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US to build human colony on moon, then on Mars

He's probably dying to see himself in a space suit. Well I say, go George. Let's send him and all his compassionate conservatives to the moon for good!

Of course, it's got to be part of the plan for global domination and beyond. Let's see how badly we can fuck up other planets and celestial bodies, now that we've just about done this one in.
US to build human colony on moon, then on Mars
Press Trust of India
Washington, January 9

President George W Bush is expected to announce next week US plans to establish a permanent human settlement on the moon and set a goal of eventually sending Americans to Mars, officials were quoted as saying on Friday.

Bush will direct the government to immediately begin research and development to establish a human colony or space station on the moon, with the goal of having that lead to a manned mission to Mars, Washington Post reported, quoting US Administration sources.

Bush will announce a new "human exploration" agenda in Washington ahead of the final State of the Union address of his current term in office.

The plans, the Post said, grew out of a White House group that was assigned to examine the new missions of NASA after the Columbia disaster on February 1, which threw the future of the space programme into doubt.

The costs are expected to be huge. NASA budget this year is about $15 billion. It is expected to be increased for next year.

Advocates of a return to the moon, said the Post, argued that a lunar initiative, despite the huge costs at a time of large budgetary deficits, would be useful scientifically.

homepage: homepage: http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_526670,0004.htm

The point.... 09.Jan.2004 10:58

Lewis Mumford

"The point to be grasped has been staring western civilization in the face for the last half century: Namely that a predominantly megatechnic economy can be kept in profitable operation only by systematic and constant expansion. Instead of a balanced economy, dedicated to the enhancement of life, megatechnics demands limitless expansion on a colossal scale: a feat that only war or mock-war - rocket building and space exploration - can supply."
Lewis Mumford, The Myth of the Machine, Volume II: The Pentagon of Power, 1970

Goes back to U.S. Dominance 09.Jan.2004 11:30


The U.S. wants to maintain dominance of everything, including space. Space has a very unique military-strategic importance, and maintaining that power is essential for a nation on an Empire-building rampage.

It will be interesting... 09.Jan.2004 12:01

Red Suspenders

Even though I firmly belive our "best and brightest" ought to be working on problems here on earth I'm interested to see what happens.

In the 1960's they had to do all the design work "by hand". Examine a good quality all mechanical camera from that era and you will see true craftsmanship. Look at any product/machine today. It's been over-engineered by some idiot randomly typing on a computer. To the point where it's hard to use. Furthermore craftsmanship has been replaced by technology, and cheap molded plastic.

As one example I remember an article in the paper when the new "low floor" max cars came out. Tri-met was bragging that the new cars had three times the amount of wire as the old ones. This is a failure, somebody taking the easy way out on the computer. Last time I was in New York City they had some old subway cars from the 40's There was a plaque inside saying it had been rebuilt in 1980, and those trains, unlike ours, worked reliably. Sadly for myself and fellow "train nuts" I think they've retired the old cars now.

Technology has and can bring about many wonderful things when and if properly used look at how far we've come in emmissions controls (although in my opinion consumption is a much larger issue) on vehicles and industry in the past forty years.

So my feeling on the moon trip? in the 60's they made it because of thier technology. Today if we are successful it will be in spite of the technology.

Anybody else have opinion on this?

By the way, Bush probably sees the moon as the last place he can go for a photo-op/ speech away from all of us down here that don't like him.

Dumya 09.Jan.2004 12:31

Domestic Issues First

The moon and other space expenses proposed by Dumya are stupid. Bush is spending on unnecessary pork-barrel projects worse than a stereotypical Democrat. Could this work to the advantage of anti-Bush people, as disgusted right-wingers end support for Bush (as they should in the wake of Bush's recent xenophilic leglislation that gives over 10 million more American jobs to foreigners)? Probably not, as Republicans "always" mindlessly vote for whoever is on the Republican ballot.

Experts in the space industry don't like Bush's plan. Astronaut John Glenn says the moon plan is a bad idea. He says if any money is to be spent on space, it should go to completing the international space station.

The article is disgustingly pro-Bush. India seems like a puppet of the USA. Many mainstream American media outlets challenge the idea, citing an already huge deficit, pressing domestic problems, and unpopularity among experts such as Glenn.

Moon Biking 09.Jan.2004 12:37


Moon biking -yaaaaaahhhhhhhhoooooooooooo.

Well 09.Jan.2004 14:08


"When deep space exploration ramps up, it will be corporations that name everything. The IBM Stellar Sphere. The Phiilip Morris Galaxy. Planet Starbucks."
-'Fight Club'

How long before the Russians go into business flying American CEO's and Justin Timberlake back and forth between American moon bases?

Martians to Bush: There Goes the Neighborhood. 09.Jan.2004 19:24


In his day, Dubya's pop had a Mars Initiative around election time. It didn't help him get re-elected. Junior should take note.

But knowing this administration, this is another vampiric scheme to leech federal money from 'we the people' for his co-conspirators.

