Giant Mars rover blasts off
November 26th, 2011
10:15 AM ET

Giant Mars rover blasts off

NASA’s biggest and most advanced Mars rover blasted off Saturday from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Curiosity is packed with 10 science experiments to determine whether Mars has ever been suitable for life and to find clues about past life forms that may have been preserved in rocks. NASA says Curiosity won’t answer the age-old questions about life on Mars, but it will provide important information that will guide future missions.

Searching for life on Mars

The spacecraft sent a signal after separation from the rocket, NASA said.

The launch was originally scheduled for Friday, but the mission team took an extra day to remove and replace a flight termination system battery, NASA said.

Curiosity is expected to spend about two years roaming Mars, hunting things researchers say are essential for life to grow: liquid water, key chemicals used by living organisms and an energy source.

The rover lifted off Saturday atop an Atlas V rocket and is scheduled to land in August 2012 in the Gale Crater.

Curiosity is twice as long and five times as heavy as the older Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Its science instruments weigh 15 times as much as its predecessors' science payloads.

The rover has a mast that can extend to 7 feet (2.1 meters) to hoist a high-definition imaging system. It also will hold a laser-equipped camera that can zap rocks to study the sparks emitted for information about their composition.

A 7-foot-long robot arm will hold instruments for soil analysis. Unlike earlier rovers, Curiosity can gather rocks and soil to process inside its lab. The rover also has tools to look for water beneath the surface, to monitor the weather and to measure natural radiation.

Curiosity is designed to roll over obstacles up to 25 inches (about 65 centimeters) high and to travel about 660 feet (200 meters) per day. Its energy source will be a radioisotope power generator.

Landing will be tricky because of the rover’s size. As it descends, the spacecraft will make S-curve maneuvers like those used by shuttle astronauts. Three minutes before touchdown, a parachute and retrorockets will slow the spacecraft. Then, seconds before touchdown, an upper stage will act like a sky crane, lowering the upright rover on a tether to the surface.

When Curiosity arrives at Mars, three satellites already in orbit will be listening: NASA’s Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the European Space Agency’s Mars Express. The spacecraft will be positioned to receive transmissions about Curiosity’s status and relay information to Earth.

NASA: Facts about the Mars science laboratory

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Filed under: In Space
soundoff (1,120 Responses)
  1. Mista. Edison

    Just to let you guys know, turkeys can fly!

    November 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • rjo3491

      I think that this is really cool. I hope we keep doing it!

      November 26, 2011 at 9:12 am |
      • Beverly NC

        Isn't it wonderful to still see small acts of real science, innovation, and intelligence in our nation? Republicans do not believe in science, have destroyed our educaton system, closed schools, laid off teachers, made college all but impossible and our own corporations say they cannot find enough education engineers and technology-trained people for the jobs they do have. NASA is still pursing science, still pushing for new froniters in knowledge, still keep America first in exploration and innovation. Let's hope we wake up and rid the Congress of ALL Republicans in 2012 so we can go back and refund education, hire back quality teachers, teach our children the importance of education and knowledge, refund educational programs like PBS, the Arts, promote reading, and other college paths for students.
        Our BIGGEST national security issue is EDUCATION. Republicans are too stupid to realize this for they care nothing about it. We need to have the smartest, best-trained, highest level scientists, researchers, and tecnology dreamers to keep America number one in the world. Thank God NASA has still surivived Republican ignorance. Let's stand up for the best education and science training in the world by getting rid of ALL Republicans in every state and national seat. Let's move America FORWARD and not backwards where Republians live and think. ALL Democats in 2012 for refunding critical educational programs for our children and our future.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:56 am |
      • PasadenaSue

        It is VERY cool! Think how cool it will be to have three orbiters and two working rovers on Mars when Curiosity arrives? Congratulations to the MSL team on this impressive event. Spirit and Opportunity lasted years beyond their original mission. Adding another rover to the mix is exciting.

        November 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
      • pna

        Beverly, your obviously well misinformed so trying to talk sense into you will do no good. If you think Republicans are responsible for the nations massive debt you had better read and learn. Ignorance is why we have this current administration in power.

        November 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
      • Greg

        @Beverly NC

        Hyper-irrational hatred of large groups of people is really unbecoming for anyone. You read a pretty cool article about a space mission and your first thought was "Republicans do not believe in science...". Really? Let's table the clearly permanent fixation on the object of your inexplicable hatred. Do you really take as axiomatic that Republicans don't believe in science and go from there? Please calm down. Consider laying off the comments for a while.

        November 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
      • Will i am

        Beverly NC you are about as DUMB as they come! Republicans are responsible for the "No child left behind act" Which is the most important legislation to have a positive impact on our kids future. People like you are the reason why we keep getting idiots elected into office on both sides.

        November 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
      • BurtWay

        Wrong, Beverly. The unemployement level among engineers is about 90,000. We do not need more of them. We need to employ those we already have. You have good intentions but have believed the lies of companies that they cant find workers so as to justify their outsource of jobs to other countries.
        Example: On the CNN cable special "Dont Fail me Now: Education in America." Soledad O'Brien interviewed Xerox CEO Ursula Burns who told us about the thousands of "unfillable " engineering type jobs. I went to the Xerox web site xeroxcareers and searched their job postings for "engineer".

        I got seven - 7 !!! - hits. even I was surprised how few this was given that Xerox employes 92, 000 people. Seven engineering jobs is a crisis?

        November 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
      • tryscience

        Beverly – I am a science teacher. You are right right right. The others vilifying you are distorters of facts. As those of us who deal in evidence say "Torture the facts enough and you can make them agree with any of your preconceptions." That is what they are doing. Keep posting. BTW – NCLB is a big failure.

        November 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
      • Science517

        Hate to tell you BeverlyNC, but Bush increased funding to NASA and challenged them to go to Mars. I really hate how you took something so wonderful as NASA launching the Mars Rover and turned it political. Does not say much about yourself.

        November 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
      • SB Berry

        Will I am....do you know any teachers? No child eft on their behind is the worst policy to ever hit our publicly funded schools. Seems like just awhile ago that Obama and his friends said NASA was going to pursue peace with Muslins as their mission...not space. WHat was that all about?

        November 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
      • Tom

        I think what Beverly was trying to say and which some of you like Greg missed the point on, is that the Republican/GOP ideology teaches that government is generally "bad" and that it should ONLY be maintaining security (police, military) and promoting American ideas overseas to pave the way for American business to make money.

        You can't argue about the party platform, its out there. You can't argue about the constant speeches about "smaller" government being the best. How small is small enough and what does small vs. large mean in reference to government. Very few Republican administrations have proposed any science spending that was not in some way military driven. Even the moon landings (which were kicked off by Kennedy, a Democrat), were planned as a way to "beat the Soviets"...again, science was not the priority.

        Just look at the stated spending priorities of Republicans and it will be obvious – if its not military or designed to help business or religion then they are not interested and consider any spending outside of THEIR priorities to be "big government".

        November 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
      • Science517

        Also BeverlyNC, I am conservative and vote a mix, but I do vote Republican more than Democrat (60-40). I studied Biology and will receive my MS in Water Chemistry this December at UW-Madison, the second largest scientific research University in the USA. Your ignorance "Republicans don't believe in science" is horrible. I could counter, based on that comment, that Democrats don't believe in knowledge and tolerance.

        November 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
      • Scott

        Spot on, Beverly NC. Poll after poll of Republican voters shows that the majority of them do not believe in scientifically established facts including evolution and global warming. Their candidates for the presidency reflect this ignorance/bias. They pollute our school boards with religious fundamentalists who want to substitute the bible for science in the classroom. The first step in reclaiming American preeminence in science (and just about everything else) is to elect non-Republicans who will base policy on FACTS.

        November 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
      • IceMan

        To pna and the other defenders of Republican policy: Beverly may have been extreme in her criticism but none of you can deny that there is a serious image problem. Rather than lashing out at Beverly, your energy would probably be better spent trying to reform your party (good luck with that, by the way). The irrational, anti-science faction has far too much influence and is badly compromising discovery and innovation, two things that have made this nation great and that we cannot survive without.

        November 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • IdahoTom

        Beverly NC,

        What's sad is that we have people in this room, when talking about science and technology, still brings up politics and finger pointing blaming games and try to use science and technology to for their political ideology :-( We do not need any of that right now, and we definitely do not need any of that right here. Maybe perhaps in a blog where the topic is specifically aimed at say, the presidential race, yes, go for it, that's where we should be talking about politics and who's better etc etc although I'm not too in to it. But again, not here.

        November 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
      • Shad

        Two Thumbs up on Beverly NC's comment.......Thanks for some real insight into what is going on....:-)

        November 26, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
      • jim

        William, you are stupid beyond belief!!! No child left behind act a positive impact on our children? Only if your children are returds trying to learn to count to ten. Get your head out of your @s$!!!

        November 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
      • claire

        very much agree with Tom's comment. to add a couple of more thoughts. breakthroughs in science and technology do not come easily. and when they do come, they come at a cost of years even decades of meticulous research. most for-profit cooperates have a conflict of interest to investing in long-term fundamental research. And this is the reason why you don't usually see major scientific breakthroughs to come out of private companies. I'm for a government that will not sideline our country's education and fundamental research efforts. If it were to leave everything up to the Wall Street, I'm afraid that we won't hold up to the race against other countries in the long run.

        November 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
      • Jim

        You all suck! So much negative energy

        November 26, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
      • C.

        It is very cool to see how this program is developing thanks to Bush who started and promoted the project, but Obama gets all the credit?

        November 27, 2011 at 1:37 am |
      • Me

        Actually Beverly, the Obama administration has been trying to cut NASA's budget this year.

        http://www.space.com/10845-nasa-2012-budget-announcement-obama.html

        Get you facts straight before you go off on a rant that is not supported by reality. I won't include my political slant here whether I agree with yours or not as it is not relavent to this article. Pick a polotical blog site for that stuff and don't clog up this page.

        November 27, 2011 at 3:09 am |
      • Lookout

        Albemarle NC

        I just had to copy and paste. This is 100% Correct. I am 61 years old and have never meet a Republican that has a clue
        or cares about science!

        Isn't it wonderful to still see small acts of real science, innovation, and intelligence in our nation? Republicans do not believe in science, have destroyed our educaton system, closed schools, laid off teachers, made college all but impossible and our own corporations say they cannot find enough education engineers and technology-trained people for the jobs they do have. NASA is still pursing science, still pushing for new froniters in knowledge, still keep America first in exploration and innovation. Let's hope we wake up and rid the Congress of ALL Republicans in 2012 so we can go back and refund education, hire back quality teachers, teach our children the importance of education and knowledge, refund educational programs like PBS, the Arts, promote reading, and other college paths for students.
        Our BIGGEST national security issue is EDUCATION. Republicans are too stupid to realize this for they care nothing about it. We need to have the smartest, best-trained, highest level scientists, researchers, and tecnology dreamers to keep America number one in the world. Thank God NASA has still surivived Republican ignorance. Let's stand up for the best education and science training in the world by getting rid of ALL Republicans in every state and national seat. Let's move America FORWARD and not backwards where Republians live and think. ALL Democats in 2012 for refunding critical educational programs for our children and our future.

        November 27, 2011 at 7:28 am |
    • Tony

      Not domestic turkeys. Wild turkeys.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:15 am |
      • Happy-Holidays

        Yeh! I am all in for that Wild Turkey!

        November 26, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • illuminati

      You are sheeple. Human sheep who believe anything, being led to slaughter. The media and government have been lying to you since you were born. Whenever the Government lies they make it nice and pretty and tell you it's about this or that. The only way you'll find real news is to look outside.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:12 am |
      • edr

        Exactly. Everything is a lie. But why all of this is happening?

        November 26, 2011 at 11:22 am |
      • What

        Schizophrenic much?

        November 26, 2011 at 11:30 am |
      • David

        illuminati I have to agree with you. Ever heard the saying "mad as a wet hen"? Well the fact is hens couldn't care less about getting wet. So there's one good example for you.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:33 am |
      • CB21029

        You forgot to take the pink pills this morning.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |
      • paidogovernmentdisinformationagent

        illuminati I think the site you are looking for is abovetopsecret.com I know this because my NWO masters pay me handsomely to keep tabs on important people like yourself.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:59 am |
      • Darwin

        By declaring everything a lie, one isn't required to learn anything. That's why conspiracy theorists are so stupid and gullible. Anyone who uses the term 'sheeple' is truly daft.

        November 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
      • SAMM

        lol, "everything is a lie" contradicts itself, because that makes the statement itself a lie. That means the inverse is true, "NOT everything is a lie."

        Basic logic fail.

        November 26, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
      • The Government

        So you're on to us. Luckily, we traced your I.P. and have mind-wiped everyone who read your post. The cleanup team will arrive shortly, do not upset the balance of power.

        December 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Patrick

      Didn't you ever watch WKRP?

      November 26, 2011 at 11:50 am |
      • Aizko

        I recall that episode – the one with the Turkey drop. Ah, television.

        November 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • joseph ryder

      Mankind will never survive long enough to go to mars, Question: where are they going to get the oxygen up there along with the IF, Question two: where are the farmers that grow crops in weather that only martians can survive. Question three: Don't fool ourselves if possible tell me the ones that would make the trip, selective people who in there opinion deserve to be there away from the Ordinary People. Its just not possible to go there and step into WHAT?

      November 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
      • dan

        Answer to these Questions in lehmans terms. We have plenty of Mexicans

        November 26, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
      • MarshallM

        Joseph, the oxygen is already there in the form of water. We just have to learn how to capture the water before it sublimates and then extract it from the water. Certainly, sealed habitats will be necessary, but it is mankind's destiny to move out into the solar system and, eventually, to the stars.

        November 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
      • scienceperson

        "Move to the stars" don't be silly, considering the temperature of the average plasma that makes up stars ranges from 10^2 to 10^7 Kelvin....I have an idea...lets capture the energy from our own star or the core of the earth and eliminate this need for fossil fuel that is destroying the earth both politically and physically.

        November 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
      • Todd Sumner

        Just about everything about your statement makes it very clear that you got very little out of your basic education. Please don't bother commenting unless you want to truly want to expose your level of understanding.

        November 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
      • pirate

        scienceperson: Don't you grasp the idea of a metaphor? Escape to the stars means go out amongst the stars and away from our star we call the sun.. Not physically on those stars!!

        November 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
      • Ramon F. Herrera

        Genetic engineering will produce people capable of space travel and living in harsh (for us) environments.

        November 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • name

        Reach for the stars? Don't be silly, you'd burn your hands clean off.

        November 26, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • JustThinkAboutIt

        Joseph, the people in the time of Columbus and before thought that crossing the ocean was impossible. They thought they would fall off the edge of the world. Time will tell, but I doubt that going to Mars and living there is impossible. It all depends on how urgently we want to do it. Mankind will eventually find a wy if not now then in the future.

        November 26, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
      • barackobama

        If we want to expedite the arrival of humans on Mars we're going about it all wrong. Build a Walmart there and advertise 55" HDTVs for $200 and see how fast people arrive.

        November 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Tim

      Hip hip hooray!

      November 26, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Larry

      I've always been a big supporter of space exploration, and I've attended several space shuttle launches when I lived in FL, but I think that given the current state of the economy in the US, and the economic malaise in Europe that is certain to have even more negative effects on the US's financial problems, this is not the smartest time to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to explore the possibility of life, past or present on Mars. We have an unemployment rate that is extremely high, many American families are struggling to pay for basic necessities, the stock market is plummeting, all these things are more important in my view at least than putting a rover on Mars. We need to address the concerns and needs of our population before concerning ourselves with Mars. The red planet will wait, hungry, homeless Americans can't.

      November 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
      • Chris, Austin

        If we could afford to invade Iraq. If we could afford to invade and build Afghanistan. If we can afford to give congresspeople lifetime paychecks and free healthcare. If we can afford massive subsidies to oil companies. If we can afford bases in over 150 countries. If we can afford to give huge Medicare subsidies to the drug companies to avoid negotiating prescription prices down to a reasonable level in this country. If we can afford tax subsidies to massive corporate churches with incomes in the billions.

        We can send a robot to Mars.

        Looked at from the point of view of the long-term advancement of the species, this is actually one of the few productive things America is doing with its wealth.

        I realize you've been trained your whole life to think that knowledge is for weak, snooty people, and that the fact that there is hunger means we can't afford anything but checks to billionaires, but try to pull your snout out of the trough for a moment and look around you. If you're so concerned about hunger, go do something about it. Vote for leaders that pay for food before CEO bonuses, start the "feed people first" political party, round up some like-minded people, and change the world.

        You don't get to kill the pursuit of human knowledge because leaders are incompetent and corrupt, or because you have no imagination or understanding of how this country spends.

        November 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
      • sam

        yeah! so let's get rid of nasa and take those hundreds of millions of dollars, divide it up among all americans so they get a buck or two, and then the economy will be fixed.

        November 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
      • dpeters11

        If we were to take the entire budget of NASA and put it to social programs, funding would increase about 1%. There is just no way that would make any difference. The Defense Department spends more on Air Conditioning than the entire NASA budget per year.

        November 27, 2011 at 10:18 am |
      • Steve409

        You do realize that having projects like this actually creates jobs, don't you?

        November 27, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • fred miller

      Maybe NOW we can go to the moon?? Obama in prison 2012

      November 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
      • junius gallio

        Oh, get off the hyperbole. I most certainly do not agree with everything he's done, but Obama is not a criminal.

        November 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • nick

      waste of tax dollars

      November 26, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
      • Adam

        How is this a waste of tax dollars? You do realize that various studies have shown that every dollar invested in space exploration is returned 10 – 20 times over (depending on the study)? That's possibly the best investment this country can make! NASA employs people from high school on up to multiple doctorates in high tech jobs that pay well. Tens of thousands of people across the country, in nearly ever state. NASA does more for our economy than any other agency. They support math and science and education which paves the way to the future of this country. NASA reaches out to kids of all ages to excite them and open their minds to the wonders out there and inspire them to explore their world. No other agency of government and no other public or private sector entity can match the value to our society that NASA has. Period. You simply will not find a better investment for our tax dollars.

