Mars Missions Are A Scam

Despite claims by NASA and private outfits such as Mars One, we don’t have the know-how or funding to send people to the Red Planet, according to many scientists, policy experts, and one outspoken lawmaker. “To say we have put the cart before the horse is an understatement,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said.

Bryan Versteeg/Mars One

Last week, the nonprofit reality-television project Mars One announced its selection of 100 volunteers who may get one-way tickets to Mars. It’s only the latest in decades of celebrated Mars colonization projects. And just like all the rest, this one is unlikely to ever happen, experts say.

“It looks like a scam,” John Logsdon, a space policy expert at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., told BuzzFeed News. “They don’t have any technology, they don’t have any agreements with the space industry. It looks very shaky.”

The bigger problem? Mars One’s flaws — too few spaceships, nonexistent life-support technologies, not nearly enough money, and, really, no good reason for going — discredit all Mars exploration plans, including NASA’s.

Although these hurdles are obvious to everyone in the space industry, politicians have spent decades trumpeting Mars plans, only to cut and run when presented with the bill for their interplanetary adventures.

In Congress, the House science committee sent a bill to the Senate this month, to “make clear that Mars should be NASA’s primary goal,” according to a committee statement. And in his State of the Union speech last month, President Obama invoked “a re-energized space program that will send American astronauts to Mars.”

But all of that is mostly theater, political scientist Alan Steinberg of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, told BuzzFeed News.

NASA’s budget, adjusted for inflation, has steadily shrunk for decades. And that’s because the public and voters don’t want Martian cities more than they want stuff on Earth, such as Social Security checks or a Defense Department.

Last year, a National Research Council report on Mars missions came to a similar conclusion. Asked by Congress to come up with one solid rationale for going to Mars, the report panel instead offered a grab bag of vague reasons for blasting off, such as inspiration, industrial goals, and prestige. But those squishy notions won’t cut it, not as NASA’s buying power continues to plummet, Steinberg said. “Talking about Mars just looks like a way to placate the public while they cut NASA’s budget.”

Calls for Mars colonization continue an imaginary real estate rush first launched in the 1890s.

That’s when astronomer Percival Lowell claimed, mistakenly, that there were canals — and therefore Martians — on Mars. Sixty years later, the rocket pioneer and former Nazi Werner von Braun wrote a popular series in Collier’s magazine outlining how to send 70 men to populate Mars. The idea of Mars landings has been embedded in NASA’s mind-set ever since.

Despite decades of Red Planet rhetoric, Congress has never really increased NASA’s budget for manned Mars missions. When it comes to Mars, Logsdon said, “there has been a mismatch between aspirations and reality since Nixon.”

And now there’s Mars One, the Netherlands-based nonprofit that aims, a decade from now, to establish a “permanent human settlement on Mars.”

Mars One plans to finance the estimated $6 billion cost of the one-way trip to Mars with donations and through a reality TV show that follows the selection of its volunteer Martians. In crews of four, those colonists would depart in 2024 and 2025, traveling six months in a trailer-sized box to land on the planet and live out the rest of their lives.

But their lives would last only about 68 days, according to a study published last year. “Keeping people alive on Mars is a lot harder problem than most people realize,” MIT aerospace engineer Sydney Do, one of the study’s authors, told BuzzFeed News.

Mars makes Antarctica look like paradise, with a near vacuum atmosphere, radiation as intense as multiple chest X-rays, temperatures that average -67 degrees Fahrenheit, and toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons carpeting its cratered surface. No technology exists today to survive under these conditions, let alone a human body.

Mars One’s engineers say they can overcome those natural barriers with a crew habitat made of six modified SpaceX Dragon space capsules equipped with inflatable greenhouses. The trouble is, according to Do’s report, the plants growing the colonists’ food would quickly make too much oxygen and suffocate them.

That’s just one of many fatal problems. Spare parts, for example, would take up 62% of the mission’s supplies. And the colony’s intended water supply — H2O baked out of that chlorinated Martian soil — relies on a technology that hasn’t been invented yet.

