Space and Defense

Space and Defense


Publishers Corner: Essays

If we want to assess the benefits of human space exploration, particularly to Mars, who better to consult than the good folks at MIT, a place presumably bristling with engineering knowledge and human genius. Fortuitously enough, the “Space, Policy and Society Research Group” at MIT has produced a study on “The Future of Human Space Flight” for our edification and enjoyment. It is six years old at this writing, but the facts have not altered appreciably: the humans who would have to be transported to, sustained on, and returned from the red planet are the same frail and physically limited homo sapiens they have always been; they are still carbon-based life forms, and therefore dependent on oxygen and water; and they are still as certain to deteriorate and die after relatively short periods of exposure to gamma and other radiation at strengths present in space and (especially) on the surface of Mars.





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