Skip to main content

This was supposed to be a secret until this coming Wednesday, and it was secret, right up until someone spilled the beans almost a week early:

Buzz is building about a planned 2018 private mission to Mars, which may launch the first humans toward the Red Planet. A nonprofit organization called the Inspiration Mars Foundation — which is led by millionaire Dennis Tito, the world's first space tourist — will hold a news conference on Feb. 27 to announce the 501-day roundtrip mission, which will aim for a January 2018 launch.
Yes, there are many unresolved questions. But these people are not flakes; they are serious veteran space travel professionals. I think they're really thinking about doing this. There will be more info soon.
  • A development that will no doubt astound some and possibly leave others deeply confused: Permafrost melts when the temperature rises, and it often releases stored methane.
  • Internet moguls establish new lucrative science prizes.
  • I'm sorry, the universe is beautiful and all, but it really is out to kill every last one of us.
  • This is, like, the only half-way happy news I could find in all of science-dom, via EvoBlog:
    In 2012 the Creation Museum reported a 10 percent decline in attendance from the previous year, and its parent group, Answers in Genesis, posted a 5 percent drop in revenue. That continues a four-year slump and a new low for the museum at 280,000 total visitors last year. Even more ominously, fundraising for the Ark Encounter has slowed to a crawl. Its future is further imperiled by the decline of the Creation Museum, whose visitors were expected to be a huge source of funding for the ark park.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:00 AM PST.

Also republished by SciTech and Astro Kos.

Tags

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I'm suing Permafrost for false advertising. n/t (18+ / 0-)

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:03:14 AM PST

  •  creationism (13+ / 0-)

    The teaching of creationism is treasonous and maybe it should be illegal.  Would the government stand by and allow al Qaeda to open a school for radical Islamist thought?  Those that advocate the overthrow of science are crippling minds--young and old.  To deliberately misinform children is to abuse them.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:11:00 AM PST

  •  Does that mean you're in on the Tito plans, DS? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkSyde

    Pour yourself into the future.

    by Troubadour on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:13:30 AM PST

    •  I (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour

      wasn't in on it, no. But I did know about it for some time before it was released. And I remember telling the people who told me -- and who then spent the rest of that day begging me not write about it -- that it didn't matter because that news was not gonna stay secret for another week. If I knew it, so did other people like me, and sure enough within 24 hours it was on space.com and then your diary here. That's when I talked to Phil and some otherspace bloggers about it ... I want to talk to Jane Poynter about bone density, that's a real concern on a mission of this duration, stay up too long, whetherit's the ISS or the asteroid belt, and you might never be able to come back.

  •  Mini Rapture hits Creation Museum attendance; (8+ / 0-)

    Along with the Mini Ice Age, Mini Cooper and Mini Skirt an
    unpredicted Mini Rapture occurred within a 100 mile radius of the Museum a year and a half ago. This event went unreported as the Left Behind Leftists kept it a secret while they raided the homes of the Saved absconding with in Oldsmobile 88's, Timber Ridge Deep Fryers, high collar dresses and Glenn Beck K12 audio tapes for home schooling. Sarah Palin first noticed the missing Saved when she was escorting a group of secessionist zombies from Wasilla to the Museum and was unable to reach any fellow Saved willing to put up her brood while enjoying the sites and lack of brains in the general area.....

    •  did (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      singe, unclebucky, elginblt, TerryDarc

      Did the Lord create assault weapons?  Or, more precisely, did He write the constitution?

      Apres Bush, le deluge.

      by melvynny on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:46:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  An excellent question Melvy...got yer thinking cap (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, TerryDarc

        on this morning as any Lord Fearin Merkin would.....to answer your question the Lord had intended for every man woman and child of pure heterosexual genetic makeup to be given a M107 .50 Caliber Long Range Sniper Rifle at birth. Unfortunately, as you are aware, in the Garden of Eden Eve enticed Adam to use an unmanly SIG SG550-1 Sniper Rifle delivering an unimpressive .223 round to the Serpent which, while causing a flesh wound, did not dispatch the critter sufficiently to stop it from carrying out it's Devilry causing our Lord to toss us all from the Garden into this veil of tears in which we wallow armed only with assault rifles and loin cloths. Thank you for your thoughtful inquiry.