Then there’s the expense. The Mars One launch would need 15 interplanetary rockets, nine more than Mars One suggests, the MIT report found. Those rockets, which have yet to be tested, would alone cost $4.5 billion, never mind the cost of habitat modules, developing technologies, and resupply missions.

“I think it will happen eventually — people will go to Mars,” Do said. But “Mars One is not going to be the one.”

In response, Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp told BuzzFeed News that the MIT study “made many wrong assumptions and sub-optimal design solutions.” All of the study’s critiques “were already taken into account,” he wrote by email, and these issues will be addressed in a report in early March. “We hope to have the public report soon after that,” Lansdorp said.

Even if Lansdorp is right that MIT’s engineers know less about space survival than a reality TV show, plopping people down on Mars to live permanently would only work if they were constantly resupplied at ridiculously expensive costs by a fleet of rockets filled with replacement air purifiers, electronics, and anything else breakable, as well as tons of astronaut chow.

Food, as analyzed in the MIT study, would actually be cheaper to send to Mars than to grow there, even shipped on rockets that cost $300 million a pop, because of infrastructure costs.

For years, SpaceX rocket entrepreneur Elon Musk has talked about a Mars mission that would do just that: constantly launch rockets to resupply a Martian settlement. If they somehow managed to beat the suffocation problem, “people might live for five decades after a landing,” Do said. “It’s like trying to drive a car for 50 years — you start to need a lot of spare parts to keep things going.”

“And at a certain point, you’d have to ask yourself,” Do added, “if all I’m doing on Mars is maintenance work in a cave to keep myself alive, why did I even come?”

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher / AP Photo / Lauren Victoria Burke / Via apimages.com

But what about the more modest Mars exercises envisioned by more credible organizations, like NASA?

According to its current plans, the space agency will send astronauts to orbit Mars in the 2030s using a monster-sized version of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket now under development. Much later, around 2060, an international expedition would actually land on the Red Planet.

At first glance, those plans look to be proceeding. In December, NASA test-baked its new $9 billion Orion crew capsule on an unmanned re-entry flight through Earth’s atmosphere that successfully simulated the 4,000-degree-Fahrenheit roasting that comes with the return of a lunar astronaut mission.

“The successful test launch of Orion demonstrates that we are on the right track for sending humans back to the moon and Mars within our lifetime,” said Rep. Steven Palazzo, chair of the House space subcommittee, at a recent hearing.

There’s just one thing missing, and it’s always been missing: money. On the 20-year anniversary of the Apollo moon landings in 1989, for example, then-president George H.W. Bush proposed a Mars landing mission that crashed in Congress soon after its price was estimated at $500 billion. His son, George W. Bush, proposed a 2004 plan to return to the moon, and eventually Mars, that died in 2009, in part the victim of cost estimates suggesting that NASA would need to ramp up its annual spending by about $3 billion.

The Obama administration plans to send astronauts aboard Orion on shorter stepping-stone trips to nearby asteroids before heading to Mars. Congress and the White House are already feuding over funding these asteroid missions. The Government Accountability Office testified at Palazzo’s hearing that SLS was underfunded by about $400 million. And a National Research Council report last summer suggested that SLS budgets would need to grow about 5% a year for a decade or so to successfully head for Mars.

“I had no idea funding problems would come on so quickly,” said House science committee member Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a voice of doubt at Palazzo’s hearing. “To say we have put the cart before the horse is an understatement with a $10 billion expenditure to build this monster rocket, which won’t even have a mission for two decades.”

“I’m glad that didn’t stop Apollo,” quipped Rep. Bill Posey of Florida. Posey’s district includes Cape Canaveral, which benefited enormously from the $119 billion (in 2015 dollars) Apollo program.

But Apollo has been dead for four decades, alongside the Cold War rivalry that birthed the moon race, Steinberg said.

In a 2011 paper in the journal Space Policy, he showed that since the early 1970s, NASA’s budget has steadily been watered down by Congress, with small increases overtopped by inflation even as the space agency was asked to do more with less, including flying space shuttles, building a space station, and exploring nearby planets. All the while politicians made bold proclamations about Mars.

