Robert Zubrin uses his vision of the past to extol his vision for the future, but he never allows himself to go off on a tangent. He has the ability to provoke laughter, but also to incite outrage in his single-minded approach to Mars exploration: that it trumps other purposes of the U.S. space program.
Outspoken scientist makes case for Mars The Daily Press
Legislators debate merits of Mars mission The Daily Press
Some key lawmakers expressed reservations Wednesday about President Bush’s new space mission, questioning the cost and benefits of manned travel to the moon and Mars. Leaders of the House Science Committee said they were not yet prepared to endorse a plan when there are so many unanswered questions about its price tag, affordability and impact on NASA science and aeronautics programs.
Ryan McGlothlin takes a sugar-like powder, stirs in a substance that resembles flour, pours the mix into a mold and bakes it. The end result is not a cake but a small, shiny, black bar designed to shield against radiation. The “sugar” really is polyethylene, and the “flour” is a gray topsoil. McGlothlin, a chemistry major at the College of William and Mary, and chemistry department chairman Richard Kiefer are using those ingredients to develop a material to make bricks that would protect astronauts against radiation on Mars. They are working with aerospace researcher Sheila Thibeault at NASA Langley Research Center in nearby Hampton.