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Mars Rover Perseverance Landing today, 2/18

Ryujin

Hero
I'm not trying to troll or criticize anyone's interest, but I'm left wondering what the point of this is. Haven't we had rovers on Mars for the past 40 years (or longer)?
Every subsequent rover had used new tech, been more capable, and has been able to provide more information than has the last. Camera tech has improved greatly in the last couple of decades, they packed in a helicopter drone, and NOW, WITH SOUND!
 

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Arilyn

Hero
I'm not trying to troll or criticize anyone's interest, but I'm left wondering what the point of this is. Haven't we had rovers on Mars for the past 40 years (or longer)?
Different rovers are equipped to do different things. We are learning more and more about Mars, without actually sending people there. I'm excited.
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
Even if there had been only modest advances in tech over the decades,the Perseverance mission is worth it. Even if only from a fiscal standpoint.

NASA spent $2.8 billion dollars on Mars Perseverance. Wow that sounds like a big number.

There are about 331 million people in America per the 2020 census. That's also a really big number.

So that means NASA spent $8.46 per person. But wait... There's more.

The $2.8 billion was spread over the project's 11 year span. So the actual cost comes to...

77¢ per person per year. Even rounding up, that is two pennies a week.

So, every American gave NASA two pennies a week for a decade and they built a robot and put it on the surface of another planet.
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
I'm not trying to troll or criticize anyone's interest, but I'm left wondering what the point of this is. Haven't we had rovers on Mars for the past 40 years (or longer)?
23 Years.
So about half as long as your guess. And Mar's is a whole planet. Can you imaging trying to explore a whole planet with a rover like these in that time? There is understandably more stuff to see or explore, especially as our technology improves.

I believe this lander has a bit more of a focused mission on looking for signs of ancient life on our red neighbor.

Simple fact is while you may lack the interest, humanity as a hole is generally curious. Not always about the same things, but enough that missions to explore and learn more about our solar system and its history are still something deemed important.
 

Retreater

Legend
23 Years.
So about half as long as your guess. And Mar's is a whole planet. Can you imaging trying to explore a whole planet with a rover like these in that time? There is understandably more stuff to see or explore, especially as our technology improves.

I believe this lander has a bit more of a focused mission on looking for signs of ancient life on our red neighbor.

Simple fact is while you may lack the interest, humanity as a hole is generally curious. Not always about the same things, but enough that missions to explore and learn more about our solar system and its history are still something deemed important.
Viking 1 landed in 1976, so well over 40 years since we've sent instruments to gather scientific data from Mars.
The whole thing just seems pretty expensive for a glorified science fair experiment, which has so far produced tech we could have developed on earth, with no real world applications while we destroy our planet, people are suffering without access to vital resources.
 

Ryujin

Hero
23 Years.
So about half as long as your guess. And Mar's is a whole planet. Can you imaging trying to explore a whole planet with a rover like these in that time? There is understandably more stuff to see or explore, especially as our technology improves.

I believe this lander has a bit more of a focused mission on looking for signs of ancient life on our red neighbor.

Simple fact is while you may lack the interest, humanity as a hole is generally curious. Not always about the same things, but enough that missions to explore and learn more about our solar system and its history are still something deemed important.
But.... but.... Star Wars tells us that whole planets only have a single ecosystem! :ROFLMAO:
 


Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
Viking 1 landed in 1976, so well over 40 years since we've sent instruments to gather scientific data from Mars.
The whole thing just seems pretty expensive for a glorified science fair experiment, which has so far produced tech we could have developed on earth, with no real world applications while we destroy our planet, people are suffering without access to vital resources.
You said rover. Viking 1 was not a rover. Otherwise I would have cited the first lander which was in 1971, even though it only transmitted for like 20 seconds.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I mean I'm also a guy who thinks maybe we didn't go to the moon. If there was a conspiracy theory I'd believe it's that one.
I don't get this at all. We see rockets/shuttles go into space with people all the time. They make it to the space stations with no problem. What's so hard to believe about going somewhat farther to the moon and back?
 


Retreater

Legend
I don't get this at all. We see rockets/shuttles go into space with people all the time. They make it to the space stations with no problem. What's so hard to believe about going somewhat farther to the moon and back?
First, I'm not saying that we definitely didn't go. I'm saying that if it came out that it was hoaxed, I'd simply shrug and say, "I'm not surprised. The whole thing seemed a little fishy anyway."
So here's the issue. The moon landing was in 1969. We can't even do that today if we wanted. I remember Obama saying during his presidency that he'd like to see us get to the moon in a few decades. How can the tech to have done this in the 1960s have regressed so far that we can't do it now ... easily?
We haven't been back since the early 1970s. It was exciting for a few years, and we just never cared again? All of a sudden?
We would have had every reason to lie about it. We were at the height of the space race of the Cold War and the Soviets had beaten America on nearly every front.
I'm not saying it was a lie. Just saying I wouldn't be surprised.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'm not trying to troll or criticize anyone's interest, but I'm left wondering what the point of this is.