“We need a real reason to go to Mars — some international rivalry or economic benefit, not just prestige. Or ultimately the money won’t be there,” Steinberg said. “When you ask people to cut something else to go to Mars, they don’t want to do it.”

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/danvergano/mars-aint-never-gonna-happen

15 Things That Actually Go On In Locker Rooms — This Is Crazy (Not)

When it comes to presidential election coverage, I typically try to avoid it at all costs by watching trashy reality shows with a bottle of wine.

However, this presidential cycle has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving, so I decided to watch Sunday’s second presidential debate. Boy am I glad I did, because it was basically reality television — without the table flipping and drink throwing.

During Sunday’s town-hall style debate, Donald Trump talked about the comments he made during a TV interview. He referenced sexually harassing women, but during the debate, he brushed his words off as nothing more than traditional “locker room talk.”

Since Trump’s remarks have sparked controversy with a variety of male athletes, we here at ViralNova thought we’d look into the other kinds of things that go on in locker rooms. It’s quite shocking what we found out.

1. There’s a lot of pumping fellow teammates up for the big game.

2. Not everyone is able to keep cool during high-pressure situations, though.

3. Sometimes you overhear some weird things in locker rooms…

4. For instance, grown men screaming like constipated moose.

5. When it all comes down to it, though, locker rooms are for sports teams celebrating wins.

Read More: 26 Things That Would’ve Been More Fun Than Watching Last Night’s Debate

6. Occasionally, you might hear a teammate pumping themselves up to hit the court.

7. Others choose to simply dance like no one’s watching.

8. Some athletes use their locker rooms as a refreshing place to shower.

9. The locker room can also be a space where a player’s anxiety comes out.

10. Locker rooms can also be utilized for completely pointless — but awesome — displays of athleticism.

11. I know for a fact that the locker room at one high school has served as the prime location to spontaneously break out into song.

12. Sometimes, you can hear grown men crying in a locker room — if you’re really lucky.

13. In recent years, locker rooms have become the prime location for supernatural activity.

Read More: These Are The 12 Most Ridiculous Promises Politicians Have Ever Made (WTF)

14. They’re also the perfect place for a heart-to-heart with your coach.

15. At times, things may get a bit awkward…

Bottom line, I think we can all agree that when someone says this in a locker room…

They don’t mean go sexually assault a woman.

Shaq knows what we’re sayin’.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/locker-room-happenings/

17 Shocking Confessions From Gun Owners That’ll Really Make You Think

The second amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants Americans the right to bear arms, but in the wake of recent events, the war over gun control has become a hot-button issue.

With factors such as media attention and political pressures adding fuel to the fire, the issue of gun control has unfortunately divided the nation. No matter your opinion on the topic, however, the fact remains that every responsible gun owner in the country has a reason behind their decision.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘VN_PG_DCBP_ATF’); });

To shed light on their own experiences with guns, here are 17 confessions from people who bear arms that might just surprise you.

I
I
Yes
As
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘VN_PG_DCI1_BTF’); });

I
Whenever
As
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘VN_PG_DCI2_BTF’); });

I
I
A
I
Hate
I

No matter which side of the issue you stand on, you’re living in a world full of illusions if you think change will come without making your voice heard.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/gun-owner-confessions/

I Had No Idea This Was The World’s Scariest Job, But It Actually Makes Sense.

Take a minute. What’s the scariest job that you can possibly imagine yourself having? If you’re like a majority of Americans, the scary job you thought of was being a politician. Yep, that’s right, Americans are afraid of being politicians. This is according to a survey of 56,857 Americans conducted by the jobs website CareerBuilder.com.

If being a politician is at the top of people’s scary jobs lists, what other terrifying positions are in the top 10? I think you’re going to be surprised. 

10.) Parent.

There are more parental jobs in the United States than you can count. But being a parent makes people nervous for well…pick a reason. There are so many.

