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European Scientists Plan [Manned] Mars Mission
AP ^ | 2.3.04 | AP

Posted on 02/03/2004 10:43:22 AM PST by ambrose


NASA unveiled Monday, Feb. 2, 2004, this photograph of the Mars rover Opportunity's robotic arm as it stretched over the surface of Mars. NASA's Opportunity and its twin Spirit reached out their complex robotic arms to touch the surface of Mars on Monday, marking the first day of the joint $820 million mission when both unmanned spacecraft were in full swing. (AP Photo/NASA, JPL)

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European Scientists Plan Mars Mission


By JANE WARDELL
Associated Press Writer


LONDON --

European scientists set out a route map Tuesday for manned missions to Mars that aims to land astronauts on the Red Planet in less than 30 years.

Like U.S. President George W. Bush's proposed mission to Mars, the plan put forward by the European Space Agency involves a "stepping stone" approach, which includes robotic missions and a manned trip to the Moon first.

"We need to go back to the Moon before we go to Mars. We need to walk before we run," said Dr. Franco Ongaro, who heads the ESA's Aurora program for long-term exploration of the solar system, at a meeting of Aurora scientists in London. "These are our stones. They will pave the way for our human explorers."

The ESA has planned two flagship missions to Mars - ExoMars would land a rover on the planet in 2009, and Mars Sample Return would bring back a sample of the Martian surface in 2011-14.

Other test missions will include a non-manned version of the flight that would eventually carry astronauts to Mars to demonstrate aerobraking, solar electric propulsion and soft landing technologies.

A human mission to the Moon, proposed for 2024, would demonstrate key life-support and habitation technologies, as well as aspects of crew performance and adaptation to long-distance space flight.

The program is expected to cost about 900 million euros (US$1.13 billion) over the next five years.

Professor Colin Pillinger, the British scientist behind the recent ill-fated Beagle 2 expedition, said it was important to determine whether life existed on Mars before pressing ahead with a manned mission.

"Would it be right for us to tamper with the ecology on another body?" he asked. "My opinion is that it probably wouldn't."

The ExoMars rover would use solar arrays to generate electricity and travel several kilometers (miles) across the surface of Mars.

It would have on-board software enabling it to operate autonomously, and, like Beagle 2, a set of scientific instruments designed to search for signs of past or present life.

Mars Sample Return would be a more complex mission requiring five spacecraft - an interplanetary transfer stage, a Mars orbiter, a descent module, an ascent module and an Earth re-entry vehicle.

The module would contain a drill to collect soil samples and was expected to send back around half a kilogram (one pound) of Martian soil.

Scientists hope the expedition has a better outcome than the Beagle 2 trip. The British built lander, which was due to land on Mars on Christmas Day, has not been heard from since it separated from the ESA's mother ship, Mars Express, in mid-December, despite several efforts to contact it.

Mars Express itself has functioned as intended, orbiting the planet. ESA scientists said last month that it had found the most direct evidence yet of water in the form of ice on Mars, detecting molecules vaporizing from the Red Planet's south pole.

By contrast, NASA's twin rovers are reaching out to scoop and analyze the Martian surface some 6,600 miles (10,560 kilometers) apart, both machines using their robotic arms as intended following a software glitch.

President Bush last month sought to chart a new course for NASA, focusing on a return to the Moon by 2020 in preparation for manned missions to Mars and beyond.

(jw/twx)

Last modified: February 03. 2004 12:38PM



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: copycats; eu; europeans; mars; martians; moon; nasa; scientists; space; theimpossibledream

1 posted on 02/03/2004 10:43:24 AM PST by ambrose
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To: Phil V.; Howlin
ping.
2 posted on 02/03/2004 10:44:38 AM PST by ambrose ("Only The Toes Know...")
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To: ambrose
In a related devolopment, my 12 yr old son and I have announced plans for a manned voyage to mars. Using Estes model rockets (D engine)we should be there years before the Euotards.
3 posted on 02/03/2004 10:48:06 AM PST by singletrack (.............................................................................. .)
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To: ambrose
With the Chinese looking at the Moon around 2010, makes me wonder why the Euros and Chinese are so interested in the Moon and Mars.
4 posted on 02/03/2004 11:04:21 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: ambrose
Maybe they can stop by and get that Beagle thingy working.
5 posted on 02/03/2004 11:07:54 AM PST by CaptRon (Pedecaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: af_vet_rr
With the Chinese looking at the Moon around 2010, makes me wonder why the Euros and Chinese are so interested in the Moon and Mars.

My thoughts exactly. What have the European, Chinese and American scientists learned in the last few years that can suddenly motivate the political leadership of all three regions to dedicate resources for this effort?

