1074: "Moon Landing"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

jozwa
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:16 pm UTC
Location: Finland

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby jozwa » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:00 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:As it is, it's not quite 40 years since humankind last visited the moon.

Give or take a few months, I have no problem with rounding numbers when it doesn't change anything. If it had been released in December then it would have just been a nice celebration of the anniversary.

User avatar
Red Hal
Magically Delicious
Posts: 1445
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:42 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby Red Hal » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:05 pm UTC

Jozwa, I agree, but that's the sort of attention to detail that I have come to expect from Randall, so when he does "round off" it jars precisely because I don't perceive that as being his normal modus operandi.
Lost Greatest Silent Baby X Y Z. "There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain..."

User avatar
jc
Posts: 354
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 5:48 pm UTC
Location: Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
Contact:

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby jc » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:18 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:Jozwa, I agree, but that's the sort of attention to detail that I have come to expect from Randall, so when he does "round off" it jars precisely because I don't perceive that as being his normal modus operandi.

Or maybe he was just thinking that the first, and maybe the second moon landing would qualify as a "great accomplishment", but when you get to the 5th or 6th landing, it has become "established technology".

And if we were still using Saturn rockets to get to the moon, it would now qualify as a huge "waste of resources".

zorts
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:00 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby zorts » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:21 pm UTC

Zalcorus wrote:I think the farthest a human has been since then is to repair the Hubble, which orbits at about 559 km. The radius of the earth is about 6379 km. The regulation basketball is about 4.7 inches in radius.

559/6379*4.7=0.411 inches.


I had the same thought and had just finished the calculations; ya beat me to it!

BUt, yeah - it's a bummer that we haven't been to Mars.

Invisiblemoose
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:15 am UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby Invisiblemoose » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:50 pm UTC

nahtanoj999 wrote:Dear Randall Munroe,
Image
Sincerley,
nahtanoj999

XKCD would be a lot better if Randall had a good editor...

endolith
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:14 am UTC
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby endolith » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:51 pm UTC

keithl wrote:Humans will return to the moon, and on to the planets, but they will be preceded by millions of tons of machines, discovering resources and creating a habitable niche from them.


Nah. Humans will never move beyond the Earth, except maybe for brief and/or deadly visits. We're too frail. We're not evolved to survive in space, or the surfaces of other planets, or even vast swaths of our own planet's surface. Bubble cities and terraforming are too fragile/expensive for any long-term civilization.

It will be much easier and cheaper to adapt humans to other planets than to adapt other planets to humans. Humans will remain on earth; space will be populated by transhumans and posthumans. The machines we're sending now are just a precursor to the genetically-modified cyborgs we'll send in the future.

endolith
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:14 am UTC
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby endolith » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:58 pm UTC

RAGBRAIvet wrote:• Radio direction finding (RDF) is not new technology.
• It would be quite easy to detect if a signal is coming from the American Southwest as opposed to Earth's satellite a quarter-million miles overhead.


Could have been a radio relay.

User avatar
SerMufasa
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:00 pm UTC
Location: Casterley Rock

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby SerMufasa » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:18 pm UTC

Obvious self-reference (surprised not brought up yet):
Image

Also, I too agree Hubble should be in that list. Sure, Spirit and Opportunity were cool and all, but Hubble was fixed. I just find that cool for some reason.
"Winter is Coming, Simba"

User avatar
keithl
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby keithl » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:28 pm UTC

There's actually a better moon landing conspiracy.

One of the most disciplined acts of any of the moon crews was Apollo 10 - Stafford and Cernan orbited the moon in a fully capable LEM that they could have landed - but they left that for Armstrong and Aldrin. So what if they actually did (briefly) land, and NASA covered it up?