9.) Stand-Up Comedian.

40 percent of Americans are afraid of public speaking. So it only makes sense that those people would also be deathly afraid of performing in public whether it’s as a comedian or some other form of entertainment.

8.) Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Technicians. 

Do you have a fear of heights? Well then this job is definitely not for you. I personally couldn’t imagine spending my days strapped to the top of a giant structure trying to install expensive, high tech equipment. 

7.) Mortician. 

I think it’s telling of the real fears of Americans that this job is so far down the list. Nevertheless it is a pretty creepy job to have, especially if you’re afraid of zombies. The morticians are always the first ones to go in zombie movies.

6.) Animal Trainer.

This one might depend a bit on which animals you’re trying to train. I think it’d be less terrifying to train puppies, than it would be to train sharks or tigers. Then again, maybe not much if you have allergies. 

5.) Crime Scene Investigator.

For this job most people say they’re afraid of the blood, and the disappointment of telling people that the job is nothing like it is on TV. 

4.) Kindergarten Teacher.

I totally understand this one. Have you ever seen a room full of kindergartens that wasn’t in, or near total chaos? These teachers are the bravest among us. Not to mention all those little kid germs. Yuck.

3.) Security Guard At Teen Pop Concerts.

People say that this job scares them because of the fear of being stampeded by hoards of screaming tweens. I also share this fear.

2.) Microbiologist.

One word explains why people are afraid of this job: Ebola.

1.) Politician.

Yes, being a politician is the scariest job to have in America. I suppose it’s not hard to see why. It’s the perfect storm of the fear of public speaking, rejection, and a huge level of accountability. Yeah thanks, but no thanks.

(H/T: Huffington Post)

To be honest, I expected more people to be afraid of being a stand-up comedian than a politician. I suppose we can at least thank our elected officials for taking on the jobs that no one really wants, right?

Read more: http://viralnova.com/the-worlds-scariest-jobs/

Obama Versus McCain: The Iraq War. Obama Told You So

This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position

So many people in our lives say, after the fact, “I told you so”.  Does it ever help your current situation or make you feel better?  Or does it just make you feel bad about yourself and wish what had gone before never happened?  More importantly, did it ever make what had gone before any different?  We will leave you to deal with these rhetorical questions.

Obama’s approach on this issue is to use exactly that tactic, “I told you so”.  To tell not only McCain, but all citizens, Republicans and Democrats (including Biden) that believed in the war at the time that he (Obama) voted against it.

But the fact is, it doesn’t matter what our decisions were 7 years ago.  9/11 happened, we reacted, it’s over, we are there.  We believe the candidate that should be favored with respect to this issue is the one most prepared to deal with it in the “now” not yesterday.

Vietnam and Korea were American disasters because we did not have the conviction to attack and destroy an enemy that was vastly inferior.  Iraq was not the case.  The US wiped out the Iraqi Army in weeks with almost no casualties.  And we proved something in the process.  That wiping out a nation’s leadership leaves us, by the nature of our government, responsible for that nation.  As Colin Powell put it, “if you break it, you own it“.  And after billions and billions of US dollars spent, indeed we do.

But what do our politicians really want to do now, in 2008?  It seems Obama wants to bail and leave it up to Iraq to solve its own problems.  It seems as though John is saying stay the course, but there is little indication there is a plan as to when it will be over.  With McCain it seems like we could just police Iraq forever.  With Obama, we see some light at the end of the tunnel, but that light might be a bus headed right for us as we emerge.

This is a lose-lose for both sides.  The Iraq war was entered into not as the Democrats would currently have you think.  It was not based on a lie.  It was based on 9/11, an attack on us by radical Muslims and the belief that Iraq was the most rogue of the Muslim nations and had to be held accountable for harboring weapons of mass destruction and for supporting terrorism.  No one now seems to recall, but Saddam was doing his best to avoid UN Inspections and did indeed appear to be hiding military secrets.  Fact is, he just turned out to be a deluded lunatic that lived in a hollowed out tunnel after the war babbling to himself.

