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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 04:19 AM
Original message
What a piece of work is man...
thanks to Papau for posting this in another forum



How one could not be moved by the mere idea of seeing a photograph of another world, done via the ingenuity of mankind, is beyond me. For those who think space exploration is a waste of resources, just stop and consider. Mankind has ALWAYS been an explorer. To use technology and ideas that are hundreds of years old (newtonian physics) to reach another world and send back pictures just gives me goosebumps.

Space is our future, and to be alive during the very beginning of its exploration is something we should all cherish. A million years from now (provided we survive), our era will be thought of as seminal to everything that follows.

This kind of thing passes too easily through our media-driven world these days. I remember very well as a child TV sets being wheeled into our elementary school classrooms so we could watch the Apollo launches. Of course, that was back in the 60's when the nation had a real commitment to space exploration.

I also remember my parents waking me up in the middle of the night to come down and watch Neil Armstrong step onto the moon.

We need that kind of excitement again. Too many people will read about this explorer and just say "cool" and turn the page. It's more important than that.

Don't take this for granted. Stop and consider what an amazing accomplishment this is, and then think about how it's just a small step for man.
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dolgoruky Donating Member (454 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 04:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. I totally agree...
If we can do this why can't we have a 3 day week?
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bratcatinok Donating Member (786 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 04:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. I was 16
and had a date with the guy of my dreams when Neil Armstrong took the first step on the moon. At the time I was extremely ticked off with my parents that they strongly suggested we stay home and watch. Now I'm extremely grateful they did.

I agree with your sentiments about space exploration. I'm so glad we were successful on this mission. I think we needed this wonderful success after what happened with Columbia because this is generating excitment once again about NASA.
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
15. One of those moments in history...
that at the time seems mundane, but years later, you are so happy to have that moment forever in your memory.

Neil Armstrong, stepping onto the moon, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". What an amazing time.

O8)
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 04:31 AM
Response to Original message
3. Yup :)
(I'll forego my usual opinions that we better get shit right here on earth before we export a doomed culture to other worlds)

Did you happen to catch the two part NOVA special about the mission? If it's re-run, it's a must see. I teared up at the end of the first episode.

Transcript, pics and much more here:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/mars/
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VOX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 04:37 AM
Response to Original message
4. Eloquently stated, D...
I looked at the photos on the JPL Web site this afternoon and was awed: This is Mars -- MARS! That far-off Red Planet of canals and little green men.

The fact that this has been accomplished, and that we are seeing another world, is humbling, in the best possible way.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 04:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I look forward to the day
when I see a human set foot on Mars. With a real commitment from the world community, it could be done. It won't be easy. It won't be cheap. But it's inevitable.

I hope I live long enough to see it.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 05:14 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. 40 Billion bucks to take us to Mars
A mission with people, not just robots.

$40 billion, spread out over a five-year period.

Compare this to the $150+ billion we have spent on Mr. Bush's Excellent Iraqi Adventure in the last year alone.

There are so many better things we could be doing with that money ... even a small fraction of it. $40B to go to Mars is a small expenditure for the results it will have.

And as for our Great Patriotic War? Bupkes.

--bkl
That's Yiddish for "Nada".
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 05:20 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. thanks...
but I'd say that's jumping the gun.

We need to go back to the moon.

We need to establish a base on the moon.

THEN we go to Mars.

I was born in '61. The same time period when we committed to space.

But I think we can do it all within 30 years. That'll make me 72... it'd be great to see it happen.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
23. Beggin' your pardon, but...
what would be the point of that? Isn't this robot's wheel and video camera enough? I'm not swayed by the "because it's there" argument, because it's not just "there" we're talking about but "way, way the frick out there."
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Mikimouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 05:40 AM
Response to Original message
8. I couldn't agree more...
When this mission was only in the initial stages, I re-read a wonderful sci-fi novel from the early 70s. It talked about the future of man as a space wandering group, largely divorced from the original planet and moving from place to place. It took me back to that night in 1969, when my mother and I were glued to the radio (had no TV at the time), listening to the moon landing. I remember thinking that the era of space travel had begun, and wondered what the visionaries (H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and others) would have thought about it. I hope that you are correct in your other post; that we will make it back to the moon in the next thirty years (but, I hope it will be sooner, as I am just older enough that thirty years may be too long for me).
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 06:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. no Miki...
my 30 year hope was for a human on Mars. We should be back on the moon in no more than 8 years.
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Cannikin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Bush capaign slogan:
Keep me in office and I'll make the entire planet look like Mars!
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Mikimouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Sorry, my bad...
but could we speed up the Mars thing? I would kinda like to see that.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. I'd love it too...
but I think our country has changed, much for the worse, since Kennedy's challenge.

