CAPTIONED Mars Underground (Robert Zubrin, 2007) 1 of 5.flv


Uploaded by BattyFred on 07.06.2011

Transcript:
At the dawn of the 21st century, space agencies in Europe and America
began making plans to land the first humans on Mars.
But manned missions to the red planet have been proposed before.
For some, Mars holds the answers to mankind's future in space.
Others say Mars is too far, too dangerous, and too expensive for humans to explore.
Astronautical engineer Dr. Robert Zubrin
has been arguing for years
that sending humans to Mars is the mission the space program needs.
>> ZUBRIN: It's time that we set goals for NASA,
that we're worthy of the risks of human spaceflight.
Mars is the next logical step in our space program.
It's the challenge that's been staring us in the face for the past 30 years.
It's the planet that's most like the Earth.
It's the planet that has on it the resources needed to support life
and therefore someday technological civilization,
It's the planet that will provide us with the answer as to whether life is prevalent
in the universe, or exclusive to the Earth.
and it's the planet that will give us the critical tests as to whether humanity
can break out of the planet of our birth and become a space-faring species.
>> This is the story of our cold neighboring planet, and the debate of whether man's fate
is tied to the Red World.
It's the story of an engineer's journey, and the battle of ideas over which direction in
space will truly benefit mankind.
>> ZUBRIN: We're at a crossroads today.
We either muster the courage to go, or we risk the possibility of stagnation and decay.
>> The victor is this debate could determine the fate of mankind.
Will we become a space-faring species?
Will we live on more than one planet?
>> ZUBRIN: I was five when Sputnik flew,
and while to the adults Sputnik was a terrifying event,
to me, as a child, who was already reading science-fiction, it was exhilirating.
'Cause it meant that this possibility of a space-faring future was going to be real.
And I was nine when Kennedy gave his speech
committing us to the Moon.
>> KENNEDY: We choose to go the Moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because
they are easy, but because they are hard.
>> ZUBRIN: I grew up during the 60s, when it was Mercury, it was Gemini, it was Apollo.
Every month NASA was doing something
more impressive than in the month before.
We were gonna be on the moon by 1970,
Mars by 1980, Saturn by 1990,
Alpha Centuari by the year 2000.
We were moving out, and I wanted to be part of that.
And so I got myself a scientific education.
But then, in the early 70's, this all collapsed.
We achieved the first part of that program -- Moon by 1970 --
but the Nixon administration shut down the rest and we did not move out into space.
And for a while, I accepted that, grudgingly, and became a science teacher.
But then, in the early 80's, something hit me, and I said "I'm not going to accept myself
doing less than what I had dreamed of doing when I was a boy."
>> Zubrin went back to graduate school,
getting advanced degrees in engineering and aerospace.
He then went on to work at Martin Marietta, which later became Lockheed Martin,
designing interplanetary missions.
It was here that Zubrin's obsession with the red planet began to take hold.
>> ZUBRIN: Mars is where the future is.
Mars is the closest planet to the Earth that has on it all the resources needed to support
life
and therefore technological civilization.
It has water, it has carbon, it has nitrogens.
It has a 24-hour day.
It has a complex geological history that has created mineral ore.
It has sources of geothermal energy. Mars is a place we can settle.
One reason for such optimism over a frozen world like Mars
is evidence that two billion years ago, Mars was a much warmer and wetter place.
>> BOSTON: We think at one time in the ancient past
Mars was very similar to the condition of early Earth.
>> This Martian warm-age lasted for over a billion years and could have been a suitable
environment for the development of life.
>> McKAY: If we go to Mars and find evidence of a second genesis on Mars,
I think we can conclude that the universe is full of life.
We can probably conclude that on some planets that life evolves to more complex forms,
and I think we'd be reasonable to conclude that
intelligence could also emerge on some planets as well.
It, it really does answer the question "Are we alone?"
And that, to me, is a question that transcends science.
It's a, philosophical, societal, as well as scientific question.
To me, that's the big prize. That's what, why Mars is interesting.
That's why human exploration makes sense.
>> ZUBRIN: There are those who say that we have many problems
to deal with here on Earth,
and we need to postpone ventures such as the human exploration on Mars
until these problems are solved.
But, we also have to think of the future.
We also have to think about opening up new volumes in human history.
>> FRIEDMAN: There's a phrase that happened in the Apollo program,
which was "If we can go the moon, we can ____"
and then everybody just filled in what they were interested in.
"Build mass transit", "cure cancer", do this do that.
The point is, it did give us a sense that we could accomplish great things,
it did bring out the best of us.
>> WEILER: We excited a generation of engineers and scientists,
the generation that build the computers and cell phones and all the technology
everybody uses today and takes for granted.
ZUBRIN: If we set humans to Mars as our goal, we'll get millions of new scientists
that will create new inventions, new industries.
This is the enormous payback,
and we can get it if we set the kind of challenge
that will inspire the youth.
>> To Zubrin, civilizations, like people, thrive on challenge and decay without it.
>> ZUBRIN: We have everything we have today
because of our predecessors who had the courage
to leave the world of the known
and go out into the wilderness and build new cities