Spirit Condition Upgraded as Twin Rover Nears Mars

George wrote:


George,
Perhaps you misread my post. I did not talk about us living forever. I said some people act as if the human race might go on forever. Of course, no one nor any species will continue forever but to maximize our survival as a species, we need to move off this Earth at some point. If all of early man had decided to live around Winslow, Arizona 50,000 years ago, there probably would not be humans today (after the meteor impact). If you consider doing anything to enhance the long term survival of humans as tinkering with nature, so be it, but I would prefer not to take such a defeatist attitude. Maybe we shouldn't invest in disease control, food production or anything of the sort that might help more people live. I also did not say that a reason for going into space was because we otherwise might kill ourselves here on Earth (although there might be some merit to that argument). I said, if we don't kill ourselves first, there are plenty of natural disasters that will likely eliminate the human race eventually, especially if we continue to keep ‘all our eggs in one basket’.
It is true, ironically, that we owe our existence today to the eradication of the dinosaurs by a global catastrophe that allows our early ancestors to flourish and evolve but due to our intelligence, we are the first species on this planet that could do something to avoid a similar fate.
Certainly going into space to find other life or to determine if it exists is a worthwhile goal in its own right.
Jerry
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-- Jerry Petrey -- Senior Principal Systems Engineer - Navigation (GPS/INS), Guidance, & Control
-- Raytheon Missile Systems - Member Team Ada & Team Forth -- NOTE: please remove <NOSPAM> in email address to reply ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Not trying to stir up a political debate, but did not GWB just propose only 1 billion additional funding for NASA over the next 5 years (200 million dollars a year)and Congress just pass $87 billion to rehab Iraq? That's 435 times the money for war and its effects than science.
A number for American scientists to think about as they decide whom to vote for this year.
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compared
every
It doesn't take rocket science to figure that one out. LOL
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The US taxpayer foots the bill, but with the latest population estimate at around 293 million, the cost of each rover (including all the engineers, hardware, launch vehicles, JPL controllers, etc) comes in at about $1.50 per head each, or considerably less than the price of a Big Mac or a Sunday newspaper.
What you are missing is not just the pure science the whole world is getting from the Rovers, but the sheer inspirational factors in the classroom. This is one invaluable byproduct you can't put a price tag on. I suggest you visit your local school next time a visiting planetary scientist comes to give a classroom talk or assembly. Watch the faces and body language of the children.
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Mike Dworetsky

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Ah, George, George, ...George, ... ' Who ?'
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Always the skeptic, eh Don?
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$400 million buys about 1,600 man years of effort. The recent PBS special shows a lot of these people behind the scenes. It takes a lot of engineers, even to get the parachute right.
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On 26 Jan 2004 07:27:33 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (rick++) wrote:

What recent PBS special?
Thanks in advance.
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I don't know the air-date, but maybe it was this one?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/mars /
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- Alan Kilian <alank(at)timelogic.com>
Director of Bioinformatics, TimeLogic Corporation 763-449-7622
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Tuesday after the first landing. Included two minutes of pics from the landing.
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