This page is all about taking a positive look at things, as I just so happen to appreciate the positive side of life, especially since there's already been way too much negative getting in my face.
At least I'm not the sort of loon suggesting that we should devote our best talents, resources and borrowed upon borrowed investments towards eventually sending astronauts to the surface of another planet. As that's not only risky as well as expensive but absolutely insane, especially to be suggesting that a planet such as frozen Mars that's been so radiated to death ott to even be considered. Just getting to/from Mars is a radiation exposure nightmare, that's not to mention of the fact that certain planets such as Mars offers squat worth of shielding while on the deck.
The worst that I'm suggesting is a reutilization of what we already have in orbit, or perhaps just that of sending off something like another TRACE, as outfitted with a few low cost lasers and a few single channel photon receivers that would cover the 350 nm to 450 nm spectrum, as into a stationkeeping Venus L2 (VL2) position. Naturally, obtaining a brand new TRACE-II as outfitted with all the bells and whistles might represent a couple of tonnes at best and, of which that would also become expensive, as in almost 10% of what any Mars rover/probe entails, that is if you honestly include absolutely everything by excluding the sort of Andersen accounting that agencies such as NASA/NSA/DoD invented.
The least of what I'm suggesting is merely a planet to planet (local area code) laser communications war of packets, perhaps eventually those of a quantum binary format offering unheard of performance and efficiency. Don't even need any stinking satellite for this one, just a buckshot load of common sense along with a gleam of morality, as this agenda isn't going to cost but 1% of doing almost anything Mars and, it's about as "safe sex" as space exploration gets.
Lets see now; we know for certain that Mars has loads of ice and even a few megatonnes of dry-ice, we even suspect that there's a few remains of whatever or even of whomever lived on Mars. We know for a fact that there's been NO indications whatsoever of any artificial energy signatures (hardly anything natural either), thus no signs whatsoever of any lifeforms of stature that might be around to tell us a good story about how bad it was when half of Mars was being severely impacted and subsequently dislodged from an earlier orbit where life was good enough. So, after we've spent billions and even if that culminates into our further investing hundreds of additional billions into sending insane astronauts to/from Mars and, we subsequently somehow manage to isolate all of them as well as for anything they return with for eternity, so that Earth isn't infected with Mars, then I'll suppose we'll know a whole lot more precisely that humans really shouldn't goto Mars, along with there being lots of other radiated dry-ice reasons and perhaps some of those really nasty and lethal Mars microbes considerations of why to NOT ever set foot on at least that planet.
You see, I'm not really the bad guy, I'm Mr. Positive, as I can fully understand our world intentionally taking away life essential funding and resources from what's so badly needed for being invested right here on Earth, as applied into such boring issues as education, health services and of the sciences and physics that could offer billions of those not even making it as we speak, another slim chance at seeing tomorrow on something better than squat (subsistence living is not living, it's being subservient to others, much worse if you're in someone's way). But, even as positive as I can get myself over Mars, conjuring towards the positive side of this equation that life once managed and, that there's even a good chance of at least radiation proof microbes are still evolving (as in looking for their next meal), there still seems not all that much in it for humanity (that's speaking of the 90% of Earth's expendable lower status inhabitance, you probably know of them as heathens), certainly lacking in what's morally justified if we're to be considering the added risk, not to even mention the huge compounding investments and otherwise such enormous divergence of talents and resources (perhaps for the sport of it all).
Of course, unlike yourself, I'm not one of those "all knowing" wizards as apparently you are, so perchance yourself and those of your "Mars or Bust" cult ott to inform the rest of us village idiots, exactly what it is that Mars offers onto Earth's humanity, besides an unbeatable Mars plague or perhaps just a stifling (global warming) death on Earth, as created from all the additional CO2 generated from launching all of those missions exploring planets such as Mars, or of those missions to places of which there's absolutely no humanly hope of our ever physically reaching, as in unobtainable as such goals seem to ever get, some of which have been involving those spendy astronomy efforts at viewing upon hundreds of millions of lightyears away, many of those also costing us billions apiece and equally draining our remaining talents and resources as though there's no tomorrow. Perhaps that's the great secret, the great truth that there is no tomorrow.
Being the Mr. Positive that I am, as for regarding the planet Venus is another opportunity altogether different than Mars, especially of it's distance being the least and, even if we're speaking of the Venus L2 (VL2) concept, as that's dirt cheap, not to mention well within the current level of technology and expertise. There's absolutely nothing of any biological risk involvement (no astronauts either), there's hardly any comparable satellite mission complexity as compared to a mapping satellite such as Magellan and, not even involving a 10% cost of what a short lived surface Mars probe involves.
