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Capricorn run

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Will Mars mission, scheduled for the next decade, really get off the ground?
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OKLAHOMA CITY – At the moment I was reading a story about a planned, one-way human trip to Mars, I was thinking about humankind’s desire to explore.

At that moment, the rhythmic, speedy Minutemen song “The Glory of Man” on Double Nickels on the Dime comes on …

starting with the affirmation of man 
i worked myself backwards
using cynicism
the time monitor
the space measurer
i live sweat but i dream light years
i am the tide the rise and the fall
the reality soldier the laugh child 
the one of the many
the flame child

An affirmation of man. Even in Reagan’s grim America, D. Boon found a place to share some optimism. A thought for the future, wherever it takes us.

D. Boon died in December 1985, a month before the Challenger exploded, killing all aboard, and the U.S. Space Program never quite recovered.

Is a trip to Mars even possible? I mentioned the idea to a physician just yesterday and he said the radiation is a real risk to astronauts.

In the 1978 sci-fi conspiracy thriller Capricorn One (co-starring O.J. Simpson – who was recognized yesterday since it was the 20th anniversary of the famous Bronco chase) Hal Holbrook’s U.S. gov't official character Dr. James Kelloway explains that people’s appetite for space adventure waned over the course of NASA’s Apollo Moon program (1969-1972) when questions rose about cost. As a result, the pressure was on and changes were made. The Mars mission would be faked, much to the shock of the Mars-bound astronuats. 

“Was it really worth $20 billion to go to another planet? What about cancer? What about the slums? How much does it cost? How much does any dream cost, for Christ’s sake? Since when is there an accountant for ideas?” Kelloway asks.

Indeed.

And now, Elon Musk, the founder SpaceX, the private space transport company, still plans on sending humans on that one-way trip to Mars.

As was reported today, Musk said: “I’m hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years, I think it’s certainly possible for that to occur. But the thing that matters long-term is to have a self-sustaining city on Mars, to make life multiplanetary.”

And there are those who want to be the first space pioneers to colonize Mars. Writing for Universe Today, reporter Elizabeth Howell interviewed three Mars One applicants who explained why they want to go to Mars and never return to their home planet.

American Max Fagin, 26, said going to Mars would allow for a “new home base” to be established on the Red Planet for “humanity.”

Brian Hinson, 44, said “psychological aspects” of the journey have to be considered, while Canadian Andrew Rader, 34, said, “Mars is a very challenging place to go for us, but it is within our technological capabilities, and going there would create the technological incentives to go further.”

But even if a Mars mission is a decade off, don’t be surprised when people begin to protest sending these Martian colonizers to what may be their deaths. And don’t be surprised when aging Moon hoaxers say the Mars mission will be another Capricorn One flim-flam.

After all, it was Peter Hyams, director of Capricorn One, who worked for CBS when the Apollo missions were taking place. He famously said, “This was an event of really enormous importance (the Apollo 11 landing) that had almost no witnesses. And the only verification we have … came from a TV camera.”

Indeed, Mr. Hyams. Two years after Capricorn One, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining was released, offering more clues as to the reality (or unreality) of the Apollo program. 

Regardless, humanity's desire to explore the cosmos grows ever greater. 

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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