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Topic: Episode 140: Is There Anyone With A Life On Mars?  (Read 10803 times)

Mister Smalls

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I'm still boggled by these designers and hobbyists who think they have what it takes. I studied art and print because I wanted a cushy, metropolitan lifestyle. If I thought I needed the skills to survive on my own, I don't think I'd even own a computer. I want to attribute it to naďveté, because I cannot believe everyone is so arrogant that they think they can be astronauts just by winning a raffle contest.Adam Bozarth, June 25, 2014, 04:33:29 pm
I'd bet it's less naďveté and more completely disregarding the actual rigors and risks involved in modern-day space travel in favor of pure Malatora-esque escapism, wherein these people just create a scenario where they can go found their own society away from everybody who ever shoved them in a locker or recommended them a backup plan career.  Except in this case these people are actually throwing money at their bullshit escapism instead of just talking on a forum about how cool it would be to be a robot dragon.

Legit

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I'm still boggled by these designers and hobbyists who think they have what it takes. I studied art and print because I wanted a cushy, metropolitan lifestyle. If I thought I needed the skills to survive on my own, I don't think I'd even own a computer. I want to attribute it to naďveté, because I cannot believe everyone is so arrogant that they think they can be astronauts just by winning a raffle contest.Adam Bozarth, June 25, 2014, 04:33:29 pm
I'd bet it's less naďveté and more completely disregarding the actual rigors and risks involved in modern-day space travel in favor of pure Malatora-esque escapism, wherein these people just create a scenario where they can go found their own society away from everybody who ever shoved them in a locker or recommended them a backup plan career.  Except in this case these people are actually throwing money at their bullshit escapism instead of just talking on a forum about how cool it would be to be a robot dragon.
Mister Smalls, June 25, 2014, 05:05:24 pm
This is the only place on the internet you can say "malatora-esque" and have everyone know exactly what you mean.
Trill La Trill

Mister Smalls

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I was going to coin the term "Malatorian" but I felt I was already on the verge of sounding pretentious

STOG

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As one of those sad people with an English major and not much else beyond some middling writing talent and hand-eye coordination from too many video games, I don't think I'd want to go on a mission to Mars.

This is not only because I have anxiety issues, but also because I've been reading This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age by William E. Hobbes, and I have an idea of how fragile and exact space flight is. I would be staring out the window terrified because I think I would be getting cancer from unfiltered sun rays, or terrified that some vital piece of garbage on the metal hunk of junk is going to break apart and leave us stranded.

So if NASA or a private space flight company needs someone to pound at the hull of the spaceship and scream himself to death in his own space suit, I have a very high salary requirement. And also I want a jetpack.
Navigator
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 03:56:38 pm by STOG »

montrith

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And also I want a jetpack.

I see your reading list didn't include Why Jetpacks Are Also a Terrible Idea.

Isfahan

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To be fair, jetpacks would work a lot better in a vacuum.

Goose Goose Honk At Me Now

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And also I want a jetpack.

I see your reading list didn't include Why Jetpacks Are Also a Terrible Idea.
montrith, June 26, 2014, 04:58:49 pm
Boba Fett has one and Boba Fett is cool, therefore jetpacks are cool.

KingKalamari

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These people would be dead long long looooong before they got to Mars. Long before they even left Earth's atmosphere.

Given that the average cost to just get a space shuttle into orbit is several billion dollars and that Indiegogo project was asking for 1/1,000th of that to go to freaking Mars I'm thinking this entire endeavor would end up far more like one's first time playing Kerbal Space program. Just a giant, rickety contraption of a rocket ship that explodes the minute the engines are engaged...

Runic

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Well here's the thing. Like Lemon said in the bumper, SpaceX is an actual legit company. They really actually do have a functional spaceship. NASA might be contracting them soon to take supplies to the International Space Station. I have absolutely no doubt that SpaceX really does intend to go to Mars. Will they be able to do that? I have no idea, but they're quite a few steps closer to doing so than your average internet fantasist.

Their indegogo campaign has nothing to do with needing the money, they've got fucking billionaires funding them. It's an attempt to build buzz around the Mars One project, which is something an increasing number of big companies are doing with crowdsourcing sites. The money doesn't matter, what matters is getting people hyped. Will SpaceX start a colony on Mars? Maybe they will, maybe they won't, but not a single one of the people who donated to the kickstarter or posted to the fan forums will be hitching a ride with them any time soon, that's for sure.

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Is this the same company, or are there two Dutch groups with delusions about space travel?

http://www.whoateallthepies.tv/world_cup/193567/holland-squad-promised-free-trip-into-space-if-they-win-the-world-cup.html

KingKalamari

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Well here's the thing. Like Lemon said in the bumper, SpaceX is an actual legit company. They really actually do have a functional spaceship. NASA might be contracting them soon to take supplies to the International Space Station. I have absolutely no doubt that SpaceX really does intend to go to Mars. Will they be able to do that? I have no idea, but they're quite a few steps closer to doing so than your average internet fantasist.

