Dec 04 2006

My Day Job: Back To The Moon, Onto Mars

Published by at 11:20 pm under All General Discussions

NASA has finally announced the plans for going back to the Moon, and from there onto Mars. Consider this an Explorer’s Open Thread and I will try to answer any questions I can. This is what I do when I am not blogging. And I hope to do this until the day I die, and given the schedule the timing could not be better. It is one of mankind’s most important moments. And an endeavour I believe will unite the planet once again – just as Apollo did. I have many meetings coming up, but I will try to do my best to answer questions!

20 responses so far

20 Responses to “My Day Job: Back To The Moon, Onto Mars”

  1. Mark78 says:

    If anyone is interested I just finished my interview with Tommy Franks #2 on what he knew about Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda while planning for the invasion. He mentioned some NEW intelligence on the link between the two. Solid intelligence yet to be seen.

    3-Star General reveals additional details of former regime’s ties to terror (al Qaeda)

  2. Kaz-Man says:

    If this is going to be a multi-national effort, then who is with us? I don’t trust the Russians or the Chinese. The Euros don’t seem to give a crap.
    Don’t get me wrong- I love the idea. Scientific endeavors of this kind are worth all of the risk. Do we dare go it alone?

  3. AJStrata says:


    We work with the Russians and Europeans right now on space station. In fact Russia has provided us needed back up when the shuttle accident occurred and our birds were grounded.

    We will not go it all alone, but like usual we will foot much of the bill. There are space agencies across the world who could and would participate on some level, from Japan and Korea to Argentina and India. And the Europeans can participate through ESA, their EU level organization, or through each country’s independent space agencies.

    I am pretty sure Iran and North Korea are off the invite list.


  4. TomAnon says:

    Any job openings to do something a little more altruistic?

  5. HaroldHutchison says:

    All well and good… but shouldn’t we shift our priorities? IIRC, 99942 Apophis could hit in 2036. Wouldn’t it be logical to make it go away before we do the permanent manned moon base?

  6. Mike M. says:

    The real problems are political will….and timing.

    I have to confess that I have never had much liking for the Ares/Orion system. It’s too much a warmed-over Apollo program. I would have preferred keeping the Shuttle program going…..while pouring funds into parallel scramjet and SSTO programs to develop a sucessor that would be a lot cheaper to operate.

    My fear is that the political will just isn’t there for any sustained project. As we have seen in the Iraq campaign, as well as in every other long war in American history, the United States suffers from a national version of ADD. We’ve got an attention span of about three years. At the end of that time, either success is in sight or the party in power gets thrown out and the whole effort abandoned.

    Which depresses me greatly……

  7. For Enforcement says:

    HH \
    I would guess we’re going to use the base to create a diversion for Apophis, either that or we’ll launch the rockets to divert it from there.

  8. Carol_Herman says:

    Sorry. It’s over for the Sputniks. The only “moon shot” you’re getting is from Britany Spears.

    But America’s budget is a long way from coming back into balance.

    You didn’t know that? Bush didn’t either. But he “over-spent.” And, NASA. You think they have the clout to increase their budgets for next year? While I’m sure this “idea” is based on the Britany Spears “moon” shot. Sans goatee. But that, too, won’t become a fad.

    President Kennedy is dead. Nixon’s gone, as well. But the men who saw Nixon’s ship go down, got hired to steer for the idiot in the white house. Go figa? There’s not a single idea that he can claim to understand. Though he bases his “instinctual responses” on God talking to him through his guts.

    Boy. Are we in trouble, now.

  9. Ken says:


    You should expunge the ultra-neocon disinformation rudely
    inserted this post about an effort of which you can be proud
    even if you overstate the “uniting of the planet” business.

  10. AJStrata says:


    get a life please.

  11. AJStrata says:

    Folks, America spends more on pizza than we do on NASA. We have an 11 trillion dollar economy out of which NASA’s budget is $13 billion a year. That makes NASA’s 0.1% of the GDP. The Federal Budget is around 2$ trillion a year, which makes NASA’s portion less than 1% of the fedearl budget. We do not over spend on NASA by a long shot. We need to invest in our future and 0.1% seems like a very small amount to spend expllring the universe.

