I’m pretty sure humans can fly to Mars at this point. I don’t know about the survival of humans being dependent on this though. WW3 will have to seriously mess up the planet to make it less habitable than Mars.
We really have to go to other planets/moons and start colonizing them. It’s basic human survival at this point. Mars is the easiest, which is to say it’s only extremely, extremely difficult to do, so it makes for a good first choice.
2016 represents the first year in a few decades that NASA not only received every dollar they requested from Congress, but they got an additional $750mm on top of that. Good to see not everyone in government is brain dead.
Not quite. We have a small radiation problem to get around. According to people in the know, the best solution is to encapsulate the manned area of the spacecraft in water. Water is great at protecting against radiation and, you know, we need it to survive. Two birds, one stone.
But, we haven’t exactly tried it out yet. I foresee a monkey getting a shit-ton of cancer in our near future.
I’m not convinced we’re afraid the space program would be halted. It’s more about space warfare at this point. Both China and Russia are investing billions in programs aimed at taking down “hostile” satellites. If/when WWIII happens, we really don’t want either of those guys to shoot down all our communication and GPS satellites.
Longer term…well, there’s a 100% chance the Earth will suffer a cataclysmic event that will cause a mass extinction. Maybe it’s an asteriod or comet, and perhaps we’ll be able to deflect it. If so, great. If not, it’d be nice to have a place to flee to (even if plebs like us can’t get a ticket, it would be nice to know not all humans will die out). Or, it could be something like a gamma ray burst. You know what’s fun about gamma ray bursts? They travel at the speed of light so there’s absolutely no warning. You get hit with one and you die. Game over. If some of us happen to be on another planet, humans survive.
I haven’t even mentioned climate change yet…and I don’t really want to go down that rabbit hole. But, if you’re in the camp that believes we’re making the Earth uninhabitable, then we should start looking for new real estate.
Those practical reasons aside, we’re explorers at heart. It’s what mankind does. We’re the ultimate virus. We must spread and infect everything, everywhere. And I mean that in the best possible way.
There are plenty of benefits for us too. As NASA and other organizations attempt to reach tougher and tougher goals, we invent some pretty cool stuff. You use stuff everyday that was a direct result of NASA coming up with crazy shit trying to push the boundaries of humans and machines. Here’s the first link that pops up, but there’s tons more.
it’s certainly fun and more of a “why not?” let’s say some doomsday asteroid is destined for earth and we are unable to deflect or destroy it. having somewhere else to go to wouldn’t be so bad. thinking of mars as more than a backup is stupid unless we go all “total recall” on mars but i’m fairly certain the science is against that movie’s conclusion.
Joking aside, I’ve said from the get-go that space travel is one thing we need the government for…at least for the next few decades.
On a side note, I got kicked out of a post office yesterday. I spent four hours at the DMV and three different post offices. Finally, at the last post office, I lost my temper and told the clerk I was about to go postal. She didn’t find that funny and said I should leave before I get in some serious trouble. I took her advice.