Their indegogo campaign has nothing to do with needing the money, they've got fucking billionaires funding them. It's an attempt to build buzz around the Mars One project, which is something an increasing number of big companies are doing with crowdsourcing sites. The money doesn't matter, what matters is getting people hyped. Will SpaceX start a colony on Mars? Maybe they will, maybe they won't, but not a single one of the people who donated to the kickstarter or posted to the fan forums will be hitching a ride with them any time soon, that's for sure.
Runic, June 27, 2014, 08:11:47 pm

Ah, that makes sense. I was a little unclear on that part.

I still think my point stands if the people from the latter half of the episode were involved in a Mars mission in any capacity

montrith

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https://medium.com/matter/all-dressed-up-for-mars-and-nowhere-to-go-7e76df527ca0
Old_Zircon, November 12, 2014, 11:57:24 am

Can you give us a cliffnotes version without all the added human drama and pathos? I'm skimming it and jumping over every paragraph that's about people making coffee or speaking with an accent.

SATAN MILKSHAKE

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There's a nerd in Australia who declined a relationship with a cute girl and moved back in his parents' house to dedicate himself full-time to preparing for Mars, by drumming up popular support, talking to kids in schools, and writing a book about it.  Mars One is made up of three people, two in the Netherlands and one in San Jose.  One of them is a NASA psychologist who does the personality screening for applicants.
“Anybody we didn’t consider serious we considered kind of an idiot. In the videos, some applied naked. I mean, how can you come to a job interview and apply naked? So that was quite easy.”
The Mars One people believe that they can make it happen, but everything technological on their website is vague as fuck and their tech expert refused to do an interview because he was "too busy".  The Australian nerd has done a number of legitimately interesting things with his life, but is dead-set on Mars now.  There's a guy at NASA who thinks Mars One is "kinda cool".  The author is fully aware that going to Mars would mean shitty, uncomfortable life all alone until you die, and that gave him a nightmare.  This is the CEO of Mars One:
Lansdorp’s background is in wind energy, but he now bills his professional areas of expertise as “entrepreneurship, public speaking, start-ups.”
Mars One claims that its projected budget is so low because it doesn't have to deal with government contractors.  The NASA guy said "that's wrong".  Mars One also says that they can be riskier and less safe, and save money that way.  Mars One is not affiliated with SpaceX, but they are affiliated with Lockheed Martin.  Lockheed is going to do feasibility tests for them on the design of their ship.

They're going to get them the design of their ship as soon as some university designs it for them.  (No particular university, they're not picky.)  They've also got other contracts, including one with the company behind Big Brother, because the reality show they make out of training for the mission to Mars is a crucial part of their mission.  They bet they can get eight billion dollars for this, based on the viewership of the Olympics.
There is the small problem of not having the money until you have the show and not having the show until you have the technology and not having the technology until you have the money and possibly not having the technology in time, or ever, which is why, Mars One says on its website, the schedule is flexible.
There's a guy who sued NASA over not investigating a rock that could have been alien life on Mars.  He wrote a paper about funding a Mars mission through a reality show in 2010 

Actual Astronaut Chris Hadfield talks about how poorly planned Mars One is.  A bunch of MIT grad students put together a paper that evaluated Mars One's chances of success, and the contained atmosphere would quickly become toxic and the first death would occur 68 days after landing.  Their funding sources are kind of dumb and they refused to give him any clear answer on the number of applicants.

He comes away from all this with an appreciation for the difficulty and danger of space flight, and says that Mars One doesn't care about the consequences, both for the actual mission and for people who are putting their faith in them.  The nerd from the beginning of the story knows there's shit-all chance of anything happening, but hope is important.
Zsa Zsa JT GodOfCheevos

montrith

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They have also appeared in a version suspiciously close to what Mars One is proposing in The Journal of Cosmology, a controversial online journal edited by Rhawn Joseph. Joseph is probably best known for filing a lawsuit against NASA, for allegedly failing to adequately investigate an object on the surface of Mars discovered by the Curiosity rover. He contended that the object could have been a living organism. It turned out to be a rock. (He also writes a great deal about human sexuality, but you probably missed his paper “Sexual Consciousness: The Evolution of Breasts, Buttocks and the Big Brain.”)

In 2010, Joseph wrote “Marketing Mars: Financing the Human Mission to Mars and the Colonization of the Red Planet.” The biggest revenue stream in his plan is a reality TV series that would film every minute of the training and mission and send it out to the world. A combination of the Super Bowl, the Olympic Games, the NBA, Star Wars, Big Brother, American Idol, and Survivor, mixed with a little Running Man.

Okay, now I'm less interested in Mars One and more keen on this Rhawn Joseph guy. And lo, it appears he does have a website!

http://brainmind.com/

Dr. Joseph is single and is not married.

Although he has certainly had his wild times, chasing women and carousing late at night, Joseph lives the life of a scholar and scientist who sometimes runs with the wolves. He is an artist, musician, has written screenplays, and has authored short stories and books under other names, co-wrote a highly successful off-Broadway play, and has created over 60 documentary films which have been viewed over 49 million times.

When he is not working, Dr. Joseph spends a considerable amount of time walking in the mountains, in the woods, and near the sea...thinking. Always thinking.