        November 27, 2011 at 11:09 am |
      • pirate

        Great points. NASA reaches out to educators all the time. My own mother (a teacher) was involved in a summer program with NASA two decades back...

        November 27, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • deeb lteif

      beverly you are awesome!!!!! withidiots like you who need mental institutions.... you are roaming this great land with no therapy .... republicans, do not have have mothers , grandmothers, wives, children, duaghters, kids, that go to school and do not hold education degrees only the obama crowd does..... we are hoping that this expidetion finds life on Mars so that we can ship you and your kind up there and get off our planet

      November 27, 2011 at 8:32 am |
  2. Necrofun

    Microorganisms will be really impressed with our advanced technology.

    November 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • peter

      What a colossal waste of time, MONEY and energy. After this, then what? Who cares if Mars HAD or can support life? Wht would we need to go there? Politicrap! That's all it is

      November 26, 2011 at 7:26 am |
      • Chan

        ...because it can be terraformed..

        November 26, 2011 at 8:03 am |
      • albert

        I am just waiting for the whopper lies the Science Gods will tell just to keep the money coming in.

        November 26, 2011 at 8:21 am |
      • Dan, Tx

        I don't think it is a waste of money. If we both sat down and prioritized where our tax dollars should be spent we'd have a number of disagreements. So, who gets to decide? Our representatives. Our representatives decided this mission was worthwhile. Thus, after much deliberation, America decided it was worth asking for tax dollars to fund this. You were outvoted by the majority of Americans.

        November 26, 2011 at 8:22 am |
      • Gracko

        Right, Peter. That money would be much better spent to build another megachurch, eh?

        November 26, 2011 at 8:24 am |
      • Oland

        Pooga say wheel useless. Pooga ride mastodon instead. Pooga say fire useless. Pooga eat mastodon raw. Pooga say computer useless. Pooga eat keyboard. Pooga say NASA useless. Pooga say Earth center of all. Pooga no look up no more. Sun burn eyes. Blaaargh! Blaargh!

        November 26, 2011 at 8:28 am |
      • Mike

        It's a military "thing". The ancient principle of war "maintain the high ground".

        November 26, 2011 at 8:35 am |
      • emaho

        Boys and their toys! Why can't these latter-day Tom Swifts just say: "Solar system? Yeah. It's out there." And then forget it about it and turn their attention Earthward, where are much more urgent problems to investigate and solve. Talk about having one's priorities in order.

        November 26, 2011 at 8:41 am |
      • Mark in Phx

        Thanks Oland! Pooga is my hero! But how did he get around after he ate the mastadon?

        November 26, 2011 at 9:33 am |
      • Robert

        Absolutely correct Peter. We need to shut down science like this. Waste of money. Shut it down and lay off the thousands or so working for NASA and all the subcontractors and put them on the dole. We can use the money spent learning about our little solar system to pay these people unemployment. Until it runs out. But then we can just raise the taxes of whoever might still be left working to cover the bill.
        Enough said, going to occupy something for something.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:36 am |
      • Tom

        Peter, I see you only care about profit and making money, not science (which does result eventually in money making).

        You must be a Ferengi!

        "The Ferengi (English pronunciation: /fəˈrɛŋɡi/) are a fictitious extraterrestrial race from the Star Trek universe. They and their culture are characterized by a mercantile obsession with profit and trade and their constant efforts to swindle people into bad deals"

        November 26, 2011 at 9:37 am |
      • Keerview

        Space and military science has been driving commerce on earth more than anything else in history of man. We need 100 times more the spending on this type of exploration to save ourselves from the results of the actions of those who are more 'down to earth'

        November 26, 2011 at 10:05 am |
      • Dan Brian

        For every $1 we've put into NASA, we've received $8 back in revenue on patents and such. It's hard to argue an investment like that.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:20 am |
      • really

        @Tom.... you are right, but you forgot we have an equivalent of the Ferengi here..... it's called a republican!!

        November 26, 2011 at 10:24 am |
      • really

        ....of course, the Ferengi are not quite as ugly......

        November 26, 2011 at 10:25 am |
      • Daniel

        How can exploration, discovery, and knowledge be a waste of time or money? Advancement is almost always a good thing. Your anti-science attitude is both disturbing and disappointing. The quest for knowledge is one of humanity's greatest traits. A desire for ignorance is rarely beneficial.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:29 am |
      • Al

        NASA gets so little money compared to the billions we pour into killing people in other countries. But I guess you think that all that death and killing is a better way to spend the dollars. Me, I'd far rather spend my money on Mars probes.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:46 am |
      • Factors

        I agree, Peter. Just heard yesterday, that 1 in 7 Amerricans are now on food stamps. Ridiculous priorities – all to determine if there's a chance for life on a rock somewhere. Stupid!

        November 26, 2011 at 10:47 am |
      • dextermorganreturns

        Tell us Peter, what political party gains anything from a trip to Mars? None. You're too fucking stupid to even understand why we would need to go there in the first place.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:48 am |
      • OMAC

        The technology invented for the space program has a trickle-down effect. It has given us more than 'foam mattresses'. Maybe you should do a little research before proselytizing against it. And let's not forget the hundreds of thousands of jobs it has created since it began.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:50 am |
      • Evskie

        If the greatest discovery of the human race does not make you care then hopefully the science to accomplish the task should. The computer your typing out your complaint on to the phone you use to MRI and other medical tools were all due to science. A breakthrough in particle physics could possibly spread into other fields of science leading to more breakthroughs. Most importantly we are over populating and poluting our planet so fast were going to need additional resources eventually, it would be stupid to ignore a whole solar system of resources. If we wait until we have to have the technology to survive it will be too late.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:57 am |
      • Dan

        Not very bright are you Peter?

        November 26, 2011 at 11:13 am |
      • peacesupremist

        Do you really think that this is about finding signs of past life on Mars? We already had two rovers tour, and prod Mar’s soil for several years and what did they discover? Trace evidence of water. “Curiosity” is principally a two billion $$ jobs package to keep scientists and engineers gainfully employed. I can deal with that - the government already sponsors and subsidizes many other “non-critical” industries. However, let’s put federal scientific capital to work on other solar system targets. Mars is so yesterday’s news.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:33 am |
      • Guest

        I t dosn't matter what percentage of the US economy it really costs for these missions, reality is that they do cost a lot of money, trillions of dollars, and last time I looked, we were using that dollar amount to describe how much we were in the hole. We need to fix things that are wrong on EARTH, such as lack of jobs,(how's about a super committee to create JOBS?), lousy education for our kids, etc. If it didn't cost so much money, I'd be all for it, but it does, and we don't have any money to throw around on missions like this that cost so much money, it's just comon sense. As far as counting on our representatives to OK it, they seem to have their own agends, so I'm feeling I can't count of them to make the best decisions....

        November 26, 2011 at 11:38 am |
      • SteveJ

        Knowledge is priceless. I don't care if there isn't an instant link to some monetary gain for us "sheepies", knowledge itself is worth the cost and effort of missions like these.Sure there are a lot of problems here on earth, but to think that we can't spend some money on exploration and discoveries about our solar system and the universe is like saying we can't walk and chew gum at the same time. If you want to stop wasting money go stop a war. (there's plenty to choose from).

        November 26, 2011 at 11:39 am |
      • plato

        What if there is a giant asteroid headed for earth (as there has been in the past) that could destroy the entire human race but the government has shut down all space research? What if the earth is completely over-populated (as it will be) and there are no more natural resources on earth to support human life? Space research is actually the most important endeavor of the scientific community. If you don't see the obvious and extremely urgent need to explore space then you are extremely shortsighted.

        November 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
      • 456why123

        Peter: I agree. It's a waste of money. Money that could put to better use here on earth. Science research has established that there is no life like ours anywhere else in our galaxy. If the purpose for exploration out in space is to set up glass houses, first how will that be done? and second, who would want to live in a glass house? It's insane to think that humans would want to live in a bottle, with a glass ceiling. How about if there is a power shortage, would most people there be subject to dying because of no oxygen available? We have major life issues that we should take care here at home first...

        November 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
      • PraiseTheLard

        Peter: your obvious level of intelligence is simply astounding!

        November 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
      • G Finnigan

        Peter, why don't you grow a brain. Space is the future of humanity. Exploration is instinctively human. So you would roll your eyes at the most amazing and significant scientific discovery of all time? Sounds like you lack vision, imagination, and a brain. Go ahead and vote Republican. Your vote doesn't matter...

        November 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
      • Glen

        Quoting above moron: "Science research has established that there is no life like ours anywhere else in our galaxy."

        What? I just dropped my pretend bible. Science has NOT established that there is no life like ours anywhere else in our galaxy. Science hasn't even fully explored MARS, much less the rest of the Solar System, much less the rest of the GALAXY which is enormous! The purpose of this mission is to further explore the possibilities for life on Mars, after seeing the possibilities for it based upon the experience of all the previous Mars missions, as this rover has more advanced systems and can actually perform it's own tests (hence the name "Mars Science Laboratory"). How do you manage to tie your shoes in the morning with this level of stupidity and ignorance?

        November 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
      • kardiac

        People like this vote. How scary is that? Large groups of people not just uninformed but unable to grasp anything beyond a 30 second sound bit on FOX can sway elections.

        November 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
      • nickodemus29

        Agreed Peter – Why did we ever even cross the ocean to find the Americas and then keep going to find out the world was round? The world was flat and we all knew it. We had to go and discover that it really wasn't darn it. Oh yeah then we launched into space and viola! there was no heaven with some bearded WHITE guy hanging in the clouds watching us. Hmmmm....we should just stay here on earth and spend money on religion and wars to kill each other – what idiots we are.

        November 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
      • LeppFan

        Think a little harder before you speak.....Without EX-PLOR-ATION and DIS-COV-ERY none of us would be where we are today! If humans just sat around content with what they already had we'd still be living in caves. Who knows, there could be a cure for people like you found up there on Mars. Let's hope!
        Oh, and also.....Got a cell phone? Thank NASA! Got cable TV? Thank NASA! Got GPS? Thank NASA!

        November 26, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
      • Toby Hawbaker

        You all seem to forget some of the worst atrocities in history have been made in the name of science, discovery, and exploration. Both to people and to the area being explored.
        NASA will never be shut down. A large part of it's funding DOESN'T come from the government, the private sector funds a percentage of all the experiments and missions NASA does.
        Bottom line....Is this expedition nessessary? yes! Is now the correct time to do it? Probably not. Instead of funding this kind of thing I would like to see that money re-invested into the American economy differently that would have a greater impact on the short term, not 20 or 30 years down the road.

        November 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
      • pirate

        Yes but a worse atrocity would be canceling a project like this because the economy is down. It was started a long time before things fell apart.

        November 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • EarthPlanet

      If we find that Mars CANNOT in fact sustain life then please can we send all Christian nutjobs over there?

      November 26, 2011 at 9:02 am |
      • AGuest9

        PLEASE????? Along with fundamentalists of all stripes!

        November 26, 2011 at 10:59 am |
      • Andrew

        That would be amazing there would actually be world peace, pretty sure literacy rates would skyrocket, most likely leading to the overall decline in poverty and overconsumption of resources, not to mention the decline of std's and pretty much every other bad thing that comes from religious zealots.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:10 am |
      • Eric g

        Boy arent you an intolerant one. Just because someone disagrees with your worldview you want to condemn them. Oh and by the way i fully support this mission and hope it has a safe albeit complex landing

        November 26, 2011 at 11:13 am |
      • Ted Bleen

        If it would get me away from all the liberals on earth-I'm ready. 1 Christian nutjob-ready to beam up.

        November 26, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • jeffro

      Exploration is an essential part of the human sole. There is nothing more arrogant than the belief that life exists on earth and nowhere else in universe.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:37 am |
      • SixDegrees

        Maybe. The quest for life elsewhere is certainly well worth it, but at the moment there is no guarantee it will succeed, or that there is life elsewhere in the first place. We have a sample size of exactly one, and that isn't sufficient to make any predictions at all from. You can't extrapolate from a single point, and you can't extract statistics from a single datum. I'd have to say it is every bit as arrogant to proclaim that life must exist elsewhere as to insist that it only exists here. The only rational answer to the question is "We don't know".

        November 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
      • ktisis

        I love the funny irony in your statement. You have arroggantly stated that you KNOW what the most arroggant thing is. Wow.

        Anyway, to answer your underlying question...for those who actually study the complexities of life (DNA) there is absolutely no scientific evidence or probable scenario that life does exist outside of Earth. Do a little research about the mathematical probabilities involved in protein formation, chirality, encoding-decoding mechanisms...you will see that this is a vain pursuit. It is illogical to even suggest that there is life outside of life from Earth (mathematically and scientifically speaking). And to argue about non-DNA based life is hyper-speculation with only fantasy in support.

        November 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  3. w l jones

    Mars have enough oxygen in the air to keep small desert amphibian animal as well desert animal also hardy plant. No dought in cave it posibly humen find enough oxygen to suvie for shot period of time.

    November 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • G-run

      they should try a lung fish or one of those species that lay dormant when theres no water....even water bears

      November 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • FauxNews

      First off, you might need more oxygen to help your spelling. Second, any amphibian on Earth would explode in the extremely thin atmosphere.

      November 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
      • w l jones

        I doubt an amphilian could explode without oxygen in it body.

        November 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
      • cpc65

        Not true about that last part. You've been watching Total Recall too much. Even in the vacuum of space that doesn't happen. Now if you tried the same thing with a deep sea organism, it might be different.

        November 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
      • johnqpublic

        not explode exactly, but catastrophic decompression. deadly all the same.

        November 27, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Marvin

      Oxygen, Mars? Those two words do not go together.
      Oxygen concentration on mars is 1 part in 27 000 that of earth. Almost too small to be measured, never mind trying to breathe it.

      November 26, 2011 at 7:06 am |
  4. Josh

    Does anyone know if Curiosity will have any chance to "visit" either Opportunity or Spirit ?

    November 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • MarsFan

      No. Curiosity will land more than 1500 miles from Spirit and more than 5100 miles from Opportunity. Curiosity takes *at least* a couple of days to travel a single mile.

      November 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
      • tif31

        At 600 feet per day, it will take curiosity closer to nine days to travel one mile. Didn't read the article, huh ?

        November 26, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  5. Joe

    I guess I'm a dreamer! why we always focusing on Mars? Isn't there other planets we can be spending Millions on for research? How about those galaxies out there! Build a telescope that we can send light years away; and I bet we find life! Or is that the fear we dare not contemplate. We've seen what our Sun reflects; wouldn't it be amazing to go beyond and see what it looks back this way? There I go again- dreaming. Maybe not in my lifetime, it's going to be exciting though for generations to come. Just wait and see!

    November 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • G-run

      nothing wrong with that JOE...ill say this, our government works in mysterious ways, if they did find life you think they'd tell us quick, whose to say that they found something but arent saying anything about it, trust me they're like that, im willing to bet something was found but is put on the classifed side...even an energy source, they arent gonna share with the world..think about it...what im trying to say is that i would be suprised if something was found but put a lid on. As for dreaming you never know man we may see something in our life times im hoping for it too

      November 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • nmrguy

      Your dreams are actually a reality already. The Hubble Space Telescope is looking back to origins of the Universe, the James Webb Telescope will do much better. Looking as far as you would like requires detecting light; going to places to look for life means Mars is a great target and not an easy one. I will be crossing fingers and worrying intensely as this next Mars mission flys, getting to Mars safely is not easy. Mars is, for humans, really far away. But it is cool that thanks to NASA we currently have active missions around Vesta and Ceres, a mission at Mercury, an active mission around Saturn with Titan, and missions in flight out to Jupiter. Meanwhile, old space craft are still flying around and being used to explore other bodies, e.g., the Stardust space craft after successfully retrieving samples of a comet and dropping these off to Earth after a 3 billion mile journey, just went off to look at Comet Temple 1 to see what we had done to this object with our "deep impact" mission. Really, NASA is flying stuff all over our Solar System-Now, at comparably minimal dollars. In spite of a lack of vision government, American Frontier-ism is flourishing. Lets do more. Most Americans do not appreciate how amazing our engineers are- all other nations are followers. We still lead. Sorry to sound so flag waving, but I am very proud of this nation!

      November 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Hugo

      And there's the SETI project.

      November 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • justmeanddog

      Some of the really big discoveries are coming from Einstein’s Telescope. Now there is a Telescope.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "Build a telescope that we can send light years away"

      The trip would take thousands of years and we will not be able to detect the faint signals. An antenna bigger than Earth will be required. I am convinced that there is intelligent life out there but there is no way we can contact them or they contact us.

      You need to read less science fiction and more science.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  6. mendrys

    Lets see...for about .5 percent to a max of about 4 percent of the federal budget during the Apoll era there have been hundreds of thousands of new jobs created. Hundreds of billions in economic benefits created. Novel products that we use every day. Increased understanding of Earth and its climate. Leadership in the semiconductor and aerospace industry and other benefits too numerous to list here. Besides all that what has NASA done for us?

    November 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • tct

      Inspired dreams, given a sense of common cause (sometimes worldwide), increased scientific and technical education and provided a public/private partnership model for commercialization of new products that works. Like infrastructure it's cut first because appearance matters more to politicians than the well being of our country.

      November 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  7. Matt Player

    To those of you asking what's the point of expending funds on something like this, I will try to explain. How about a chance at making the most profound discovery in the history of the human race, finding life on another world? How about witnessing the crowning achievement of human knowledge? How about shedding some light on our own origins and place within the universe by discovering that life naturally arises when conditions are correct? Surely this knowledge is worth the price tag of the amount Coca Cola spends annually on marketing its product to the masses. The point is knowledge. The point is gaining perspective. The point is providing inspiration. The point is satiating curiosity about the biggest questions we can ask. The point is using our minds for something greater than satisfying the trivial aspects of our day-to-day routine. And the point is accomplishing this as soon as it is technically feasible because our existence is limited in time. If these answers do not satisfy you, I respectfully ask that you resign from the human race, and relegate yourself to our prior Pleistocene cave-dwelling existence.

