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Re: Mission to Mars

From: Nyrath the nearly wise <nyrath@c...>
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 07:01:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Mission to Mars wrote:
> The story is pretty accurate science-wise. 

	I beg to differ. <grin>

	In zero gee, making a helix composed of M&M candies
	*revolve* ??!!?  Only if the director never
	heard of Newton's First Law.  Or if there was
	an invisible black hole in the center, stretched
	into a line.

	Spacesuit thrust jets at shoulder level.  I guess
	they like doing somersaults in space.
	You do remember in Heinlein's STARSHIP TROOPERS
	how he mentioned that the powered armor suit jets
	had their axis of thrust passing through the center of mass?

	A plot device that depends on the concept of inertia,
	followed by an attempted rescue that violates the concept
	of intertia.  At the least the director should have been

	And don't forget the Face on Mars.  Even though the
	latest NASA photos show that it is just another cliff.

	The astronauts view a computer graphic of a DNA molecule
	inside a spaceship that cannot take off because all the
	computers are fried.
	I guess that the mission designers decided to  EMP harden
	important things like remote controlled toy cars, while
	ignoring trival things like ship computers.

	And the magic canvas greenhouse.  Earth atmospheric
	pressure inside, Mars atmospheric pressure outside.
	We are asked to believe that canvas can hold in pressure
	amounting to about one ton per square foot.  Yeah, right.
	And even if it did it would be under so much tension that
	it would never ever *flap in the breeze*.
	The greenhouse also ignores a few other scientific facts:
	[1] There is no water vapor in the Martian atmosphere. None.
	[2] The sunlight at Mars is half that at Earth, and it is
	being filtered through canvas.	Plants can live off that?
	[3] Canvas cannot create the greenhouse effect.  You need
	something transparent to visible light and reflective to
	infared light.	Canvas doesn't cut it.	Especially when
	the average temperature on the Martian surface is something
	like seventy degrees below zero.

	Nice happy ending as well.  The astronauts merrily travel
	home to Earth, on a trip that takes a minimum of six
	months, in a ship that has no food.  Have fun while you
	starve to death.  Then draw straws to see who gets eaten.

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