Foreign Affairs Focus On: Space Exploration with Neil deGrasse Tyson


Gideon Rose, the editor of Foreign Affairs, interviews Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist, author, and director of the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium. As Mars looms within reach and China ramps up its space program, Tyson explains, the United States is turning its back on the stars through stinginess and partisan bickering. Yes, space exploration is expensive. But the benefits -- from jobs to technological innovation to basic scientific progress -- are worth it.
Tyson's article "The Case for Space" was published in the February 28 issue of Foreign Affairs, 2012.


bbc movie review

Houston Terra Nova our profile is down the middle.
Power systems nominal. 
Roger that telemetry shows NTR status is nominal can you confirm?
I confirm your standardary [sic?] constraints. 
Roger that. 

Air Force, Navy

In order of occurrence: a fleet of four vehicles including Mars rendezvous and nuclear thermal propulsion, uniforms, baseball caps, boring techno dialogue [see above], unconstructive provocative xenophobic race to Mars with China, clunky 1980s cockpit technology, cheesy faulty alarm drama at launch, bossy hierarchical command decision making, artificial gravity spin (unnecessary), apparently they went to the moon first (ridiculous), realllllly borrrrrrring family "v-mails", the traitors : ) are counting down return weeks to Earth ("only eighty two more to go…that's not so bad"), manual jettisoning of mechanical arm "so it doesn't impact the crew hab when we swing around," suspicious Russian crew member, boring crew members give showcase their lack of character through Reality TV like confessional interviews, over emphasize impact of zero G and recovery period, its a 60 day Apollo-style flags and footprints program, another tech-failure drama…this time the French guy shouts at the food dispenser because there is no hot water for his tube food - initiating another blame the Russian sequence, cheesy partially shaved beard, "mold from the toilet spill," "this is getting intolerable" (no kidding), the Reality TV confessionals start again…everyone basically stabbing each other in the back, use of the word "colonization," next techno drama: "hey look at this! the nutrient settings changed all by themselves" "it doesn't make sense, I changed the circuit board settings only three days ago"…god forbid this is f'ing boring…only 30 minutes into a 3 hour movie.  

"Ten years, millions of dollars, thousands of engineers and the fans don't even work."  The story of Mars is not a sequence of technological challenges.  It has nothing to do with technology.  Now the plot takes a conspiratorial "Us vs the dark political on Earth."  It's like this was written by some old ex-military survivalist living in a basement. Dated 1980s robotic voice reads, "Attention incoming message marked urgent"…its another tech drama, untested circuit boarrrrrrrr[ing]ds. 

Dust storm.  Dust storm again.  Landing gear issues.  Suit venting from person pinned by landing gear. "Four more steps Hiromi."  "You're going to be ok, Hiromi."  This is dialogue??  Apparently the race with China became a race "to find water."  New dust storm.  It destroys their drill…big drama asking Earth for permission to use Chinese drill. This leads to another tech-disaster and silly climax.  Long drawn out tech-disaster follows. (Wish the makers of this film had suffered as many tech-disasters as their story did.)  

"It's not Mars that's killing us, it's our own technology."  Yeah, what's killing your audience is technology too.

Maybe it is a good thing such boring people return to Earth.

Remember: The story of Mars is not a series of "system malfunctions."  Mars is FUN, a movie about replacing circuit boards is not.   

Ugh: it just occurred to me the filmmakers responsible for this boredom -- are here on Earth!  Help!


“Gone are the days when bravery and the number of hours flying a supersonic jet were the top criteria for selection. Now, we are more concerned with how well each astronaut works and lives with the others–and for a lifetime of challenges ahead,” said Norbert Kraft, a former Senior Research Associate at NASA and Chief Medical Director for Mars One

Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/05/09/78000-people-apply-for-one-way-trip-to-mars/#ixzz2SoZ9YSTG


"Imagine Mars" NASA's Educational Art Project Outreach for Kids


design your own project, or use the lesson plans and project ideas on the site to customize a project that is just right for your students and timeframe. NASA works with you to put it all together, and connects you with scientists, engineers, artists, and experts in your community. Whether you're an after-school project leader or a formal education teacher, Imagine Mars will not only stretch your students' imaginations, but their view of their community, their planet, their universe, and most importantly, their potential.

researching ways to settle Mars, with trips to JPL to see rover models and special visits by NASA personnel to view films and slideshows.

writing short stories about what it would be like living on Mars, create Mars calendars,

NASA's Online 'Mars as Art' Gallery


Kickass Boots

Mars to Stay: "To Boldly Go: A One-Way Human Mission to Mars"

It is important to realize that this is not a "suicide mission." The astronauts would go to Mars with the intention of staying for the rest of their lives, as trailblazers of a permanent human Mars colony. They would be resupplied periodically from Earth, and eventually develop some "home grown" industry such as food production and mineral/chemical processing. Their role would be to establish a "base camp" to which more colonists would eventually be sent, and to carry out important scientific and technological projects meanwhile.

