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LostInParadise's avatar

Why is the U.S. planning a manned space flight to Mars?

Asked by LostInParadise (18209 points ) October 31st, 2010

Both George Bush and Barack Obama have mentioned it. Is there any particular reason for doing this?

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16 Answers

mrentropy's avatar

Is that still on? I thought it got scrapped. I think “Because it’s there” is a pretty good reason but I’m sure others disagree.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Beyond just the obvious (learning about Mars) enormous amount of information can be learned about how humans react to any number of things; the psychological effect of small numbers of people in isolation for a period of time, how the body reacts to prolonged types of stimuli, all the research that goes into creating n environment for survival in such a situation can be adapted for practical usage, etc etc. I’ll send this to matt Browne, he’s much better equipped to answer the details than I am.

jrpowell's avatar

Iraq war is 800 billion and counting. Mission to mars. 145 billion.

talljasperman's avatar

I hear it on but they only have 1.5 million dollars earmarked for it an they are taking investments from businesses… building wonders motivates people to great things…just paying taxes for roads is boring….So I would say its for the worlds Morale.

Pazza's avatar

Probably to see if they can find any cancer cures in the plants that are growing there.

YARNLADY's avatar

The last I heard that whole thing was scrapped.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

There are no more manned space explorations for the time being.

mattbrowne's avatar

Why was Isabella I of Castile planning a westbound sail boat expedition to Asia?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@mattbrowne She’s not. Columbus is, and she thinks he’s an idiot, as does everyone else.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@mattbrowne ; I didn’t want you to answer so literally, I wanted a treatise on the value such a thing, related to scientific research and real world application of same. <stomps little foot and pouts>

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, Isabella was very reluctant at first and Columbus made the plan. But at some point he seemed to have convinced her. I guess her motive was gold and other treasures. Today’s motives also include knowledge. Many people don’t realize that understanding other planets also helps us understand Earth in a better way.

LostInParadise's avatar

Yes, but what advantage is there to sending people over sending equipment like the two very successful Mars rovers?

JilltheTooth's avatar

@LostInParadise : What I said up top, for starters.

LostInParadise's avatar

Something is a amiss if the main reason for doing something is the side effects. The so called space race to get a man on the moon worked because people really believed at the time that it made a difference. We know better now. The magic is gone.

mattbrowne's avatar

@LostInParadise – The functionality of a rover doesn’t come close to the functionality of a human being. But an alternative would be sending highly sophisticated robots transmitting high-resolution data allowing humans to wear haptic fully-body suits and head-mounted displays to “walk” on Mars and “touch” it.

WestRiverrat's avatar

There are elements of mankind that will always search for new adventures. Some look to the stars, others look to the deep seas.

I have to disagree with @LostInParadise that it makes no difference, much of the equipment we use in modern ERs came out of the race to the moon.

Also, I would much rather have governments spending money to research and develop space travel than new ways of killing each other.

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