Buzz Aldrin Says We Can Get to Mars by 2019

Article written: 2 Mar , 2010
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

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Buzz Aldrin is one of the few former astronauts who have spoken out in support of the new proposed budget/direction for NASA. But, now, Buzz wants to add a little “oomph” to the underlying goal of getting to Mars by providing one thing that many think is missing from President Obama’s proposed budget: heavy lift capability.

“I believe we can be well on our way to Mars by July 20, 2019 — which just happens to be the 50th anniversary of my Apollo 11 flight to the moon,” Buzz Aldrin wrote in an opinion piece on AOL.com. “The plan I’ve designed, called a unified space vision, contains ideas for the development of a deep-space craft that I call the Exploration Module, and development of a true heavy lift space booster evolved from the existing space shuttle.”

In last week’s Congressional hearings — which some journalists classified as a “grilling” instead of testimony, members of Congress expressed concern (sometimes bordering on outrage) when talking with NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden that under the proposed Obama plan, NASA will no longer be in the human spaceflight business, as space transportation services will be turned over to commercial firms.

Buzz says that with his plan, commercial carriers would fly astronauts and cargo up to the space station, but NASA would stay in the human spaceflight business by designing and building the Exploration Module, or XM.
The prototype of the spacecraft would be built in space, using excess modules and parts left over from constructing the space station. Buzz proposes continuing to fly the space shuttle for several additional flights to bring up the pieces. The XM would be docked to the station and outfitted by astronauts.

Then, attach a rocket engine is attached to the prototype and head to the Moon, just for a flyby.

To keep much of the current NASA workforce employed, Buzz proposes to use the shuttle until the replacement can be built, and to use shuttle derived part for the heavy lift XM. “Why should we abandon something before a replacement ship is available? Sure doesn’t make much sense to me,” he said.

“By building a deep-space craft,” Buzz writes, “NASA can use much of their engineering know-how and put a form to Charlie Bolden’s Mars mission dream. It allows the commercial folks their unfettered access to the station, as President Obama proposes. And it recommits America to leadership in space by aiming at Mars, using parts and equipment already paid for by the taxpayers.”
Buzz wants to know: What are we waiting for?

Read his entire piece at AOL.

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44 Responses

  1. vagueofgodalming says

    well on our way

    I always appreciate a good bit of weasel wording. A casual reader might almost think he meant that we can *get* to Mars by that date.

    No, we’ll only be ‘well on our way’. Which we have been since, oh, 1957.

  2. Maxwell says

    Apollo was only possible within its short time scale because there was a direct line of command from the powers that be to the powers that would build.

    It remains to be seen exactly how NASA will get what it wants from commercial players.
    So while I think we can go to mars in a decade or so, while this confusion reigns not much can happen.

  3. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Buzz is going on “Dancing With the Stars” and is being paid $200,000 for the ‘privilege.’ Not much credibility here, and is very likely part of the ‘contract’ to raise his profile for the television show.

    Really. Time the old man becomes a part of history instead of pretending to be the main headline.

  4. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    the underlying goal of getting to Mars

    That is the problem, right there. There is no “underlying goal”, no shadow agenda, no skunk works. Nor should it be.

    You don’t do stuff (even exploration and colonization) by “push production”. (Well, unless you press the haphazard unlucky adventurer or prisoners to go and take the risks/inconveniences.) What you need is curiosity and markets to pull you along.

    Our curiosity is more cheaply taken care of by robotics. And the only space markets as of yet is communications, weather/climate research and of course the new up-and-coming biggie: tourism. All of those are LEO/GEO as of yet.

    Mars will happen, but not for another couple of generations.

    [And that is counting on technological progress, as we need to know how to get there alive (best bet: much faster rockets) and how to land. We don’t as of yet, nor are those easy obstacles to surmount.]

  5. tek_604 says

    Apollo was possible not just because of the politics of the time, but also due to massive spending.

    If Buzz wants to get to Mars so quick, there is one possible way… Zubrin’s “Mars Direct”. I just read his book (“The Case For Mars”), and it all seems possible, technically. But I’d like to see his figures updated to 2010 values.

    Doing it the way Buzz is saying just will not happen.

  6. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    @ HSBC: “Poisoning the well” is not a credible argument either. Just saying.

  7. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Question to Torbjorn.