The Moon is the closest object and does provide some shelter (e.g., lava tube caves), but in all other respects falls short compared to the variety of resources available on Mars. The latter is true for asteroids as well. Mars is by far the most promising for sustained colonization and development, because it is similar in many respects to Earth and, crucially, possesses a moderate surface gravity, an atmosphere, abundant water and carbon dioxide, together with a range of essential minerals.

A scientific facility on Mars might therefore be a unique opportunity to study an alien life form and a second evolutionary record, and to develop novel biotechnology therefrom. At the very least, an intensive study of ancient and modern Mars will cast important light on the origin of life on Earth. Mars also conceals a wealth of geological and astronomical data that is almost impossible to access from Earth using robotic probes. A permanent human presence on Mars would open the way to comparative planetology on a scale unimagined by any former generation. In the fullness of time, a Mars base would offer a springboard for human/robotic exploration of the outer solar system and the asteroid belt.

The first colonists to Mars wouldn’t go in "cold." Robotic probes sent on ahead would establish necessities such as an energy source (such as a small nuclear reactor augmented by solar panels), enough food for two years, the basics for creating home-grown agriculture, one or more rover vehicles and a tool-kit for carrying out essential engineering and maintenance work. In addition, the scientific equipment needed for the colonists to do important research work should be part of the preceding unmanned mission. All this equipment could easily be put into place using current technology before the astronauts set out.

No base on the Moon is needed to launch a one-way human mission to Mars. Given the broad variety of resources available on Mars, the long-term survival of the first colonists is much more feasible than it would be on the Moon.



Defense of Mars Exploration by Spacevidcast

Mars, Ares (Ἄρης) Leader of Righteous Men

Why did Aphrodite love Ares?

Why are these two gods the only passionate lasting truly romantic lovers in all of Greek and Roman mythology? (Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares, whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars.)

Why was Ares the true love of the Goddess of Love? Bloodthirsty Ares, Ares the destroyer, despised Ares, Ares god of war. Ares hated by Olympians, distrusted by all except Aphrodite. Why? Good Male Passion.

He was not considered the strongest god -- even Aphrodite's legal husband Hephaestus, patron of blacksmiths, might have been stronger.  Most gods were physically fit: Apollo beat Ares at Olympic boxing; the physically strongest was Hercules. Ares is never portrayed as a hulking giant.

Rape is a constant theme in mythology. Isn't it strange there is not a single attribution of non-consensual sex to him. That is important. It is exceptionally unusual. Character defining.

The friends of Ares with whom he walks through Thracian woods deep in thought are Themis, the personification of Divine Law, and Dike, the personification of Justice and Fair Judgement.

There are other names for this misunderstood archetype -- portraits now forgotten in popular culture: Leader of Righteous Men, Defender of Cities, Father of Victory, Ally of Divine Law, Friend of Justice. Bold Ares. Courageous Ares. Loyal, Trustworthy Righteous Indignation Incarnate.

Prayers to Ares ask for help avoiding the folly of personal hubris and blind arrogance, weaknesses attributed to this archetype. Ares was expected to marry Aphrodite.  In mythology Zeus offered her to anyone able to open her cage. Ares' over-confident raw passion failed, rendering Aphrodite and Ares heart-broken; the cunning inventions of Hephaestus, blacksmith to the gods, won her legal marriage.

These personifications of Male and Female passion nevertheless had six children: Harmonia, Eros, Phobos, Demos (Dread), Adrestia (Revenge), and Anteros (Requited Love). They continued their love despite her husband.

I am fascinated by this undomesticated hero, this bane of tyrants, leader of rebels, maker of civil unrest. I am also disgusted this personality-type which once served as an ancient noble role-model has been blasphemed as bloodthirsty, impetuous, and unkind.

Ares personifies the difference between a Good Man and a sycophantic Nice Guy. The former stands up for brutal virtues, leading to depth of character, responsibility, and passion-filled life purpose; the later submits to whims, purposes of others -- everything: his soul, his heart, his goals, his love...always approachable, endlessly patient, a polite woman with ED. (It's interesting the sister of Ares, Athena, goddess of wealth, wisdom, strategic warfare -- is a virgin.)

Today why are two-thirds of divorces initiated by women?? Why are Iron John and No More Christian Mr. Nice Guy (a book written by a Christian minister, forwarded by a Jewish woman) -- bestsellers??