He was addressing the generation that fought WWII and their children. It was two generations raised on sacrifice and valor (growing up in the depression, tested in battle). THAT class of Americans thought nothing of going to the moon. Hell, it was a piece of cake compared to what they'd already done.

Alas, it would now take trillions of dollars and three decades to do what they could've done with 2 billion dollars, 12 years, two brave chimpanzees and a couple of modern PC's.

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Mikimouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 06:40 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Your words touched a chord...
"but I think our country has changed, much for the worse, since Kennedy's challenge."
You are entirely correct, and I hate it that you are. I feel the same way. We have lost that wonderful, human quality we once possessed, called curiosity. I am reminded of something I heard three and a half years ago, during my summer in Alaska: "We don't spend much time here, worrying about who is going to pay for emergency management, we worry about getting help to affected areas; the money will take care of itself."
If only we could take the same approach to space exploration. sigh!
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
14. I have always had a great deal of interest in Space...
in fact, I even have a cousin that was worked for NASA, and there is a lot going on that never hits the light of day, perhaps because it might seem mundane to the average American. But the leaps forward in technology has enabled us to keep hope alive that we may someday break the bounds of earth and explore Space on a human level.

For those of you who've never been to the Hubble Heritage site, I give you the link:


http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/hst/hst.html

There are planets, and galaxies galore. Enjoy, and see what, (I hope), future generations may someday understand more about, if not actually get there.

O8)
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
16. I like these unmanned missions are better than the manned ones.
Edited on Wed Jan-07-04 10:41 AM by BurtWorm
They're much cheaper and they're not just about glory, which I personally don't give a shit about. And when a Mars rover lands and sends those strange and beautiful pictures back to earth, it's as though all people are getting the glory, not just some guy who won a lottery.

PS: By cheaper I mean we get way, way more bang for the buck.
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101 Proof Donating Member (319 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
17. Cool pic...
the landscape looks like half the countries in the Middle East...barren, dry, and desolate.

We gotta go someplace cooler than Mars....like volcanically active Io. At least there's something going on there. :)
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Interrobang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
18. Sorry...it's only an unmanned probe...
Space is still *over*; I don't care what you guys think. There's no real percentage in sending people beyond orbit (if there) anymore, now that there isn't a thinly-disguised arms race going on to drive it. Not very many governments even care about space very much anymore, and even the X Prize competitors are a pretty sorry lot -- not that I really want to see corporations take over space, but I think it's almost inevitable.

I just can't really get excited about this. It isn't even the first Mars lander...

You folks have a bad case of "Luke Skywalker Syndrome."
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. I totally agree with you about the sending people into space.
Edited on Wed Jan-07-04 10:49 AM by BurtWorm
There's no good reason to do it. The only reason they're there now is to test how well they can survive in space for long periods. Why? What a colossal waste of resources when these machines have proven how much better they are at space travel than we will ever be. I believe in survival of the fittest. The machines win. I think there are good reasons to send them out, as the extensions of the senses of human science. That's glory enough for me!

PS: I am in favor of unmanned missions with primarily scientific purposes. Manned missions are vanity. There is not one single good reason for them. We will not be taking vacations on the moon or Mars in our life time. I can live very happily with that. But there is good reason to continue exploring the near solar system.

PPS: Did I mention that there's no good reason for manned probes?
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
19. I eat this stuff up--I love the feeling of wonder (nt)
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PVnRT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
20. I remember getting a Newsweek with Voyager 2's first pictures of Neptune
I've always been gung-ho about this. Seeing pictures of a world that is not our own, that is, in fact, billions of miles away - it's humbling.
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
22. I keep waiting for this guy to pop into the picture . . .
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