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Notes on Parts 2 and 3: A New (Moderately) Bold Space Program?

So, the Mars Orbital Laboratory in the story is a compromise mission, falling somewhere between forgoing the challenge, and a no-holds-barred manned research station on Mars.

And remember, while this story reads like science fiction, very little of the science is made up. It really could happen. Granted, I assume that there are fossils of ancient life on Mars waiting to be found. That makes the story more exciting, and that part might be fiction, but we’ll never know if we don’t look...

In the appendix I take a closer look at the technological hurdles facing Mars missions, but assuming I’m correct and the events in the story could happen by 2025, isn’t this an exciting project that’s worth investigating further?

In order for the date to be realistic I assume that a full-tilt fully funded program begins in 2010. This would be along the lines of the Apollo program that got into high-gear right after John F Kennedy’s famous “we choose to go the moon” speech in 1961.

I also assume that the project proceeds with no major setbacks and redesigns, which is perhaps wishful thinking, but is not science fiction. If there are major technical difficulties, or if this administration decides human space-exploration is not a worthwhile investment, then 2025 becomes a dream. But the mission-concept doesn’t recede into fantasy, it will just be delayed until the technology is ready and the public wants to go.

For most people the thrill of the ‘Space Age’ is now either a distant memory, or a story told by prior generations that sounds suspiciously like a fairy tale.

We all know how the fairy tale ended: Shortly after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon in July of 1969, the cost of continuing the Apollo program was deemed too high. Assembly of Saturn rockets was halted, flights were cancelled, and forty-two months later we concluded this spectacular era in human history. We had left home for the first time, and returned safely to Earth.

But a question hung in the 80% nitrogen air: When would we next leave the protective atmosphere of our birth and travel to other worlds? And after that question came others: should we travel to other worlds, and if so, why?

Thirty-seven years have now passed since we left the moon, and the White House is on the cusp of making far-reaching decisions on the future of human spaceflight. I have tried to argue that sometime soon we will be able to plan missions beyond Earth that could yield phenomenal scientific knowledge. Furthermore, if we are clever, we will find ways to execute these missions in a manner that is consistent with stewardship of constrained resources.

But this won’t happen without increased support from the public and from within the scientific community. In recent times Christians have not been known for championing daring scientific research projects like the one in the story. I wonder if that will have changed by 2025.

Email link | Printer-friendly | Feedback | Contributed by: Adrian Wyard


Notes on Parts 2 and 3: A New (Moderately) Bold Space Program?

Space Exploration, Positive Stewardship, and Christian Identity
Sasha’s Story. Part 1: Awesome
Notes on Part 1: Science Fiction vs. Real Life
Sasha’s Story. Part 2: Disappointment
Sasha’s Story. Part 3: History
Appendix: The Science Behind the Story
Suggested Links

Source:

Adrian Wyard

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