Archive for the ‘NASA’ Category

I see that we, (as a collective species) once again reached out to the universe. We, well NASA, have managed to overcome many complex problems requiring brains larger than Marvin the Paranoid Android to solve and landed on Mars.

I look forward in the coming weeks / months / years to receiving periodic updates as to how well / badly things are going with the Curiosity Rover. What an exciting time of exploration we all live in. I have added the link to the BBC coverage so that we may all share in the wonder that is this fantastic event.

Of course, …

Now you wouldn’t expect me to be enthusiastic for long would you. The mission is reported to cost £1.6Bn. (For any non Brits $2.5Bn US) Oh there’s another topic in itself, why is everything always quoted in $US?

Anyway, £1.6bn is an awful lot of money. The World Food Programme states it would take $3.2 billion a year to feed 66 million hungry school children. So, in context the whole space programme to send Curiosity to Mars is less than it would take to feed all the starving kids in the world for a year, sounds like a good deal?

My personal viewpoint, and this is NOT political but humanitarian (for any rubber heelers watching), is that we, as a species have not earned the right to visit other planets, stars, lumps of rock or whatever. We have in the span of our existence raped and pillaged mother earth. We denude her of all her resources, we pay her back by polluting her air and water, the dump filth on her land and overpopulate with our kind in the absence of natural predators. We abandon junk in the sky even beyond the atmosphere of out planet and leave rubbish everywhere we go. The moon is still littered with US and Russian garbage. Not a monument to the ingenuity of man, but as a monument to paranoia.

If the total spend of the space programmes of the world, coupled with all the money spent on arms research and production were totalled there would be enough to feed the poor, set up sustainable food programmes based on permaculture principles, meaning food for life for everyone. )Even allowing for the kick backs that would have to be paid to the great and not so good).

The one bitter pill which is even more difficult to swallow is population control. Even if we could have every country to agree on the funding of projects in the way suggested, there will still be too many people.

As Fraser said, ‘We’re all doomed.’