Aphrodite loved Ares. His person, spirit, sense of self.  In Strong Hearted Ares she met a man with a beautiful mission unswayed. Ares could speak to the most irresistible goddess as a person. He could care for her interests apart from his physical desire. Ares' strength was to see her beauty while retaining his. Upon Aphrodite other gods fawned, lost composure, flattered and grasped. They became meek and mild: pristine, clean, smooth, soft, unscarred, flatterers -- dishonest hypocrites. Pleasant. Unconfrontational.

In Ares, Aphrodite found the archetypical male, a man pursuing his own righteous interests. She found a friend who would place her "inside the shield," someone who would stand up for and protect her, but also tell her the truth, encourage her potential, and withstand shallow pleas and supplications. Aphrodite found a friend. Ares Gravitas. A companion. Theirs was true love.

Friends of Ares: 
Children with Aphrodite:
Mars specifically was a father of the Roman people, part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus; he was second in importance only to the chief Roman god Jupiter, and was the most prominent of the military gods worshipped by the legions. Although associated with warfare he was not any more dangerous or bloodthirsty than a police officer, soldier, or well-intentioned disciplinarian...a father. Not a "God of War!" lol

An L2 outpost could be spartan, with just a small module or two derived from space station elements. (Boeing / Michael Raftery)

«Mars-500» Project Simulation of Flight to Mars

LOL when will space agencies hire interior designers? 


No Wonder We Don't Have A Space Program

Who wants to go into space if all we're going to discover is an indestructible endoparasitoid extraterrestrial species?


"The Visual Case for Space" by Kees Veenenbos

Made mainly with the digital elevation models of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), Veenenbos creates visuals of Mars in ancient, contemporary, and future settings. Made with 3DEM data converter and Terragen for such clients as the National Geographic and Discovery Channels, the BBC magazine Sky at Night, and has been on display at the Lumas gallery:

These two images are of the exploration sites of the two Mars rovers: the Homeplate surroundings (near Husband Hill) in the Gusev Crater (Spirit Rover) and the Meridiani surface (Opportunity Rover). They visualize the circumstances of these locations about a few billion years in the past. The image with green tinge shows volcanic activities (hot springs/fumerols) where water and minerals might have formed the Gusev Crater "Homeplate" during the Noachian period.


For more on the work of Kees Veenenbos please visit http://www.space4case.com/mmw/

Terragen uses a sophisticated film- and broadcast-quality renderer designed to create the most realistic images possible without taking a photograph. If you need CG environments are needed which do not appear to be computer generated, Terragen will help you get there.
Terragen http://www.planetside.co.uk/content/view/15/27/


Mars Artists YouTube Channel Now Broadcasting to a Happening Screen Near You.......

The Mars Artists YouTube Channel is up and running with an eleven part presentation given by historically influential space artists at the last convention of the International Mars Society (University of Maryland, College Park, 2009). The coolest part of our channel thus far is its new icon, a collage of babies smelling an orange rose...not exactly what one would typically think of when reflecting upon Mars, hopefully. Enjoy!

(Oh! And after updating the Mars Society's YouTube Channel aesthetics and publishing 72 new videos, subscriptions jumped 4,900 percent and friends increased 6,500 percent!! --Well...we only had 4 friends and 5 subscriptions, but at least now we are on our way to gaining Partnership Status with YT!! Whoowhoo!! ...The astonishing thing to note, though, is that even premier channels have only a few thousand friends and subscribers. With 10 years of superb video to be published from our archive we will soon get there!)


Secrets on Off-Earth Settlements

Even early stage pioneer settlements on Mars, the Outer Solar System, or on multi-generational interstellar voyages will have police, detectives, judges, and so on. Their activities should be as transparent as possible - as well as the activities of all settlers. Now that humans are unable to keep secrets from certain technologies, it may be important that these technologies and their revelations be known and open to analysis by us all: a Democratic Panopticon.

Democracy ends behind closed doors.
"The secret will be transparency. No robot should have an expectation of privacy in a public place. Each robot and drone should have a cryptographically signed ID burned into it at the factory that can be used to track its movement through public spaces."

"We have license plates on cars, tail numbers on aircraft - this is no different. And every citizen should be able to download an app which shows the drones and autonomous vehicles moving through public space around them. Both right now and historically. And civic leaders should deploy censors and public drones to detect rogue drones. And instead of sending killer drones of our own to shoot them down - they should notify humans of their presence. And at certain high-security public areas perhaps civic drones could snare them, drag them off to a bomb disposal facility."

"But notice this is more of an immune system, than it is a weapons system. It would allow us to avail ourselves of the use of autonomous drones, while still preserving our open civil society. We must ban the deployment and development of killer robots. Let's not succumb to the temptation to automate war. Autocratic governments and criminal organizations undoubtably will, but let's not join them."

"Autonomous robotic weapons would concentrate too much power in too few hands. And that would be corrosive to representative government. Let's make sure, for democracies at least, killer robots remain fiction."