Personally, I think Mars is a smokescreen for the real prize: permanent sites on the Moon. The ultimate military high ground!

6 posted on 02/03/2004 11:13:46 AM PST by Dr._Joseph_Warren
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To: Dr._Joseph_Warren
Personally, I think Mars is a smokescreen for the real prize: permanent sites on the Moon.

The real prize is political spending and vote buying for the political class in all three. This is a very real and bery worthy goal to the politicians and an equally worthy goal of the engineers and PhDs who will get big fat sinecures that they might otherwise have to work for. As for the rest of us, maybe not so worthy.

The ultimate military high ground!Calling this military high ground is like calling the Himalayas military high ground during the Viet Nam war.

7 posted on 02/03/2004 11:20:17 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy, and Bush is no conservative)
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To: ambrose
The EU has every intention of becoming the dominant power on earth. They have ruled out military force for the time being, so a vigorous space program has been substituted in its place. Europe once led the world in science and technology, and they want the position again.
8 posted on 02/03/2004 11:23:33 AM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: ambrose
"We need to go back to the Moon before we go to Mars. We need to walk before we run," said Dr. Franco Ongaro

The Europeans need to land unmanned missions safely before they try sending real people to Mars.

9 posted on 02/03/2004 11:25:42 AM PST by heleny (No on propositions 55, 56, 57, 58)
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To: CaptRon
You will probably have to wait until Beagle 23?
10 posted on 02/03/2004 11:27:29 AM PST by americanbychoice
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To: af_vet_rr
...makes me wonder why the Euros and Chinese are so interested in the Moon and Mars.

It's the cheese!


11 posted on 02/03/2004 11:31:51 AM PST by GalaxieFiveHundred
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To: ambrose
Lol . . . Like the arabs, they're humiliated by American greatness and feel they have to do something about it.

Sigh . . . I guess it's better than sending out suicide bombers. So bring it on, euroweenies! . . . we'll compete with you anytime, anyplace.

But, but . . . but . . . Shouldn't we worry that this will engender further ill will amongst euroweenies toward us and make them feel like they have to send out additional spacecraft to compete (there's that hated capitalist terminology again) even more with us?

12 posted on 02/03/2004 12:49:48 PM PST by LibWhacker (<a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com/">Miserable Failure</a>)
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To: LibWhacker
this will engender further ill will amongst euroweenies

Which would bother them more, that they would be overwhelmed by Russia or by America? If it's Russia their expectations would be over and they wouldn't have a future to worry about. If it's America they would be colonized and their culture would disappear.

It seems the latter happened, but then the Americans withdrew. They are left with no culture and not even colonial status. Of course the Muslims moved into the vacuum. Like China after China's culture was destroyed, they are looking around for something to rebuild a culture, and it seems space development is it.

13 posted on 02/03/2004 12:57:45 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: ambrose
Any Arabs on board, oops.
14 posted on 02/03/2004 1:05:33 PM PST by Helms (Liberals believe we are Crash Dummies on the hectic highway of the Cosmos)
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To: RightWhale
I think this is great, RW. I really do. All these countries competing to see who can go the furthest and do the most in space . . . It's what we've been waiting for! Of course, you realize, we're gonna have to win, lol. Can't have a bunch of foreigners dominating us from outer space!
15 posted on 02/03/2004 1:07:33 PM PST by LibWhacker (<a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com/">Miserable Failure</a>)
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To: LibWhacker
It's going to be the battle of the robots. Might be time to dust off the old EE textbooks and find the old Radio Shack soldering gun. Load up on lead solder while the EPA still allows the sale of such toxic materials.
16 posted on 02/03/2004 1:13:13 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: RightWhale
Hey, go for it . . . There's still plenty of room for the little guy. A lot of people say the time of individuals not affiliated with big labs making important discoveries is over. I don't believe that for a moment.
17 posted on 02/03/2004 1:39:45 PM PST by LibWhacker (<a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com/">Miserable Failure</a>)
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To: LibWhacker
One word--plastics

oops, that was another day


One word--Lego

Legos will build the moon base.

18 posted on 02/03/2004 1:44:03 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: from occupied ga
The real prize is political spending and vote buying for the political class in all three.

That is certainly a possibility. Bush has not indicated that there will be a significant increase in NASA's budget. Instead, NASA has been instructed to redirect their efforts.

This is a very real and bery worthy goal to the politicians and an equally worthy goal of the engineers and PhDs who will get big fat sinecures that they might otherwise have to work for.

Politicians will get their pork one way or another.

You apparently know little or nothing about engineers and engineering. Engineering work is anything but easy. Placing a man on the moon is anything but trivial. The engineers will most definitely work hard for any 'sinecures' they may earn. You can question whether a moon colony is the best use of engineering talent, but never question the difficulty and dedication required by engineers to accomplish that goal.