    Good point, but I am just wondering why I haven’t heard about Buzz Aldrin for ages, and then since the opening of the winter Olympics it has been a media blitz.
    No doubt Buzz is an American hero, and probably very deservedly so, but it seems he has set himself out more as a multimedia personality than an ‘expert’ on aeronautics or on space policy. (I.e. Bookings for Buzz speaking ay a fee, for example, can be made at can be made Athlete Promotions”)
    He seems to be (yet again) dragged out to beat the drum for grand patriotism towards maintaining US longterm Moon and Mars expeditions. It doesn’t matter what is possible or financially viable, just wheel out some idea of the dream, set the time just beyond the incumbent President, then wave the flag and rally the troops.Buzz is the ideal patsy to do this propaganda because he is popular and very affable.

    Anyone saying “The plan I’ve designed, called a unified space vision,” seems to me suspicious. I would have the Obama’s space plan is based on significant consultations with NASA experts and government. Buzz’s might be a good idea, but where is the necessary analysis of it being a realistic and affordable. If NASA says it will now have trouble (being impossible) to get to the Moon by 2020, then how is anyone going to by going to Mars eight years from now in 2019?

    The idea is utter fantasy within the short time frame presented, and I think even Buzz knows that!

    Please Note: I have absolutely no association with the link site, and only point it his promotional involvements)

  8. Astrofiend says

    I tend to agree Mr. Crumb.

    For some reason (and with all due respect to Buzz), when Buzz speaks about these things, his words are inevitably afforded huge amounts of gravitas simply because he has this special standing in history as one of the first men on the moon. Now that’s all well and good, but the plan he puts forward here seems like the kind of thing that any Joe Average could come up with.

    Where is the detailed engineering feasibility studies behind it? Where will the funding come from? I can come up with a plan for human space flight too. Coming up with a plan that dovetails with what is actually possible politically, financially and technologically is another thing all together.

    I’m not putting down Buzz – I’m just saying that many people can come up with plans for space exploration, but there are many good reasons why these haven’t come to fruition. What exactly sets this plan apart, besides the fact that it was suggested by the second man to walk on the moon?

  9. Jon Hanford says

    Ar least someone (Buzz) has a vision for NASA’s future. I don’t happen to agree with his plan, but the current administration appears clueless!

  10. Maxwell says

    Buzz’s opinion is better than Joe Average’s because hes an above average person who’s actually been to the moon.
    Now I don’t agree with it entirely, but he’s been pushing a similar idea for quite some time now. Just that the ongoing scuffle with constellation and the new administration brought the media spotlight back to the surviving Apollo astronauts.
    All of them tend to be pro exploration.

  11. Homme du Sud says

    Crumb is partial right. The question is good but it requires critical thinking based on realistic facts not dreams or fantasy. Buzz is only one man, who seems to have the possibility of a personal motive.
    Does he have the qualifications and leadership to be the significant voice of modern day space exploration? (I actually don’t know who really does!)
    Also where Buzz is perhaps misguided is that resources to get to Mars could also be made as a global endeavour. Why does he discount this considering the enormous costs involved and to weakness of the US economy? His views are certainly a costly dream.

  12. Homme du Sud says

    Maxwell said;
    “Buzz’s opinion is better than Joe Average’s because hes an above average person who’s actually been to the moon.”

    Sorry that is irrelevant. He is an 80 years old man who is now well away from the modern space program and going to the Moon was more than 40 years ago – now a whole generation ago!
    Perhaps we should ask an less biassed ex-Shuttle astronaut instead?

  13. Maxwell says

    Sorry, but even in senility I think he’s still got one better than the shuttle astronauts.
    They were an integral part of developing the Apollo system. They were taking risks well above and beyond what the shuttle astronauts signed up for… and needless to say they came from an era where making big leaps and bounds in capability was the natural progression of things.

    You want a paradigm shift in the space program?
    Talking to people who cant see a shuttle replacement within the next decade or two probably isn’t the best place to start…

  14. Kevin says

    Why is everyone obsessed with keeping all of the space center’s staff on? I mean, I feel bad for all those engineers out of a job, and it won’t be good for the local economy, but what is the Government worried about – them running off and joining Al Queda? If private companies get into the space business there should be jobs out there.

  15. p_ward_ramdohr says

    Going to Mars would be the coolest thing ever!

    But getting real we dont have a good enough reason to do it. (Yeah velcro, microwave ovens, bla blah… sorry: not good enough)

    It is simply too far, too risky and too difficult.

