Saturday, April 26, 2014

NASA Public Relations Working Overtime to Sell Hope for a Manned Mission to Mars

"A manned mission to Mars is necessary for our species to survive," said Charles Bolden as he described a three-step plan to land humans on the red planet by 2030.

The NASA administrator made these remarks at the "Humans to Mars Summit."

Oh wow. Sounds like NASA knows what it will take to ensure the survival of humanity, and they have a plan.


1. Whenever NASA or any scientist talks about our species surviving, they aren't talking about you, Bubba. They aren't talking about the 7 million human beings on planet Earth. They're talking about a plan to take a small crew to another planet in hopes that they will survive there and eventually perpetuate the human species. Understand this: "survival of our species" doesn't have anything to do with you. You won't get to go. They aren't trying to save the people of Earth. Just the DNA. Remember that.

2. Sending humans to Mars may teach us a lot about the challenges, but Mars will never be THE PLANET that makes us a multi-planet species. "Multi-planet species" is just a grand buzz-word made up by NASA PR specialists to make the mission sound realistic and hopeful. The truth is, Mars is a dangerous, hostile place unfit for human habitation. It gets colder than minus 200 degrees F at night. The air is poisonous. The air pressure is a tiny fraction of that of Earth, so your lungs and blood vessels would burst without special space suits. The atmosphere is thin and there's no electromagnetic field to protect against deadly cosmic rays. Worst of all, the gravity of Mars is so small that bones, muscles, heart and brain would deteriorate. We didn't evolve to live on Mars. And there's no solution - you can't change the planet. Our species wouldn't survive there.

3. And no other planet in our solar system is a better candidate. Another solar system? We've never discovered another with a suitable planet. NASA has been ecstatic recently with reports about Kepler 186f, a planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star. It's the most hopeful planet they've found yet. But they can't even tell if it has water there. And guess's 480 light-years away. A space-craft hauling ass at 1 million mph (conventional rockets only travel at 50,000 mph) would take 32,000 years to reach it.

This "multi-planet species" stuff is nothing more than cynical NASA public relations spin. They say what they need to say to keep the public hopeful about their deep space projects, or they won't have support for the high price tag.

Well, Bubba, did you buy that "multi-planet species" stuff? Do you feel hopeful? Are you excited? You ready to pay your taxes for this manned mission to Mars?

Well, are you?

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2014. Building Personal Strength .

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