Friday, October 24, 2008

Buzz Aldrin off his meds again!

The noted NASA Apollo astronaut is not happy to bash on science fiction now but has aimed higher or hitting below the belt depending on your point of view. I want to say again that Mr. Aldrin is not only a national hero but a personal one of mine, so you can stop writing that hate mail now. But as of late his comments have had the hallmark of a patient at the home with one too many pain pills in his system. First was the comment that science fiction is ruining real space exploration and now he is suggesting that the first people to go to Mars - should stay there. Yep, one way ticket. Here is a partial quote: "If we are going to put a few people down there and ensure their appropriate safety, would you then go through all that trouble and then bring them back immediately, after a year, a year and a half?" wait there's more: "They need to go there more with the psychology of knowing that you are a pioneering settler and you don't look forward to go back home again after a couple a years," aaaaaaaaah oooooook. Want more? "At age 30, they are given an opportunity. If they accept, then we train them, at age 35, we send them. At age 65, .... they can retire there, or maybe we can bring them back."

You know, if the shoe had been on the other foot. By that I mean, in the initial race to the moon it was suggested that we send a man with enough supplies to keep him going for about 5 years, no return ticket. Just get there first ahead of the Russians. Maybe in 5 we could get him back. I am serious, it was on the table, but the then astronauts said, no F...in way. And quite honestly I know it isn't going to happen this time. Mr. Aldrin knows that as well. So why bother to say something that ludicrous? Just to get in the press? I hardly think so, He has been the epitome of science and industry and received accolades accordingly. So what makes someone put forth something so patently ridiculous? I hate the think it, but it almost seems the lithium is a bit low.

click article title for comple text at IO9




4 comments:

S.M.D. said...

Unfortunately, NASA has been so horribly unsuccessful in doing anything that the general public will find fascinating that htey are getting desperate. The worst part is that NASA "could" send us to Mars in a couple years, no problem, and bring the people back. They just don't want to take the risk. It's all safety safety safety now. And the result is that nothing truly eye-opening gets done (yeah, lots of cool stuff for those of us who care about cosmic rays and blackholes, but not for folks who are only interested in NASA when they launch some new cool mission).

Yeah...

wolfkahn said...

I'm going to have to respectively disagree with you here Paul. While yes the idea is unlikely, it isn't completely impossible.

If we were to send a pair of astronauts on a virtual one-way trip and they were successful in surviving even a couple of years, then the chances of sending more permanent explorers would rise exponentially. In other words, the astronauts, if extremely successful, would soon turn from being isolated explorers to the first of many settlers.

Unlikely, but not insanely impossible.

s.m.d. good point, though you can't blame NASA on the safety issue. After the Columbia disaster, there were some loud calls among ignorant congressmen to end all manned space travel (some even called for ending NASA).

Shaun said...

Paul, I, ah, tend to agree with Buzz on this one...taking the 'big picture' perspective, rather than investing energy into a send & return scenario, would it not be better to invest more energy into a one-way trip with more resources to use once they get there? There can be further follow-ups (supplies and additional crew), again, one way, for at least the short term...

Yes, it would take adventurous spacefarers, but then, that's what it is all about...And look at it this way, Earth is becoming so environmentally stuffed, that some might argue we really don't have a great deal of choice if we wish to preserve some part of our culture...big problems need brave solutions

wolfkahn said...

Oops I meant "respectfully" not "respectively" which shows how bad my typos are when spellcheck guesses the wrong word.