I'm not saying it's a credible conspiracy - just less ridiculous than the "we didn't go and the Soviets helped us cover it up" conspiracy.

am3930
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:39 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby am3930 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:53 pm UTC

I always wondered if anyone ever analyzed this footage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C5_dOEyAfk

Hard to fake acceleration due to gravity.
Take me out to the black.
Tell them I ain't comin' back.
Burn the land and boil the sea.
You can't take the-


****, they have.

User avatar
keithl
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby keithl » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:10 pm UTC

endolith wrote:
keithl wrote:Humans will return to the moon, and on to the planets, but they will be preceded by millions of tons of machines, discovering resources and creating a habitable niche from them.


Nah. Humans will never move beyond the Earth, except maybe for brief and/or deadly visits. We're too frail. We're not evolved to survive in space, or the surfaces of other planets, or even vast swaths of our own planet's surface. Bubble cities and terraforming are too fragile/expensive for any long-term civilization.

It will be much easier and cheaper to adapt humans to other planets than to adapt other planets to humans. Humans will remain on earth; space will be populated by transhumans and posthumans. The machines we're sending now are just a precursor to the genetically-modified cyborgs we'll send in the future.


Most of what you say is true, but you read way too much into what I posted, and missed the point. Most tasks are better done by machines (even here on earth), and machines are getting better. Given that trend, my statement about "megatons of machines", when most of them will be gram-weight and smaller, is even more "dismissive" about sending unmodified people. I am a "cyborg" already (I wear glasses and clothing and have metal implanted in my teeth). I expect most people will have far more biomods in the next few decades, years before a habitat (not a whole planet, but bigger than a tin can) is ready for them. The habitat will be a niche, not terraforming, and a mix of local materials and imported machines.

As to why (modified) humans will go ... simply the speed of light. The ping time to Mars at conjunction (opposite side of the sun) is 40 minutes. Modded humans will have reflex reaction times in milliseconds, and much quicker and heavily augmented cognitive decision making times. The myriads of machines on Mars will need executive managment, and people will be too impatient to tolerate a "200 major decision" delay. How they will tolerate a "million major decision" trip time is an imponderable - perhaps they upload. That is way beyond my prognostication horizon.

Will they be "human"? Ask a Cro-magnon cave painter, a pre-Rennaisance cleric, or a Nazi race theoretician, whether we are. I say we are, and they will be, and that the substrate is less important than the mind that inhabits it. Successful minds will still go where the data is; priority is deeply wired in.

ephraim99
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:08 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby ephraim99 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:14 pm UTC

I quickly checked diameters of a regulation basketball and of the Earth, ran the calculations, and saw that 1/2" above the surface of a basketball is equivalent to approximately 419 miles above the surface of the Earth. I figured I'd check the forums (fora?) to see if someone had already posted that. Figures that xkcd readers (or at least those that post) would already have done so.

As Emily Latella says, "Never mind."

User avatar
neoliminal
Posts: 626
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:39 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby neoliminal » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:10 pm UTC

michaelmalak wrote:There has already been another fake: 9-11.



Atop 3000 tons of rocket fuel, what do you think was going to happen to them?

You do know that they faked the 'Fake Moon Landing'(TM) to cover up the successful Mars landings.


The Martian landing on Earth, you mean.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073YYXRC
Read My Book. Cost less than coffee. Will probably keep you awake longer.
[hint, scary!]

FourTael
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:36 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby FourTael » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:19 pm UTC

SerMufasa wrote:Obvious self-reference (surprised not brought up yet):
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/conspiracy_theories.png

Also, I too agree Hubble should be in that list. Sure, Spirit and Opportunity were cool and all, but Hubble was fixed. I just find that cool for some reason.


Oh GODS do I hate confirmation bias.

I provided clinical trials in an argument. You want to know what the person I was arguing with called them? Propaganda. Meanwhile, quite obviously biased sites with completely false information (again proven by facts) were apparently valid... as long as they claimed that what that person said was true.

I... just...

ARGH

User avatar
thevicente
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:19 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby thevicente » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:44 pm UTC

I'm over 40 and didn't become an astronaut like the kid I was dreamed of. :cry:

User avatar
frinklabs
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:49 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby frinklabs » Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:03 pm UTC

Why AREN'T we going to Mars? It is apparently technically feasible.

Better yet, why are the Chinese wasting their time with low-earth-orbit stations? Why don't they mount a Mars mission?

