I am absolutely fascinated by matters “space”…..
I will be glued to the screen tomorrow night to watch the, hopefully, successful landing of the Mars rover, “Perseverance”.
One huge frustration though, from one who enthusiastically lived through the Apollo moon landings and expected a manned (or womanned 😳) trip to Mars before the end of the last century, surrounds the drilled samples of Martian rock and soil that will be stored inside the Perseverance vehicle for later collection and return to Earth. And when they say “later” they are talking half a generation later…..the samples will not arrive back on earth until I am 80 years old!
By 2032, Elon Musk will be some way towards his aim to populate the planet – if there are no people there by then, SpaceX will be a spent force. Currently Musk is rapid prototyping his Starship rockets and crashing them into the Boca Chica area with gay abandon (oohps another non PC term) while his rocket boosters are making soft landings ready to be reused over and over. Something NASA, bless ‘em, just don’t seem to be able to do.
So NASA – why not just ask one of Elon’s guys to drive over to Jezero Crater and recover the rocks from the Perseverance Rover and bring them home? It would save a lot of American tax dollars?
However……I say godspeed to Perseverance…..actually, noooo, godSLOW !!
Let’s Tour England !