If engineering were easy, everyone would be doing it! Perhaps even you!!

As for the rest of us, maybe not so worthy.

Wrong again. Just as the Apollo program provided the impetus for an explosion of inventions (microchips, computers, LCD displays, satellites, plastics, Tang! Just to name a few), so too will a vigorous program to colonize the moon result in an leap in technology.

>>(the moon) The ultimate military high ground!
>Calling this military high ground is like calling the Himalayas military high ground during the Viet Nam war.

Sorry, but you could not be more wrong. Imagine a spy satellite that cannot be shot down. Imagine a permanent nuclear launch site that cannot be taken out in 15 minutes. That is what the moon is. A missiles may be a stretch, but you better believe that the moon is highly desireable as an excellent listening post.

19 posted on 02/03/2004 4:18:10 PM PST by Dr._Joseph_Warren
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To: xm177e2; XBob; wirestripper; whattajoke; VOR78; Virginia-American; Vinnie_Vidi_Vici; VadeRetro; ...


If you'd like to be on or off this MARS ping list please FRail me

20 posted on 02/03/2004 5:15:36 PM PST by Phil V.
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To: ambrose
Al gore says moonbase, world ignores.
X41 says mars, world ignores.

GWBush says mars, the world jumps and says ME TOO!
21 posted on 02/03/2004 5:18:42 PM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: ambrose
Professor Colin Pillinger, the British scientist behind the recent ill-fated Beagle 2 expedition, said it was important to determine whether life existed on Mars before pressing ahead with a manned mission.

"Would it be right for us to tamper with the ecology on another body?" he asked. "My opinion is that it probably wouldn't."

I smell Snail Darters

22 posted on 02/03/2004 6:20:36 PM PST by Professional Engineer (Spirit/Opportunity~0.002acres of sovereign US territory~All Your Mars Are Belong To US)
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To: Normal4me; RightWhale; demlosers; Prof Engineer; BlazingArizona; ThreePuttinDude; Brett66; ...
Space Ping! This is the space ping list! Let me know if you want on or off this list!
23 posted on 02/03/2004 7:38:42 PM PST by KevinDavis (Let the meek inherit the Earth, the rest of us will explore the stars!)
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To: Dr._Joseph_Warren
What have the European, Chinese and American scientists learned in the last few years that can suddenly motivate the political leadership of all three regions to dedicate resources for this effort?

It may simply be the time for it. Societies hit a point where they seem to suddenly all send out explorations.

24 posted on 02/03/2004 8:24:20 PM PST by Ophiucus
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To: ambrose
The EU will have a tough time geting to Mars if their launch site in French Guiana is taken over by the communists. The French have responsibility for security there.
25 posted on 02/03/2004 8:29:45 PM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: heleny
...need to land unmanned missions safely...

Yeah, well, I think they're planning on something like that...:

Scientists hope the expedition [Mars Sample Return]has a better outcome than the Beagle 2 trip.

26 posted on 02/03/2004 9:08:23 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: ambrose
Europe will be very broke and very Muslim before they land any of their sissies on Mars.
27 posted on 02/03/2004 9:13:12 PM PST by Moonman62
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To: <1/1,000,000th%
The EU will have a tough time geting to Mars if their launch site in French Guiana is taken over by the communists. The French have responsibility for security there.

Sounds like the commies already control it.

28 posted on 02/03/2004 9:14:13 PM PST by Moonman62
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To: Phil V.
Thanks for the ping!
29 posted on 02/03/2004 9:56:14 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Dr._Joseph_Warren
You apparently know little or nothing about engineers and engineering.

Well, since you set the tone here, you apparently know nothing about economics, politics, the meaning of the word sinecure, the military and everything else that you write about. Engineering isn't all that difficult when you have no consequences if you fail and an unlimited budget. Try real hard and think of any negative consequences to the engineers at NASA and its subcontrators if any of their robot probes fail. BZZZZZZT time is up. There aren't any.

Now try and think about the consequences if the engineers in a private company fail to produce a functional product. Company doesn't make money and engineers are out looking for another job. Not a sinecure.

Just as the Apollo program provided the impetus for an explosion of inventions (microchips, computers, LCD displays, satellites, plastics, Tang!

Total utter and absolute bull sh!t. Saying all of these are the result of the space program is like trying to make us believe that without the National Endowmwent for the Arts there wouldn't be any art.

bs bs bs bs Imagine a permanent nuclear launch site that cannot be taken out in 15 minutes. bs bs

Try a little critical thinking here. If the moon is "high ground", then Mars should be even higher ground right? And Jupiter even higher still. Which is of course nonsense. What you're forgetting is that it's too far away for military use.