FourTael
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:36 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby FourTael » Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:04 pm UTC

frinklabs wrote:Why AREN'T we going to Mars? It is apparently technically feasible.

Better yet, why are the Chinese wasting their time with low-earth-orbit stations? Why don't they mount a Mars mission?


Money and politics.

Cervisiae Amatorem
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:47 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby Cervisiae Amatorem » Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:05 pm UTC

jozwa wrote:
Red Hal wrote:As it is, it's not quite 40 years since humankind last visited the moon.

Give or take a few months, I have no problem with rounding numbers when it doesn't change anything. If it had been released in December then it would have just been a nice celebration of the anniversary.


I agree with the leeway given. "40 years" gives us two significant digits of precision. So less than half a year over or under we round to 40 years. (I had a wonderfully pedantic science teacher years ago who would insist that "40 years" is only one sig dig of precision. "40. years" would be the proper way to signify 2 sig digs. Either way, the rounding stands.)

14 December 1972 (last Apollo moon landing) is 170 days from 27 June 1972 (40 years ago from today), which is less than half a year (for any definition of "half a year"; be it 6 months (for any definition of "month"; the actual months in the interim or 30 day "accounting" months), or 26 weeks, or 365 days / 2).

Ergo, joke integrity maintained.

Miraun
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:03 am UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby Miraun » Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

FourTael wrote:
frinklabs wrote:Why AREN'T we going to Mars? It is apparently technically feasible.

Better yet, why are the Chinese wasting their time with low-earth-orbit stations? Why don't they mount a Mars mission?


Money and politics.


I thought it had to do with the tremendous amount of cosmic radiation that a person would be subjected to after you left the earth's magnetosphere.

User avatar
frinklabs
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:49 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby frinklabs » Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:25 pm UTC

I thought it had to do with the tremendous amount of cosmic radiation that a person would be subjected to after you left the earth's magnetosphere.


They allege to be working on it, and that surrounding the crew capsule with possible liquefied hydrogen fuel would work:

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/sc ... radiation/

User avatar
Laserdan
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:12 am UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby Laserdan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:46 pm UTC

Miraun wrote:
I thought it had to do with the tremendous amount of cosmic radiation that a person would be subjected to after you left the earth's magnetosphere.



My understanding is that the very first manned Mars mission is a one-way-ticket. There would still be enough people (heck I'm not sure that I wouldn't go on a one-man-mission, but I'm not mentally stable enough around the same people in a small room for years) wanting to go.

Confirmation bias is funny. My idiot cousin, who loves conspiracies and quantum healing, stated that a certain legal period was 7 years because he read it on his favorite site. I showed him the actual, original legal text with paragraphs saying it's six years. You know, written by the people who actually make laws. He still found countless explanations why it is 7 years. God I'm so embarassed that we partly descend from the same ancestors. Of course, scientific studies are generally propaganda by whoever pays for it (that's how the system works, champ!), while "what the bleep do we know" is highly accurate information. I think that naming your sources and listing each one of them meticulously detracts from the credibility of information in his eyes. Talking to the dead, levitation, telekinesis and lots of new age crap is true if you believe him (also the Bible and the Quran of course), astrology however is fake. It completely escapes me how somebody can make that distinction without being embarassed.

After then recoursing to saying how he has all the hoes (he doesn't) and how he had 200 women (he hadn't) and that really cool (gangster) people don't study their whole life for knowledge, he got massively infuriated by my statement that Schrödinger and probably Einstein too each got laid more than him. He didn't talk to me for weeks. Unfortunately, he "forgave" me and contacts me from time to time (mainly to borrow money, even though I never gave him any and told him to go beg on the streets for it).
"Sobriety is a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs."

User avatar
eran_rathan
Mostly Wrong
Posts: 1842
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 pm UTC
Location: in your ceiling, judging you

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:12 pm UTC

Laserdan wrote:he got massively infuriated by my statement that Schrödinger and probably Einstein too each got laid more than him. He didn't talk to me for weeks.