    We dont have the technology nor I believe we will have it in the next 100 years.

    Sorry for the downer but I dont see the world re-prioritizing trillions of dollars over 2 decades send people to Mars when robots can do almost anything for peanuts (comparatively of course).

    Just my humble opinion. Please no flames…

    Patrick

  16. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    My biggest complaint about the cancellation of the lunar program is the loss of the large Ares launch vehicle. Think of the telescopes and other detectors that could be lofted with that! This is to my mind a sad loss.

    This plan is a shoe-string idea of getting to Mars, and it does not include how exactly you will get astronauts to the Martian surface and back up again. This is a difficult and very expensive challenge.

    I think that Mars should be robotically explored. I think ideas of putting astronauts on Mars ,and much more ideas of Martian settlements, are expensive pie in the sky notions. I doubt they will happen, at least not any time soon.

    LC

  17. Paul Eaton-Jones says

    No doubt Buzz is making a play for a t.v. appearence or whatever but he does have a credible engineering background. And he IS a hero along with all the other Mercury/Gemini/Apollo/Vostook etc etc crews. Not just an American hero either. He and the others are world heroes. These people did it, were pioneers. We should build statues 100 feet tall of all of them. I’m glad that space flight is now relatively routine and far safer than 50 years ago and those guys, and two women carved the path. But anyone under the age of 35 probably doesn’t understand the thrill and excitement of the early days. It’s easy to be blase and dismiss and occasionally ridicule people such as Aldrin becasue they’re now old men and we all know how youngsters ignore oldies. No more heroes.

  18. Paul Eaton-Jones says

    Thank goodness most of the important world decisions aren’t taken by people who contribute posts to UT. Their dystopian view of the future whether it be space exploration, climate change etc is the kind of late 20th/early 21st century ennui and self-loathing that drags us down. “Oh, there’s nothing to be done”,” we can’t solve the problem of ……”. And of course there’s the barely veiled racist line about keeping technological advancement away from the emerging nations as ‘they’ are causing all the pollution etc.
    The continuous cries along the lines of “If our species does manage to survive the next 100 years our children will be grubbing around in the muck as the tides lap around their ears while mutating due to increased uv”. I have an idea. Let’s use our very large problem-solving brains and innovate our way out of the current [perceived] problems.

  19. p_ward_ramdohr says

    I say let the martians come to us!

  20. Homme du Sud says

    Maxwell said;
    “Sorry, but even in senility I think he’s still got one better than the shuttle astronauts.
    They were an integral part of developing the Apollo system. They were taking risks well above and beyond what the shuttle astronauts signed up for… and needless to say they came from an era where making big leaps and bounds in capability was the natural progression of things.”

    Um. You have missed the point somewhat.

    Put it this way. The Apollo program was brilliant, and at the time technologically the best for its time. Yet space engineering, aeronautics and computer advancements have made significant strides in recent years, to the extend that has put the Apollo as mostly old and antiquated. (Almost compared, say, to propellor airplanes to ramjets.

    Buzz Aldrin is rightfully an American hero, but his vision is mostly stuck in the past. His words alone are really compromised, if only because he likely does it for other reasons I.e. Profit or attention.

    Logically. landing second on the moon does not automatically qualify anyone for the direction the US space program should go.

    Buzz here is only a pawn to get the attention of Congress to try and reverse the decision of Obama commercial vision for space and the cancellation / modification of Constellation and Ares.

    IMO, his own views are polarize the public against the change. It is not to be as the isolated author of the way ahead for the entire program.

  21. ZomZom says

    I think his ideas, especially the XM module and building on our existing Shuttle infrastructure, make a lot of sense. I’d like to see the details of the XM module fleshed out, but Buzz has provided more vision in this one AOL piece than the administration has since proposing Constellation’s demise.

  22. Member
    Aqua says

    At least I’m not the only one pushing for reusing the HTV’s and ATV’s and Progress’ and MPLM’s! Ho! Lets GO!

  23. Member
    Aqua says

    2 HTV’s and 2 ATV’s alternately spaced on a cross shaped gravity wheel hub. Inflatable tube habitats connect the ends of the four modules, forming a gravity wheel. At the axis of the wheel, suspended in a spoked tensegrity structure, is the atomic powered ion/plasma rocket engine and e/m field generator. The superconducting e/m field generator surrounds the spacecraft in a protective electromagnetic cocoon, warding off ionizing radiation.