Now, what we realize is that even if Saddam Hussein was as dire and evil as he was depicted, the result of deposing him was an unstable Iraq.  Imagine an America where US troops had to circle the streets daily to maintain order.  Imagine what would happen if a nation stepped into our world and destroyed our government, regardless of whether it was led by Republicans or Democrats, introducing total anarchy.  Would you want that government to stay and help restore order or would you want them to get out so you could?  Sounds like the latter is the answer, but the only thing protecting you from the criminal elements is the very occupation force you despise.  So, as Colin Powell presciently pronounced, once you depose the government, you become the government.

One interesting cause of war is what it does to a President’s approval rating.  People think this is unique to Bush, and he is the worst President ever, but facts prove otherwise.

Bush’s approval rating is an abysmal 31%, but from CNN polling director Keating Holland we find… “Bush’s approval rating five years ago, at the start of the Iraq war, was 71 percent, and that 40-point drop is almost identical to the drop President Lyndon Johnson faced during the Vietnam War,”.

“Johnson’s approval rating was 74 percent just before Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 1964, which effectively authorized the Vietnam War. Four years later, his approval was down to 35 percent, a 39-point drop that is statistically identical to what Bush has faced so far over the length of the Iraq war,”.

America wants a fast victory, and war just doesn’t work that way, especially not occupations.  The estimates at the time of the start of the war were that it would take 5 years or more to resolve things, but it is like a car payment.  The first year, you love the car.  The second year, you start disliking the payment and by the fourth year, you want to get rid of it.

The fact is, however, Iraq has gotten much better.  A tactic called “The Surge” endorsed primarily by George Bush, against the advice of his generals and advisors, has worked.  Bush sent 5 brigades of additional man power to Iraq and the violence has been reduced dramatically.  Rumsfeld and General Casey were sent packing and Bob Gates and David Petraeus replaced them.  And regardless of what the Democrats claim and what the public believes, in this instance, Bush was right.  “The Surge” has been a huge success and that will make it very difficult for any dramatic change by a new President whether it is Obama or McCain.

Write Your Political Opinion And Get it Published!! This Site is About Your VIEW of the 2008 Presidential Election…

If you have an article regarding the presidential race you have written or would like to write and would like it published on our website, please submit it to us for review.

We would favor articles on both sides of every debate, and your opinion is not only welcome, it is needed.  We will give you full credit and post your article so long as it passes muster.

What is muster?  Something a tad less tangible.  We will not allow downright insults, bigotry, or articles based solely on a coarse or crude opinion.  Argument and discussion is great, but we will only approve those that had some work put into them, not just emotion and/or hatred.  Something like “McCain smells like a dead skunk”, will likely not get printed.

You will have to surrender the rights to the article you submit to us for this one publication, but your rights to any further writings you generate are your own and we make no claims to them.

We reserve the right to reject any article for any reason we see fit.  If we feel your article is too controversial, bigoted, or without fact, we will place it in the little circular file in our bathroom.  We expect political bias and want to hear from both sides, we just don’t want people to get nasty.

Please give us some fodder and have yourself heard!!

EMAIL your article at: admin[at]myrealitytelevision[dot]com

Our site tries to take a non-biased approach towards the objective of selecting a candidate for President.  Read one or two of our articles and then write your own.  It is fun and you will be welcome if you are liberal, moderate or conservative unlike some other publications we will not mention.

You can write the article anonymously or with your name, that is your choice.  You can include your email or take comments on our site.  It is your call.   We will include your picture if desired, but you have to provide it in email.

And if you have any questions or would like to provide us input on a smaller scale, send us email or post a comment below!!  We welcome them and we GUARANTEE we will NEVER give out your email address or use it for any form of SPAM.  WE HONOR YOUR PRIVACY!