  •  For most of us, it's a more personal... (8+ / 0-)

    ...sort of meteor that's about to strike.  Once the sequester goes into effect, ANYONE that depends on the NIH for funds (and that, indirectly, includes a whole lot of private industry) is going to have a very, VERY bad grant cycle.

    Not a good time to be trying to get an entry-level professional job in science.

    I have to wonder, if we manage to turn the planet into the greenhouse world that it once was hundreds of millions of years ago, if the dinosaurs might not make a comeback in some form or another, since their descendants (the birds) are still around?

  •  BUWAAAHH. I wanna go to the ArkPark. (9+ / 0-)

    Arewethereyet?
    Arewethereyet?

    I ♥ President Obama and have his back.
    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts."
    ~Wanda Sykes
    01/01/14 is 2014. End war on Afghanistan.

    by OleHippieChick on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:32:02 AM PST

  •  Who is Tito trying to kid? A mission to Mars (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, Egalitare, Ed in Montana

    would have to be launched by a billionaire to be credible.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:33:07 AM PST

  •  The Creation museum will have to evolve to (13+ / 0-)

    stay afloat.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:35:52 AM PST

  •  The mars mission if nothing else (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, unclebucky

    will give doctors a chance to see what life outside the van allen belt entails with respect to cancer rates.

  •  The Creation Museum is the kind of place (7+ / 0-)

    that when you go once, you've seen all there is to see.  There's no reason to go back.

    And there are only a finite number of potential customers.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:41:54 AM PST

    •  Psychedelic tourism could get repeat business. (2+ / 0-)

      I think that would be kind of fun. And billing themselves as a great place to trip "Wendnesdose!" would be a great marketing strategy for them.

      Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

      by darthstar on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:11:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm wondering what percentage of folks (4+ / 0-)

      visiting the Creationism Museum are actually there only because they didn't have access to an actual train wreck to look at.

      A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law. --John Marshall

      by DoLooper on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:40:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But don't they need to keep up with all the new... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbassoon, TerryDarc

      ...developments in creation science? Like all the new fossilized dinosaur saddles they must keep finding?

      •  Also The Recent Wing(nut) of Ark Science (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave in Columbus

        Like how to fit all those animals on the ark and how to get Noah's family to feed them for 40 days. Like, didn't they need refrigeration for all that meat they must have been feeding the carnivores? A lot depends upon the answer to these and other burning questions.

        There's a name for this kind of "science" I read recently but cannot find it now. ???

        Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

        by TerryDarc on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:22:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I salute the audacity (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bon Temps, Aunt Pat, Randomfactor, pengiep

    Of a privately funded 500 day Mars mission.  But basically think it is stupid to plan a long flyby with two poor astronauts stuck in a small capsule for a year and half.

    let's do something useful, like plan a moon base, land on an asteroid or even better, deflect and mine an asteroid.

    Sitting in isolation for 500 days is not a great hing to do anywhere.

    "I come close to despair because so many of the pieces of the country are broken, and when you see that, you have two choices: You can give up, or you can do something about it." Elizabeth Warren

    by Ed in Montana on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:42:49 AM PST

    •  Mine an asteroid? We're not done polluting our (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ed in Montana, ORDem

      own planet yet.

      Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

      by darthstar on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:17:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wait Till They Start Tossing Those Giant Ingots (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        darthstar, Ed in Montana

        Into the atmosphere so we can start using them up building Humvees and mega-air conditioners.

        Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

        by TerryDarc on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:24:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  But the mere success of the mission ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rja

      ... would encourage further exploration, more missions. The Wright Bros. didn't accomplish much on Dec. 17, 1903, except to make a few short passes over sand that had already been walked upon by thousands of people, but they sure did start a fad that lasted.