I have a question for you. Since you are aware that we landed people on the moon and the Chinese didn't, what negative impact did this have on the Chinese?

30 posted on 02/04/2004 3:31:42 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy, and Bush is no conservative)
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To: from occupied ga
Well, since you set the tone here...

Actually you set the tone when you suggested that NASA engineers are primarily concerned with getting 'big fat sinecures'. And yes I do know that 'sinecures' is a fancy college-boy word for 'cushy job'. In layman's terms, you've accused NASA engineers of wanting to get paid for doing little or no work. So don't get high an mighty about 'tone'.

Since you again have indicated that you know very little about engineers, let me elucidate (wow, big words are fun!) the subject for you.

Typically when an engineer has been working on a single project for several years, his personal pride in seeing the success of that project means more to him than his salary. Thats simply the way they are wired. If these engineers, as you simplemindedly suggested, were truly there only for the 'big fat sinecures', do you really think that they would have successfully landed two rovers on Mars???

You obviously have no concept of the amazing challenges involved with designing, building, testing and implementing a device as technically complex as the Martian rover. Your ignorance and lack of appreciation of the magnitude of this achievement serves to illustrates one reason why this country is going to hell in a hand basket!!

Total utter and absolute bull sh!t. Saying all of these are the result of the space program is like trying to make us believe that without the National Endowmwent for the Arts there wouldn't be any art.

Pardon me, but your lack of insight is really showing here. Technology is driven by necessity. Capitalism is a motivation, yes, but capitalism is by its very nature risk adverse. Capitalism will nurture innovations but rarely new technologies. The largest jumps in technology have usually come during times of war when the risk of national loss offsets the concerns of risk from financial loss. Nations are willing to commit large resources to insure their war technology keeps pace with the enemy.

The great thing about the Apollo program is that it was done in a competitive war like atmosphere that generated new technologies. And nobody had to die!! Here is a good article on NASA technological achievements. I encourage you to educate yourself on this subject so that you will be a better citizen.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2004-01-21-eicher_x.htm

Try a little critical thinking here. If the moon is "high ground", then Mars should be even higher ground right? And Jupiter even higher still.

I am embarrassed for you. This statement is akin to saying that having a heavy winter coat is not better than having a light winter coat because if you had a super huge 2000 lb winter coat it would suffocate you. Nice deductive reasoning!

I have a question for you. Since you are aware that we landed people on the moon and the Chinese didn't, what negative impact did this have on the Chinese?

We landed a man on the moon in 1969 and the Chinese didn't. Negative impact? The Chinese have continued to live as a third world country for the last 35 years while Americans have enjoyed the highest quality of life in the history of mankind!

It is probably too much to expect that you could understand the connection between China's ever growing economic wealth and their continued success at developing their own space program.

31 posted on 02/04/2004 11:42:37 AM PST by Dr._Joseph_Warren
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To: Dr._Joseph_Warren
Hmm lemmie look in my crystal ball. You work for the government dontch?

It is probably too much to expect that you could understand the connection between China's ever growing economic wealth and their continued success at developing their own space program.

Like their space program is driving their economy. Whatever.

32 posted on 02/04/2004 11:45:44 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy, and Bush is no conservative)
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To: from occupied ga
Hmm lemmie look in my crystal ball. You work for the government dontch?

LOL!! Wrong again. Thanks for trying.

I have never held a government job in my life. I work in an extremely competitive commercial high-tech field. My advantage over you is in knowing what it takes to create a technically advanced product, regardless of whether that product is funded by capitalism or government.

Like their (China) space program is driving their economy. Whatever.

You lived down to my low expectations.

Do you think China's space program has enhanced their ability to launch satellites? Do you think their ability to launch satellites has enhanced their telecommunications industry? Do you think their growing telecommunications capacity has fueled the globalization of their business economy?

No, you probably don't. You probably cannot comprehend how owning satellites can help an economy.

Let me put it in simpler terms. If you had a large, heavy cart being pulled by two horses, would that cart move easier if you added a third horse? Of course it would. Undoubtedly, you would protest about purchasing that third horse because to you it is NOT pulling the cart. And that is why you will get to town long after I do.

China's economy is the cart. Their space program is the 'third horse'.

33 posted on 02/04/2004 1:18:11 PM PST by Dr._Joseph_Warren
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To: ambrose
European Scientists Plan [Manned] Mars Mission

It does not matter why they want to go. What matters is that, the more the list of those who are going grows, the harder it becomes for any given Congress to decide we shouldn't bother.

34 posted on 02/04/2004 5:03:40 PM PST by irv
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