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Old February 9 2009, 02:05 AM   #20
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

Kelso wrote: View Post
Squiggyfm wrote: View Post

You can only explore so much using a rover...
So, build a better rover.
We can only do so much and until we invent subspace we won't be able to overcome the signal lag. From the time a message is transmitted from Mars, to the time a correction is inputted and transmitted back to Mars we're look at LEAST at half an hour...any time any thing happens. And if you want unmanned rovers up there handling everything then that's what you're going to have to deal with.

And, if the rovers break, then you're toast. End of Mission. There's no way to fix anything up there.

There's also a payload size issue. We can't take on all these laboratories on to a moving platform. Phoenix couldn't "rove", and if it had landed a couple of miles in any direction it might not have landed on an accessible ice sheet. We got lucky there.

John Picard wrote: View Post
Squiggyfm wrote: View Post
You can only explore so much using a rover...and the people at large don't tend to give a fuck.
I don't buy it. We have two rovers on Mars right now, correct? They've exceeded expectations by operating for years, rather than the original 90 days expected, and for much cheaper than what it would have cost to send three, four, or five people there. And the cost doesn't even take into consideration the economic toll, but also the personal and psychological toll on the astronauts..
I never said that Spirit or Opportunity wasn't cheaper or more cost effective. You can't argue that angle because they simply are. The Rovers went up for a 90 day mission and they've given us over 20 times that. They're damned good little guys but they're camera on wheels. That's it. They aren't labs like Phoenix.

And they're SLOW. In the 1800+ days they've been looking at stuff they've traveled just over 4.6 miles. We're not going to learn much about Mars if we've traveling just over .0001 mph.

There's also the factor of the United States maintaining dominance in space. We've got enough with the ISS for our STS/Orion gap not to do too much damage but if we were to wait until the end of the decade to get back into the business of launching humans, then we've ceded that ground and since there isn't a clearly defined "them" to beat.

If you want to send rovers to Mars, then expect China to pass us before 2030.
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