the state of things
Mission To Mars Update #6
by Douglas Lindsay - 10:18 on 14 March 2011
As Professor Brian Cox said on Wonders of the Universe last night, "...blah... blah blah blah... something about space... blah blah blah..." These inspirational words are what underpin Long Midnight Publishing's dramatic new push to put a manned mission on the surface of Mars by early 2013.
There's no escaping the many questions that have been asked in the media and in science circles since we first made the announcement at a news conference here in Bandar Sera Begawan last week.
- Will we be able to raise the money?
- Does the human race actually have the capacity to send a human being to Mars at this stage?
- How will we survive when we get there?
- If NASA are potentially aiming to send up a manned Mars mission in 2030, how can a small publishing company seriously be thinking about achieving this most ambitious goal within the next two years?
- Isn't Mars like really far away and stuff?
Firstly let us address the money issue. Suffice to say that with LMP's new push into Amazon Kindle territory, there is now so much money flowing into the company that the estimated sum required - something in the region of £750billion - should not be an issue. As a small example, if you consider that LMP currently has three titles in the Amazon Books>Humour>Lawyers & Criminals Top 20 - a chart widely recognised in the literary community as "the most significant, lucrative and iconic chart in the bookselling world" - it becomes clear that finance should not be an issue.
Is the scientific knowledge available to send a manned mission to Mars? Quite clearly, yes it is, and all that has been lacking up to this point in human history is the will and vision. If Wallace and Gromit can go to the Moon in a rocket they made in their basement, then we must feel confident in reaching even further out into space.
How will we survive when we get there? Part of the plan is to send an unmanned space craft with fresh supplies, a few weeks after we leave Earth, so that when we're on Mars and just beginning to run out of doughnuts, a new set of provisions will arrive. One of our first tasks on Mars will be to construct a bio-dome, and to be growing peas and stuff within the month. We should be fully self-sufficient by late spring 2013.
How about the Americans not planning to do it for another twenty years at least (and we know they'll take even longer)? Well.... there's no accounting for Americans.
Finally, isn't Mars like really far away? Frankly, yes it is. If there was a road stretching from Earth all the way to Mars, and you were to set out on foot, you would wear out more than five hundred thousand pairs of shoes by the time you got there. That's why we're going in a space ship.
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