The positive payback however is rather huge. Station keeping at VL2 is not complicated, it's also relatively well shielded from radiation by the planet itself, it's an extremely energy efficient position as well as for being energy efficient for the types of onboard technology. Being mostly of a TRACE imaging format and otherwise offering an array of relatively low cost as well as energy efficient solid state lasers and of those single channel photon detectors, so that even a down-link of imaging data-bits and of whatever duplex communications feedback is going to represent rather minimal energy demands, as well as Earth staffing wise, as the amateur communities as well as SETI could manage all that's needed, unless they're remaining too damn stubborn, in that case ESA or perhaps just France alone, or how about China, Cuba, Germany or perhaps Russia or even India would be more than qualified as sufficient for the simple task of managing interplanetary communications, as this part isn't even rocket science.
Continuing as for being the Mr. Positive that I am, I indeed considered upon all the reported "hot and nasty" aspects of Venus but, I didn't stop at that fire-wall because, as you know I've uncovered some rather substantial looking structures, fairly complex to say the least, of a rather good sized community as well as for two other lesser sites. These sites are not indicating as being so dormant either (certainly not frozen in time), as there's nearby secondary erosions and, I believe there's loads of energy signatures to boot and, I've recently come into knowledge of the science and physics that's making for the chances of other life "NOT as we know it", as not only surviving in spite of our arrogance and utter stupidity, but of life that could be NOT thriving but somehow surviving in spite of their current greenhouse environment, of there being a likelihood of evolution and of potential mutations that could easily explain what's been going on, not to mention what a little of franken-biology could have to say (lord knows, there would have been sufficient motivation).
This evidence is not my village idiot horn blowing nor my three remaining brain cells running amuck, unless you consider truthful science and of physics backing such as some new form of witchcraft. Observationally wise, even though the raw pixel resolution isn't one tenth that of what's been provided of Mars (1/100 in some recent instances), at least these Magellan pixels are of SAR format, thus far more scientifically truthful as well as vastly more informative and/or meaningful than any conventional CCD (as imaging upon Mars has been optical and loaded with illumination considerations as well as associated distortions and/or illusions of shadow, where all the pixel resolution in the world isn't going to help, let alone tell anyone a damn thing as to the substance of what's being imaged).
Thinking positively again; there's all sorts of natural energy alternatives for whomever was placed in the position of surviving on Venus and, unlike the nearly overnight massacre which took place on Mars, the Venus greenhouse environment took some time, by many conservatives we're talking a good million plus years to occur, where I've advanced upon that conjecture by suggesting that a 0.1°K shift per year is another possibility, taking Venus from a relatively cool 300°K to the roasty toasty warmth of 720°K of today, where obviously that's a mere 4200 years worth of advancement, but still offering sufficient time for any motivated sole to have achieved great things, especially if those things had anything whatsoever to do with salvaging their own butt.
One further notable side-note regarding the Venus greenhouse atmosphere; at least that thick and dense atmosphere provides a darn good solar radiation shield, of which Mars has nearly zilch worth of nothing. Thankfully, the Venus atmosphere is also absolutely clear as a bell, except for those acidic clouds, which by the way also contain mega tonnes of just good old H2O. Of course, in order to access any of that H2O means traveling yourself into those clouds and extracting their sulphuric acid content, then utilizing vacuum processing as an efficient distillation process upon those contents until you've got what's so valuable, as well as for that substance being easily containable under a relatively slight pressure, especially if that H2O was converted into H2O2, as H2O2 is openly stable on the nighttime surface of Venus, where on demand the H2O portion can be extract along with a rather enormous surplus volume of H2 also being created on demand (gee whiz folks, I wonder what anyone could possibly do with all of that nasty H2?).
Another noteworthy positive aspect of those relatively cool nighttime clouds is pertaining to their relatively efficient transmission of certain photon spectrums, such as the 350 nm to 450 nm ott to be of some interest, especially if your eyesight were that of an advanced nocturnal sort, not only having a magnitude 5 advantage above anything human but of seeing quite nicely within the 350 nm to 450 nm spectrum. Plants also seem to like near UV as well as those photons down to below 300 nm, not to mention being relatively tolerant of CO2, thus creating a reverse greenhouse enclosure or environment ott to be worth the effort, especially if you're the one growing hops and in charge of your planet's beer production, as the available energies as for accommodating all of that certainly isn't the dire problem as on Mars, if anything Venus has too much available energy, as naturally occurring and that's not even including anything CO2-->CO/O2 worth of conversion.
Now folks, or perhaps fellow village idiots, I have offered many (perhaps too many) pages on Venus heat, as well as pages dealing with the Venus atmosphere and upon all sorts of viable energy producing alternatives, I've even more than indicated how a variety of rigid airships would manage quite nicely, as their navigating about a relative cool (considering the terrific pressure) of their nighttime world, as within that crystal clear nighttime and highly buoyant ocean of mostly CO2, possibly even exceeding those cool nighttime cloud elevations as for their having another disappointing look-see at pathetic old Earth, where they continue to wonder how bad can we possibly get ourselves into such a mess, with so many warlords running amuck and, of planes intentionally flying into tall buildings simply because of such issues as the 6-Day war massacre of so many prisoners was oddly considered by some as unacceptable (somewhat like the Pope exterminating those millions of Cathars over nothing but power and greed, unless perchance those Cathars weren't sufficiently gay), as now we seem to have ourselves warlord Bush playing God, by inventing WMDs, except that this pagan God needs nearly all of your energy reserves and nothing had better stand in his way.