    November 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • BDSpencer

      Well put Matt.

      November 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • nmrguy

      Yes! Very well said.

      November 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Matt Player

      Thank you! :)

      November 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • paerki

      Your comments are much appreciated. Thank you. :)

      November 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Cheech Wizard

      Well put....except maybe the last sentence...going negative doesn't improve your otherwise excellent argument.

      November 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Matt Player

      Well, the last part was supposed to be sarcastic/humorous, but thank you though!

      November 25, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • whynenot

      well written. try explaining this to a hungry child however, or a battered woman. Perhaps a homeless veteran, or a lonely widow. we can afford all of these costs, so i say take care of our own species first.

      November 26, 2011 at 7:51 am |
      • Torn

        Should we strive for the quest for knowledge, or the survival of an exclusive race on Earth? That is a good question. Ultimately it's the infamous Catch 22. If we save all of those among us who suffer and die every day, as sad as that is, we will overpopulate and destroy the planet which we live upon. Ultimately, this very notion of not taking care of them may indeed destroy the human race as well. In the end that quest for knowledge, no matter how frivolous it may seem might just save us as a whole.

        November 26, 2011 at 8:25 am |
      • Notehead

        Reasonable questions. Any moral, caring person would want to save a suffering individual. But we have to tackle Earth's problems at every level from the micro to the super-macro. Those complaining about the expense don't seem to have much understanding of how this sort of science (or science in general) benefits us. It's not a bunch of ego-driven nerds solving for "x"; as others have pointed out, the space program's tangible benefits to humanity are massive.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:16 am |
      • really

        This project was planned and developed years ago. The money was spent already way before this launch. The contractors surely wanted their money up front to build the probe. This money most likely came from a 2008 budget, or before....so get off the money part!

        November 26, 2011 at 10:59 am |
      • Daniel

        Why not do BOTH? Why is it an either/or debate? Why not take care of the ones who need help, and also explore for the benefit of all?

        November 26, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
      • Matt Player

        I admit that the emotional nature of the individual situations you describe gives pause for thought. But consider this. The estimated total economic output of the human race is $2,396,950,000,000,000. That is 2.4 quadrillion dollars. Virtually all of that has been spent on Earthly endeavors. I think we can spare a nominal amount on space exploration, a destination that is inevitably our future at some point. Telling this to someone that is experiencing pain and torment probably won't mean much, because they are necessarily focused on their situation. A small amount of resources should still be directed towards long-term planning, nonetheless.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • FrankR

      Unless we find a way to travel at much greater speeds and go to other star systems all of this is just a waste of money to find out whether life on Mars ever existed or not.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:47 am |
      • Matt Player

        First, we need to motivate the population of the world to invest much more heavily in the types of technologies you describe. The exploration you advocate is beyond monumental and would literally costs trillions upon trillions of dollars to execute. In order to do this, we have to demonstrate that this type of exploration is worthwhile. Searching for life, past or present, is a good way to inspire people's imagination and get them on board with the whole space exploration endeavor. So, I wouldn't really refer to these comparatively "baby steps" as worthless. Ultimately, it has the potential to make space exploration a permanent and significant part of world culture.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • gman

      You almost assume we will find life – what if we just find a few amino acids? amino acids would prove nothing – hundreds of amino acids in specific linking chains to create a protein – hundreds of proteins to create a cell – now if we find a cell then you have something

      November 26, 2011 at 10:54 am |
      • Matt Player

        In my post I was talking about the potential. I was arguing that the profundity of this potential discovery is well worth the cost.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • FrankR

      You must be a NASA tool.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:03 am |
      • dextermorganreturns

        And you must be an uneducated red neck.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:13 am |
      • TinyKinkyDasaniBottle

        You must be new here.

        November 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
      • Matt Player

        Nope, just a regular guy with a perspective on reality that encompasses more than just the Earth.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
      • Daniel

        Are you a Tea Party Tool? Or just anti-science and anti-exploration?

        November 27, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  8. More Power

    As Tim the Toolman would say:

    A one-ton, super-advanced, plutonium-powered, scientific marvel! Ah! Oh! Oh! Oh!

    November 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  9. rick husk

    Here we go again,who cares,we need to worry about this planet ,who cares if there was water,we have a town running out of water,who's helping them,are government will piss of billions of dollars just to see if water was ever on mars,that money could have went to help the homeless,education,unemployment. I hope this thing is a bust, This great country always has to try and out do other country's.the government complains about budget cuts,why not start here,just a waste of money. If this thing fails,everyone of them should be fired. They don't even know if it will work.

    November 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • David

      Luddites and Maroons,

      We need to find a place to go before the neo-Cons and Republicans have let their corporate cronies pollute the planet to the point it is poisonous to our existance.Those why deny pollution, global warming, and who think greed is good and only quarterly returns matter can stay. I'm going to Mars.

      November 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Tony

      HELLO....we don't send the money there!!! We spend the money here on earth...and it pays the salaries of thousands of workers for the companies that are contracted by NASA.

      November 25, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • really

      Hey, get this through your heads! This project was planned and developed years ago. The money was spent already way before this launch. The contractors surely wanted their money up front to build the probe. This money most likely came from a 2008 budget, or before....so get off the money part!

      November 26, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Scoop

      So you propose we reduce employment by firing everyone that is working on these projects?

      November 26, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • A Thinker

      You do have a point, but there are many things that can be gained from the long term affects of this project. If they find that Mars once supported life then we could Terraform the planet, then we could send the people who think alike to that planet and cut down on the pollution and wars.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  10. james

    Lets say they find out there is or was life on Mars...How does that help us here ? This is a fascinating waste of money.

    November 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Darwin

      Yeah, the Bible contains all of the information that mankind ever needs to know.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • GoRemote

      Agreed......Knowledge is wasted on you.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • 6 Degrees from Bacon

      james: Yo Mama.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Ethan

      Think of the technology Nasa has helped to create in the past. Also, I as well as many scientists around America are heavily interested about how our universe and the different planets work in a hope that this will help us advance and make a better world some day. The tricky part of science is you're just not sure about anything nor do you know where to search.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • JC

      Go and watch Hannity.
      For you ignorance it will answer the biggest question of the Humanity 'Are we alone'?
      Mars is probably dead but we have found over 700 Planets, many are spectacularly beautiful.
      FYI space exploration has resulted in MRI, CT scans, Heart pumps and thousands of day to day products you use.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
      • Patdog

        Why would you needlessly bash Sean Hannity? Oh, that's right, you are a hate spewing Liberal, I forgot.

        November 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • spocksears

      By that reasoning - everything we spend any money on is a waste. After all, we all just die in the end. Who cares if we live longer, travel more comfortably, have tasty food, blog on a computer - its fascinating but accomplishes nothing whatsoever. In fact, curiosity, ingenuity, philosophy, art, music, science, and religion are all stupid wastes of time. Money pits. Let's just shut it all down -- right? (wake up)

      November 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Pepinium

      Your attitude can only be justified if you are the victim of a radical lobotomy. Don't take it too hard, we know it hurts when you think.

      November 25, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • fozz

      My taxes pay for your medicare, social security and other entitlements. I want my money back.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  11. Science just is...

    I support the unmanned exploration of space. Bravo NASA. Bravo to scientists and forward-thinkers.

    November 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Ethan

      NASA is simply amazing!

      November 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Gabe

      Every time I read an article like this, it makes me wish I had paid more attention in science class in high school. Unfortunately I really didn't "discover" how awesome it was until way after. I agree with you that NASA is awesome. Kudos to the scientists!

      November 25, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  12. Dale

    We need to halt all stupid expenditures by our government immediate until we can afford to balance our budget. This means NASA, endless wars, 52% of Americans paying no taxes yet shopping like animals on black friday, etc.

    November 25, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Dale

      *no federal income tax that is*

      November 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
      • Anonymous 0407

        Newflash genius...

        There is no law that says that americans are -required- to pay federal income taxes. In 1918 the Supreme Court ruled that the 16th Amendment did not allow the government to create the Federal Income Tax and that decision has NEVER been overturned (just swept under the carpet) do the research yourself. Don't be scared unless the truth might shatter your tiny narrow minded world.

        Needless to say, NASA's budget would mean jackshiznat in the whole scheme of things. One might find that after ending the FEDERAL RESERVE as we ought to do, that there would be all sorts of money for such projects.

        We are exploring Mars... for what? We made a trip to the moon over 50 years ago and have yet to return. WHY? Wouldn't it make sense to build a base on the moon FIRST to reduce the effort needed to explore further? Its all bullhockey.

        I agree with the people that say we need to work on this planet before thinking about going to others. I wouldn't be surprised if the corporations are in it to find other "natural" resources to exploit and make money off.

        November 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
      • junius gallio

        >In 1918 the Supreme Court ruled that the 16th Amendment did not allow the government to create the Federal Income Tax and that decision has NEVER been overturned

        You do know it helps quite a bit when you cite precisely which decision your putative tax argument comes from. Your assertion is false, but to show the specifics of the falsehood requires the specific case.

        Yes, genius–you are required to pay taxes. And no, the Supreme Court never, ever ruled that that the 16th amendment did not allow the government to create the Federal Income Tax. Go re-read the 16th Amendment, and this time try to remember that an amendment to the Constitution _changes_ the Constitution.

        November 26, 2011 at 3:50 am |
      • us1776

        Al Capone will be glad to hear this.

        .

        November 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Andrew

      When you give up on science and space exploration then you give up on your future.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
      • Dale

        Whether we give up on our future or not, we're not going to have one if we keep spending money on stupid money pits like this. Pack it up and send the boys at Kennedy home.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
      • 6 Degrees from Bacon

        Dale: Not until we send the boys from Iraq and Afghanistan home.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • HumDumpin

      I'll start a charity to launch you into space at no expense to the taxpaying public.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
      • Science just is...

        And I'll contribute to that fund.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
      • Johnny Salami

        I'll contribute.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
      • BDSpencer

        Woohoo! Dale in space ... deep space! Count me in!

        November 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
      • really

        Me too.....if it's ONE WAY!!!

        November 26, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Darwin

      The danger of repeating idiotic statistics provided by conservative talk show hosts is that you will often look foolish. According to the Congressional Budget Office, only 10% of households don't owe any federal tax. If the article was about paying taxes, I would educate you. Since this is about the Mars rover, I'll leave you to wallow in your ignorance.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
      • really

        Good post Darwin..... in his face!!!

        November 26, 2011 at 11:16 am |
      • Dale

        Umm, not sure where you're getting YOUR 'statistics' but the 52% is a number widely distributed by CNN, MSNBC and NBC as well as FOX (although I don't watch the latter as you assumed).

        November 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
      • Dale

        Plus you're twisting my words. I said Federal INCOME tax, not federal tax.

        November 26, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • spocksears

      We will never "balance" the budget. People will always shop like animals. Some will always feel others don't pay enought taxes. Life will never be perfect. But sometimes, we do something interesting. These unmanned probes are a drop in the bucket. Manned space exploration has already been shut down. Putting unmanned probes on mars is fantastic. Don't ruin it with rhetoric.

      November 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Dan, Tx

      I feel sad for America. Money is tight, and it should be spent wisely, but science leads to economic and societal benefits that seem to be too readily forgotten. Should we end all cancer treatment because it was a waste of money to support the science that made it possible? Think of the money we'd save by not treating people for cancer (medical cost, savings in not having to pay social security for extra years, etc.).

      November 26, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  13. JP

    Now THIS is where NASA should be expending its talents and budget (tax) dollars as opposed to the massive waste of the manned spaceflight programs of the past.

    I have always fully supported the premise of sending robotic missions to space and other planets since it is extremely cost effective and doesn't needlessly throw away many more billions of dollars on sending a few space cowboys into orbit. If all the money that has been spent on the various manned spaceflight programs had been spent on robotic missions, the scientific community and our knowledge of deep space and the solar system would be orders of magnitude more advanced than it is today.

    Besides that, if this thing explodes on the pad, there aren't a bunch of widows and single-parent kids suddenly left behind. It's a win-win in every possible way.

    November 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • louis

      Space cowboys? Wow, I'll leave you to your ignorance.

      November 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  14. JC

    NASA budget should go up by at least 400 billion.
    Wasted over a trillion in Iraq.

    November 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Ethan

      Iraq is perhaps America's stupidest mistake.Remind me.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • JC

      end the war! employ more americans to work for nasa!

      November 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
      • JC

        You must say employ more Indians to work for NASA.

        November 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Ethan

      ROn Paul 2012!

      November 25, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • Dale

        Ron Paul 2012!

        November 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
      • Nate OLY

        Ron Paul? I thought we wanted to move FORWARD not backwards. Ron Paul, the same guy who wants to get rid of the DOE, c'mon we can do better than that!

        November 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  15. Ethan

    See, I side with the Liberals on most issues, however; to say that NASA is worthless is purely stupid. Space exploration and research had a hand in crafting some of the most advanced technologies we have today and although the American government SHOULD cut away major defense spending, cutting away NASA funding won't do us any good. I think knowledge and Science by themselves are truly astounding and space exploration is a continuum of this knowledge and Science. I'm quite sure all of us, at one point or another, have wondered what's there beyond our own sphere and with these technologies and resources, we are actually attempting to find this out. I guess what I'm trying to say is I have no issue with our government giving institutions like NASA to do their work. I do have a problem with our government starting pointless wars and putting corporate leaders above its citizens, however. Overall, NASA is quite awesome, indeed!

    November 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Dale

      while awesome, NASA is extremely wasteful and unnecessary. It's clear that a lot of technology has come from NASA, but it's also clear that a lot of technology has NOT come from NASA. No reason to keep open a money pit in my opinion...shut it down!

      November 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
      • Nadine

        There have been MANY spin-offs from NASA. There are things in popular use today that would not be around if not for NASA. We need to not only keep the space agency, the budget for it needs to increase by at least ten-fold.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
      • Bill

        Why not shut the churches down? They don't even pay taxes and what have they contributed to technology? Have they created job? Have they done anything else useful? The answer is clear: Nothing!

        November 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
      • ACG

        Holy crap, THERE'S TECHNOLOGY THAT DIDN'T COME FROM NASA? Baloney. Name one thing. Just one.

        November 25, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
      • really

        Hey Dale.....Chip was always the smart one!!!

        November 26, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  16. JC

    If you vote for obama for no other reason do it for this. Obama is 1 hell of a bad@$$ president, were lucky.

    November 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • JC

      Hell yeah..!

      November 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Ethan

      I'd agree but Ron Paul sorta dominates bro!

      November 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • JC

        Sorry bro ... realistically Ron Paul has no chance. I don't agree with him totally but he is the best of all the Republican candidates. He sucks in foreign policy though.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • SAM

      Well, many other reasons too, but mainly-Yup!

      November 25, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  17. Tom

    So much that the $$ could fix here on Earth given the current economic climate....but here we are spending Billions to scoop up some red dirt! This needs to be done at some point but now might not be the best time.

    November 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Felcher McPhisterson

      You can whine about spending money expanding the horizons of human knowledge and experience after we stop spending trillions on war.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • Tom

        @Felcher Moron...War is implicitly included in my comment. Fix the things that need to be dealt with here on Earth instead of wasting $$ on wasteful ideas like this...and wars that solve nothing!

        November 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
      • Joev

        yeah, lets fight among ourselves, that will be productive. That will get us where we want to be as a nation.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Joev

      Yeah, lets leave the discovery of new technologies to the Chinese so that we can completely relinquish our future to someone other than ourselves and our children.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  18. larry5

    If this project represents world wide leadership in space exploration how did it ever get by Obama without being cut? This project will advance our knowledge about the universe and promote academic enterprises in America. That appears to be a big no-no in the Obama vision for his new America. It will be interesting to see if Obama lets this kind of research continue. The problem in dealing with Obama is that you can not match his statements with his actions so it's difficult to make sense of what's going on behind closed doors and what to expect in the future from Mr. hope and change.

    November 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Gregory L. Faith

      Oh so TRUE! I was waiting for him to cancel Orion and Constallation projects! He's and IDIOT!! PLEASE PEOPLE, A ONE TERMER THANK YOU!!!

      November 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
      • Richard

        Of course. What would someone like Obama know, or care about scientific exploration? It's like asking a cow what they think about modern art.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:13 am |
      • really

        ....and which MORON would you replace him with????
        The coices are really limited!!!!
        Maybe a third party will emerge....

        November 26, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Chris

      You sir are an idiot. You had to make this article about exploring mars about bashing the President? That is just pathetic.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
      • A Thinker

        Here here!!!

        November 26, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • juan torres

      why are you guys blame everything on the president waith let me think because he is black thats all unveliveble jezz

      November 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Hurrrdurrr

      Oh shut up you stupid bitter cúnt.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Jack

      Keep your politics to yourself. Every president since JFK has woefully underfunded NASA. The entire lifetime budget of NASA was less than the bank bailouts last year. To try and blame the current state of space exploration on the current president is ridiculous.

      Instead, be amazed at what some of our brightest minds are able to accomplish.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • HumDumpin

      It doesn't take a radioisotope powered rover to figure out that there was never intelligent life in CNN's comment section.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Felcher McPhisterson

      LARRY5: What in ignorant comment. Obama actually respects science, unlike ANY of the GOP candidates for the presidency. Would you prefer one of the fundamentalist, anti-evolutoin, anti-climatology, anti-intellectual, ANTI-SCIENCE GOP candidates be in charge?? You're clearly just ANOTHER mouth-breathing ignorant fascist TRYING to act like you're intelligent enough to care about space exploration.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Dale

      Why do we blame Obama? oh, maybe because he has been the most powerful man on the planet for the last 3 years.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
      • Deltos

        The most powerful man on earth? Uh, er..ah, wouldn't that be Grover Norquist?

        November 26, 2011 at 8:34 am |
      • really

        As I said before.....This project was planned and developed years ago. The money was spent already way before this launch. The contractors surely wanted their money up front to build the probe. This money most likely came from a 2008 budget, or before....so get off the money part!

        November 26, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  19. manny296

    I used to believe in NASA.... But they alway say how great the mission is going to be... Then they say, "Oh we have a problem."