I sincerely doubt the current administration gives a tinker's dam about Mars. More likely they think Valles Marineris is something you order in an Italian restaurant. With ketchup!

One of the best reason I can think of to go to Mars is to get away from dangerous thugs like this. Plus get in some dustboarding...

oIL? 09.Jan.2004 23:30


I smell oil. I'll bet mineral rights for his contributors is a big part of Bush's motivation. Maybe under the dust its all diamonds!

So that's what happened 10.Jan.2004 08:51


Jimmy Hoffa is buried under crater 5834j on the southern tier of the moon. By the way, crater 5834j will be renamed Halliburton Plaza once the appropiate maneuvers are completed

Mars and peace 10.Jan.2004 15:17

ndw & David Grinspoon

For some really, ahem, *strange* reason I posted this twice to quote Open Publishing Newswire unquote and no deliverable. Let's try this again as a comment:

Grinspoon article:  http://slate.msn.com/id/2093579/
Oregon Mars Society Chapter:  http://chapters.marssociety.org/usa/or/
The Law of War in Space (Air Force Law Review):
My article:  http://www.globenet.free-online.co.uk/articles/space_is_for_peace.htm

Is Mars Ours?

The logistics and ethics of colonizing the red planet

What a joy and a relief that we're back on Mars. The fourth stone from
the sun has taunted us for centuries with shifting but persistent
visions of nearby alien life. Finally, after several conspicuous
failures, we have a conspicuous success: a six-wheeled, mini-Cooper-sized
robot preparing to crawl across an ancient lake-bed, scratching and
sniffing for subtle signs of past habitability.

What we will do on Mars for the next few months and, with future
missions, for the rest of the decade, is clear: dig in the dirt and take
in the air to learn the history of landscapes far more ancient than any
left on Earth.

But what should we plan to do on Mars over the following decades,
centuries, and millennia? The Mars Society, an organization dedicated to
the proposition that we must send people to Mars ASAP, has an answer:
build enclosed colonies there in the next few decades. Then, later in
the century, begin to "terraform" Mars—this means altering the air and
surface, turning the red planet blue and green, making it habitable and
remaking it in the Earth's image. After that, we'll wander there without
giant protective domes or even Mars suits.

Reflexively, I am sympathetic. After all, I was a teenage space activist.
I grew up high on the miracle of Apollo and the wonders of Clarke's
2001. My high-school friends and I felt part of a community of smart,
forward-looking space and technology freaks. We flocked to grok Spock at
science fiction conventions, and we eagerly joined the L5 Society,
which is committed to beginning the human migration to space. L5—a
stable point in empty space where the gravities of Earth and Moon are
balanced, so objects, including space colonies, will stay put forever—was
where we would build the first colony. We thought that we might live up
there as adults. Our slogan then was "L5 in '95!"

Yet the disconnect between my youthful space idealism and at least some
of today's more zealous advocates of the "humans to Mars" movement
became evident when I attended the "Ethics of Terraforming" panel
discussion at the founding convention of the Mars Society, held in
Boulder, Colo., in August 1998. This event was hailed as the "Woodstock
of Mars," and although there wasn't any rolling in the mud, there may
have been some bad acid in the water supply, judging from some of the
loose talk spilling from the stage.

Bob Zubrin, Mars Society President, stated that mankind has a duty to
terraform Mars, that given the choice between letting Mars remain the
sorry planet that it is and transforming it in Earth's image, we have a
moral obligation to do the latter. He added that it is the Western
tradition to expand continually and to value humans above nature, that "this
is the only system of values that has created a society worth living in."

These comments were amplified by panelist Lowell Wood, an architect of
Reagan-era "Star Wars" space-based weapons plans. Wood stated
confidently that terraforming Mars will happen in the 21st century. "It
is the manifest destiny of the human race!" he declared and went on to
boast, "In this country we are the builders of new worlds. In this
country we took a raw wilderness and turned it into the shining city on
the hill of our world." To hell with terraforming: It seemed that we
were discussing the Ameriforming of Mars.

Hearing these words, my heart sank. Is this really the way we want to
frame our dreams of inhabiting Mars? Maybe these guys are simply not
aware of the historical use of this phrase and its negative connotations,
I thought. This hope vanished when Zubrin leapt to the defense of
Manifest Destiny, shouting, "By developing the American West we have
created a place that millions of Mexicans are trying to get into!" to a
smattering of applause (and some gasps of disbelief) from the crowd.

Zubrin has written that we need to go to Mars because it will serve the
same function that "pioneering the West" did for American civilization,
creating jobs and opportunity and relieving population pressure. If
there were an award for "most unfortunate choice of analogies," this
should win. It is historically inaccurate, culturally clueless, and
fails to capture some of the most compelling reasons why we really
should consider someday bringing Mars to life by inhabiting it and
perhaps eventually altering its environment with (and for) living

As of this writing, Mars has no people to be displaced. A better analogy
is the original peopling of the Earth. The Mars colonists will be more
like those brave souls first venturing from Africa 50,000 years ago than
the European invaders of the American West. On Mars and beyond, we may
have the opportunity to explore lands that are truly unoccupied, giving
outlet to our need to explore without trampling on others.

