Thursday, December 5, 2013

Frivolous But A New And Exciting Reason To Revisit The Moon

This is actually Part 1 of a writing project I've been developing for some time. One might call my putting forth this idea a type of proposal---what I consider a fresh new approach in dealing with an ongoing disillusionment among space enthusiasts. Since the days of Apollo there's been an intense desire to do something to recapture the passion and excitement of even being in space similar to what we saw in the 1960's. Could what I share here potentially be the answer and solution to ignite such an excitement once again? I'll allow my readers to decide. --Robert B Richards

Why does mankind climb the highest mountain or descend to the greatest depth of the sea? Why does man relentlessly seek to break new ground pushing against obstacles of seeming impossibilities to arrive at a new plateau of discovery? Why?   Because he loves a challenge! Without one the human spirit will stagnate leaving it to wade through a tedious existence of having no spark or interest in life. Some have compared such a state as to being a people who are dead while they yet live...walking dead men. This should never be. Man needs to fight against it and not be content with mundane mediocrity. Pushing forward, advancing with a passion along with the pursuit of excellence....I'd say they're the very badges of the human experience. We have come a long way. 

We've went from horses and buggies, to jet airplanes, to rockets and also to spacecrafts setting down on foreign worlds. While man has paid a personal visit to the Moon he has yet to do the same on the nearby planets such as Venus or Mars except by the means of robotic ships. Man's desire to do so personally has waned considerably due to the myriad number of difficulties such missions would pose . Just recently it's been assessed that a manned mission to Mars in one year would expose astronauts to an exceedingly dangerous amount of radiation so much so that with present technology it'd render the moving ahead of such missions precarious to say the least.  There is I'd think as well the psychological aspect that needs to be considered. What's man's capacity to endure such a voyage of 54.6 million km lasting approximately over 450 days.

True, astronauts have spent as long as six months in the orbiting space station but in knowing all along one could re-enter the earth's atmosphere and be on the ground in a  short period of time doesn't necessarily demonstrate a level of endurance one would need for the far off regions of space.  In other words what of the possibility of an astronaut becoming prone to extreme anxiety...a panic attack?  Maybe this or maybe that but shouldn't mankind have a right to test out it's limits? Perhaps and I'm sure we will but when it comes to Mars I'd hope it'd only be in a limited fashion. Mankind does want an adventure however. They want to be able to say they've put their foot on Mars. A few missions would satisfy this wistful ambition and for the astronauts sake I'd hope they'd more or less be similar to the Apollo type---there and come right back. 

Allow robots to do more of the extensive research. One might ask couldn't Mars be recreated to produce agriculture under some type of dome city?  Perhaps, but couldn't achieving such be actually done faster and more efficiently through the use of advanced robotic systems? Yes men want to expand out into space but wouldn't the resources spent on a so called "Martian colony" be better spent on developing more advanced propulsion systems that would actually take men to the stars? Let's face it...that's where men truly want to go...and too much of a manned Martian program could actually serve as a distraction. That being said it seems that space is still calling us for at least some involvement. What could it be? Maybe we should look out of the box and consider a different approach?
What I propose might be viewed as ludicrous and frivolous to the ninth degree but it could none the less gain widespread support with financial backing to be derived from many sources none of which would be from the public purse. In fact using the tax payers money would not be deemed as acceptable even by those of us who would put forth the plan. Resources would readily be made available from the private sector who'd be most eagerly to provide it. Why so? For the reason they know full well the things that make the world go around aren't necessarily items of great substantial importance but rather at times the thing that merely entertain. One rightly could say sports makes the world go around.
 When one considers things like World Cup Soccer, NFL football, sail boat and auto racing we can see the human race is moved in mass with excitement with things seemingly frivolous. No it's not just serious things but rather fun things that get men's attention. So what's this have to do with space? I'll state three words and I'm sure you'll get it. Here they are, 'Checkered Flag Moon" . Now think about that. What type of picture comes to mind as you consider the import of such words? A checkered flag obviously is waved at the winners of a race and to wave such a flag on the moon...what would such mean?  I think you get the picture. I'm proposing car or buggy races on the Moon, for Out Of This World Entertainment! I propose a plan to create a moon trail, a road or course covering thousands of miles on the lunar surface.
There's been earthbound races which have been carried out across continents upon Earth. The same could be duplicated in regions on the Moon. The course could take approximately 30 days to complete beginning at the time of one full moon and being finished at the next.  I said mankind likes a challenge? A checkered flag event on the Moon would surely ignite a new type of passion to look at the moon as a high place of adventurism also allowing mankind to stretch its legs with new technologies and innovative ways of doing things. Yes I'm sure scientific purist might seek to marginalize such a purpose for moon activity but could  they even be benefited by the implementation of such a vision?  I'd think so.  
Consider that projects of a scientific nature could be piggybacked with what I call Project Moon Clear...moon clear meaning the clearing of a trail on the lunar surface. Such might make it a win-win situation for all involved. Who knows...perhaps you might even see lunar mountain climbing which would require developing a whole new set of talent and skill. There is after all Mount Mons Huygens which is approximately the same height as the Earth's Mount Everest. Yes mankind needs to do something in space but is there any reason the basic motivation for doing so couldn't be for more of an entertaining purpose? I'd say it could. Is it a different approach? 
Yes, but imagine how extremely exciting and inspirational it'd be for generations to come. Man had an exciting vision in the 60's for space. We stand at the threshold to offer him another. It awaits us if have the courage to think out of the box. Man can become 'moon conscious' again and each time it rises up from the east especially on the full moon events all will be reminded we can reach up and achieve great dreams even within the present generation. They are within our reach! It'll be the fantasy of the young that yes....someday even they might be the winner of the Annual Lunar Race! It will ultimately be touted as excitement, and entertainment which is out of this world. Checkered Flag Moon...Let The Race Begin!

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