    November 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Gregory L. Faith

      It really is ROCKET SCIENCE!!!

      November 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  20. scot davis

    I want to FREE fly too! We could all go to Mars and drink starbucks. We now become the illegal ALIEN!

    November 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  21. FedUpwithLA

    Are there any Black Friday specials on Mars yet? Why not? If NASA really wants to hold our interest (budgetary interest, that is), then I suggest that they put some 2-for-1 deals on the Red Planet.

    November 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • 6 Degrees from Bacon

      The space program provides more economic benefit than our 2+ wars and trillion dollar bank bailouts. Or are you just begging for a war with Iran so you can get a war handout?

      November 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • mac jones

      Yes there's a BLOWOUT deal on worthless space junk scattered around. Help yourself.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  22. Darwin

    It is amusing that all of the conservative budget hawks complain about non-military NASA missions but don't complain at all about the $1.030–$1.415 trillion that will be spending on the defense/offense and homeland security, this year. Ha! These fools are dying to spend another trillion in a war with Iran.

    November 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • ET

      Cant believe people still funding this joke called NASA, same people never made it to the moon now telling Americans they have a RC car for Mars. What a joke.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        Troll right?

        November 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
      • mendrys

        ***sigh*** just that and nothing else for imbeciles like you.

        November 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
      • JC

        Junkie...!

        November 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
      • TheBlueLion

        Good thing your opinion only matters to you. and other water-heads.

        November 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
      • Gregory L. Faith

        Get the F back under your rock moron and stop waisting our time!

        November 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
      • Bill

        ET go back to your church and pray!

        November 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
      • really

        ...another foxwashed idiot heard from!

        November 26, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • marat

      You are extremely naive in your Conservative bashing. Iran has been at war with the U.S. for decades. As a Fundamentalist Islamic regime, they have been attempting to develop nuclear weapons for an exceedingly long time. Both Israel and the U.S. are in their sights and Iranian proxies have murdered slews of Americans in Iraq and elsewhere. The tentacles of Iran stretch to South America. Iran WILL use nuclear weapons against the West and probably supply the first radiological bombs that we will ultimately see exploding either in the U.S. or perhaps an EU country within the forseeable future. Perhaps you feel comfortable with the words of this vicious, bellicose regime: In 1980, Ayatollah Khomeini proclaimed “We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. I say, let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant.” Ayatollah Rafsanjani said that “the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.” Rafsanjani also noted that 5 million Jews would die in an Iranian nuclear strike, while a mere 15 million Iranians would perish in an Israeli retaliation—as small “sacrifice” considering the over one billion Muslims worldwide. In February of last year, a fatwa was issued in Qom allowing the use of nuclear weapons in war. Islam EXISTS for the sole function of spreading Islam, regardless of casualties. Individuals are irrelevant. Couple nuclear weapons with a regime driven by bearded clerics who yearn for the "honor" of being incinerated in an attack on Israel or the West in order to enter Islamic "Paradise," and any sane individual would choose a preemptive strike upon Iran. The alternative is simply too horrendous to imagine trying to live with. Nearly 18,000 individuals have been slaughtered by Islamic Terror attacks just since 9/11. Show me a stitch of compassion in any of these attacks. NOTHING is too barbaric and it is all rationalized by having been sanctioned by the Koran, which is as much of a War tract as it is a "religious" document. I personally do not see Islam as a religion per se, but as an expansionist theo-political ideology, potentially lethal. Coupled with Sharia law, it is in addition both fascist and totalitarian, its tenets and mandates running 180 degrees in opposition to the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Clerics, like the Mafia, are authorized/sanctioned to order the death of anyone deemed to be "A Threat To Islam." Huge sums of money are offered for these assassinations. Sleep well, my friend, better minds understand the crossroads we are at with Iran.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • Darwin

        Thanks for making my case and point.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • Tim in MN

        And your long blithering bluster of meaningless bitter folderol has what to do with NASA and the new Mars rover?

        November 25, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • JJC

        So spending money that we borrow from China to build weapon systems that are not designed for the type of conflict that a war with Iran will entail makes us safer how? It seems you took this oportunity to bash Islam (which I also depsise, as I do all religions), but you did not answer the original posters statement. How does spending trillions on wars where we have misplaced or lost a large portion of that money make us any safer? We are now in dept to our ears for the wasteful spending on a military which is not designed for the real conflicts we are going to have to fight. If you are afraid of Iran, which you appear to be terrified, then I would think that you would also be upset about wasting trillions of borrowed money and having very little to show for it.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  23. arturo

    science is great,,science over dogma,science instead of religion,,,

    November 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Levi

      Religion and sciens must combine to make real progress. Even now there are many who look through microscopes and telescopes for answers yet still keep the creator in heart. Those are the true geniuses of our time.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
      • JC

        Science should combine with science not religion.
        What has religion contributed towards our knowledge in Cosmos and Space?
        Last time I checked.... they used to think that Sun revolves around the Earth.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
      • Levi

        That wasn't science that was humanity. Last time you checked you say? What exactley did you check? And which religion for that matter? The fact remains that religion builds on the good in people, creates community and support. Just because your heart is closed doesn't mean you can successfully down play the good in what is.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
      • JC

        And what religion is Human too. Only difference is religion is not substantiated at all. We have evolved our way through research and observation. We decide 'Life and Death' of a person in the court of law based on the evidence. But we surrender our rationality when it comes to our insecurity and we start believing in God. Just because its in your heart?
        Humans tend to progress when they use brain than listening to the heart.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
      • Levi

        You say it’s unsubstantiated but that’s because you don’t seek the truth. To the thousands who have witnessed miracles and experienced NDE’s there is nothing left to validate. We deciding “life and death” as you say isn’t progress. Murder is murder my friend no matter how you look. Search your feeling, you’ll see no one is qualified to decide when you will die. Your definition of rationality in your mind is yours alone. Many people find god quite rational. I have personal experiences and I only reply to enlighten. Not to force belief but to show that there are those who can say God is real. In this finite life you will come to see. I’m happy you will. Life is the gain knowledge and experience. We need science to continue to grow mentally but on the same note you need religion to grow you heart. Two sides to a coin my friend and we all need to experience both. Maybe not the shove down your throat way you may have experience with but a willingness you’ve yet to see.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
      • JC

        And how do you seek the truth? By believing the fairy tales told by people during 'Dark Ages' when people didn't even know where Sun goes at night. We believe in God and religion because we cannot settle to term that when we die, its end of it all. It makes us feel depressed because we want to have a life in eternity. No one knows what happens to us when we die and these religions have made stories of haven and hell to make humans do good deeds. That is not morality, when you do good to others because of reward (heaven) and punishment (hell). Morality is when you do good with any reward and fear of punishment.
        Religion has succeeded in labeling people and preaching their version of truth. hey have spend millions and millions in the structure of their establishment where common kid in Africa is still dying in vain due to hunger and disease.
        So tell me what the absolute purpose here?

        November 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
      • Levi

        When you say “these religions” I can see the religion you describe and I want to say this is just one path. The answers will become easier when you pull away from what you consider religion and actually look at the facts. Clearly you didn’t understand what I said before. What is clear is your fear and the thing you don’t realize is the day you said “there is no god” is when your fear took over and things went down hill for you. Your last reply emanates fear and hopelessness. I for one have left my body multiple times so I know we’re not bound to these frail vehicles. When you seek and find the truth your heart will swell with love and compassion and you will understand the absolute purpose.

        When someone has fallen so many times in life they fear to stand up to take another fall. Maybe this was you? If you are there then look around and you will see the smiles and tears of those who dare to love you. If this isn’t you then look over and see someone who can use your help to stand once more.

        I guess we have strayed from the original subject. I support science and religion. We will grow together as a whole as soon as we open our eyes and hearts.

        November 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
      • JC

        You have repeated 'truth' so many times. What exactly are you implying ? You know the truth how we got here?. You must be hallucinating. Humble thing is to admit that we don't know yet and we will always be trying to find answers.
        And you said about NDE's. The word Near Death itself means that a person didn't die. I personally know someone who went into comma and his heart stopped. Only the lingering thoughts he had was about his wife and kids. No 'miracle figures' and no 'white path'. People who tell these stories are looking for sympathy and they feel good to be heard.
        So you base your faith on the stories of people who didn't die and miracles you heard of from your grandma?
        You have some reason to sound reasonable.

        November 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
      • Dan

        @JC

        Well, JC, like it or not, you're still putting your faith in a book written by a man. Whether it be a science book or the Bible, UNLESS you have a doctorate of 8 years in the sciences, you are regurgitating something on faith just like someone religious regurgitates something on faith. And no, taking a couple college classes doesn't make you an expert in the sciences.

        November 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
      • JC

        @Dan.....Then you must know the difference between the scientific books and fictional. Oh ...! both are written by humans.
        Only difference is that science relies on observation and experimental data through research.
        Can you say the same about Bible?

        November 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
      • Dan

        @JC

        That is besides the point. The point is, unless YOU PERSONALLY have re-made those experiments on your own and confirmed them to be true, you are merely relying on a book written by man to base your faith on. You personally have no first hand experience... therefor you put your faith into something. You chose that book to be science, others may chose that book to be religion. But you saying that science is the end all be all because "it's science" (without personally 1st hand experience) while bashing someone who believes in a religion because, is quite ironic IMO.

        November 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
      • Dan

        But hey... if you are a doctorate in some form of science, then my argument is invalid.

        November 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
      • JC

        @Dan FYI...My both parents have a doctorate in science. And I am writing my thesis too in Physics.

        November 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
      • really

        Sorry.... but most scientists are NOT religious.... that's just what your ministers tell you. In fact, the more intelligent a person is, the less he/she clings to any theism!!!

        November 26, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • juan torres

      isnt that a movie with silent bob lol

      November 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • JC

      What are you in 5th grade? Ohh ... I should start believing in God coz I had a "First hand experience'.
      Damn...ain't goin for a kidney transplant because I don't have a 'first hand experience' in science. Lol...!

      November 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Levi

      Oh I only say truth because I do know the truth. I have tried to explain it to you. I’m pretty sure I said I had experiences, not that I read experiences. It’s almost like you read what I say in plain English and you manipulate it in your mind to be something else. Yes NDE = near death experience, meaning someone almost died and came back. There is much to learn from these people. I’m sorry your friend didn’t experience much though the thing you should consider is he was conscious. His lingering thoughts were for his wife and kids. He didn’t attempt to break through the darkness yet he was aware. That should be more then enough for most to see there will be more for you in the “end.” If you ever read an actual NDE you would realize these people do not want sympathy. They don’t feel anything negative to want sympathy for. The simply want to share the saturating love they experienced. I know I won’t reach you and that’s ok. We all have our own path and I hope the best for yours my friend.

      November 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Didn't see this in the article, but the trip to Mars will take until mid-August 2012. That's faster than I thought. If we can figure out how to get astronauts back, or can find a few brave souls to accept a 1-way ticket, we should have a man on Mars in my lifetime. That's pretty amazing considering where we were just 50 years ago.

    November 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      The idea is to get man to mars by 2030 I believe and then to try to do a one way trip series of missions where they would be restocked on a regular basis.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Gregory

      Agreed. The thought of having a man or men on mars is fascinating.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • JC

      Getting Astronauts is hard, primarily because of the payload. Astronauts need supplies and to carry the supplies we need more fuel, and to carry that fuel, more fuel is needed.
      It is still very challenging to get Humans to and back within 18 months of time, given the psychological impact due to isolation.
      Best is to get a better fuel ... Antimatter is still far out of sight but will be revolutionary.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  25. Isakill

    All you idiots that are griping about "all this wasted money" do know NASA's budget every fiscal year is LESS THAN 1% of the total US budget for spending? you do right? no? yeah, well guess what. in 2008 their budget was about 17 billion.. Only .6% for that year. That's POINT 6 PERCENT. morons.

    November 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  26. Roadsniper

    What have here? Ooooohhhhh its another planet with nothing to offer!!!! If it was something of great value than its another war, lets get real you americans, what is the purpose of such exploration? Its unbeleavavle to me that people continue to support such a wast of money. What are we looking for ?a new home for the 1%? Or is it martians, it it a total wast of money bye

    November 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Jeffrey Root

      Thank god Columbus never sailed across the World. That would have been a waste of time!

      November 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • DARRYL

      THIS IS A WASTE OF MONEY AND TIME. WAIT..LET'S GATHER ALL OF THESE TEATARD IDIOTIC REPUBLICAN FASCIST TERRORIST RACIST COMMUNIST TOTALITARIAN DICTATOR ASS CLOWNS AND SHIP THERE, IN HOPES THEY GET SUCKED INTO A BLACK HOLE SOMEWHERE. OBAMA 2012!

      November 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
      • Van Krunk

        As Megamind would say "your fun"

        November 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Guest

      You are a real idiot. That's the kind of thinking that accomplishes absolutely nothing. Good luck with that.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Luke

      Let's work on stopping terrorists in Iraw and never moving beyond our planet. Lets all just stay here until we have an environmental collaspe in the 22nd century because we don't "believe in Green energy" geez such a 'waste of money'. Btw, NASA takes up about .5-1% of the budget, compared to 20% for security, 20% social security and 23% for medicare. stupid morons like you are such a waste of time

      November 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Levi

      What a small imagination you have. I bet in a past life you were part of the inquisition that locked Galileo away and held back true facts from the world. How can you see the world for what it is with eyes wide shut? I suppose theoretical physics is a waste of effort and resources as well?

      November 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • nederlander

      would you have stood against columbus seeking out the west on the basis of "cost"...?? don't be so shortsighted.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Phil

      We're looking for new home to send people like you and those that believe in god there. Back here on Earth, without idiots, we'll have more money, more resources and more common sense than ever before.

      Oh, did we forget to mention that you won't live a long life there? 30 to 60 seconds at the most...have fun!

      November 26, 2011 at 1:32 am |
  27. oh please

    the landing method is flawed and the entire design is amateur
    shame this is our leading science authority for space missions
    its like some kids science fair project

    November 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • JA

      0/10

      You're not even making a half-hearted attempt with your trolling.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Bobbert

      Its a good thing youre smarter than all of America's top minds! You should write them a letter quick and let them know that you know better than them. Then send them your plan which will obviously be WAYYY better <3

      November 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • hoop

      Why did you wait until now to voice your concerns about the flaws in the spacecraft? Surely NASA would welcome input from someone whose eloquence demonstrates a remarkable intellect.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • davey

      You must have saved money on your car insurance. What are your credentials?

      November 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  28. Jeff

    The money isn't shot into space. It is paid to industries and companies that build these probes and vehicles. Those industries and companies provide employment; they drive innovation and science education, and keep our country at the forefront. How much better to stimulate our economy through investment in high technology than through wars, and what a positive message to the world...

    November 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Conky2012

      How many people build space vehicles? Wow, thanks NASA, for creating jobs nobody is going to be qualified to do. You are acting like anybody could apply and get a job building rovers. You are not very bright.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • Bobbert

        I am afraid you are the fool. Each individual component is manufactured by skilled workers, and the materials for those are gathered and processed by many more workers some, skilled and others not. CBO estimates that the space program added/maintained +200,000 jobs in 2010. Just because you are barely qualified to operate a Burger King grill doesn't mean there aren't tech and manufacturing jobs which many Americans are qualified for.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
      • johnqpublic

        Conky2012 – if you applied yourself, you might be surprised what you could do.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • hoop

        Forget progress, our tax dollars should be going toward projects that create jobs only unqualified people can perform.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
      • really

        Nobody makes them....they just magically appear.....moron!

        November 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  29. Ron

    Radioisotope Power Generator? Are they afraid to call it what it really is, a plutonium nuclear reactor?

    November 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      These things arent new, NASA has been using them on craft for decades

      November 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • IdahoTom

      They aren't a nuclear "reactor" as we don't control the radioactive decay of Plutonium 238. It's exactly what the blog writer wrote. It's a nuclear radioisotope power generator. Perhaps, they could've also said plutonium238 radioisotope power generator to be precise, but, that's like saying we shouldn't say modern airliners being powered by jets, but rather, turbojets, rear-jets, specific types of jets, etc. Radioisotope power generator suffice.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  30. Robert Kent

    We need to cut stuff like this out until the economy improves. Why should we spend billions to find out if there are some spores hiding under a rock on Mars when many of our states are on the brink of bankruptcy and can't afford to provide the basics anymore? Tuition at state colleges is going through the roof, seniors are getting services cut back in medicare benefits and haven't had a raise in social security in years. Transit agencies are being forced to eliminate service in many areas forcing people to find other ways to get to work.

    Times are tough!

    I think NASA is doing a great job, but we just can't afford to explore space right now. Let's stop for a bit until we can afford it. Now is not the time to continue.

    November 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Robert Kent

      There may be an option however. Supposedly an average asteroid has more than $1 trillion worth of metals. If this is true, NASA should focus on mining the asteroid belt and use the profits to fund their operations with any excess going to pay off the national debt.

      Can they do it?

      November 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
      • Steve

        NASA is not allowed to generate revenue in this way. If there is a business model where the activities that NASA is doing can be profitable while not sacrificing national safety or jeopardizing other required capabilities, Congress would clearly rather have private corportations fund the endeavor and tax it.

        November 27, 2011 at 1:55 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      You cant stop and start scientific exploration just like that. What do you expect them to do? lay off all the scientists and nasa personnel until everything picks up again?

      November 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
      • Robert Kent

        Where do you expect the money to come from?

        November 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        The same place it always comes from.
        you cant close down and restart a space program without incurring far more than you would have done just by continuing it. You cant say ok folks, bye now, no more scientific research or discoveries, go do you own thing and then 5 or 10 years down the line try calling them up and ok we are getting the band back together.

        November 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Jeff Delagado

      I agree Robert but if you study how money (currency I should say) is created, the private federal reserve just "creates" the currency out of nothing- most of it is electronic. NASA has as many US Dollars as it needs. That is, until the Dollar goes into hyperinflation like the German Mark did in 1923 under the Weimar government.....