Image

Pimpin' like a boss.
"Does this smell like chloroform to you?"
"Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong."
nɒʜƚɒɿ_nɒɿɘ

User avatar
SerMufasa
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:00 pm UTC
Location: Casterley Rock

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby SerMufasa » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:13 pm UTC

Laserdan wrote:My understanding is that the very first manned Mars mission is a one-way-ticket. There would still be enough people (heck I'm not sure that I wouldn't go on a one-man-mission, but I'm not mentally stable enough around the same people in a small room for years) wanting to go.


Honestly, if I was responsible for evaluating personnel for a Mars mission, "wants to go" would be a strike against the candidate.
"Winter is Coming, Simba"

JudeMorrigan
Posts: 1266
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:26 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:26 pm UTC

SerMufasa wrote:
Laserdan wrote:My understanding is that the very first manned Mars mission is a one-way-ticket. There would still be enough people (heck I'm not sure that I wouldn't go on a one-man-mission, but I'm not mentally stable enough around the same people in a small room for years) wanting to go.


Honestly, if I was responsible for evaluating personnel for a Mars mission, "wants to go" would be a strike against the candidate.

Why? No, seriously, why?

User avatar
PolakoVoador
Posts: 1028
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:11 pm UTC
Location: Brazil

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby PolakoVoador » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:30 pm UTC

Miraun wrote:I thought it had to do with the tremendous amount of cosmic radiation that a person would be subjected to after you left the earth's magnetosphere.


I got curious about the size of Earth's magnetosphere, so I made a quick research with Wikipedia and it seems to be about ~10 times earth's radius. If this is correct, the orbital distance of the Moon is way out of our magnetosphere.

User avatar
SerMufasa
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:00 pm UTC
Location: Casterley Rock

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby SerMufasa » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:53 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
SerMufasa wrote:Honestly, if I was responsible for evaluating personnel for a Mars mission, "wants to go" would be a strike against the candidate.

Why? No, seriously, why?


It's something along the lines of "Are you scared?" "No" "Then I don't think you fully understand the situation"
"Winter is Coming, Simba"

shagbark
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:30 am UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby shagbark » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:56 pm UTC

Stop encouraging people to waste money on sending humans into space when there's science to be done.

voRackham
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:06 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby voRackham » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:06 pm UTC

shagbark wrote:Stop encouraging people to waste money on sending humans into space when there's science to be done.


WELL DONE!

User avatar
frinklabs
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:49 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby frinklabs » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:06 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
SerMufasa wrote:
Laserdan wrote:My understanding is that the very first manned Mars mission is a one-way-ticket. There would still be enough people (heck I'm not sure that I wouldn't go on a one-man-mission, but I'm not mentally stable enough around the same people in a small room for years) wanting to go.


Honestly, if I was responsible for evaluating personnel for a Mars mission, "wants to go" would be a strike against the candidate.

Why? No, seriously, why?


For the same reason I believe that people who WANT to be cops are the last ones to which we should give a gun?

shagbark wrote:Stop encouraging people to waste money on sending humans into space when there's science to be done.


Can't we do both?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDkk2OIwIBg

Seriously, if China announced that they were mounting a Mars mission, would we have a new space race?

User avatar
eran_rathan
Mostly Wrong
Posts: 1842
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 pm UTC
Location: in your ceiling, judging you

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:11 pm UTC

SerMufasa wrote:Honestly, if I was responsible for evaluating personnel for a Mars mission, "wants to go" would be a strike against the candidate.


I feel the same way about politicians -those who most want the job are usually the least qualified.
"Does this smell like chloroform to you?"
"Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong."
nɒʜƚɒɿ_nɒɿɘ

JudeMorrigan
Posts: 1266
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:26 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:14 pm UTC

But ... how is this like a politician or a police officer? We're not talking about people who are going to be in a position of power. I don't see how the situations are analagous.

And:
SerMufasa wrote:It's something along the lines of "Are you scared?" "No" "Then I don't think you fully understand the situation"

You can be scared by something and still consider it worth doing, even at significant personal cost.

