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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Life on Mars? Finding It May Require Humans on Red Planet

• space.com

3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Stupid Amerkin
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Humans are already there and have been for years. The truth is coming to light. What you think you know, you don't.

Comment by Ed Price
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First printing, December 1992

Fallen Angels, by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn

"Fallen Angels" is sold as science fiction, but one could quibble with that: while the book is clearly fiction, the science is real.

Item: Although the Phoenix spaceship doesn't exist yet, it or something like it could be built today (1992) for between $50 and $200 million dollars.

Once built, Phoenix would operate the way airplanes do. It takes about the same amount of fuel to fly a pound from the United States to Australia as it does to put that pound in orbit. Airlines operate at about three times fuel costs, including depreciation on the aircraft. Phoenix wouldn't run much more. The operational costs of any system depend on how much you use, it but given the low-cost regime Phoenix works in, it should be used a lot.

Of course airlines have about one hundred fifteen employees per airplane; but most airlines need to sell tickets. The SR-71 program (which didn't) ran with about forty employees per airplane. NASA, with four spacecraft, has over twenty thousand people employed to support shuttle operations. This may explain why Phoenix, which wouldn't need more than fifty people to operate, would charge less than one percent of what NASA charges to put cargo in orbit.

Item: Despite all the talk of global warming, there is just as much scientific evidence for the coming Ice Age. Experiments have failed to detect solar neutrinos in the quantities expected, and astronomers tell us that we are going into a new period of minimum solar activity. The last such prolonged period was known as the "Maunder Minimum," and coincided with what has come to be known as "The Little Ice Age." Moreover, archaeological evidence shows that in the last Ice Age, Britain went from a climate a bit warmer than it enjoys now to being under sheet glaciers in considerably less than a century.
 

Comment by Ed Price
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If the humans that go to Mars to search for life there are from the United States, do you think there will be any life on Mars?


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