      November 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Patrick

      @ Robert_Kent – Sure let's cut this stuff out and maybe if we're lucky, we'll be able to make plastic dog crap for the rich Chinese kids. The shuttle program has ended. Haven't we given up enough?!!!

      November 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
      • Robert Kent

        Should we take more away from our seniors so we can send another probe to Uranus?

        We need to deal with the Chinese. We need to start manufacturing more at home. The rest we can send to Mexico and other poor central and south American countries. At least they aren't communist.

        November 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
      • really

        Hey Robert.... I know somebody who wants to send a probe to 'ur'anus!!!

        November 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Abe

      Accepting there are no intelligent Republicans on Earth, NASA is going to see if more intelligent Republican life lives or lived on Mars. Like CAin, God has instructed NASA to carry out this mission.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Jeff Delagado

      The jobs are NOT coming back to the United States, EVER. This system of globalization was set up by design to de-industrialize the United States over the last 40 years. Cheap labor is all over Asia, so that's where the jobs go.....

      November 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
      • Robert Kent

        Not coming back? Ever?

        Maybe it's time for another revolution. Seriously, how can we just sit back and become another third world country? This is totally CRAZY.

        November 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Luke

      The NASA budget for the year is $17 billion, social security is $701 billion, Military spending is $689 billion. Cut NASA....no how bout we cut some of the bigger money holes.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
      • Robert Kent

        Right. Let's eliminate social security. Most of the people on it are near death anyways. Let's give them an extra push.

        November 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • mendrys

      You should be a poster child for why education in science is sorely lacking in this country. Your lack of understanding of the benefits that pure science research has had on our economy is, unfortunately, all too common. The economic benefits that NASA has contributed far outweighs the investment of our tax dollars. Perhaps you would rather us just put our heads down and let the Europeans and Chinese do it instead because we're just too ignorant for this sciency stuff anyway.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
      • Robert Kent

        We can do science. We just need to find a way to pay for it. Mining the asteroid belt might be the ticket.

        November 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  31. MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

    A lot of people here are complaining about the government sponsoring such missions. If you read The Constituion, Article 1 Section 8 says Congress is to "Promote the progress of science"

    November 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  32. CjBottomtooth

    I for one would rother have my taxes reduced to NiL wirh rebates for good looks and such. That way the Government will be paying me – well, just for being me. For heavens sake – let's eat some cake. Forget these NASA jaunts and parrys and give us worthy people more.

    November 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  33. rudix

    The only place to have the knowledge of how to travel faster than light is at wwwTheDimensionMachineDOTcom and you can have it...

    November 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  34. kardiac

    Who would volunter to a one-way colonization trip to Mars? Some explorers would land in the new world and then burn their ships so no one could leave. With no return trip a lot more supplies could be sent, also an unmanned cargo ship could go first.

    November 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  35. Deep North

    Haven't we seen enough of this dead planet already? I have already seen the Statue of Liberty a few times too! Let's go somewhere new!

    November 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  36. Rick

    "NASA says Curiosity won’t answer the age-old questions about life on Mars"... Then what is the f'ing point. I'm sick of paying for these stupid missions that tell us nothing useful. I used to love the space program, but it's pretty much a waste of time and money. How about focusing on finding life outside of the planet earth, which is what people really care about.. To me, it's the only thing that would justify all this spending.

    November 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      It might not tell you anything useful but to the experts who make this their life's work, im pretty sure it will.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Majestic_Lizard

      If there was life on Mars, and it ended, wouldn't you like to know how it ended so that we could avoid having life on Earth end in exactly the same way? No, I guess that wouldn't be worth the money to you. Genius.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Jose Wan Sekiavich

      I'm glad we have intelligent people running the space program and not like you because if they were all like you, we would still be inventing fire.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • really

      ...YOU paid for this mission???? You must be rich!!!!
      Did you also pay for the Iraq war??? Now that was a waste!!!

      November 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  37. PeterChen

    Our research scientists and engineers are extremely capable and most of their research and achievements are done on a relatively shoestring budget. Can you imagine if the $2 trillion we've spent on wars in the past 10 years were channeled instead into places like the JPL, Bell research labs, Keck Institute, MIT, NASA etc? we'll have human beings in Mars by now and examples of sub orbital vehicles that are very close to what you see in sci-fi movies.
    A lot of these technologies that will no doubt derived from these research will also likely find it's way into the general population and civilian use as well.. such as new or improved forms of energy production, more efficient transportation, iinfrastructures, appliances or even everyday stuff like the velcro, WD 40, teflon and thousand others things that came from space research done in the past...
    Alas! instead we spent all these trillions of dollars fighting brown folks on the other side of the globe that may or may not amount to anything before we were involved.

    November 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  38. jacksonbrowne

    Next they will launch Bi-Curiosty to explore Uranus! LOL It was a joke from Jimmy Fallon...had to post that on here LOL. I am very excited for NASA's next big move to the Red Planet!

    November 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  39. Nena

    Looking at the photo of the rover in the article above I am rather surprised at the design of the wheels. The open design with the steel spirals exposed seems to be good place for objects to get stuck hampering the movement of the rover????and if there is no one around to clean and restore it what happens next??.but then again the solar panels somehow managed to clean themselves on the other rovers so maybe this one comes with an invisible assistant.

    November 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Then again its not as if it will get stuck on a branch or something.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Wingrider

      Did you notice how carefully they avoided saying it was nuclear powered? It is power by a radioisotope, which is nuclear. Do you think all the conspiracy theory guys with tinfoil hats could carry that torch??

      November 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        Not sure they needed to mention it, its not as if its the first one to be powered that way, not even close.

        November 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • mendrys

      The most logical explanation given is that the frequent wind storms kept the solar panels clean enough for them to keep operating far beyond their expected lifespan. I figured that they sandbagged their expectancy figures anyway because if they projected 2 years and they only lasted 6 months then people would be screaming at what an absolute failure they turned out to be.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  40. ROCKWOOD

    Great article....I truly hope we are able to keep space exploration going.

    November 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Nodack

      Of course we will. Economies have been going up and down forever. Politics will mislead you.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  41. Joe Labriola

    Looking forward to this craft discovering some bacteria, or at the very least some sort of fossil, even microbial. Any life ever on Mars illustrates and confirms that life can sustain on other satellites other than Earth – Life is everywhere!

    November 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • joe

      Mars is not a satelliteandneither is Earth...

      November 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
      • Mark

        Of course they are. They are both satellites of the sun.

        November 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  42. Majestic_Lizard

    This will not prove absolutely whether or not there was ever life. It will simply provide a lot more information.

    As usual, CNN articles do not represent how science works.

    November 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Majestic_Lizard

      Science is not dogmatic. Theories, principles, and even the best established laws are at root tentative and open to revision if extraordinary proof requires it.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Joe Labriola

      If they find a fossil, it will.

      November 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  43. Bill

    ZzzZzz...

    Why not go back to the moon, NASA? Should be a snap for you guys now, since you were able to go back in 69 :)
    Imagine how much morale and interest that would generate to see astronauts walking around on the moon with new hi-def video.
    Hrmmm... I wonder why they haven't been back? ;-)

    Bunch of prankster clowns...

    November 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • benny v

      oh fuck off, you dim wit....

      November 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Bill

      lol, the funny thing is there really is no good answer why they haven't been back. except for the obvious one of course. but we're not allowed to talk common sense when it comes to the all-mighty NASA... haha, what a joke..

      November 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
      • benny v

        it's a moon, not a planet. we have more to learn from Mars than we do from the Moon. end of.

        November 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
      • Bill

        end of your stupid excuses? I certainly hope so, Benny :)

        November 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        Well yeah, the obvious one is it was to beat the Russians and once that had been done enthusiasm slowly dwindled as there was no real major reason to keep going back.

        November 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Nodack

      Right, you guys are much smarter than rocket scientists. Let's go back to the moon because it will look cool on HD tv. PFFT!

      November 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  44. Ja-Coffalotte

    With the money spent on Bush's wars, we could have condo offerings on the Moon and Mars for the 1%

    November 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • us1776

      We could have given an entire generation a free college education.
      We could have secured Medicare and Social Security in perpetuity.
      We could have repaired all the failing infrastructure of the country.
      We could have done ten thousand other projects to help our society.
      Remember that the next time you go to the polls. And stop falling for all the scare tactics.
      .

      November 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  45. kman02

    We shouldn't be spending money exploring other planets. We should direct that money straight to the rich.

    November 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • us1776

      The wealthy have already figured out how to "game" the system to direct all monies to them.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • kardiac

      yes,yes. During this holiday season we should never forget why we are here....to take care of those unfortunate rich amongst us

      November 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  46. waycist

    We could've had a man on Mars but we cancelled the program because of cost. Our nation can finance a manned Mars program, or it can finance 40 million unproductive Black People,,but we cant afford to finance both.

    November 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Curt

      Did you know there are more white people on welfare than black people? Why don't you study the statistics before you suggest what we can finance.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
      • al bill

        do not think more whites than blacks ...blacks adore that stuff, burocracy etc they do not like to work... i ve been in food stamps lines 90 % are blacks xxxxx sorry that s reality and i m black dude

        November 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • kman02

      Or, we could finance education, training, and incarceration of racist d1ck$ like you.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
      • waycist

        Take your pick,, Mars Program or Black People,, we can't afford both.

        November 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Tyrone

      Wow... Racist much?

      November 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
      • waycist

        every day

        November 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Actually, the program for finding a way to mars is still ongoing but hey, you ignore that to try to make a racist point.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  47. Frank

    The thing that truly amazes me is watching EVERY SINGLE DISCUSSION on this site degenerate into name calling between the left and the right. No wonder this country is in a death spiral downwards. It's also interesting that CNN usually doesn't put a comments section after their political stories!

    November 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • RobertC

      The comments sections on the political stories became so toxic, CNN discontinued them. Also the Entertainment section or any story about the personal lives of celebrities or public persons became too nasty to continue. So the trolls have migrated to Science.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • ROCKWOOD

      I totally agree with you. One of our local news sites integrated with facebook. BIG SURPRISE, the nasty comments stopped. No more racial slurs, no more ignorance. Funny how anonymity make people act stewpid.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
      • joe

        I like how you spell it, STUPID!

        November 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Aaron

      All by design, Frank. All by design. You'll notice if you step outside American news the world is in a completely different reality. There is a consistent stream of very important news being ignored by all of the American media. (Fukushima, Gulf Coast Oil Disaster, 9/11 truth, etc..) What gets really crazy is when you step outside of our Allies news. Suddenly all of the missing news stories are mainstream. Al-Jazeera covers Fukushima like a world emergency... because it is. The oil in the Gulf did not "disappear"... BP just sank it against American orders not to use Corexit , because that it is what Corexit is designed to do.

      We must not attack Iran. We must not let Israel attack Iran.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  48. wa

    fake and gay

    November 25, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • ken

      Look in a mirror recently, I think you are describing yourself there pal.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  49. j

    Curiosity is packed with 10 science experiments to determine whether Mars has ever been suitable for life and to find clues about past life forms that may have been preserved in rocks

    and in the meantime, people are starving to death in the world...good use of money, morons...

    November 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Davethecanuck

      Show me something that costs money,
      and I'll show you another idiot who would say the same thing.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • kman02

      Short-sighted fool.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Rick Labus

      J did you know that many of the conveniences you use today including the computer you typed your idiotic comment on are a direct result of research done by scientists.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Robrob

      Says the guy typing on a computer and internet all derived directly from similar "wastes of money."

      November 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Pirate

      The meek shall inherit the Earth, the rest of us shall escape to the stars!

      November 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • ZAvs

      Rick is absolutely correct. Pretty much all of the technology you enjoy and don't really think about is a direct result of the space race and subsequent research by NASA and DARPA. Do you want to live in a mud dome and use rocks to cut things? Go for it, and I guess we will never hear from you as you will have no micro processors, internet, electricity, composites, etc. Good luck with that.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  50. DRM

    Are there any plans to build something that can return from Mars?

    November 22, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Joe

      Yeah, humans!

      November 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
      • dk

        yeah, I'll start working on it in a couple of minutes when my wife comes back – lol

        November 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • RobertC

      That is actually a very good question. (Disregard the snarky retorts.) It would be extremely valuable to bring back rock and soil samples for analysis and to see if anything dormant grows in an Earth environment.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • T.A. Martin

      There is the Phobos-Grunt probe launched on November 9, planned to land on the Martian moon, collect samples, and return them to Earth. Only, there was a technical issue after launch and the Russian Space agency is working on a fix.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  51. 1plus1

    The Dark Ages owes us 700 years of technological advancement. Imagine where we'd be today....

    November 22, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • 4th wright

      Maybe the Cubs would have won a World Series? :)

      November 22, 2011 at 10:01 am |
      • really

        Are you kidding? 700 years is not enough time for that!

        November 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • I imagine we would all be dead

      Most likely somebody would have launched all the nukes during those 700 years. I'm betting Napoleon would have pushed the button during Waterloo.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • the dark ages really

      dark ages? Now i will be the first to admit that im survey class at best knowledgeable on the subject of the Dark Ages, but i do have a degree in history and i did take a few dark aged related courses.
      Anyways i do recall that perhaps the latter middle ages yielded some advances in technological achievements and innovation in science and medicine, but that was mostly a result of Europe having to re-learn from their Roman Ancestors. The Europe for the great majority of the middle ages went backwards and then stagnated in the face of sciene, literature, technological innovation, and what one would consider civilized.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
      • Kent

        Actually, it was the Greeks, not the Romans, who produced much of the ancient knowledge and advancement that was later lost during the Dark Ages. The Romans were "users" of Greek knowledge, but they contributed very little new knowledge and in fact they ultimately disgarded the underlying principles derived by the Greeks and they precipitated the onset of the Dark Ages. I bet you can name several Greek philosophers, scientists, etc, but can you name a single Roman? The Romans lacked the Greeks' inquisitiveness and esteem for reasoning, and rather framed everything in terms of its martial use. Between the Roman period and the Dark Ages and Middle Ages, we lost some 1500 years of real advancement as a species. When I listen/read some of the politically-motivated comments, I can't help but fear we could be entering such a period again.

        November 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
      • Dan

        You are boring me.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  52. Snaga

    Let's take the money the NBA players would have made and give it to NASA.

    November 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • Unemployed

      And take the college football coache's salaries too. After NASA gets done playing with Mars rocks, can they find jobs for everyone?

      November 21, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
      • Kevin

        Unemployed, do you have any idea how many American jobs NASA research sustains through professional contracts and university work?

        November 24, 2011 at 3:06 am |
      • K3rm1t

        I would bet that if that money was given to NASA it would create more jobs than the NBA and the college athletic departments.

        November 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • FanOfScience

      I think those "professional", or I would rather say [un]professional, athletes, make way too much money considering their reputations and constantly being in trouble with the police. These "professional" athletes are also such pathetic role models for children. Just look at how they and their fan[anatic]s fight and brawl when their team loses. I have absolutely no time to waste watching their stupid antics on TV, nor their boring games. I prefer to watch educational things like the Discovery Channel, Learning Channel which is better use of my time in furthering my knowledge. My two sons also like science like I do. I would enjoy seeing scientists and engineers - people who make positive contributions to society, and provide us spinoff benefits from space-exploration-related R & D - earn the high pay they deserve for all the good work they do and the good example they give us.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  53. Dounan

    Exploring is one of the gifts of being human and is fundamental to our nature. It helped us become successful as a specie and has taken us to more places and given us more knowledge than any other life on earth. To say we shouldn't try to go into space is to say we can't take care of our house and still get out once in a while. We can find ways to do both. If anything we need to take care of our planet and people better so we can devote more towards expanding our horizons as a human race.

    November 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • 4th wright

      Well said. I believe in order to fulfill our potential we need to get along with each other. I hope that day comes sooner rather than later. As I wrote in an earlier post, I would like to see us put people back into exploration. I'm aware of the exploration aspect of the space station. It's a marvelous example of what we can do when we begin to cooperate with each other. And the robotic missions are important, and they inspire us to reach farther. I just wish I could be around when we send humans in the wakes of those missions.

      November 22, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Chad

      Dounan, that post was far too rational for a website's comments page.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  54. cog in the wheel

    This sounds like an interesting job and a great adventure. I'm jealous :-)

    November 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • erudite

      Interesting.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  55. man4earth

    Just hope this thing gets off this planet safely, there is 10.6 pounds of plutonium on board.

    November 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Davethecanuck

      Meh... the plutonium is well contained.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  56. Timetraveler

    For all those "NASA is waste-of-money" buffoons out there: the federal government gives away more money to countries that want us DEAD than to NASA. By far. I'm not hearing you bitch about that.

    November 21, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Good point. It shows how feeble the "waste of money" argument really is.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Realist

      Exactly. Also to put things in perspective, the Pentagon loses many times NASA's budget in its couch cushions. For the Pentagon, the $19 billion NASA budget is chewing gum money.

      November 21, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  57. WhatWhatWhat?

    NASA's budget is approximately 0.5% of the Federal Budget. It's not a waste. What is a waste is that they don't have more than that, and the minds of the people who think otherwise.

    November 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      No, it's not. It's ONE TENTH of that: 0.05%.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Check your math, I'm right. You're off by a factor of 10.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Euler

      Federal Budget 2011 $3.8 E12
      NASA Budget 2011 $19.0 E09

      NASA/FED = .0051 = .5%

      Sorry, Timetraveler, What... is correct.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Euler

      Hypo typo: Federal Budget 2011 $3.7 E12

      November 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • jimmer

      more?????????

      well you can always write a personal check.....

      November 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  58. Reddy

    All they'll find out from these deep-space missions is that Palin and Bachmann are from the dark side of the moon and W is from Uranus.

    November 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • nepawoods

      There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact, it's all dark.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • ActionJackson

      They've already found out far more than you are capable of understanding. :)

      November 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  59. james

    There is nothing worth more than the knowledge. If successful, we will learn more about the universe. Political crazies are everywhere.

    November 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Trippp

      What worries me more are the fundie, evangelical, political crazies that inhabit our world.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  60. dougaussie

    i can tell you exactly what they will find....nothing, zilch, nadda. Mars is dead, DED. Always was and always will be. Might be some water. lets see 2 billion to put a rover on mars, 15 trillion to put a water extractor plant. Evolutionist like to waste taxpayers money trying to find ET life on other worlds, as a Christian i can tell you the only life 'out there' is God.

