Zubrin’s Solution to Space Exploration: Buy in Bulk

Jupiter Direct Launcher Variants

Mars Society Founder Robert Zubrin has proposed something he calls the “transorbital railroad” to jump start space exploration and settlement. Although he invokes the railroads that opened up the West, it’s really a proposal known to anyone who has ever shopped at Costco: buy in bulk.

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Rocky the Rover to Appear on Hornet the Carrier

Rocky - The Mars Rover

My good friend Lucinda Land of the Mars Society has passed along this news for those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area. There’s going to be free ice cream.

The USS Hornet Museum invites families and enthusiasts from across Northern California to join us for the public unveiling of this limited-time exhibit.

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Mars Society Launches Humans to Mars Petition

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The Mars Society has launched a petition aimed at persuading President Barack Obama to send humans to the Red Planet. Founder Bob Zubrin writes:

The failure of the Augustine Commission to provide the Obama administration with a worthy objective for the American human spaceflight program threatens to leave NASA rudderless. Under these conditions, those who believe that the space program needs a real goal – and that goal should be humans to Mars – need to step forward. For this reason, the Mars Society is launching an international petition campaign, calling on President Obama to set the course for Mars. The petition is open to all to sign, regardless of age or nationality, because the question of whether NASA succeeds in doing what it can and should do to open the space frontier is a matter of vital concern to all humankind.

You can sign the petition here.

Zubrin: Congratulations NASA, You’ve Discovered Greenland

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STATEMENT
MARS SOCIETY PRESIDENT ROBERT ZUBRIN

While the results obtained from the LCROSS mission are of some scientific interest, it needs to be understood that the amount of water discovered was extremely small. The 30 m crater ejected by the probe contained 10 million kilograms of regolith. Within this ejecta, an estimated 100 kg of water was detected. That represents a proportion of 10 parts per million, which is a lower water concentration than that found in the soil of the driest deserts of the Earth. In contrast, we have found continent sized regions on Mars, which are 600,000 parts per million, or 60% water by weight.

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Mars Society: Go Directly to Mars, Do Not Pass Augustine

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The Mars Society has released a statement in which it basically rejects all five options for the American human spaceflight program put forth last week by the Augustine Commission.

Instead of accepting the limited options presented by the Committee, we urge the Administration to follow a sixth option: Task NASA to develop, within 120 days, a minimum cost, minimum schedule mission to land humans on Mars…

Ain’t going to happen. But, good luck with that…

If you’re interested, the full statement is reproduced after the break.

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Space Florida, Mars Society Team Up for Competition

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SPACE FLORIDA PRESS RELEASE

Space Florida, The Mars Society, NASA-Kennedy Space Center and the Florida Department of Education (DoE), have joined forces to create a competition in which Florida middle and high school students will design scientific experiments to send to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah.

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This Week on The Space Show: Mars and Space Law

This week, David Livingston interview the following people on The Space Show:

Monday, April 13, 2009, 2-3:30 PM PDT (21-23:30 GMT)
Michelle Evans, President of the Orange County Space Society

Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 7-8:30 PM PDT (April 15, 2-3:30 GMT)
Prof. Dr. Frans G. von der Dunk, Professor of Space Law at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Friday, April 17, 2009, 9:30-11:30 AM PDT (16:30-18:30 GMT)
Pharis Williams, retired naval officer and retired instructor/researcher from New Mexico Tech

Sunday, April 19, 2009, 12-1:30 PM PDT (19-20:30 GMT)
Chris Carberry, Executive Director of The Mars Society