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View Diary: Orbital Sciences Launches Antares Rocket: It's Kinda / Sorta Cool, I Guess. (37 comments)

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  •  Antarctica was explored (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rodentrancher, Calamity Jean, elfling

    decades before the UN ever existed and nobody wanted to live there - for good reason.

    Yet it has normal gravity, a breathable atmosphere,  standard atmospheric pressure, abundant water and currently supports life.

    Even the most barren desert on earth is more habitable than Mars.

    Other than the coolness factor of saying "Hey we went there" I'm not sure what Mars has to offer as a habitat.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:50:34 PM PDT

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    •  Mars offers a totally new start (0+ / 0-)

      in a totally new set of circumstances and environments that nowhere on Earth car replicate (there's nowhere on Earth with 38% g), to start entirely new societies that break away from the prejudices and ideologies of the past and try new things.  It offers more than enough water and air in the subsurface ices, not to mention as fuel.  And it's still close enough to the Sun for solar power to be practical, but there's no reason not to use nuclear either - and special windmills might work too.

      Democracy is a habit, not a circumstance.

      by Troubadour on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 08:12:02 PM PDT

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      •  Sure, there are reasons to go, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW

        the Major makes a pretty good point here.

        Aside from the gravity, there are deserts full of abandoned mines on earth full of exciting resources, but short on the whole water thing. Antarctica even comes with the water.

        When you look at how much trouble it is to get and maintain people and supplies on Antarctica, it gives a fresh appreciation for the challenge of a martian colony.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 01:01:02 AM PDT

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        •  Main reason to go (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Troubadour

          As Stephen Hawking has recommended, we need to prepare for the potentially catastrophic consequences of global warming. Redundancy is the mechanism used to avert such situations in computer world & it's a robust philosophy that reduces the possiblilty of human extinction.

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