  24. Maxwell says

    Buzz was not exactly for Constellation (he said as much long before this latest row) and this plan of his is one he’s been proposing for some time now.

    Everyone is wagering that Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bigelow or any of the newspace contenders knows something NASA doesn’t. I more figure they just want the business that other manufacturers have now.
    …which makes this more of a paperwork shuffle than a plan for the future. A new method for producing similar vehicles at similar prices when all is said and done.

    If we’ve come to a point in our nation where visionary ideas are a thing of the past, there isn’t anything to expect from NASA. They will carry out the missions as ordered, leaving us to blame for not expecting more.

  25. SuperKevin says

    Love the idea of going to/colonizing Mars, but going there by rocket is slow and wasteful in my opinion. It’s best to wait until we’ve devleoped much faster and safer space transportation to attempt such a journey.

  26. GPS says

    I think NASA should do the same thing for a Heavy Lift Launcher they did with COTS —

    Request proposals from companies lift some defined number of (say 75 MT Payloads) into low earth orbit. For X amount of money but the first payload must go up by 2013.

  27. neoguru says

    Woo Hoo! Finally got a password to log in! ANYBODY who popularizes space travel is OK by me! wtg Buzz. Unless commercial space travel can show a profit, it’s doomed. How ya gonna make money out there? It MUST be a world effort. If we’re lucky we’ll make Mars this century. I think it will involve a volunteer on a one-way trip, probably not an American. Robots are the way for now…..

  28. Olaf says

    Meanwhile the Chinese are sending their first module of their version of ISS in 2011 to space.

  29. Astrofiend says

    Paul Eaton-Jones Says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 5:43 am

    No one is putting down Buzz. He is indeed a special person and his achievements are inarguably grand. Having said that, there is no reason to value his vision of the future of space flight above those of the modern day heroes – the current crop of brilliant young minds who currently drive NASA forward. Unfortunately however, it’s the brilliant minds that don’t get to set the direction of the space program. They don’t get the chance to build a coherent vision and then act on it because the realities of financial constraints and political ineptitude from both sides of politics screws them over time and time again. At least once a decade, some clown comes along and forces NASA to perform a rapid 180 while maintaining a stupid grin.

    I think you’re projecting your own issues here. I don’t think you’d find any young person with an interest in astronomy, physics, aeronautics or spaceflight that has anything less than a wowed awe for Buzz and indeed the achievements of any astronauts. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find any that didn’t share that same sense of electric excitement when looking back on those first days of the space program, or anyone who wouldn’t look forward with tremendous enthusiasm for human potential in this area for the future.

    Likewise, I don’t think many people here begrudge China, India or any other country throwing their hat in the ring and getting to space. What they do say is that comparing these countries that seem to have a space vision to America these days seems increasingly disappointing – the US, whose very essence of being seemed to be the drive forward to great things, seems to be flagging badly. Nothing wrong with being disillusioned with that, yet you seem to always wheel out this ‘barely disguised racism’ card at every available chance which is absurd. What fundamentally racist comments have ever been ventured forth here? Preposterous.

  30. Jon Hanford says

    Sino experecience in manned space missions are several years behind the US or Russia. In light of that Shuttle decision, I guess certain elements tied with the military.

  31. Al Hall says

    I’ve thought for a long time that it would make more sense to construct a craft in LEO, or better, at the ISS (I know, it’s in LEO. You know what I mean.). Maybe as few as five Shuttle launches would be enough to get there and start a permanent base on the moon, then heavy lift launches after to sustain and expand if we are serious about it… Mars, maybe a good 20-25 components (launches) including the propulsion systems before heading out.. Redundancy. We don’t need the Shuttle but we need heavy lifters to get it all up there. Oh yeah, we need humans to put it all together and a few of them to go along for the ride.
    Buzz Aldrin’s idea isn’t a new idea and it isn’t his idea. What the real pity is, is that we won’t get to Mars in his lifetime. Possibly not even in mine. Or yours..
    The current administration says that “we” will focus more on research and development for better, faster and safer means of space travel… Okay, I’m fine with that, I suppose. I’ve always been a proponent of faster travel. But we are going to be completely grounded or have to rely on other nations or untried private enterprises until then?
    What is NASA’s 2011 proposed budget? 18 billion or something?…. Okay, fine… I say, if they are serious then they will spend at least ten billion on the R & D for these new technologies… Do what you want with the other eight billion.
    Zubrin has a point. You come up with a goal and a plan, then you figure out how to do it. New technologies for example… What we are being told now is that we will come up with new technologies, then we will make a plan.
    The current administration is being vague about the future of NASA on purpose. They (Obama) aren’t interested in our (USA) progress of exploration or being the leader on that front. They are concerned with progress, yes.. But only on social agendas. It appears to me that the only reason they don’t just come right out and say it is because they know there will not be a second term if they do.
    When I was reading this article I chuckled when I read: “NASA can use much of their engineering know-how and put a form to Charlie Bolden’s Mars mission dream”… Charlie Bolden and his loyal subordinate Lori Garver don’t have a “Mars dream”… Well, to be fair, maybe they do… But if they do, they sure aren’t standing up for themselves or NASA. From what I see they are just lap dogs of the current administration.. What a pity for us and our species..