  12. crosspatch says:

    A: People think that by spending on NASA that we somehow load a ship full of dollars and blast it out into space. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every dollar spent by NASA is spent right here on earth. They feed families, send kids to school, provide demand for highly educated people to get jobs. Every single dollar paid out goes into the economy somewhere and buys shoes, and donuts, and tuition along with spurring research and development that advance technologies that eventually appear in our lives. Ever notice those vertical winglets at the tips of airpliner wings? That is a result of NASA research that is saving jet fuel and keeping your airline tickets lower.

    B: I have always thought that the moon would be a better place for long duration manned spacework than a zero-G space station would be for several reasons. First of all, when you drop something, you know where to find it. You can place things on a table and they stay there. And having some gravity isn’t as hard on the body. Things work in a more normal fashion … like sinuses draining, for example.

    C: The moon would be a good “recovery” stop for people experiancing long duration zero-g. You can get used to 1/6-g, get some calcium back into your bones, and then return to earth with a better chance of being able to walk when you get there, or at least the recovery not taking as long.

    I am all for it. Besides, we need to get off this planet otherwise we are doomed.

  13. mariposa says:

    AJ, the R&D from NASA almost always spins off into other industries, too, so this has the potential to improve most people’s lives in several ways: at first, through pure knowledge gained, and then spun-off, we benefit through more jobs in the manufacturing sector and better choices as consumers (eg. sonograms, MRIs, etc.). Congratulations, good luck, and git ‘er done, dude!

  14. Ken says:


    Carol insults your hero without retort but I get grief from you?

    Where’s your sense of honor?

  15. AJStrata says:


    I have no heroes. Thought that was clear?


  16. Ken says:

    “There’s not a single idea that he can claim to understand. Though he bases his “instinctual responses” on God talking to him through his guts.

    Boy. Are we in trouble, now. ” Carol–

    I’m sorry, AJ. This is how Carol talks about the man you called
    a “great” president. One who was/is going to bring democracy to
    Iraq and Middle East. But you didn’t call him your hero. My

  17. Ken says:

    “There’s not a single idea that he can claim to understand. Though he bases his “instinctual responses” on God talking to him through his guts.

    Boy. Are we in trouble, now. ” Carol–

    I’m sorry, AJ. This is how Carol talks about the man you called
    a “great” president. One who was/is going to bring democracy to
    Iraq and Middle East and who has constructed a brilliant, just the proper, balanced approach to immigration, resisting undue pressure particularly from his meanspirited right flank. But you didn’t call him your hero. My mistake.

  18. MerlinOS2 says:


    I have to say on this issue you and I part the ways. I give no credence to the perception that you and I are either somehow wrong headed , just that we have alternative opinions.

    We have already been to the moon , we have instruments and experiments on mars.

    To suggest that we have to be aiming to put a carbon based lifeform there has some kind of bookmark of accomplishment is a bit much.

    To suggest we blob lifeforms on to places as progress markers is not a good outcome.

    NASA is one of the few places that has shown the value of non human remote knowledge discovery. But some still always want to portray it like it supports the human presence dichotomy.

    Yes I wan’t to know and learn of the other planets, but I do not care if someone wishes to take a stroke off the back nine to do a chip shot into the ionisphere or any other sort of agenda.


    Who designed the space station in such a way that we have such a god awful contraption of steps to be having to be taken by the next spaceflight to just hookup in the right manner to enable the stuff.

  19. MerlinOS2 says:

    I think if NASA had their druthers, the human based portion of the program would last about 2.4 nanoseconds. Such a less than inspiring payback to what is mostly a remote sensing program is so dense.

    How many have we lost to the put em in space mantra just because if makes us have some kind of feel good.

    Right we have put a few up in a can in a of a space station that only serves as the most expensive waste disposal enterprise in the universe.

    Tell me true that someone pushing a button on a console there is more valid than someone pushing a button on a virtual console.

    Give me the reason, don’t sugar coat it,