Occupy Mars

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, with its rover Curiosity, successfully blasted off from Cape Canaveral yesterday. Arrival at Mars is scheduled for August 2012. Curiosity is like previous rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, on steroids. Curiosity will help determine whether Mars has, or had, an environment capable of supporting microbial life.

Curiosity’s power will come from a thermoelectric generator containing 10.6 pounds (4.8 kilograms) of plutonium dioxide. The heat produced by the radioactive decay will provide 110 watts of electrical power and will also warm fluids that will be pumped throughout Curiosity’s systems, keeping them toasty on cold Martian nights.

In this time of shrinking revenues, the government should make a dedicated effort to preserve the funding for such projects. These projects bring prestige the U.S. from around the planet, and should not be  objects of partisan politics.

The U.S. must maintain a superior position in the realm of science. Curiosity can inspire our young students to learn math and science and become part of the next project that surpasses previous missions.

This is going to be so cool.

H/T: Mars Science Laboratory.

12 thoughts on “Occupy Mars”

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  2. As happy as I am to see this day, I realize that we have spent 40 years playing in our own backyard for no good reason. When Nixon cancelled the Manned Orbital Laboratory, he sent us down this long waiting period for space exploration to pick up. Many of us on the original Apollo team went on to private sector, boring work that did nothing to salve our space-faring souls. So, good luck, Curiosity!

    AY, may I add a Mazel Tov! Full ride! WOO HOO!

  3. Mike, OS and Raff…..

    Yes very much….She has many more options academically than I did…sort of…She actually studies….I am very proud…Her Mom is no slouch either….she was Val Victorian of of High School… a brilliant lady as well…

  4. After the “Occupy Mars” program is completed, the next step will be the “Occupy Space” program. I expect to be invited by NASA to participate in this scientific adventure. Ever since I was in Kindergarten, all my teachers have told me that the one thing I’m good at is occupying space.

  5. Haven’t you guys figured it out yet? The intentionally playfully named “Curiosity” masks a far darker mission. And it’s one we’re probably going to lose.

    David, don’t you notice the heat ray in our Mars rover? Because you don’t mention it…. Curiosity in addition to being nuclear fueled, carries a heat ray capable of melting solid rock 30 feet away.

    Why would a so-called mission of science need such a weapon?


    Note how our technological terror relies on wheels, while the Martians have easily figured out autonomous flight of their heat ray equipped war machines.

  6. Congrats AY on your daughters news!
    I agree with Mike and OS that the space program, within limits, should be continued. The technology that has come into being through the past space exploration is amazing.

  7. AY, looks like the twig did not fall far from the tree. Congratulations on the scholarship and saving some money at the same time.

    I agree with Mike about the pursuit of space exploration. This is pure science at its best. The only thing to worry about now is that the sequencing must go perfectly or they will have a Volkswagen sized piece of litter.

  8. AY,
    Mazel Tov. You must be so proud.

    Good article, it’s something that interests me, but I wasn’t aware of this mission. I think humanity needs to go into space. It is our destiny. I just hope we don’t bring our insanity out there.

  9. WOW….But I do have good news…I have a daughter that was awarded a full academic scholarships to 2 universities so far….in Engineering…

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