than that [b]you[/b] think it is a good idea, are you basing this assessment that man's destiny is in space is a "plain, hard fact?"
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Yes, it is a FACT that we must leave this planet or face extinction. Forget about the bacteria, nuclear war, comets, asteroids, etc.... eventually our sun will die and when it does it will swell up and scorch our planet. Even if we moved the planet the sun eventually won't support life on this planet. It's a FACT. We leave or die. (yes, we are talking 10's of millions of years)
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