Of course, it's possible that Mars is already inhabited by some kind of
creature, and that could radically change the ethical landscape for
future human activities. Perhaps some primitive bacteria, or the Martian
equivalent, are living large in an underground hot spring, safe from
the dry, freezing, irradiated surface. This is why we need to first
proceed with our current robotic explorers, to make sure that Mars,
today, really is as dead as it looks.

If it is, then bringing life there—humans, trees, fish, and slime-mold,
say—will be the right thing to do. Why? If you find an unused, vacant
lot, isn't it worthwhile to plant a garden there? Furthermore, as long
as we are a single-planet species, we are vulnerable to extinction by a
planetwide catastrophe, natural or self-induced. Once we become a
multiplanet species, our chances to live long and prosper will take a
huge leap skyward.

Today on Earth we are grappling with the fact that you cannot "conquer"
a planet, even if—especially if—it is your home and your life support
system. If we go to Mars with the idea that we can charge ahead and
subdue a new world, our efforts are doomed. We should rather study how
we might learn to help cultivate a Martian Biosphere that is balanced
and self-sustaining, as is the Earth's. (On the other hand, the
conquering mentality would save us time and money. We could skip
planting the Martian forests, which would eventually be chopped down
anyway, and go straight to sprawling developments of condos, strip malls,
Starbucks, and Blockbuster Videos.)

But the future peopling of Mars is much more than a scientific endeavor.
It is a step of historic and spiritual importance for the human race.
Any group that seeks to garner support for human journeys to Mars must
reassure people that this goal is broadly humanistic and environmentally
conscientious. There is no reason why this can't be the case. The
fanatical comments quoted above do not represent the majority view of
Mars Society members; some are credible, thoughtful activists with an
inclusive vision more likely to win wide support for continued Mars
exploration. I hope they succeed in burying the "pioneering the West"
analogy before it does any more damage to the cause. While we're at it,
let's retire the word "colonization," which carries a permanent stain,
and talk instead about the "cultivation" or "animation" or "peopling" of
Mars. I know that some of you Mars hounds will dismiss the above as a
bunch of PC nonsense. Fine, but it's your movement that is not yet
taking the world by storm.

Some extremists have even proposed that we "claim" Mars for the United
States, although there is a U.N. (remember them?) treaty that expressly
forbids this. Many others have been engaged, at Mars Society conventions,
in thoughtful discussions about what kind of governing constitution
would be appropriate for the first settlements beyond the Earth.

Is Mars ours for the taking? Do we have a right to it? Not to be too
Clintonian, but the answer may depend on what we mean by "we." Mars does
not belong to "America," nor to Earth, nor to human beings. But if by "we,"
we mean "life," then yes, Mars belongs to us because this universe
belongs to life. I mean, without us, what's the point? But before we go
there and set up greenhouses, dance clubs, and falafel stands, let's
make sure that, in some subtle form that could be harmed by the human
hubbub, life does not already exist there. If not, then by all means
build cities, plant forests and fill lakes and streams with trout—bring
life to Mars and Mars to life. We'll then be the Martians we've been
dreaming about for all these years.

Yup 10.Jan.2004 17:33


"The U.S. wants to maintain dominance of everything, including space."

Bingo. And they admit as much in some of their policy documents (references to which I don't have handy at the moment, alas).

For US imperialism, the whole world is no longer enough.


A quick story 10.Jan.2004 22:22


First of all, what kind of activist would support terra creation on Mars when we need it on this planet. Wasteful thinking.

Anyway, the story. In the southwestern US desert, a space training camp was set up to prepare the aspiring astronauts for the physical challenges of being in space. An old Indian man lived in a little shack nearby the base and the astronaut trainees quickly became friends with this wise old Navajo man, as he told them very interesting stories that shaped them unexpectedly.
When the time came for the expedition to leave the desert and head off to the moon, the Indian man gave them a parting gift, meaning for it to be offered to any life they find on the moon. The astronauts couldn't decipher the hierogliphics on the small bag and it wasn't until several years later that NASA took the bag back to the area, hoping that someone could translate it. Someone knew the language and returned the gift to the NASA spokeperson in laughter. The inscription translated to: "Hey MoonMan! See that guy in the white suit? He's come to steal your land!"

Let's go 10.Jan.2004 23:05

George Bender

The way things are going, we need to get off this planet as quickly as possible.

I would rather see Mars left the way it is though. It's unique. Why try to change it into another Earth?

YOU'RE THE MAN 12.Jan.2004 03:17


finally the president bush is doing something good!!!!!
i think this is the best for america
bush you really are the man!!!!!!!!!!!