Sunday, April 17, 2016

What does NASA do that is worthwhile?

Worthwhile like Apollo say.  Apollo worked, and put America into the history books for ever.  What is NASA doing today?  Paying $30 million a seat to the Russians for a ride to the ISS?  Buying Russian made rocket engines for the ULA Atlas booster?  Launching a few robot probes? 
  Are we getting our money's worth?
  The only real history making mission left is a manned Mars mission.  This is within today's technology.  I've seen plans to send the assent stage to Mars, making a soft landing under remote control. Then sending a second one just in case something breaks.  Then setting up a nuclear powered chemical plant to synthesize fuel for the return trip from Martian air, soil, and perhaps water. Then using five Space-X Falcon 9's to boost a Mars mission, crew capsule, and lander into orbit. Four man crew.  Doable out of the current NASA budget.  Within a few years.
   This would be a history book mission.  Why don't we do it?

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