    November 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      The only thing dead or "DED" is the clump of useless cells festering inside your thick skull.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • 1plus1

      LOL @ Your Ignorance!

      November 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • kyeld

      Not sure if troll or just retarded....

      November 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • john smith

      doug – your comment is pretty much the stupidest thing I've read all week. *facepalm*

      November 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      And thank the stars that you're just a miniscule speck of dust in a backwater cesspool, because we don't need you deciding ANYTHING for the rest of us, thank you. You nimro ds will still be saying the same thing when aliens come here and tell us there is no godd amn god. Have fun in your 6000 yr old flat earth while you go extinct.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Motley

      and you have direct knowledge of there being nothing out there??? Who says the only thing worth looking for is life anyways,... you assume too much and know too little

      November 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Trippp

      You're an idiot. I suppose god told you Mars was dead?

      November 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
      • grrew

        What a waste of money!

        November 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Slavox

      For all you "Christians" out there that agree with this tool.... (Above)
      I got news for you all, and that is "If we stay on earth, WE DIE" its simply an eventuality.
      You are welcome to sit here and sing campfire tails, as the next mass extinction event evaporates you and your friends/family. But Me... My butt is on the first flight outta here... Space and its other bodies WERE PUT THERE TO EXPLORE... BY GOD EVEN !!!

      Only small minded, scared, ignorant types would sit here and think this is all there is. Morons...

      Trillions of miles to even the CLOSEST star... Yeah its that big... And you Dolts believe its empty?

      When Mork comes back I'm telling him you said that! :-P

      "Open your mind to possibility, a closed mind is like a closed door, and you can't see ANYTHING at all behind a closed door"

      November 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
      • I am mankind

        couldnt have said it better , thanks . well i could have but you deserve you're propers too . To infinity & beyond my friend .

        November 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
      • Joe

        If we stay on Earth we die?

        We are not leaving Earth anytime soon so you better hope we figure out how to live HERE. We are absolutely 100% tethered to Earth in every possible way. Anyone who goes to Mars will absolutely be bringing food and water from Earth and will return to Earth when they run out of food and water.

        There are probably other "Earth-like" plants in the universe but the closest one is so far away it would take thousands of years to travel there. Earth is our home, period. There is no reason to think humans will EVER have a second home.

        November 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • nepawoods

      What does being a Christian have to do with a belief about whether or not there is life on other planets? And BTW, the Bible doesn't anywhere say that the Genesis account is meant to be taken literally.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
      • Alex

        nor does it say God didn't create life anywhere else besides earth

        November 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • D. Darko

      You don't know jack-sh*t. Keep your backwards thoughts to yourself. The world is moving on, with or without people like you.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Oscar

      ...and you are obviously typing on a computer... You need to give thanks to all those scientist that thru the ages have help us evolve. These experiments are a reflexion of human curiosity and desire to explore and learn. Columbus discover America, and the trip wasn't free. Learn a little about history before commenting non-sense.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
      • Conky2012

        Columbus discovered America? Rofl, one college class will teach you different. Hilarious.

        November 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Grey

      Religion fills the voids that science has not proven yet. Once proven, some hold dear to their beliefs no matter what the facts. So goes one of humanities greatest capabilities, and one of its greatest faults.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      nepawoods – your comment is as lame as dougassie's...Genesis is hogwash, and what does it have to do with exploring Mars?

      November 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Marvin

      If Doug wants to talk to his imaginary friend, it's his right to be delusional. While I agree there are better outlets to use our money for, talking to nothing is not one of them. An alternate power source to get us away from an oil based economy would be a good start. Not the lame argument of extracting American oil, but replacing it altogether. That would be worh the billions being spent elsewhere

      November 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • ActionJackson

      Man, you're a 'tard.

      For the sake of argument, lets say that the entire bible should be taken literally. Where exactly does it say there is no life in the universe other than on Earth?

      Besides, you believe that God created the Universe, right? Than why are you so angry and hateful towards those who only want to learn as much as possible about his creation?

      November 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Bill in Florida

      Sorry doug, but if you truly believe in a deity who floats above the clouds and controls everybody's actions, then you are enormously delusional. Enjoy your cupcakes while you can.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • DYBO

      dougaussie = cranial cavity

      November 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Euler

      Actually, I suspect this is an atheist troll, just as I suspect that Phelps clan in kansas is actually an LGBT front, both secretely designed to discredit their opponents.

      Not that their opponents really need discrediting, they do a pretty good job themsel...well you know.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Chach

      "As a Christian". What a load of excrement! The same religion that put Galileo under house arrest for daring to say that the world was not the center of the universe. From the same book that has too many contradictory accounts of the same impossible stories to count. The same religion that says that men and dinosaurs walked the Earth at the same time less than 8,000 years ago.

      November 21, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Chach

      Mars can't be real since it is menitoned in the Bible. In fact, the stars in the sky aren't actually giant balls of gas that are very very far away either. And the Sun is just a ball of fire that magically burns by the will of God alone and mysteriously rises and sets as it orbits the lords perfectly flat creation. Like evolution, all the things we think we know or at least think we have a pretty good idea about are just theories devised by devil worshipers, atheists, god-haters and so-called scientists that are trying to decieve the faithful and lead them away from the almighty.

      November 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
      • I am mankind

        are you seriously serious ? You must live under a rock here on this planet . We are every molicule of everything that has ever existed . Do some research & get out of the earthly house once in awhile . Smoke a joint or something , dam . You must be a republican from the south who has been trained .

        November 21, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
      • CrusaderK

        .....is this a joke? I mean...really?? Please respond and tell us you're being sarcastic. If not, please let us know how you time traveled from 357 CE.

        November 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        no he wasnt serious, it was sarcasm

        November 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • I am mankind

      you're mind has been altered by the simple teachings of man on paper . when it's free yer azz will follow .

      November 21, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Davethecanuck

      TROLOLOLOLOL

      November 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Gandolf

      you're absolutely right. Makes me sad that people like you ever lost the Crusades.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  61. Roger Garrett

    I think that every time there's an article that allows readers to post comments they should have TWO forums. One would be for people who want to discuss the actual details of the article. In this case it would be about the actual Mars mission, the Rover, the technology, etc. The OTHER forum would be for all those people who insist on bringing up unrelated or barely related issues, like Obama, welfare, wasted money, etc.

    November 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • SuffolkGuy

      Great idea. There's always someone blaming Obama or Bush or any number of unrelated things

      November 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • mike olesnevich

      Amen!

      November 21, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      Make that three. You need one where the bible thumpers, Jesus humpers and religious whackjobs can go and, well, whack off.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
      • AmazingLarry

        You would probably also be isolated to that forum Timetraveler, along with the all contributers who assign hateful titles to others. I think we are all tired of filterering through hateful statements that wouldn't be personnaly said directly to another person (or at least, I would hope not). And yes...I would say this directly to you.

        November 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Beavis Comeavis

      Yeah. It seems like some ppl just want to start boring political arguments and they'll take any article and somehow relate it to whatever political garbage they want to fling.

      Instead of giving them a second forum, they could just shadow-ban them (ban them in such a way they can't tell they are banned), and have it so all the shadow-banned ppl can talk to the other shadow-banned ppl. Then they can just sit around and waste each other's time all day while the rest of us can discuss relevant/interesting/entertaining things.

      November 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  62. Randy Redneck

    NASA is taking our JERRRRRRRRBS! This rover took our JERRRBS!

    November 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • tmoney

      At least Mars passed a balanced budget and is tackling their fiscal debt crisis in a meaningful manner. THEY'RE TAKIN' OUR JOBS RABBLE-RABBLE-RABBLE!!!

      November 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  63. Dr. Doom

    We should send incarcerated murderers to Mars as a test run.

    November 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • kikigos

      I invite you to read science fiction. That one's been done–several times.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  64. Bob the Janitor

    Space may be the final frontier but it's made in a Hollywood basement...

    November 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • ActionJackson

      You sir, are no Kiedis.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  65. Quincey9

    Total waste of money.

    November 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • John Borko

      yeah, imagine how much food stamps and welfare could all that money buy....all liberals would have enough for years!!

      November 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
      • ActionJackson

        You must mean 'seconds'.

        November 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • M. Nelson

      NO welfare, food stamps, entitlements, not controlling the boarders. Money is being wasted there.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
      • Joe

        "boarders"? Proofread much?

        November 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
      • Motley

        well illegal immigrants are like freeloading boarders,.. so maybe what you think is a typo is not

        November 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
      • John

        Motley: proofread much?

        November 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
      • ActionJackson

        I liked B&N better than Borders...

        November 21, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Pilks

      No

      November 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Tim of Colorado

      Who knows, maybe there are 1 millimeter tall martians that will rise up and attack earth for our apple pie recipes. And NASA will save us from this.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
      • Motley

        who knows,.. maybe they will find ways to support life on Mars and find that the end of life on Earth is near by finding a large asteroid coming at it,... and in this way save human life,....

        there is more than just finding martians that means a lot

        November 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
      • ActionJackson

        Or maybe an asteroid or comet strike. It *will* happen, its just a matter of time. Even if we saw one coming in advance right now, we'd still be screwed.
        We better get hopping.

        November 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • SmallMouse

      No no no Queen Isabella!! Why do you want to send Christopher Columbus on that silly trip? Its just a waste of
      money!!! We already know that the earth is flat, because we know it all.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
      • ActionJackson

        Hah, exactly, mouse.

        And returning to the moon is a bit like when Amerigo Vespucci tries to gather funds to go back to the new world, and he was told by the King of Portugal "Sorry, been there, done that!".

        (Seriously, I mean, to have our own president use that phrase in reference to a continuing moon exploration and exploitation, I found it downright embarrassing. All that was missing, is if he would have added 'Dude, got the T-Shirt!')

        November 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • 1plus1

      Stop using computers, GPS, and indoor plumbing if you oppose progress. NASA has the best return on investment than any other government spending.

      For Quincey9, the world is flat, the sun and moon go around the earth, and people still die of polio.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Trippp

      "Total waste of money"? As opposed to what? Without NASA and the R&D it produces you wouldnt have that computer yor're pounding on and showing everyone your incredible ignorance.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  66. pm

    Was hoping this blog would be a bunch of science nerds and I could actually learn something today, but the stupid polarizing politics tolls are here, oh well.

    November 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • junius gallio

      Yeah, the trolls are here–but there are also a bunch of us science nerds. Ignore the trolls, interact with the nerds–problem solved, eh? :)

      November 22, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  67. Roger

    Lets put people back to the moon for good and then on to Mars. Real missions, real leadership, real vision.

    November 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • ActionJackson

      I agree.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • BEAR

      You are so right. The problem we have on this planet is a total lack of inspiration. Leaders no longer try to inspire their people, just try to hang on.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Qiox

      Why? Just so that we can say we can? There has to be a point to doing it. Not just doing it for the heck of it. Robotic missions make far more sense for the moon and mars, for now. We need much more technological advancement before manned missions, and permanent presence to make sense.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  68. Corey

    Take me with you! Please!

    November 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  69. Kevin

    Giant? Maybe the others were midgets and this one is of normal size. Where do you guys come up with these headlines?

    November 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  70. Simpleton

    Geeze finally some news about human advances instead of human failure. I guess the audience commands the news and too often articles and accomplishments like this are highly underrated.

    November 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  71. Joe

    Conservosaurus, you're not only a Tea Bag, but also a douchebag.

    November 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Eric

      Such leftist eloquence...

      November 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  72. tafugate

    i disagree nasa has been worth what it's cost. i believe the space station and shuttle programs were worthwhile. and most satellites are useful. but whether there's water on mars or the mean temperature on venus seems somewhat superfluous. and i agree liberating iraq from saddam was a completely useless endeavor. developing clean, renewable fuels and feeding the worlds' population seems money better spent.

    November 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      I believe you are superfluous. By freeing up the food and resources you use up, numerous starving people could be sustained. Do the right thing.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • ActionJackson

      You know NASA spends a good chunk of its change on alternative power research right? Not only the obvious advances it has made in solar power, but it does research into wind power and biofuels as well.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  73. Roxie -- Louisiana

    This rover mission is extremely exciting. Looking forward to its successful landing in August. The two prior rovers were huge successes and I can only hope that this one provides us with even more exciting information. I hope I live long enough to see the probe sent to Europa and what results it brings. Learning about planets in our galaxy is invaluable to our future.

    November 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  74. 4th wright

    Interesting mission, but I hope NASA is able to come up with something more to fire our imaginations. Mercury, Gemini and Apollo were able to do that, nothing really since then. Sending a pickup truck into orbit (STS) was pretty boring after the first 20 times.

    November 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • alan seago

      4th wright: Nothing interesting since Apollo? I disagree. I remember well waking up one morning in Kansas City, in about 1980, and opening my door to pick up the newspaper and seeing, on the entire top half of the front page of the Kansas City Star, a close-up, full-color picture or Jupiter, taken by the Voyager craft. It was astonishing.

      Yes, I remember well Mercury, and the Mercury 7, and how exciting that was. But unmanned spacecraft can also fire the imagination.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
      • Alex

        yea, have you ever looked at pictures from the hubble telescope? doesn't get better than that

        November 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • SB

      20 years of fantastic discoveries via the Hubble doesn't excite the imagination? Or SOHO and SDO which have opened the floodgates on what we know about our own sun? Or Spitzer, Chandra and WISE which have shown us the universe in ways we'd never seen before? What about the previous Mars rovers that were supposed to live for 3 months but ended up living for years? What about Kepler, which has taught us that the galaxy is chock full of planets?

      You're focused only on manned spaceflight. And yes, that's important. Yes, that's something that needs to continue and go forward. NASA was actually poised to do that you know; to go beyond orbit again. But then the economy imploded and the project was canned by government order. That is still the direction things will go in once we're out of crisis mode, make no mistake. In fact they are now working on the kind of heavy launch system needed for such an endeavor.

      Still, in focusing on only that one part of what NASA does you are ignoring the warehouse full of amazing things they have accomplished in other areas.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
      • Yobs

        I agree those things are incredible and worth while SB. But 4th Wright has a point, none of those things inspire people the way the earlier manned missions did. Kids aren't out playing with toy models of the mars rovers in any great number. However, there wouldn't even be "space" themed toys without the Apollo missions. Not that toys are important, but i feel the lack of them illustrates how even though sending a rover a million miles to another world is truly an amazing work of engineering and dedication, it doesn't have the same flair or excitement that breaking new ground and setting the bar higher did with the earlier missions in NASA's history. What i think the problem is, is that NASA hasn't really set a challenge for themselves like they had with Apollo. It's all probes, satellites and loosely defined "plans" to go to the moon again or mars. If NASA and the US want a generation that actually wants to be astronauts and explorers, then they have give kids something to dream about other than looking at a computer screen with pictures from a million miles away.

        November 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
      • SB

        He does not have a point, because NASA is not free to pursue whatever it wishes. The direction of the agency gets jerked around pretty much every time there's a new boss in the Oval Office. Bush gave them a mandate to go beyond orbit but cut the budget, making it impossible. Obama increased the overall budget (still a pittance compared to other spending) but ordered them to cancel Constellation, which was to take us beyond orbit.

        Yes, right now the plan regarding human space exploration is vague. But that vague plan did not originate from within the agency.

        November 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      NASA's job is not to entertain rednecks like you. You have NASA confused with NASCAR.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  75. Paul Willson

    Here is a place to save tax dollars .KILL NASA and any private space exploration company don't look for governmentg aid if somethinj happens to your spacecraft. OH aznd Post a multi billion bond before every flight

    November 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Craig

      What the hell are you talking about? Hell no don't kill NASA that's one of the few government programs the people of this country can get behind. Go watch a couple of speeches on youtube by Neil deGrasse Tyson or Carl Sagan then come back and talk about NASA budget cuts.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • MyTake

      Your post reads like you really know what you are talking about .. jk no it doesn't.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Sam

      Your command of English demonstrates how retards can be taught to use the internet.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • G Finnigan

      Why don't you hand in your cell phone, GPS device, and the hundreds of other amazing technologies that have stemmed from work by NASA and other space agencies before you scream budget cut. Space travel is the long term hope of the human race. So stop waving that GOP budget-cutting flag and tax a few TRILLION dollars from the wealthiest 1%. We certainly don't need them...

      November 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
      • vbscript2

        You do realize that it's the Democrats, not the GOP, who have been cutting space exploration and defense research spending, right? Those are about the only things Obama has cut since he's been in office. Incidentally, they are 2 of the very, very few things that the government does which actually generate a long-term profit for the country. But, yeah, Obama's right. Clearly, the U.S.'s technological lead over the rest of the world isn't worth preserving. It would be much better to just take all of the money from the rich, hand it to the union bosses, and watch our country fade into historical irrelevance.

        November 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • JC

      Your English tells us why you hate Science and education.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      NASA's budget is 0.07% of annual government spending. How is that pittance supposed to help anyone else? And before you say "get rid of NASA" you should first toss out your cell phone, your laptop or other personal computing device, and go back to the days of hand-writing a "letter to the editor" every time you want to voice your ignorant opinion.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Yeah, that'll save tons of tax dollars. NASA's entire yearly budget makes up a tiny fraction of 1% of the Federal budget; eliminating it would keep programs like Social Security, Medicaid or the DoD running for several more minutes each year.

      Meanwhile, NASA does things that private industry simply will not. It is one of the very few government programs that is worthwhile, even without counting the vast number of technological spinoffs it has generated with astonishing regularity over the years.

      November 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • ActionJackson

      So I guess you think the money the department of defense spent on air conditioning in the middle east last year was more important than NASA's budget? Because that cost more, and I didn't see you screaming that it should be cut.
      Also, the total cost of the 1,914 earmarks in 2009's budget and spending bills cost us about $28.9 billion total, about 150% of NASA's budget that same year. But I guess you think that spending was well worth it!

