Wednesday, August 15, 2012



I'm leaping, sure. I'm arguably so over-excited about a 6-wheel drive science lab on the Red Planet, that I hope people are energized to support space exploration! Come on, even Britney Spears tweeted about the Curiosity Rover.

We have the admiration of the president, the attention of the nation -- indeed, of many nations. Can we suggest a truly renewed effort to get HUMANS to Mars?

Cowboys On Mars
Most space enthusiasts, from Neil deGrasse Tyson on PBS to anyone attending the average Star Trek Con (that would be me) can tell you the iconic "5 Greatest Challenges In Getting Humans To Mars"...
1. Need for quicker propulsion craft with less fuel
2. Long duration weightlessness causes bone and muscle deterioration
3. Radiation, radiation, radiation
4. Appetizing and non-perishable food
5. Meteoroids pummeling the spaceship along the way...

And of course, the unspoken elephant in the rooms are always the massive costs and collaboration of nations.

Curiosity Rover Mission
As to the technical difficulties, from NASA bedrest studies to Hawaii's new space food trials, from Franklin Chang-Diaz's plasma rocket to Mars500 and other analog simulations, agencies and universities all over the world are trying to tackle these problems from all angles.

I personally participated in the bed rest studies as a form of "space flight simulation", mimicking the body processes that change during weightlessness. While I appreciated the Earthbound uses for the data in terms of osteoporosis and pregnant women on bedrest, my primary reason for participating was for the sake of getting humans to planet Mars, no doubt.

The same can be said for all these bodies of research. Real-world applications? Absolutely. Yet, the primary reason they inspire and go forward is the long-term dream of planetary exploration.

Mars To Stay
Or, if you're of the "Reality Television" type, click here ;)

However you do it, support these initiatives! Even if you just comb SPACEHACK and look for a project to engage in from your laptop -- hey, tweet it, Facebook it, get the word out! Support research and support space agencies! In terms of survival and progress, they are the bet Bang For Buck the Earth has ever known...