Mars, Bitches

Researcher: Obama Budget ‘End Of The Mars Program’

CBS DC

February 27, 2012 7:57 AM

If Obama’s budget sails through as outlined, “in essence, it is the end of the Mars program,” said Phil Christensen, a Mars researcher at Arizona State University. It’s like “we’ve just flown Apollo 10 and now we’re going to cancel the Apollo program when we’re one step from landing,” he said.



(R)obotic Mars missions slated for 2016 and 2018 were cut from the president’s new budget proposal, even though NASA has spent $64 million on early designs with the European Space Agency for the two missions. The most ambitious Mars flight yet and one the National Academy of Sciences endorsed as the No. 1 solar system priority – a plan to grab Martian rocks and soil and bring them back to Earth – is on indefinite hold.



If NASA ignores Mars for a decade, it runs the risk of a brain drain, said Ed Weiler, who resigned last year as NASA’s sciences chief because of budget battles over Mars.

“Landing on Mars is a uniquely American talent and there aren’t too many things that are uniquely American,” Weiler said.

2 comments

    • ANKOSS on February 28, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Nobody ever figured out how to put enough shielding around a spacecraft to protect the astronauts from dangerous doses of radiation. Once on Mars, they would have to build an underground base and limit their time on the surface to avoid being cooked by the radiation that is not blocked by the thin Martian atmosphere. The whole program was a deliberate lie, just like the “reliable access to orbit” lie about the Shuttle before two of five orbiters exploded.

    While the underfunded robotic probes and observatories continue to produce stunning results, the manned space exploration zanies keep begging for billions to put humans where they can’t survive with current technology.

Comments have been disabled.