      Maybe the mission will relieve us of the relative spacial torpor we've suffered since the end of the Apollo era.  I do like the idea of private funding.  Any attempt to fund such a mission through government these days would mean added taxes or cut funding for something else, which would result in somebody -- more than likely lots of somebodies -- on the left or right doing a ton of bitching.  And I'm tired of all the bitching from the left and from the right.  What a nation of whiners we've become.  Heck, I'm even whining about the whining.

      Anyway, I like the idea of individuals funding their own explorations.  It reminds me of some early polar expeditions.  And maybe it will provide motivation for building the things you mention, Ed, like a lunar base.

      BTW, happy Purim, y'all.    

      The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool. Some of my best friends are Catholics, really.

      by Not A Bot on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:36:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •   Dennis Tito, Mars and radiation poisoning (5+ / 0-)

    Assuming Mr. Tito pulls off his manned Mars flyby off, Obama should invite him to the White House and give him the Presidential Metal of Freedom. Then send Joe Biden to his funeral.

    Estimates on what a manned mission to Mars will cost in the tens to hundreds of billions of dollars. Expense goes with the square of mass and you can't leave out the fuel if you want to complete a minimum flighttime. The other drivers of mass are food, water and shielding. Good luck.

    •  Locking 2 guys up in a little can for 500 days (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pengiep, smartalek

      Not a wise idea.
      The  many other reasons this isnt going to happen aside, I know a guy who served on one of the old fashioned pre-nuclear subs in the Pacific.
      He gave me an interesting perspective on what happens to guys in confined spaces over time. And he wasn't alone and bored out of his mind. (Because other guys were, uh, trying to kill them.)

      •  Rob't A Heinlein hypothesized... (0+ / 0-)

        ...something along those lines, IIRC, in one of his little sci-fi books involving a Mars mission.
        Wish I could recall the name.
        Quite puzzling...  I usually have such a good memory.
        And that I'd forget a Heinlein, even...
        Stranger...

    •  I don't think that they will be able to shield a (0+ / 0-)

      real solar flare.   The proton flux will kill them.

      We will never be free from fear as long as we fear the NRA.

      by captainlaser on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:05:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Creation Museum is simply experiencing one (4+ / 0-)

    facet of evolution...survival of the fittest.  Watching them waste away by the side of the trail will be entertaining indeed.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:00:43 AM PST

  •  A manned Mars flyby in 5 yrs is just impossible (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, unclebucky, DarkSyde

    for so many reasons you could write several diaries about it.
    I dont care who's hoisting this idea up the flagpole.
    Its on the same level as the diamond "laser beam" satellite in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER.

    •  Clearly, it's possible in sci-fi n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DarkSyde

      "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

      by unclebucky on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:30:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mars flyby (0+ / 0-)

      I missed the "flyby" part. Just going out and back is almost doable. Not having to land and launch a return mission significantly cuts down on cost and risk. They could probably get out there and back for under $100 Billion.
      Looking forward to seeing how they plan on dealing with the radiation though.

      +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

      by cybersaur on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:49:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Am Not Even Remotely Interested In Funding (0+ / 0-)

        or donating to putting humans in orbit around Mars. The Opportunity Rover is exactly why for many generations, rovers, satellites and other electro-mechanical devices will find out more that putting humans there.

        This is a great waste of time, resources and money that could be better spent in, oh, say cancer research or space telescope arrays to image exoplanets, etc.

        Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

        by TerryDarc on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:36:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I (0+ / 0-)

      think it's over optimistic, I think it might be near suicidal. But based on what they're released so far, I don't think impossible is the most accurate word.

  •  Religion is a mother of a business IMO &... (0+ / 0-)

    ... attempts at reaping a tasty pay off are engaged in by those who suck at her teats.
    It seems to me that the height to which such a feeder can rise, in the various religious Ponzi like setups, may well depend on how effectively one learns to suck since that can produce mucho money & money can lead to power as we all should be well aware.
    Those persons who become astute at this sucking for money and eventual power  are not to be confused with the common religionists, who are at the bottom step of the various religious schemes and who are  only the SUCKERS who are fed misinformation  in return for supplying the funds that make the entire business of religious   ventures possible.
    Possible but not always highly successful as Mr. Ham may be set up to find out.
    Indeed, dry up the mother milk, MONEY, and "organized religion" may well suffer what I hope will be Mr. Ham's soon to be disasterous fate.