      November 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  76. MykeTheVet

    In reality, no one but NASA knows what is going on in space. They lie to the very people who pay their salary/pension in the name of National Security, then they tell their astronauts (Dr. Edgar Mitchell, to name one) to lie to the media to look like hero's.

    Why doesn't NASA ever talk about Zero Point Energy or Quantum Crystals? Why doesn't NASA return to the moon? Why does a Cosmos Clearence level exist within the Department of Defense? These are questions that should be asked by tax-paying people but are dismissed as "cooky" or "conspiracy theory" by the media. It's time we start talking about things that most of you don't want to talk about.

    Why would Neil Armstrong say in 1994: "There are great ideas undiscovered. Break-throughs available to those who can remove one of truths protective layers." Why in God's green Earth would someone of that magnitude say that in a public forum while holding back tears? Could someone with some real knowledge, please, answer that.

    If someone like me is crazy, what does that make astronauts Mitchell and Armstrong?

    Bueller?

    November 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Jerry

      Conspiracy theories are great for dinner parties but here in the real world we like facts. by the way Zero Point Energy was not a NASA development. Einstein along with another scientist worked on it long before NASA. Nice try tho.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • TheThinker

      Please provide documentation that NASA lies. NASA employees who lie to Congress would go to jail and, worse, lose their Federal Pension.

      BTW, how's that foil hat working for you?

      November 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • ET

      Makes them all a joke we never landed on the moon. Biggest lie ever fed so with the money they can build underground city.
      The hole science world knows was a joke mean come on space suites made with fabric to block radiation give me a break. NASA what a joke.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
      • Leaf on the Wind

        ET, if the moon landings weren't real, we'd know for certain. A secret known by that many people? If you really believe that so many could keep such a big secret for so long, you obviously have no clue about human nature, so perhaps your user name is appropriate.

        November 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
      • ActionJackson

        I'm not sure if you're more of a nut, or of a flake.
        Tell you what, we'll just go with 'honey bunches of oats'.

        November 21, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Josh

      Just send a check to Florida, payable to NASA, for say, $25B. After it clears, then and only then you may ask the question, "why doesn't NASA return to the moon?"

      November 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
      • vbscript2

        Well, Bush actually did that, but then it bounced once Obama got into office.

        November 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
      • Thorny

        Actually, Bush promised NASA money for it, but didn't deliver. He left the check for Obama to pay, and Obama said no.

        November 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Mark

      Myke,

      I know the secret as to why NASA has not been back to the Moon. I can now tell you. Not a single President since Kennedy has had the vision to take us to the Moon. The shuttle program was self-limiting to Earth-orbit missions. And anyone talking about the dollars to go back to the Moon in this economy would be recalled before he could explain the jobs that this type of science creates.

      As for Armstrong, he was talking about the layers of unknown facts that keep scientific truths secret until those layers are peeled back. Why hold back tears? This man was one of less than 20 who had stepped on the surface of a surface other than that of the Earth. If that would not move you, then your foil hat is on just a wee bit too tightly.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • SuffolkGuy

      Dr Edgar Mitchell left NASA in 1972, 39 years ago. Not a NASA employee.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
      • Thorny

        Mitchell's the astronaut who tried the ESP experiment from lunar orbit, so he has always been a bit predisposed to weird ideas.

        November 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • MyTake

      I guess those vet benefits don't pay for the right pysch meds ... maybe you can borrow some form "ET" b/c it seems like he/she missed a few doses

      November 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • SanestInsane

      Good answer Josh!! BTW, I'd like to read a good book by a good psychologist detailing the mentality of people like MykeTheVet. I wonder if every fact in life is just hard for them to absorb...professionally or personally ( 'is my gf cheating on me'? ) :p

      November 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • JC

      You are actually crazy. Go and get your head examined...you might be on a course to Schizophrenia.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • george

      Don't forget about Fringe division....They've got this doctor who crazy who stole this kid from another universe.
      And those little animals you can't feed after midnight and can't get wet...

      November 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • george

      Oh yea forgot aliens were at the first thanksgiving dinner we know this because theres no proof they weren't there.
      Thats what Kyle says..

      November 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Pilks

      Thousands of people are involved in "NASA"... sure theyre all keeping quiet or lying in a great attempt to dupe the world.. HAHA yea and those thousands that have dedicated their entire life and knowledge and love to progress our tech age and learn and confirm things about our universe once thought impossible. I dont think so bud, please give them more dues than that. There is plenty of documentation about this program and enough amature astronomers to confirm their work as truth.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Tonelok

      @MykeTheVet
      What specifically about zero point energy are you referring to? You know that zero point energy is simply in reference to a quantum particle's ground state? I assume you are trying to refer to what physicists are trying to get from zero point energy, which is perpetual motion or "free" energy. Which exists in theory, but the energy can not be tranferred to another state without conflicting with the laws of thermodynamics.
      .
      Quantum crystals? I try to keep myself very savy with tech and science and I have never heard of such a thing. Just the term itself doesn't make sense. Quantum physics refer to the reactions of the smallest forms of matter, to which there are no "crystals". For it to be a crystal, would require it to be the size of an atom or larger, much larger than the values used in quantum physics.
      .
      But I digress. I, for one, think that a manned mission to mars would be a tremendous step in the history of mankind. Earth only can support humainty for so long. With population booming and we have already exhausted our natural resources, a concerted effort needs to be made to reach out with science.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • ActionJackson

      Not crazy, just willfully ignorant.

      November 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • ActionJackson

      You meant to say "Its time that we start talking about things that don't exist", right?

      November 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  77. Trevor

    It's off the charts ridiculous how people will use the Internet to criticize spending on NASA.

    November 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • vbscript2

      Agreed. Almost as ridiculous as using it to criticize DoD R&D (which, of course, was responsible for creating the internet in the first place.)

      November 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  78. BobZemko

    All that money spent to find nothing, just like the other vehicles there.

    November 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Jerry

      Show how much you know. The last rovers we sent found all sorts of things like for example WATER! Nasa's budget is like 17 billions, the Iraq war budget hit 500 billion. Now to me spending 500 billion in a war is waste. Educating ourselves and the world about our place in the universe is not a waste. Unless of course you not into learning that is...which seems like the case.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • TheThinker

      Bob.
      Think of it as an investment in troll-finding.
      ... and it seems to work!

      November 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • JOE

      Last year, congress increased the military budget by more then the entire annual operating budget for NASA. Now that's a waste!

      November 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Don

      The space program has contributed to not only huge amounts of scientific advances, but also to American pride and imagination. The day we stop pushing the limits of our understanding is the time of our demise. Granted, I could live without Tang.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • ActionJackson

      Its called 'knowledge', Bob. NASA has produced more than several humans could analyze in a lifetime. Not to mention the technology, and its private sector spinoffs, that have improved human civilization.

      November 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  79. Greg

    Another waste of taxpayer money. Shut down NASA now!

    November 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • outawork

      Look at all the things the space program has given us: computers, metals, plastics, etc. Think before you post.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
      • AJ

        Maybe just maybe we might actually find where the decepticons are hiding lol

        November 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • dallastexas

      you sound intelligent

      November 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Jerry

      Nasa's budget is 17.3 three billion the cost of the iraq war dwarfs that with a cost of over 500 billion. The next time you go our spouting ignorant comment you'll realize you an idiot and shouldn't be speaking let alone giving your opinion.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • R

      You are a big idiot.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
      • R

        I mean Greg is idiot

        November 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • TheThinker

      Greg,
      Humanity is on a historic cusp analogous to the Spanish Explorers discovering the Western Hemisphere.
      The first nation to realize an actual profit from space will dominate other nations for the next century (or two).

      Your proposal is, what, to lower your taxes by a nickle? To give NASA's resplendent budget to, what, more federal pork projects? Another bridge to nowhere?

      Sorry, but I must say that your suggestion of defunding NASA is as sensible as your post is logical. Meaning "not".

      November 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • JC

      NASA is for people like us who like to explore and educate and you will be paying your tax dollars towards it. ... we will make sure NASA budget increases. Good Luck with whining...!

      November 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  80. Yugo

    If you find any intelligent life on Mars, can you bring them back and put them in congress!

    November 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Brad

      LOLOLOL, well, in that case, scrape off a few skin cells and put them in congress, that should increase the IQ level by 200%

      November 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • dallastexas

      Or perhaps replace the people that voted for them?

      November 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
      • Sean

        That’s hilarious coming from the state that elected Perry. The man makes Bush look like Stephen Hawking.

        November 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • JC

      Idiots like you voted them in.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  81. Cedar Rapids

    You just know the person sending the instructions to control that thing has to be giggling like a little kid each time they realize they are controlling a lander sitting on another freaking planet.
    I know I would be.

    November 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      I envy them, too. Makes me wish I'd padi more attention to science as a child and planned a college major and career that would have led me to that job. Sigh . . . how awesome is that?

      November 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  82. Jason Glugla

    We spend all this time and effort exploring for life on another planet as we destroy it on spaceship Earth.

    November 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • JC

      Just because you have seen lots of Sci-fi movies......FYI, Earth is not a Spaceship. Another waste attempt to look like an intellectual writer.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • 1plus1

      JC, Earth is a spaceship – hello. It's not the traditional kind you might imagine like Starship Enterprise, But it is – in effect – a space ship.

      November 22, 2011 at 8:35 am |
  83. Scones

    They are going to do all the calculations in meters right? It IS going to get to mars this time right?

    November 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Brad

      Our last two did....

      November 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
      • Thorny

        Actually, since the Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander fiascos in 1999, three landers (Spirit, Opportunity, and Phoenix) all landed safely and two orbiters (Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) successfully reached Mars orbit.

        November 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Jerry

      I dont think we have ever lost a rover on its way to mars. Russia did lol

      November 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • JC

      Haven't read about historical rovers to Mars?

      November 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Renegade

      That would be using the metric system, not meters.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  84. D

    Did you install sand tires this time? Or are we going to keep getting stuck using road tires on the sand planet?

    November 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  85. Toby

    It only travels 200m a day. How can we catch martians with that? All we can do is laser them.

    November 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • John Stone

      Don't laser me Bro !

      November 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • AJ

      Laser tag....you're it :)

      November 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  86. ron

    This such wasteful bunk. Ooh! We are going to do TEN experiments. HOW many missions have we sent so far? And, at HOW much money? I grant that we've had adismal sucess rate at actually getting our craft to land on mars intact, but this process would not take near the time, or the money, if we would send a massive test lab to Mars in one shot. We could get more work done, with less fuel, rockets, technicians pay, etc... Heck, we might even get there quicker ourselves if they'd stop, (at the risk of censors), pissing around. The outlay would certainly be higher for the mission than any other, but what they are doing now is so incredibly wasteful.
    It is like driving to a store an hour away, and buying only eggs. Then going back for only milk. Then going again, only for bacon. You might eventually get breakfast, but it would be midnight.

    November 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • denim

      If we were to do this right, we'd be sending people.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • GRofPA

      Much better to spend that money killing people for oil, right?

      November 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Schmedley

      I love it when the arm chair quarterback "experts" chime in and act like they know everything... Makes for a good laugh.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • politico123

      Did you ever stop to think that the reason they minimize the number of experiments is multifaceted? 1) The size of the spacecraft makes a world of difference when trying to land it on another planet. The logistics behind landing is just as complex if not more so than launching. 2) If we only send 1 spacecraft to test everything, what happens when you develop more questions than answers. Not send another spacecraft? "Oops to bad we can't answer that one because we spent all of our money on the plethora experiment machine." 3) The initial outlay for development, testing, launching, etc. may not be in the budget for that fiscal year. Everytime they send a spacecraft to Mars, they reuse some of the technology, they do not reinvent the wheel. Look at the big picture before you make your "educated" assumptions.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Colin

      I liked your analogy!

      November 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • MichaelInDC

      "...if we would send a massive test lab to Mars in one shot"

      And exactly how would we know which is the best spot on Mars to send that one test lab without sending smaller probes there first?

      November 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • YodaOne

      Hey Ron, how about you go get a job at NASA and show those complete imbiciles how it's done? You would be doing our nation a great favor while saving us untold sums of money... and getting the world recognition you've always known you deserved.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Trevor

      Has it ocurred to you that with each mission we get better at exploring Mars? A massive getup like you want would likely result in failure because we don't have the expertise/technology for that yet. Exploring Mars takes baby steps, like it or not.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Brad

      You actually get more bang for the buck going in stages. This technology isn't just used on mars, it is used on earth for science experiments, exploration, saving lives, and so on. As mentioned in other posts, the bigger the weight, the harder to land; especially with the much thinner atmosphere. As for sending people, I'm sure the astronaughts value their life. While willing to take risks, we should do everything in our power to get them their and back as safe as possible. Everytime we land, everytime we take trips through space, we learn something new that allows us to tweak our technology. That is the key.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Graham

      What happened to Americans? Once, they had leaders like Jefferson who took it for granted that curiosity about the world around us was ennobling, that it made us better. Now it's all about Nascar and shopping at Walmart and politicians who think that the world is six thousand years old.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
      • kikigos

        For many, it's a strettch to see how space exploration is as necessary and as essentially human an endeavor as exploring the Northwest in Colonial days. Exploring space is full of win for all of the people of earth, certainly for our nation. When I head that Obama was running for President, my first question was, "What's his position on space?" I got laughed at, but I'd ask the same thing again.

        November 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Blahman

      And if the this lab station crashes, it would be a huge waste of money the cost of 20 to 30 times a single satellite/rover mission. Good idea! You should apply at NASA.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • MyTake

      "It is like driving to a store an hour away, and buying only eggs..." - you might do this if all you had was a bike to go back and forth ... PWNED!!

      November 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • ron

      I love the haters. Always something cheerful to say. Look I don't want to work at NASA. But I would point out that many important ideas in human history have come from non professionals.
      But you worry about the cost of crashing a uber mission? HOW MUCH DOES IT COST to send SEND MULTIPLE MISSIONS to /mars that do only TWO OR THREE THINGS??? I did NOT say to only send one mission. But short of keeping NASA employees paid, there NO reason that when we are sending something the size of a mini bus, as in this case, that it cannot do more than ten things. If we sent something this size, before, it would be able to traverse kilometers in no time to check different deposits. It took months for our little radio control cars to go a few dozen meters. They were so small, they couldn't climb out of a pot hole. If a Martian dust devil hit them they'd topple over.
      When science backs studies that like this, "The Illinois Department of Conservation spent $180,000 to study the contents of owl vomit." I wager at the end, the scientists said that it needed more study, as well as, ding! ding! ding! $$$MORE FUNDING$$$!!! Baby steps? Phooey! Scientists line up with experiments for the red planet. There must be a way to pack more into our missions. Rocket fuel isn't cheap! Go ahead. Flame away. But I maintain that while the science is very important, this is a wasteful means of doing it.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • Snaga

        What if that hour long trip just to get milk has to be made by someone who doesn't know how to drive, and they have to build their own car to get there, with no help from anyone? I doubt they would build an SUV the first time, they might just build a radio controlled car to scout around and then build something bigger later.

        If this method of delivery works, and I sincerely hope it does, it will mean we can send larger and larger vehicles.

        November 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  87. grego

    IEven in these difficult times, we must continue to look to the long term benefits of space exploration. Where would we be without fruit-rollups?

    November 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • JMan

      You can thank NASA and the Military for almost all technological breakthroughs within the past 50 years. Spending money on war and space exploration has shaped our technological world today.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  88. Sick

    Amazing. NASA has been hit with budget cuts (only operating on $12B FY11) and they still can do things like this. Kudos.

    November 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Tribble

      <3

      November 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Ken

      Most of this work was done before budget cuts, especially the more recent ones, took place.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Alex

      i'd rather they spend the money on advancing our society with experiments like this versus supporting the illegals!

      November 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  89. joe

    We should have already been there. It's been 42 years since the moon, Whats the holdup? probably government waste and stupidity.

    November 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • us1776

      Nope. It was Nixon. He killed all Deep-Space missions completely.

      We could have easily leveraged our moon landing experience to venture out further.

      .

      November 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
      • Thorny

        Nixon approved the Viking Mars landers and the Voyagers to Jupiter/Saturn, although they launched after he left office.

        November 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
      • us1776

        It was future manned Deep-Space missions. Those unmanned missions were already underway.

        November 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • YodaOne

      Stupidity does seem to have a stranglehold on this planet, but I think it has much more to do with the mind-boggling distances involved. The moon is nearly 240,000 miles away from Earth. At their closest, the Earth and Mars are still separated by nearly 34 million miles. So Mars is more than 140 times farther away than the moon.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Blahman

      You do realize that a trip to Mars and back would take a year or more right? Earth and Mars are revolving around the sun at different speeds. It's not like a straight shot trip from NYC to Philly. Now consider how much food, water, and oxygen you have to provide the astronauts for the lengthy trip. Not so feasible, is it?

      November 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
      • Fototherapist

        Actually, I think we have the technology to actually have a successful manned mission to Mars. It would, however, be very expensive, so I'm not sure very many lawmakers would feel good about appropriating that kind of cash in this economical climate. It's unfortunate because if it were a success, it might actually brighten peoples' spirits and encourage greater faith in America.

        November 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
      • ActionJackson

        Think about the first Europeans to cross the Atlantic. A mission to Mars is not so different.
        We've had the basic technologies needed for a long time, we just need to fund it, do the engineering, and put it together. It will require a national effort analogous to the moonshot, but still quite doable.

        November 21, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  90. nick from california

    I just read the first few comments, and it created a very large GRIN on my face. These people were born in the wrong century, and probably believe the Earth is still FLAT? They are probably the same ones who flunked Science in High School. (if they even made it that far) (you know who you are.)

    November 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  91. Sid Golstein

    The current annual deficit is due to borrowing money for tax cuts ($500B), war spending ($300B), medicare prescription benefit ($70B), lower tax revenue and increased spending on unemployment and welfare due to recession ($500B). People who don't pay federal income taxes are senior citizens and poor people (who still pay social security and sales taxes). Investments in space science create jobs and new technologies, unlike income transfers (tax cuts and welfare).

    November 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  92. Charles

    Why is the US government wasting money on this crap?