It seems that I can recall something vaguely familiar from one of those pleasant times (pre 9/11), when our brave new commander and chief Bush was asking of agencies such as NASA to basically sucking it in, as in their having to make due with far less while accomplishing more as well as achieving all of that much faster. Sounded good to be, as even that was way back when there was an enormous federal surplus, as well as prior to the stock market being discovered as being so badly neglected by the Bush SEC, as well as before all of that nasty ENRON/Andersen and similar other fallout, as well as for being sufficiently prior to anything 9/11.
Perhaps the Boeing/TRW team of Phantom Works was not the only agency taking that statement of saving time and money seriously to heart, as obviously of their shuttle division was apparently doing their part at cutting every corner in sight but, obviously not cutting away any of those "nondisclosure" paper work bureaucracy corners, nor were they improving upon any inter-agency collaboration that might have salvaged our second bach of roasted shuttle astronauts. I'm not excluding those encharge of that external tank and of their flimsy foam insulation (even though I hardly can believe that's the culprit or even a significant factor), nor am I forgetting about the likes of flight-800, as that testy issue is most likely another DoD responsibility, thus not a direct involvement of anything NASA/NSA cloak and dagger, except for benefiting from all the polished cold-war "spin" and "damage control" talents applied, sort of by way of creating disinformation on steroids, as in keeping lids on tight, as otherwise some offal smelly stuff, like the Apollo ruse could ooze it's way out.
OK, OK already; there's way too many words again. This page was intended for those insisting that we should only be contemplating what Mars has to offer and, I've re-stated that I'll concur (at least positively expensive) that there's certainly a few positive worthy considerations for our looking at Mars, short of our actually going there as to set foot upon and of retrieving potentially nasty as well as lethal Mars microbes is where I've draw those DMZ lines, as that's pure insanity as well as more than busting the bank and, for what?
I tend to believe that even our looking at Mars is almost as bad as for looking at Pluto, where that pathetic dry-ice-ball Pluto seems to offer the same moral justification, which is nearly squat nothing but, at least Pluto is a million light years closer than most of what Hubble has been looking at and, I don't even want to waste my dyslexic thoughts nor words talking about all of those trillions already blown on Hubble, as I can't even imagine upon what other good for humanity would have easily been achieved as of a decade ago on that much mula, not to mention the carnage avoidance by defusing the sorts of 9/11 fiasco. That's not hindsight, it's pure and simple logic, the sort of logic that's entirely missing from the current administration as well of several in the past and, there's absolutely no light at the end of this administration's very dark tunnel, or perhaps this tunnel has actually turned itself into another one of those black holes, as either way there's no light coming out nor within.
Now for the "Mars/Venus manifesto" part;
We can continue upon the rather testy routes as our trusty warlords Bush and Blair have planned for our futures, or we can say enough is enough, sort of like putting a stop to yet another cock fight, for that of rather teaching the better/finer points of life that oddly do not have to include cock fights. It seems only understandable that of exterminating Palestinians' or of any other Islamic or Muslim heathen is not, as such, going to help Earth's humanity along the way of actually resolving difficult issues (just asking the Pope about those Cathars ott to represent a clear and hidden danger) instead, I'm suggesting upon a somewhat new focus that's offering a series of obtainable as well as affordable goals, of opportunity that will hopefully circumvent all of the past cloak and dagger aspects of NASA/NSA/DoD, to the point of being fully capable of restoring a sense of morality and of sufficient worth to humanity, as to the point of delivering wholesome enterprise capable of paying restitutions wherever such is owed. It may be too late for Hitler but, it's not too late for the more recent warlords and even of the current Pope, nor of those two blood thirsty Nobel Peace Award winning freaks, to start mending our past and move on, into a better future that could be including planetary neighbors of some really nice sorts, even if they should turn out being Cathar lizard folk, or I'll even remain receptive to new evidence of Martian folk that merely need to be carefully thawed out (so what? can't possibly be any worse off than of what we've got to work with on Earth).
For those that insist upon going but only after Mars at all cost, perhaps the one positive best thing we can safely accomplish remotely for Mars, that'll also benefit Earth, is to send that planet all of our heat-generating nuclear waste. At least that's worth starting a small energy/heat resource that's going to interact positively with something. Since ambient radiation is already off the scales for anything human or of life as we know it to be living on Mars, there's no harm done by inducing that frozen planet with a little terraforming kick-start towards thawing out. Exactly how we'd ever safely get that nasty stuff away from Earth in the first place is unknown by this village idiot's way of thinking, though I'm as open for suggestions as the next loon.
If you or your friends have better ideas as to what we should do about neighboring planets such as Mars or Venus, now would be a good time to take stock of what we have to work with and, of what promise if any there is for Earth's humanity.