User avatar
SlyReaper
inflatable
Posts: 8015
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:09 pm UTC
Location: Bristol, Old Blighty

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:20 pm UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:
Miraun wrote:I thought it had to do with the tremendous amount of cosmic radiation that a person would be subjected to after you left the earth's magnetosphere.


I got curious about the size of Earth's magnetosphere, so I made a quick research with Wikipedia and it seems to be about ~10 times earth's radius. If this is correct, the orbital distance of the Moon is way out of our magnetosphere.

Yes, but they only spent a few days outside the magnetosphere. A Mars mission would take months. And then they would have to spend years on the Martian surface waiting for the planets to align again so they could make their months long journey back.

There are a couple of ways to mitigate this. First of all, carry a radiation shield. These are heavy and the last thing you want on a spaceship is excess weight. Another option is to generate an artificial magnetic field around the ship, but this is incredibly energy intensive, and the rest of the electrical equipment would need to be designed to work in that magnetic field. The most awesome option would be to take a crazy fuel inefficient trajectory, burning fuel all the way instead of coasting along a Hohmann transfer orbit. That gets you to Mars and back in a matter of days assuming you can hoist such a stupid amount of fuel into space in the first place.
Image
What would Baron Harkonnen do?

User avatar
Max™
Posts: 1792
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:21 am UTC
Location: mu

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby Max™ » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:22 pm UTC

shagbark wrote:Stop encouraging people to waste money on sending humans into space when there's science to be done.

but...but...

spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!


Speaking of magnetospheres and the moon, apparently if you could see them, Jupiter would look like this:
Image

Image
mu

User avatar
eran_rathan
Mostly Wrong
Posts: 1842
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 pm UTC
Location: in your ceiling, judging you

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:33 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:But ... how is this like a politician or a police officer? We're not talking about people who are going to be in a position of power. I don't see how the situations are analagous.

I was just commenting that people who desperately want power are exactly the wrong people to have it. I think anyone who doesn't want to go to Mars or Luna or whatever is crazy.
"Does this smell like chloroform to you?"
"Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong."
nɒʜƚɒɿ_nɒɿɘ

FourTael
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:36 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby FourTael » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:48 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:But ... how is this like a politician or a police officer? We're not talking about people who are going to be in a position of power. I don't see how the situations are analagous.

I was just commenting that people who desperately want power are exactly the wrong people to have it. I think anyone who doesn't want to go to Mars or Luna or whatever is crazy.


I think that people that make this argument seriously misunderstand things. The vast majority of police officers and politicians don't seek the job for power, they seek it to help people. That's largely why the political parties choose them.

People always point out the <1% of politicians and police officers that clearly want power and end up in the news because of it. Spotlight fallacy? Bah. If the news tells us that these few politicians and/or police officers are power hungry, well that must be true for all of them.

Edit:

Laserdan wrote:Of course, scientific studies are generally propaganda by whoever pays for it (that's how the system works, champ!)


Sadly, this isn't entirely inaccurate in some fields, most especially anything dealing with what we put into our bodies. Especially if you only read the abstracts.

Of course, anyone that knows anything about statistics can see from full texts, but how many of your family members read full text studies and have enough statistics training to spot when one is crap and another isn't?
Last edited by FourTael on Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:52 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Max™
Posts: 1792
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:21 am UTC
Location: mu

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby Max™ » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:49 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:But ... how is this like a politician or a police officer? We're not talking about people who are going to be in a position of power. I don't see how the situations are analagous.

I was just commenting that people who desperately want power are exactly the wrong people to have it. I think anyone who doesn't want to go to Mars or Luna or whatever is crazy.

I'd rather go float around Venus in an aerostat, much more hospitable than Mars is.

Anyone who doesn't wanna go live in Antarctica or Siberia is less crazy than someone wanting to go to Mars, as both are far less harsh environments than Mars is.
mu

User avatar
eran_rathan
Mostly Wrong
Posts: 1842
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 pm UTC
Location: in your ceiling, judging you

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:58 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:Anyone who doesn't wanna go live in Antarctica or Siberia is less crazy than someone wanting to go to Mars, as both are far less harsh environments than Mars is.