In the 2008 Presidential Election, We Don’t Care if We are Sexist, Racist or Biased

W e are what we are, fabricated over years of exposure to the realities of our lives.  If you were attacked or mugged by a member of a specific race, you likely harbor a prejudice against that race.  If you were impoverished, oppressed by or at war with a race of people, you likely have a bias against them.  And sexism touches us all from the “glass ceiling” to the destruction of “father’s rights” by the women’s movement to the horrors of rape.  There are so many other facets of racism and sexism that span the globe that one could write a book the size of “War and Peace” and not cover them all.

The sexist card is hard to totally understand.  Many men blame it on a women’s movement that has made every attempt to minimize the importance of men, especially fathers, in their children’s lives.  But sexism and abuse of women was around long before there was any solidified women’s movement.

Women, on the other hand, want equal wages and fair consideration, and because of physical differences, suffer at the hands of men.  Internationally, sexist acts against women are rampant and the indignations they suffer are broad-based.  In some societies, they are deprived of basic education to ensure their advancement in society is impaired and their social status retained as subservient to men.

In America, it is quite possible the pendulum has swung too far, when a female population that outnumbers men is treated like a minority.  But world-wide, that is anything but the truth.

The sexism issue is an important one from a political standpoint.  Statistically, women vote more than men, and women of voting age outnumber men.  One has to only go to political websites to find that almost every candidate addresses women’s rights, while few address the rights of men.  If you want the vote of women, you don’t mess with the sexist argument and if you want the vote of the aged, you don’t mess with Social Security and Medicare.  And what do we call the equivalent of racism against the aged?  Aged-ism?  Plenty of that against McCain, as there was against Reagan.

These two issues go way beyond what is stated here and they have become a central focal point of who we are as a nation.  Most of us do not wish to be classified as racist or sexist, but in some measure, we all are, whether we admit it or not.  In humor, Avenue Q, a Broadway Show has a tune they include in their performance, in which they sing, “Everyone’s a little bit racist…sometimes….”.  We would add sexist and just about every other bias to that.

And so enters politics, in which we expect the candidate to be a perfect reflection of our ideals.  As such, no politician wants to be considered sexist or racist, and yet, by their own nature they must be.  So, when you see one or the other play the racism or sexism card against their opponent, one has to examine the motivations behind their statements and the likely desire to cover up who they themselves truly are.

That aside, one thing to examine closely on the internet with respect to the Presidential Election is how both sides are playing the sexist and racist cards as we write this.

Here are the various claims:

1. If you don’t vote Republican, you are sexist.
2. If you don’t vote for Obama, you are racist.
3. The Republican’s choosing a woman as a VP candidate was sexist.
4. Had the Republicans chosen a black man as a VP candidate, that would be racist.
5. Obama choosing a white man as a running mate was racist.
6. If you think Obama is a Muslim, you are a racist.
7. If you voted for Obama over Hillary you are a sexist.
8. If you resent Obama’s choice of a male VP over Hillary, you are a sexist.
9. Obama was sexist for choosing a man as a VP when Hillary was available.
10. Bill was a pig for fooling around with Monica.

We have read some of these with disbelief in how twisted some people have become in classifying others as sexist or racist.  The reverse logic is the most twisted.  When one uses the logic that the only reason to choose a woman for a political office is because you are sexist, then, of course, that in and of itself is sexist against women by definition, the ultimate sexist catch 22, in which your opponent is damned if they do and damned if they do not.  When one says that you should never choose a black man for office because it would show you were trying to play the race card, again, you oppress all black men that were excellent choices for that office.

We would like to see this election steer clear of these issues, but we also know that other issues, such as Roe vs. Wade will find their way into the debates and they, in and of themselves have sexist overtones.

We just find most often, when one political candidate accuses the other of either sexism or racism, they are most often calling the kettle black.  It isn’t that simple, but in an effort to divide the nation into votes for their respective candidates, an attempt to simplify things into cut and dry categorizations is attempted, and life is not as simple as they paint it.

Our conclusion…

If a headline accuses the other side of being sexist or racist, realize it is most likely sensationalism to sway your vote.  You may, just may, find you want to read it with skepticism if not downright contempt, and possibly consider the authors’ desire to direct you away from their own weaknesses with respect to these broad-based issues.