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Bill Nye: How NASA Can Get Humans to Mars by 2033

NASA could get a crew of astronauts to orbit Mars by 2033 without increasing its budget beyond the rate of inflation, says Bill Nye the Science Guy. That's exciting news.

Bill Nye: NASA could put humans in orbit around Mars in the year 2033 – 2033 is not arbitrary. It’s when there’s a pretty good orbit - there’s pretty good orbits happening often enough - but 2033 is a real good orbit of the Earth and Mars. So you could get humans in orbit around Mars without raising the NASA budget beyond letting it increase with inflation, which is an increase but not an extraordinary one.

 Furthermore, in order to pull this off without any increase in the NASA budget, everybody has to stick to these agreements that NASA will no longer be the lead funder or supporter of the International Space Station. They’re going to retire the space station or let commercial entities take it over.

But if you did that, really stuck to the agreements and you let the NASA budget increase with inflation you could have humans orbiting Mars in 2033. If the Mars 2020 rover is enabled to land in a place where there might be salty water - or ancient salty water - and were to discover evidence of life, perhaps we would accelerate that schedule.

And as we say if you really have a plan to really put humans orbiting Mars in 2033 which would enable them to land two, three or four years later to land on Mars. People would come out of everywhere to volunteer for that mission. We’d have astronauts. We’d have mission controllers. We’d have engineers. We’d have venture capitalists enabling new technologies to be sold to NASA or other space stations.

If you included other space agencies around the world – Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. Chinese space agency, even which is politically difficult but nevertheless possible. Any space research organization – JAXA, the Japanese aerospace exploration agency. If you included all those guys you could lower the price for NASA and then really enable humans to get there in new, cool ways.

The reason though, everybody, is not to go live on Mars. That’s just beyond – they just haven’t thought through how difficult that is. When there’s nothing to breathe, not just nothing to drink or eat but nothing to breathe it makes it complicated. But if you were to find evidence of life it would change the course of human history. Not overnight but over the course of months and years. Everybody would get to thinking about what it means to be a living thing in the cosmos and it would change us. 

 

NASA could get a crew of astronauts to orbit Mars by 2033 without increasing its budget beyond the rate of inflation, says Bill Nye the Science Guy. That's exciting news.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

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Dinosaur bone? Meteorite? These men's wedding bands are a real break from boredom.

Manly Bands wanted to improve on mens' wedding bands. Mission accomplished.

Sex & Relationships
  • Manly Bands was founded in 2016 to provide better options and customer service in men's wedding bands.
  • Unique materials include antler, dinosaur bones, meteorite, tungsten, and whiskey barrels.
  • The company donates a portion of profits to charity every month.
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Conspicuous consumption is over. It’s all about intangibles now

These new status behaviours are what one expert calls 'inconspicuous consumption'.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Tiffany
Politics & Current Affairs
In 1899, the economist Thorstein Veblen observed that silver spoons and corsets were markers of elite social position.
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