  32. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Maxwell said;

    “If we’ve come to a point in our nation where visionary ideas are a thing of the past, there isn’t anything to expect from NASA. They will carry out the missions as ordered, leaving us to blame for not expecting more.”

    Excellent point which I do wholeheartedly agree. However, as I’ve said elsewhere in UT, the American (and most of the world economy) has to be worked on first. In the meantime there is nothing wrong with formulating another line of attack and appropriate new direction for the space program.
    We will get to Mars, but it might just take a little longer,

    Appreciate your point of view, here

  33. wjwbudro says

    @ Olaf…
    Meanwhile the Chinese are sending their first module of their version of ISS in 2011 to space.

    What are they using to throw this module up there?

  34. tek_604 says

    To all those who say a manned mission to Mars cannot be done tecnically, or that using rockets to get there is not fast enough, or that we should build a spacecraft to get to Mars in LEO… Read “The Case For Mars”, or google “Mars Direct”.

    It is possible, fairly cheaply, and using local materials to produce fuel on the surface for return. The space community just needs to grow a pair 😉

  35. A Waterman says

    Good on Buzz. We should already be there. If the momentum of the Apollo program had been maintained we would be. “It’s too far”, “We’re not clever enough”, “Can’t afford it”. Come on guys – where would the US be if the European navigators had thought like that? Maybe we have to do it by international public subscription?

  36. Paul Eaton-Jones says

    To Astrofiend.1) I am NOT projecting my own issues at all.
    2) I wasn’t aware that, ‘yet you seem to always wheel out this ‘barely disguised racism’ card at every available chance …’
    My point is that whenever the future is mentioned with regard to space exploration and climate change especially a number of posters say we must cut back our use of coal/oil and direct our finances elsewhere as it is essentially pointless. The Chinese and Indians are, apparently, to be encouraged to slow down with their industrial revolutions for the sake of the planet. So that’s ok then. We can luxuriate in three square meals a day etc while they scratch out a meagre existance and continue to live in poverty as they have for centuries. Let’s call it discrimination instead of racism then.
    Preposterous? I hardly think so.
    As for Aldrin etc being revered by today’s youngsters well I work in a school and these astronauts are considered figures from history and no frisson happens when they’re mentioned. Fact.

  37. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Paul Eaton-Jones said:

    “My point is that whenever the future is mentioned with regard to space exploration and climate change especially a number of posters say we must cut back our use of coal/oil and direct our finances elsewhere as it is essentially pointless. The Chinese and Indians are, apparently, to be encouraged to slow down with their industrial revolutions for the sake of the planet. So that’s ok then. We can luxuriate in three square meals a day etc while they scratch out a meagre existance and continue to live in poverty as they have for centuries. Let’s call it discrimination instead of racism then.”

    Oh dear. This is not discrimination nor racism, is sounds more like wanton xenophobia. Why the need for this emotive claptrap, which is mostly not actually relevant to the comments here?

    Who say, and what does it mean to say;

    “The Chinese and Indians are, apparently, to be encouraged to slow down with their industrial revolutions for the sake of the planet.”

    Yet who but a xenophobe would decrees that;

    “We can luxuriate in three square meals a day etc while they scratch out a meagre existance and continue to live in poverty as they have for centuries.”

    The exact opposite to what you say is true. While there has been problems, poverty in both China and India has been on the steady decline for more than forty years. In fact adopting a market system has only benefited their peoples.

