What is it about some of these space enthusiasts ? I was just listening to one of the Sky at Night presenters and he made an inexcusable statement. He said “the shuttle and ISS turned into a space cul-de-sac”. He was talking about a possible mission to Mars, but in the previous piece Peirs Morgan (Astronaut) and a man from the National Space Center had both brilliantly put the Shuttle and ISS into context; the ISS is the start of a possible jumping off point to other planets and the 30 year Shuttle mission showed that space endeavors can be carried out relatively safely. Those missions are hardly a “cul-de-sac”, and saying so forgets what an enormous undertakingit is to get into orbit and carry out the running of the ISS. The entire project is massive and I’d think twice before trading it all for a single Mars mission just to get a token landing on the planet so we can all pat ourselves on the back or just so we can bring back the Apollo days and get all nostalgic and teary eyed. I mean what is going on here ?
The Sky at Night piece treated the lack of an immediate plan for a mission to Mars as some kind of mystery. This just appears really autistic with current events as they are at the moment, since early this year at least (I didn’t watch the piece to the end so someone please tell me if he mentioned current affairs). We have huge problems down here, and some of these enthusiasts think we have time to waltz off to Mars ?! Have they got their head stuck in the proverbial ? If anything the space missions show that people are capable of carrying out the most extraordinary endeavors, so how about a mission to Earth ? How about that ? How about sorting out our societies rather than believing what we see in the adverts and falling for the lie that we have somehow solved all the social problems ? We won’t get to Mars until we can start facing ourselves here on this planet. It’s difficult, but look what we’re capable of. We can do it, it’s time to include Earth on that list of galactic travel destinations.