The Mars Report – June 4th, 2014


Curiosity Lowered By 'Sky Crane' to Martian Surface

Curiosity Lowered By ‘Sky Crane’ to Martian Surface



                Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. It has been more than a week since I wrote, and published, an edition of ‘The Mars Report’. However, today’s edition just could not have come at a better time. For those of us that, daily, look to the stars and dream of living in outer space or another planet? A report from the National Research Council (named Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration) outlines the genuine necessity of planetary exploration and colonization, a goal, which I have strong, and positive feelings about.


The report, written by a committee of experts in space exploration was mandated by Congress and sponsored byNASA, sets the goal of “putting a man on Mars”. This is consistent with NASA’s long-term vision for space exploration. However, the report noted, current funding for NASA is too meager to reach the goal”.[1]The report also states that it is “in the best interests of the United States” to include China in future space partnerships. This goes against a recent law, drafted and sponsored by Republican Congressman Fran Wolf (Virginia).[2] Quite honestly, the future of the human race is far more important than trumped up ideas about ‘national security’ drummed up along party lines.


The report also pointed out that the current budget for NASA “is anemic” and does not provide enough funds for two major projects essential to their long-term goals. The first of these projects is the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a large airborne infrared telescope, which is currently grounded. The second project is essential for any manned Martian space flight, the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket and the companion Orion deep-space crew capsule.


My Dear Readers, these projects and NASA’s budgetary limitations are the result of partisan politics and the victim of an austerity based budgetary mindset. This is not just inconvenient for NASA these (rather short sighted) decisions could well place the very future of our species at risk. The report made that point very clear by emphasizing the “‘aspirational’ reasons such as the shared destiny of humanity and the ultimate survival of the human species”. The current population of our planet is seven billion and shows no sign of decreasing. Further, with the most recent meeting of environmental scientists releasing a statement that “Global warming is likely to accelerate at a much faster pace and cause more environmental damage than previously anticipated…”[3] Mankind would be best served by Terraforming a planet, like Mars, sooner rather than later.


In just the introduction of this paper, the experts on space exploration, stated:


Today the United States is the major partner in a massive orbital facility – the International Space Station – that is becoming the focal point for the first tentative steps in commercial cargo and crewed orbital space flights. And yet, the long-term future of human spaceflight beyond this project is unclear. Pronouncements by multiple presidents of bold new ventures by Americans to the Moon, to Mars, and to an asteroid in its native orbit, have not been matched by the same commitment that accompanied President Kennedy s now fabled 1961 speech-namely, the substantial increase in NASA funding needed to make it happen. Are we still committed to advancing human spaceflight? What should a long-term goal be, and what does the United States need to do to achieve it?”[4]


It is time for the future of our species to come before partisan politics. Time for the budget, for space exploration and settlement, of the single wealthiest nation on the planet equal the scope of the task at hand. It is worse than foolhardy for hyperbolic partisan politics to pinch pennies when it comes to the very future of our people, our species! We simply cannot wait for another Kennedy-like President to come along and enamor the public and challenge our Congress with a national goal in space exploration. We simply must find a way to do the ‘Right Thing’ for the preservation of our nation and our species without a President Kennedy to lead the way.


For the past hundred years science fiction writers have put on paper visions of our future. Everything from geosynchronous satellites to cellular phones were first dreamed of by science fiction writers in novels of a better and more technologically advanced man. How many men, of the age 45-55, have proclaimed, “where are the flying cars and rocket packs?” If you think about our future, if you (as a boy or young girl) read science fiction you just cannot help but be let down by the lack of scientific progress America, and mankind, has made since the Apollo missions.


Most of us, that have these dreams, know. That the major reasons mankind does not have flying cars and jet packs? It is because of; greed, the technologically stunting disease that is ‘the politics of, and for, the wealthy’ and all the fear mongering that comes from the fringe. That when any man… a man that has the convictions that come with beliefs, and the courage of his convictions, steps forward and says “NOW is the time for America to take the lead in space exploration and colonization…” is immediately attacked and torn down by the talking heads that live among the fringe of our political system. Truly it is the fears spread by these overly loud ‘talking heads’ that occupy the fringe of our political system that rob America of the opportunity to, once again, lead our species back out into space.


My Dear Readers, I encourage you all to take a few moments (today) and follow the links I have provided to the content I have quoted. Take a few moments and familiarize yourself with the reality of Human Space Exploration. The limitations that are placed on NASA, and by association our nation and the people of this planet. I remember a time… I clearly remember a time when boys and men looked to the stars and saw America’s future! We looked to the stars and knew that American Astronauts were taking the very first steps mankind made off of Earth. Nightly we all looked at the Moon and the stars, either with our naked eyes or through the telescopes, we begged for, for our birthdays or Christmas.


We looked at the moon, the planets and the stars with a longing and anticipation. A longing to join Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and anticipation for when our time would come to be among the stars! My Dear Readers, I write this article not just for the boys and girls that, joined me, in looking towards the stars with anticipation. I write it, as well, for the “ultimate survival of the human species”.[5] Realize, My Dear Readers, that when the time comes… the tides of extinction will not recognize distinctions of; wealth, race, religion or party. When our planet’s tides encroach on our cities, they will drown us all. That when our air becomes so toxic it is fatal to breath? It will be fatal to breath for all Americans, regardless of how wealthy we are or what party we vote to support.


People can deny scientific facts for as long as they want. However, one can deny gravity all they desire, yet you still will go splat when you jump off of a three story building. For centuries men denied the curvature of our Earth, they were proven wrong in a very big way. Today, even though Pope John Paul II told his Vatican Scientific advisors “the theory of evolution is now fact. The story of ‘Adam and Eve’ is just that… a nice story”. Yet, to this day, tens of millions of Americans deny the science embraced by the descendant of Peter (the “rock of the Church”) and the head of Christianity on this planet Earth… and still cling (out of desperation, like fearful of falling “off the edge of the Earth”) to a story of a single man and woman from which all of mankind… arose.


Dinosaurs roamed this Earth for more than One Hundred Seventy MILLION years! Yet, tens of millions of Americans (honestly) believe that the Earth is only ‘thousands of years old’. My question for everyone is; will Americans stand by and allow our very species to become extinct, ‘go the way of the Dodo’, simply out of ignorance and greed? Mankind settling Mars is the logical next step for our species. Today, we posses the basic science to; put man on Mars, build viable and livable structures on Mars, and (with time) to Terraform Mars so that it is livable by humans. My Dear Readers, will Americans allow our nation to fall, our species to become extinct merely for “more tax cuts for the wealthy and businesses”?


Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter


It is my humble opinion that, if we allow this to happen… if we allow our planet to die and take us with it… without the space exploration and colinzation needed to extend the life of our species beyond that of this Earth? Then mankind, quite simply, deserves to die.




Thank YOU!


P.S. My Dear Readers, I realize that this edition is not ‘like’ any other edition ever published. I had something to say… and I didn’t want pictures to distract from that point. However, I will publish ANOTHER edition, later this week, WITH PICTURES FROM MARS! Please, stay tuned for another edition of ‘The Mars Report’ with images from Mars, later this week. Thank you!


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Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe - May 6th, 2014

Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe – May 6th, 2014

About Daniel Hanning
I am a; writer, editor and publisher. I write, most often, articles about our space program, fun videos andpolitical works. My most recent additions are; A Week In Review, Sunday Funnies and The Adventures of Nadia. Along with The Mars Report and Lost in Space. ENJOY!

One Response to The Mars Report – June 4th, 2014

  1. Pingback: A Week in Review – June 7th 2014 | The Other Shoe

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