Friday, 1 July 2011

Last Exit to... Mars. The Final Shuttle.

July already. Jeez. How'd we get here so soon?
One week from today, July 8, will be the final launch in the US space shuttle program. There is no replacement plan in view.

So, you know I was rabbiting-on the other day about my interest in Mars 'n' stuff ? I was being rudely flippant about that desert habitat deal for volunteers. Actually, I was just annoyed because nobody sent me a free ticket; and because it sounded a little like, y'know, work. I am after all a creature of comfort when I can get it. Like this morning, faced with the choice of coffee and a choc cookie, versus taking the trailer with garden organic waste up to the tip. Tough call.

Anyways (as our Canadian friends say) back to Mars. Bob Zubrin is one of my modern heroes. I mentioned him before, with a link to a talk he gave about, guess what, the do-able mechanics of reaching that destination using essentially current technology. It's his mission, so to speak. His book, co-authored with Richard Wagner (no, not THAT Richard Wagner) says more. It's called The Case for Mars and you can go here to read the preface which turns out to be a re-run of a paper Dr Zubrin first published in 1996. No harm in that.

If you're still reading, and if like me you go bug-eyed at pix of the Martian surface, you might care to read also this CNN item which re-prints a great talk by Dr Robert Zubrin (full title this time), who is in fact a rocket scientist as well as visionary. He's also our honorary President of The Mars Society, and yes, I'm a member of the Australian sister society: we're called marstralians. Enjoy.

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