    November 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • TJS

      I agree. They should be spending money on your education

      November 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
      • Jimmy

        @TJS, Thanks for the laugh!

        November 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
      • denim

        Don't you think we already wasted enough on that? It clearly didn't "take".

        November 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
      • dallastexas

        Zing!

        November 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
      • Texan

        Not one child has benefited from spending MORE money on education then we already do. Schools need to concentrate more on preparing kids for REAL LIFE; and not increasing the size of a school board or teachers pension funds. Why after spending all I do on taxes on my home, do I still need to purchase simple school items for my kids? Based on the quality of students entering the workforce, and huge drop-out rates, we are NOT getting the job done with more money.

        November 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Funkymonkey1

      Because some of us are not satisfied to remain in the stone age.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • fozz

      Why are they wasting money on your healthcare?

      November 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Charles Dickins

      Because its Bad Ass!

      November 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • MM

      Yea.. They should give out free R/C cars to kids for Christmas – more real fun that you can put your hands on. Not a bunch of made up pictures of something as shown above.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
      • ActionJackson

        What in the *HE11* are you talking about?

        November 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Waste of money... no way

      Waste of MONEY? Charles... are you using the internet? Are you transmitting that information via Wireless? If you answered YES to either these THATS WHY.. scientific discovery fosters new technology.... but perhaps you would prefer to be back in the dark ages? It always amazes me how people are so short sited... mission to Mars? YES.... well then we need these probes... but then perhaps Charles still thinks the Earth is the center of the Universe?

      November 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
      • John Stone

        Charles doesn't think that's his problem....just knee-jerk barking. Take away his cellphone, internet, computer, tv and he might get it. Oh yea and put him in a brand new Ford Model T.

        November 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Dan

      Why are they wasting money on your welfare checks?

      November 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Trevor

      So you apparently think that all of our amazing technology, such as the computer that you are using, just emerged by accident? Actually, based on your comment, you probably do.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Charles

      You pack of Star Wars nerds are laughable... I've probably got a better education than most of you, have worked 25+ years as an Engineer and have never drawn government aid of any type. This stupid exploration of Mars is a wasteful use of my tax dollars when we can't even support our own needs. Bridges and highways need to be built with the money that is going toward playing Kirk and Spock. What nonsense.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
      • MyTake

        "... and have never drawn government aid of any type. " ... not so fast Sparky. Don't be so sure that the $ that whines up in your pocket does not start with someone getting a tax break, subsidy or public grant. ... just sayin' don't judge

        November 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • Charles

        I was referring to the idiots on here insinuating that I was on welfare, getting overnment healthcare, etc. I am simply pointing out the lack of truth in all that horsesh!t. No student loans, no food stamps, no unemployment. Self sufficient and fully able to spot and point out government waste of tax money.

        November 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
      • ActionJackson

        Really, the .05% of the federal budget spent on NASA is all that is standing between us and American utopia of pristine infrastructure? As an engineer, I would think you would be acquainted with basic math.

        Besides, the ROI on space and technology research is spectacularly higher than that of filling in potholes.

        Some more nifty facts:

        The Mars Rover progam's cost per American for its nearly 8 year operating period: $0.01 per person.

        2010 Federal budget: Social Security, 20% ($695 billion). Defense, 19% ($571 billion). MANY other programs... then; Interest on national debt: 4.63% ($164 billion). Many MORE... Then finally, NASA: %0.6 ($17 Billion).

        NASA’s budget for fiscal year 2011 is roughly $18.5 billion : 0.5% of a $3.7 trillion federal budget. In 2010, Americans spent about as much on pet food!

        November 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  93. erich2112x

    I'm embarrassed to be from Earth. We should be much further along than this.

    November 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Mel

      Luckily, there is no one out there in space to be embarrassed before... or is there?

      November 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • us1776

      Nixon set us back 50 years when he cut all the Deep-Space missions and relegated NASA to low-orbit only.

      And no president since then had the guts to re-initiate manned Deep-Space missions.

      And now the anti-science, anti-intelligence tea-bag crowd want to cut nearly everything to do with science and education. The future does not bode well for the USA.

      .

      November 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
      • jdmd

        really??? Actually the Tea Party praises NASA as the only form of government that has produced anything of benefit to the public at large. They only want to cut the parts of government that produce never ending parasites on the rest of the country. Don't repeat talking points educate yourself before you post. NASA exemplifies promoting the general welfare of the people.

        November 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
      • us1776

        jdmd, yeah really. Tea Party in Space group is a smoke-screen that basically wants to kill NASA. They use the word "socialism" as every third word.

        It seems like ANYTHING DONE FOR THE COMMON GOOD is labeled "socialism" by these i d i o t tea-bags.

        .

        November 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
      • SpenderH

        I have not seen the Tea Party trying to attack NASA. I am sympathetic to the TP and agree with them on most issues and I am a big fan of space exploration. The only thing being remotely attacked is NASA's realignment by the Obama administration to examine Earth for signs of global warming. NASA's mission should be space, not Earth.

        November 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
      • conservosaurus

        Why do you believe the "tea bag crowd" is composed of anti-intelligence people? I believe in God, the value of life at conception, am against the death penalty, FOR life in prison (and have it stick) on capital offenses, strongly believe in and support the teaching of evolution, very pro-capitalist, believe strongly in craft unions (but have seen trade unions tear businesses apart), am tired of being taxed to support the lifestyles of healthy work-capable adults who do nothing but pick up checks, am a strong supporter of space exploration and think we put way too much into the shuttle program at the expense of better options (which have all been trashed by our current resident in the White House), believe marriage between a man and a woman should be the only type recognized by the state, don't care of unmarried adults (same or opposite gender) want to live together, believe a married couple provides a far better environment for adoption than singles, gays and women in the military – if you can pass the physical, I salute your service to our country, have never seen a poor person create a job but know many rich entrepreneurs who have, believe in a common base pay at entry level and then merit pay afterward, women can do almost any job a man can do and vice-verse, think gun ownership is already a right that shall not be interfered with by goverment – yet see no need for private ownership of grenade launchers or AK-47's, am a practicing Roman Catholic, think legalization of marijuana and other other drugs as a terrible idea, believe harsher penalties need to be enforced for first-time DUI offenses, sincerely hope everyone who thought electing the first "President of color" got it out of their system and will next time vote for someone who knows what the hell they're doing, and am sick and tired of the ACLU and liberals trying to destroy this country through devisive legislation and via the courts. Okay, the gauntlet has been thrown down. Many of you will now label me as racist homophobe bible-thumping gun-toting creationist teabagger – and will have totally missed my point. THINK, PEOPLE! The future of our country rests partially in the hands of voters who want the government to take care of them from cradle to grave in the belief that someone else has to pay for it. VOTE FOR REAL CHANGE IN 2012!

        November 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
      • us1776

        conservasaurus QUOTE:
        "Many of you will now label me as racist homophobe bible-thumping gun-toting creationist teabagger."

        conserv, that's the only thing you said that makes any sense. At least you got that right.

        November 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
      • Snaga

        Seems like conservo is trying to say that (s)he can't be pigeon-holed into one group, as you attempt to do in your reply. I hold many of the same beliefs that conservo articulated but not all. I consider myself a conservative. I have no use for the tea party, just as I have no use for liberals who try to paint me with the tea party brush. I am very pro science. I vote my conscience, regardless of the candidate's party. Pigeon holing everyone into one of two places does this country and our future no good. You and those on the other side that are just like you aren't doing anyone any favors. This country needs dialogue and compromise, not posturing.

        November 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • Thorny

        Apollo was killed by President Johnson in his Fiscal 1968 budget (released in mid-1967). That is when further production of Saturn V rockets and Apollo spacecraft was curtailed. By the time Nixon took office in 1969, production had ended and NASA was flying the hardware that had already been paid-for and built. Nixon would have needed to fight a very hostile Congress to restart Apollo production, and Nixon clearly didn't care enough to try. Instead, Nixon wanted the Shuttle.

        November 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
      • pm

        He was referring to the TeaBagger ideal that science is not a good thing because it conflicts with the fairy tale that is religion. Maybe the Tea Baggers haven't targeted NASA, but who whould they put in charge of NASA given the chance? A politician or lobbyist or even better...a preacher? They don't believe in Scientific Theory or Evolution, so how can you defend them on the issues of science?

        November 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • us1776

        Thorny, Apollo was planned to end. Had nothing to do with future manned Deep-Space missions.
        But Nixon did kill the last remaining 3 Apollo missions. And then he went on to kill all future manned Deep-Space missions. And in it's place what did Nixon approve? The stupid Space Shuttle. The world's biggest merry-go-round. We spent 3 decades trying to invent missions for it to do. It was all pathetic.

        .

        November 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • fozz

      It's ok, China will gladly pick up the slack.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
      • Jamie

        Exactly.

        November 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • denim

      I'd *like* to be FROM Earth. That'd imply we'd gotten off this rock. Kinda like being *from* New Jersey.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  94. dan

    Science and technology is the answer to our future!!!

    November 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • us1776

      Shhhhh....

      Better not tell the GOP.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  95. Mel

    This is exciting stuff. It is a pity that according to the report the instruments won't be able to find life in samples, only if there are the chemicals needed for life, so we will have to wait till a later mission for that to be done. But it is good that the scientists are doing things in a layered sequence and not letting the impatience to know get in the way of meticulous science. Who knows if there were a huge asteroid going to hit earth centuries from now, a base there would be handy to re-establish life back on earth afterwards. (Disregarding the obvious problems of living on low gravity, high radiation and low water planet!)

    November 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  96. DecepticonsOP

    Just make sure THIS one avoids being stepped on, k?

    November 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • John Stone

      Yea don't want that Mars T-Rex screwing things up ! Jurassic Park V – T-Rex On Mars In 3D

      November 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  97. Ted

    I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords.

    November 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • duh

      they're already in office.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • denim

      We keep trying to vote the right lizards in. :-/

      November 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  98. interwebs

    For those who think this is a waste of money, that conclusion is correct and incorrect. Activities such as this will likely provide no short term benefits. It doesn't solve out world's problems, or help our domestic issues. But this is an investment for or future. All of our problems are so insignificant compared to the universe around us. The pursuit of knowledge is bigger than any nation; it is the ultimate implementation of all that makes us human.

    November 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Aezelll

      Actually that isn't true. Space exploration has yielded a ton of profit for our country in the short term. From materials research, to GPS, to satellite communications, etc etc etc. The list goes on forever, there is little in our comfortable modern life that hasn't been touched by NASA. A great deal of Americans go home every night and can feed their kids due to industry that sprang up as an offshoot of space exploration.

      November 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
      • Ja-Coffalotte

        profit profit profit, what are ya? Ferengay? GOP? Eff off.

        November 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • jackenstein

      Bad timing; Civilization is on the brink of economic collapse and we are sending ANOTHER rover to Mars to look for some microbes, analyse some rocks find some EVIDENCE of water? Just so people can have an I-phone, a LCD TV with remote control, and a notebook with FACEBOOK for the annihilation of privacy; not to mention TERRORISTS who use the same technology against civilization. So the Industrial Military Complex can spend $ – all they want on more war product and then sell the obsolete ones to unstable countries so they can start wars of their own.
      Who knows what new technology will come forth from the Land Rover – maybe just more EGOs at JPL.

      November 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
      • Aezelll

        So you're an irrational anti-technology flake. Grats. Show me one shred of evidence that humanity was ever any better off when we had less technology instead of more. This will be hilarious.

        November 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
      • Mel

        We must always distinguish between investment and day-to-day expenditure by governments. The latter rarely contributes much to growth, and can even bring about the opposite when money is borrowed to pay for today's bills. Scientific advancement is key to all countries economic development and needs to be invested in. This is good spending. The money spent on presidential campaigns, though, are a complete waste of money. (is it a billion dollars now?)

        November 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
      • Tribble

        First of all, the Land Rover is made by Toyota, so if you have beef (and it sounds like you do), take it up with them.

        Also, if you hate technology so much, log off and go do something useful for mankind.

        I'll stay here and stroke some JPL egos.

        November 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
      • Pilks

        You have obviously done your research.. wow you must be a professor somewhere, and probably have tons of friends.

        November 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Tribble

      It kept me employed and off the streets. For you, that's a good thing.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  99. Garth

    no wonder th U S is so far in debt,quit spending billions of dollars on space travel.fix the problem at home first

    November 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Aezelll

      Wow it only took 3 mins for the first moron to show up. Record?

      November 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • LariSpitler

      Yes, lets hand this money to occupiers and welfare folks. They deserve it. Let's continue to be a welfare country.

      November 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
      • Will

        No, let's do what you folks want to do and return to the 1800s, where you had to pay to get anything above an 8th grade education and poor people had to send their 10 year old children to work in coal mines.

        November 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
      • dallastexas

        Fox News is down the hall, first on the right.

        November 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • NPerk

      Frequently no link nor edit between eyes and keyboard. Insert brain before responding

      November 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Mel

      Half of you Americans don't even pay federal tax so I wouldnt complain

      November 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
      • Texan

        Mel, wait... you mean I dont have to pay taxes?
        If 1/2 of us DON'T pay taxes, then I must be doing something wrong.

        ** Every dollar NASA spends to find life on another planet, is worth it to me... an American tax payer. Spend away NASA.

        November 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
      • jimmer

        mel you are a f u c k i n g r e t a r d....why are you still breathing my air?

        November 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
      • pm

        Give us a link to your research data...

        November 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • Clark Nova

        Possibly because half of us don't have jobs any more. OK, that's stretching it a little but the real number is VERY close to 1/4 of us.

        November 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
      • Robrob

        Mel, if I thought you were doing anything more than regurgitating talking points I'd remind you there is a difference between federal income tax and state/local taxes. As well as sales tax, property tax, etc...

        November 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Will

      Yeah but keep spending money buying weapons to blow up random brown people. Got it

      November 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Spacer

      ??? This mission costs 2.5 billion. All of NASA combined is only one half of one percent of the federal budget. This mars mission cost about one one-thousandth of the federal budget. It's peanuts. NASA is one of the smallest and cheapest programs we have, and it accomplishes the previously impossible.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
      • VMX-12R

        Yeah, but think about how much better our world would be if you gave that $2.5 billion to the rich as a tax break.

        November 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
      • Tribble

        VMX – that money also paid for salaries, procurements AND income taxes for hard working people. So yes, it was an expenditure that was paid back into the economy through actual work and expenditure.

        November 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
      • Trevor

        Don't try, Spacer, people like him don't understand difficult concepts, like this so called "Math thing." Or the "Massive return on NASA investment" paradigm.

        November 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
      • Clark Nova

        And that money ends up in paychecks. Most of the cost of space exploration goes right back into the economy. Only a few million of it leaves the Earth.

        November 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
      • SixDegrees

        "Only a few million [dollars] of it leaves the Earth."

        Not even that; none of the money spent on space missions leaves Earth. Every penny of that wealth is spent right here and continues to circulate through the economy.

        And as already noted, NASA's budget is miniscule, a tiny fraction of one percent of the total Federal budget. The money saved by shutting down NASA would keep programs like Social Security, the DoD or Medicaid running for a few additional MINUTES per year.

        November 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
      • spaceboooster

        Spacer makes a valid point. One other point is, where do you think the engineering, materials, project management, and assembly came from? That's right... REAL middle class American jobs! But I guess some folks' ideas of middle class jobs are that it should be restricted only to hard hats and ill-fitting jeans unable to hide beer bellies and butt-cracks with 3 men watching one guy do the actual work with a shovel.

        November 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
      • Pirate

        People – don't forget one of the most important things – INSPIRATION! How awesome is it that our youth grow up to see things like this, to inspire them, to make them study, work hard, and maybe even veer off into a different direction and become a doctor that comes up with a lifesaving cure for some horrible disease?

        November 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • fozz

      The US is so far in debt because of entitlement handouts to jerks like you who ran up the credit card bill rather than save for your own damn retirement.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
      • Robrob

        Fantasy presented as fact.

        November 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
      • us1776

        fozz, You can thank the GOP for 30 years of wars-for-profit that put $11.5 Trillion on the national debt. And Reagan for stealing $1 Trillion from Social Security.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • ActionJackson

      The problem is the hundreds of billions we are throwing away yearly, not the .05% of the federal budget we are actually using to prepare for humanity's future.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • ActionJackson

      Garth, modern humans have been trying to fix their problems here on Earth for about 50,000 years now, and there's no end in sight so far!
      I don't think 0.5% of the Federal budget is going to make or break your imaginary 'fix' for humanity's problems.

      But hey, just this once, lets think past next week to the long term, and maybe invest a pittance of our resources in research that will be invaluable for humanity's future and long term survival?

      November 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Robrob

      NASA's budget is about 1/2% of the total US budget. Get a grip on reality.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • pna

      Garth, all info pertaining to costs are published. Please don't be ignorant all your life. Fact: Americans spent $18.5 billion on video games in 2010 alone. If you truly want to gripe about something where nothing is given in return start there. That price tag is the entire NASA budget for one year and thousands are employed responsibly. Try reading for a change....

      November 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  100. Ivan

    Sounds like a complicated landing sequence. Here's hoping it goes well.

    November 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Dem in Nebraska

      You know, I was thinking the same thing. I'd love to see some renderings of their flight plan, final approach, and landing sequence. I'll look for them in a moment. I hope it goes well, too. I realize it'll have to be done automatically, as the lag of communications between Mars and Earth is quite significant, and NASA won't know real-time if the event went well or not. Can't wait to see more!

      November 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
      • Texan

        Go to http://WWW.NASA.GOV and check out the site for informaiton on this mission. Unlike prior missions, this vehicle is too heavy to use airbags like before. Hope it lands fine and works for years to come.

        November 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • SixDegrees

        The space shuttle landing sequence was totally automated from day one. Humans don't have the reaction time necessary to manipulate the controls during reentry. So that part of the sequence will be well understood. The rest of it does sound kind of dicey, but landings always are.

        November 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
      • Josh

        SixDegrees, the shuttle landing has NEVER been TOTALLY automated. Its highly automated, but not totally. For example, the computer can NOT lower the landing gear.

        November 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
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