Having been to Lake Baikal, I would certainly go back. Wonderful place.
"Does this smell like chloroform to you?"
"Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong."
nɒʜƚɒɿ_nɒɿɘ

blowfishhootie
Posts: 486
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:13 pm UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby blowfishhootie » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:06 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:Anyone who doesn't wanna go live in Antarctica or Siberia is less crazy than someone wanting to go to Mars, as both are far less harsh environments than Mars is.



1) "Harsh living conditions" are only a small, small fraction of the reason why someone might be terrified to go to Mars. There's also the matter of the months-long journey through space to get there and the inability to return.

2) How do you define harsh? There are plenty of things that would be pretty tough about life on Mars that you would not encounter in Siberia. For example, you know, being crushed by the vacuum of space or whatever the hell would happen, I don't even know. Or literally never once being able to breath without a machine.

3) Nobody has ever lived on Mars, so you don't know this anyway. If we already knew exactly what it would be like for people to live on Mars, there wouldn't be much reason in going. Except for colonization I guess, but certainly no scientific endeavor.

philip1201
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby philip1201 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:23 pm UTC

keithl wrote:There's actually a better moon landing conspiracy.

One of the most disciplined acts of any of the moon crews was Apollo 10 - Stafford and Cernan orbited the moon in a fully capable LEM that they could have landed - but they left that for Armstrong and Aldrin. So what if they actually did (briefly) land, and NASA covered it up?

I'm not saying it's a credible conspiracy - just less ridiculous than the "we didn't go and the Soviets helped us cover it up" conspiracy.


I heard this from my cosmology professor, so it's not a primary source, but she said the lander wasn't filled with fuel exactly to prevent this from happening. Wikipedia concurs.


Max™ wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:But ... how is this like a politician or a police officer? We're not talking about people who are going to be in a position of power. I don't see how the situations are analagous.

I was just commenting that people who desperately want power are exactly the wrong people to have it. I think anyone who doesn't want to go to Mars or Luna or whatever is crazy.

I'd rather go float around Venus in an aerostat, much more hospitable than Mars is.

Anyone who doesn't wanna go live in Antarctica or Siberia is less crazy than someone wanting to go to Mars, as both are far less harsh environments than Mars is.


But it's Mars. Saying going to Antarctica is more sensible than going to Mars because of the climate is like saying it's more sensible to go to North Korea than to Brazil. It isn't about what climate it is, but about what you're going to do when you're there. Besides, the Martian atmosphere is thin enough that the weather is never as dangerous as in Antarctica.


blowfishhootie wrote:3) Nobody has ever lived on Mars, so you don't know this anyway. If we already knew exactly what it would be like for people to live on Mars, there wouldn't be much reason in going. Except for colonization I guess, but certainly no scientific endeavor.


Well, except for Martian geology (and maaaybe exobiology), terraforming/atmospheric studies, etc. "Knowing how to live on Mars" is one of the least scientific things to figure out, being a task for engineers, physiologists and psychologists.

User avatar
SerMufasa
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:00 pm UTC
Location: Casterley Rock

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Postby SerMufasa » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:59 pm UTC

My point was that:
1) If someone is really interested in going to Mars, they probably haven't thought it all the way through: the training, the psychology, having to read Red Mars, etc. I'd be concerned that such a person might not understand the gravity of the situation.
2) Someone who is both really interested and has thought it all the way through is probably a scarier proposition and even less likely to be eligible to go.

A trip to Mars combines two contradictory social aspects: you're both isolated (from the rest of the Earth) and forced together (with the other members of the expedition). It's fraught with issues.

There's a debate whether a moonbase is necessary as a stepping stone to a Mars settlement. I think it is. I think we need to determine exactly how to handle the psychology of a (most-likely) one way trip to Mars in an environment when people can be removed from the situation if necessary.
"Winter is Coming, Simba"


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: GlassHouses and 48 guests