The (near) future of Mars exploration
I know, I know. It’s been a while. I actually have about five different entries in various stages of drafting. Mostly to do with anthro stuff. But I just had to link to this note, and then quote from it – because it is, actually, so important. And just plain cool.
David and I at the top of our two science agencies have agreed that we [can’t] keep fooling ourselves. Nationalism is great; it’s nice to put our logos on our missions. But these missions are getting complex and expensive. We have the same scientific goals. They want to send rovers to Mars, they want to do a sample return, they want to search for life. The goals — not surprisingly, Western Europe and the United States seem to think alike when it comes to science on Mars. Isn’t this the right time, especially now, considering that the 2016 mission ideas are now up in the air because those missions will be impacted. ESA has some ideas for a mission in 2016. We could probably do a heck of a lot better mission if we did ittogether than if we continued to compete with each other. We’ve got technologies and know-how that they don’t; they’ve got technologies and know-how that are special. Let’s work together. What a thought. This just solidified — we kind of reached the decision without much thought — it was kind of a no-brainer yesterday, as I reflected to Dave what we were about to tell you today.