JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SPACE X TESTS ITS MARS ROCKET MAIN BOOSTER – THE POINTLESSNESS OF SENDING MEN TO MARS – MACHINES CAN DO ALL PLANETARY EXPLORATION BETTER NOW – ELON MUSK AS THE REINCARNATION OF AMERICA’S P. T. BARNUM   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“SpaceX successfully tests its planned Mars rocket

“Rocket lifted 150 metres off the ground”

 

The thing does look just like a prop from a 1950s sci-fi film.

I’ve never seen the point of sending people to Mars. It requires vast amounts of support – food, water, oxygen, waste disposal, fuel, etc. – all hurled tens of millions of miles, just for being able to say “We’ve been there, briefly.”

We now know to a certainty – from our robots and satellites – that the place is unrelentingly hostile. The surface layer may even be poisonous.

I love the idea of exploring Mars, but our robots now can do ten-times the job of which humans are capable.

And they can do it at a fraction of the cost.

Really, this is comic-book stuff, not science. Fun, maybe, if you’re not paying the bills.

And, of course, Musk isn’t. Everything he does involves subsidies – the rockets hugely so from NASA and the Pentagon – or manipulation in the stock market to get his hands on new cash.

He’s a “dreamer,” yes, but, first and foremost, he’s the new American P. T. Barnum.

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