Re: To Mars 2
Mon, 2 Mar 1998 04:42:00 -0800 (PST)

Charlie Stross wrote:
>Yes, my life is better because of velcro, pocket calculators, medical
>telemetry, teflon, hang gliders, and all the other things that showed up
>in the wake of the apollo R&D loading. But I suspect we'd have got them
>without the $25Bn price tag in any event.

Just for the record, neither ICs, teflon or velcro were products of Apollo
research, and hang-gliders came from Gemini research (though NASA did have
tentative plans to use hang-gliders to return Saturn stages to Earth for
reuse). I've seen some moderately convincing arguments that the most
important thing to come out of Apollo was the ability to manage such large

Personally I can't see much of a reason to go to Mars, except as tourists
or with the intention of dismantling it and turning it into something more
useful. I thought Gerrard O'Neill pretty much settled the argument on
planets vs habitats decades ago.