Learning stuff. That's the only thing that we do better than any other animals. If we aren't doing that, might as well pack it all in, allow ourselves to fade as a species, and leave the Earth to the goats.

Haven't we had rovers on Mars for the past 40 years (or longer)?

The first US landing on Mars was in 1976. Since that time, there have been a whopping 9 successful landing missions: Viking 1 & Viking 2 in 1976, Pathfinder in 1997, Spirit and Opportunity in 2004, Phoenix in 2008, Curiosity in 2012, Insight in 2018, and Perseverance in 2021.

Only 5 of these could be called "rovers". One rover (Pathfinder's Sojourner) traveled a total of about 100 meters. Spirit drove about 4.8 miles. Opportunity covered 28 miles. Curiosity has covered 24 miles, and is still going.

So, all in all, we've seen only tiny portions of the planet up close. There's tons more left to learn. And we keep creating better and better instruments.
 


Retreater

Legend
The problem with that conspiracy (and many others) is that it relies on a large amount of government coordination, efficiency, competence, and secrecy which simply does not exist in the real world.
I've worked in government since the 1990s, so I can attest to this.
However, NASA is also a government agency, so you're also saying that you think they could do all of these same tasks to send a man to the moon with the computing power of a calculator in the 1960s. I have my doubts they could've done it then (or now).
 

Arilyn

Hero
First, I'm not saying that we definitely didn't go. I'm saying that if it came out that it was hoaxed, I'd simply shrug and say, "I'm not surprised. The whole thing seemed a little fishy anyway."
So here's the issue. The moon landing was in 1969. We can't even do that today if we wanted. I remember Obama saying during his presidency that he'd like to see us get to the moon in a few decades. How can the tech to have done this in the 1960s have regressed so far that we can't do it now ... easily?
We haven't been back since the early 1970s. It was exciting for a few years, and we just never cared again? All of a sudden?
We would have had every reason to lie about it. We were at the height of the space race of the Cold War and the Soviets had beaten America on nearly every front.
I'm not saying it was a lie. Just saying I wouldn't be surprised.
It would have taken more tech know how and money to fake the landing in the 1960s then to actually do it.

There is no way faking a moon landing could have been kept quiet. That's thousands of people over the years agreeing to covering up the lie. Not going to work. 😊

And, we have moon rocks from the actual moon that astronauts brought home, and that have been studied for years.

Americans could have returned to the moon. It's not that the knowledge was lost, it was the will.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Learning stuff. That's the only thing that we do better than any other animals. If we aren't doing that, might as well pack it all in, allow ourselves to fade as a species, and leave the Earth to the goats.



The first US landing on Mars was in 1976. Since that time, there have been a whopping 9 successful landing missions: Viking 1 & Viking 2 in 1976, Pathfinder in 1997, Spirit and Opportunity in 2004, Phoenix in 2008, Curiosity in 2012, Insight in 2018, and Perseverance in 2021.

Only 5 of these could be called "rovers". One rover (Pathfinder's Sojourner) traveled a total of about 100 meters. Spirit drove about 4.8 miles. Opportunity covered 28 miles. Curiosity has covered 24 miles, and is still going.

So, all in all, we've seen only tiny portions of the planet up close. There's tons more left to learn. And we keep creating better and better instruments.
I've heard this rover is also set up to better detect signs that life existed in the past. That also sets it apart from all prior rovers.
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
I've worked in government since the 1990s, so I can attest to this.
However, NASA is also a government agency, so you're also saying that you think they could do all of these same tasks to send a man to the moon with the computing power of a calculator in the 1960s. I have my doubts they could've done it then (or now).
I most certainly think that a team of the greatest rocket scientists in the world could do that. We split the atom with those very same slide rules.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I've worked in government since the 1990s, so I can attest to this.
However, NASA is also a government agency, so you're also saying that you think they could do all of these same tasks to send a man to the moon with the computing power of a calculator in the 1960s. I have my doubts they could've done it then (or now).
They Mayans were accurately predicting eclipses and more, thousands of years ago. We had the computing power in the late 60's and early 70's to do it.
 


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