  •  Well, I hope the 1% enjoys space. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TerryDarc

    Will they develop FTL drive before the planet becomes uninhabitable? Tune in next week and find out!

    if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:12:52 AM PST

  •  Beautiful Solar Flare video (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, maizenblue, hamjudo

    Description for the YouTube version:

    Eruptive events on the sun can be wildly different. Some come just with a solar flare, some with an additional ejection of solar material called a coronal mass ejection (CME), and some with complex moving structures in association with changes in magnetic field lines that loop up into the sun's atmosphere, the corona.

    On July 19, 2012, an eruption occurred on the sun that produced all three. A moderately powerful solar flare exploded on the sun's lower right hand limb, sending out light and radiation. Next came a CME, which shot off to the right out into space. And then, the sun treated viewers to one of its dazzling magnetic displays -- a phenomenon known as coronal rain.
    [...]
    The footage in this video was collected by the Solar Dynamics Observatory's AIA instrument. SDO collected one frame every 12 seconds, and the movie plays at 30 frames per second, so each second in this video corresponds to 6 minutes of real time. The video covers 12:30 a.m. EDT to 10:00 p.m. EDT on July 19, 2012.

    Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid. You step out of line, the man come and take you away. - S. Stills

    by ask on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:12:53 AM PST

  •  That news segment on the fireball (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smartalek

    ...partially explains America's ignorance of science.

    The idiot talking-head reporter never once lets the astronomer finish a complete sentence before cutting away for some explanatory shot/voice-over garble.  Like the one illustrating what an "atmosphere" is by showing us dumbasses that "it's that blue thing up there in the daytime, the one that goes away at night."

    Ask the guy a sensible question and let him ANSWER it, for Cthulhu's sake!

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:57:49 AM PST

  •  Wow. A 501 day trip (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, TerryDarc

    And I thought 8 hours in "coach" to cross the US was bad.
    Still, I wonder what in-flight movies they will catch?

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:56:02 AM PST

    •  Surely Netflix buffering from space (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jjohnjj, rja, TerryDarc, BusyinCA

      couldn't be much slower than it is here on Earth.

      The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool. Some of my best friends are Catholics, really.

      by Not A Bot on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:26:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They should wait until they can send a six-person (0+ / 0-)

      interplanetary vehicle. That's a good number for a poker game.

      Have you noticed?
      Politicians who promise LESS government
      only deliver BAD government.

      by jjohnjj on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:33:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kosmos not "out to kill," but seems curiously.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Buddhist-like, if the hypothesis you'll find at the link has any basis in reality.
    Definitely worth checking out that link.
    Among other things, it will massively inflame (even more than usual, I mean) the Creationists.
    Short form:
    "This has all happened before.  It will all happen again."

    •  Predictions only as good as the equations. And (0+ / 0-)

      the equations are likely missing as many variables as they include, and the estimates of their values.  New discoveries will help fill in the equations, but that's an ongoing process and at the end of the day, the estimated values of the variables are a big factor in the result.  In the meantime, extreme predictions based on partial equations tend to erode the credibility of physics, and science in general.

      GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

      by SGWM on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:48:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mars Flyby: stunt to bump investor buzz for SpaceX (0+ / 0-)

    Or... Curiosity has found the wreckage of an alien spacecraft on Mars, and the "flyby mission" is actually going to rendezvous with a landing vehicle launched separately by the NSA in the guise of a spy satellite replacement.

    They've used billionaires to front secret missions before... Does anyone remember Howard Hughes and the Glomar Exlporer?

    The truth is out there!

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:26:38 AM PST

  •  I'm not a meanie (0+ / 0-)

    But I have to wonder if what percentage of the 280,000 visitors to the "Creation Museum" dropped by in order to spend a few hours giggling at idiots.

  •  Uh, yes, we're all born to die (0+ / 0-)

    so how do you figure the universe is "out to get us"?

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site