    Frankly this response of yours reads like an American with crazy ideas to desperately hold onto its seemingly fading empire. Let’s face it. The absolute mess that is the current US economy in deep recession is mostly caused by its gross excesses of its corporations and financial system.

    Do you say this just to divert all the “problems at home”?

    So instead of lashing out at everyone else for the woes of the space program, perhaps you should instead be more introspective and actually begin fixing the US economic problems. Then going to the Moon, Mars, or anywhere else for that matter, won’t be such a question of cut back and changes in direction.

    Xenophobia for the sake of feeling better about seemingly poor choices made by Americans in the last decade or so is pathetic. That is what is preposterous.

  38. Paul Eaton-Jones says

    To Hon B. C. I think you may have slightly misinterpreted part of my comments. When I said ‘luxuriate in three meals a day’ etc it was not meant to say ‘I’m alright Jack stuff the Asians scratching a meagre living’. THAT impression comes from those who say Asia has to cut back/control their expansion. I’m all in favour of the developing world forging ahead and enabling their people prosper. As a Briton I’m keen on the former empire members going their own way. Hardly xenophobic.
    While I agree with you that poverty has declined in India and China over a couple of generations there are still many hundreds of thousands in distant rural areas whose livestyles haven’t changed in thousands of years. There is a growing movement here in Britain, on the left, and elsewhere that is urging these people to become more in touch with their surroundings [??] and become more sustainable. They also feel that allowing them access to modern technology for farming for instance is destroying an ancient way of life and anyway giving them tractors, harvesters etc or anything that burns oil is only contrbuting to climate change. THAT is the preposteropus thing here not my attempting to champion their development. Like I said it’s all part of the culture of self-loathing and self-recrimination.

  39. Member
    Aqua says

    Later on we’ll find out that the military got back to the Moon and then on to Mars in the late 80’s.. (Shhhh… hush-hush~) The MOON! THAT’s where that supposed Martian meteor with the fossilized microbes really came from… not Antarctica! The MOON Alice!

  40. Olaf says

    @wjwbudro

    The Chinese are developing their own rockets. They do not require Russian rockets.

    Look up: Shenzhou and Tiangong 1

    The thing is that many private companies get bought by Chinese investors. So it is very realistic that Obama is ging to spend US money on private companies that have chinese investors and they probably will use that money to get patents and technology for their own rockets.

    For example IBM computers is now Chinese called Lenovov. So I am wondering what private rocket company will be in chinese investors hands sooner or later?

  41. wjwbudro says

    I understand the Chinese are racing ahead in all areas of technology in part thanks to their aggressive espionage agenda (I was one of their victims) but, afaik they don’t/won’t have anything close to the heavy lift capability of the shuttle to move the hardware and crew necessary to construct a comparable ISS. And financially speaking, the ISS wouldn’t be up there if it wasn’t for the international collaboration and if you’ve been listening to the market watchers, China has it’s own bubble to deal with. Maybe later but, 2011 is a bit pie in the sky.
    On the other hand maybe they would consider a part interest in a completed ISS and a fleet of slightly used and thoroughly tested shuttles. Also, NASA will have some support infrastructure and manpower experience they might consider leasing. That would pay down the debt to them and we could use it to revive our plans beyond leo. Watcha think lol.

  42. chichiki123 says

    And if they are finally there on Mars then you can expect high resolution “black&white pictures” or “low res color pictures” with a pink filter.

    I demand 1080p HDTV or higher quality in plain RGB!!

  43. Olaf says

    @wjwbudro, you are assuming that Chinese have scientific interest and want to replicate the ISS.

    The Chinese are very secretive in heir missions. Very likely that their goal is military and prove that they are superior compared to the US.

    I don’t think that Bush wanted to go to the moon. I think he was forced to it since the Chinese were building their own space force and the US would fall behind.

    The Chinese are just one example; many other countries are going for the manned moon.
    I really hope that I am completely wrong and that private companies really can put manned missions outside LEO. But I work in a private company using government funding and I tell you that it is unlikely that it will create the expected results since most private companies will take the government funding, use the money for their own gain and at the end create some power point presentation that has fake numbers. My estimate is that 3/4 private companies will take the money and have almost no results at the end. Just some quick hack to pretend they have something.

  44. wjwbudro says

    @ Olaf Says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Meanwhile the Chinese are sending their first module of their version of ISS in 2011 to space.

    Your original post. You didn’t bother to elaborate on their specific intentions.

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