Jumble wrote:dumbzebra wrote:Idea:
Instead of going to mars straight away, we built up a satelite network, similar to ours (GPS, Weather, Camera-Satelites) including a Space Station (which will be heavily automated by robots until we get humans there). From there we will have a much easier way to both shooting ground robots to the interesting regions of mars, as well as getting humans there.
I think we are slowly heading this way. When I grew up, Viking was big news, and Mars missions were big, expensive and short lived. At time of writing I think we have, currently orbiting Mars:
- 2001 Mars Odyssey, using spectrometers and thermal imaging to look for evidence of water and volcanic gassing
- Mars Express, taking high-level images and radar soundings (and delivering the Beagle 2 lander that was kidnapped by martians)
- The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which does a bit of everything. It takes images, it scans potential landing sites, it studies atmospheric conditions and acts as a weather satellite and it’s also a communications satellite for other current and future missions.
- Finally, there’s the Mars Global Surveyor, which is my favourite because:
a) the images are so good it could see you sitting at your desk (if you were on Mars, which would be a surprise)
b) at our request NASA retasked it so that it would take images of a site that my research partner and I were particularly interested in studying (it’s a weird thought that a satellite in orbit around another planet is responding to your request)
c) It takes pictures like this:Spoiler:Yes, that’s a land-slide on the surface of Mars
Oh, and Mariner 9 is also in orbit, but now defunct. Plus, the Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity which is still trundling around on the surface (although these days I believe it only goes backwards)
So, good idea. Give us time.