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Curiosity – 5:30pm

Written By: - Date published: 3:40 pm, August 6th, 2012 - 106 comments
Categories: International, science - Tags: , , ,

At around 5:30pm this evening Curiosity will either touch down safely on Mars, or make (another) expensive smudge on the surface. Various links below – tune in. Good luck Curiosity…

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/participate/

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/120805-nasa-tv-mars-landing-rover-curiosity-science-how-watch-see/

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/370520/20120805/nasa-mars-landing-curiosity-live-stream-watch.htm

106 comments on “Curiosity – 5:30pm”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    I find it good that enthusiasm for space exploration seems to be increasing again after the doldrums it’s been in for the last couple of decades.

    Or it’s that the MSM are feeding us this to cover the lack of news coverage that they actually do.

  2. Kotahi Tāne Huna 2

    A “sky crane”????

    Top marks for imagination.

    • r0b 2.1

      It’s a clever idea. Even cleverer if it works.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Yeah – half a million lines of code for the landing sequence running on electronics and hardware that has been frozen and then carefully warmed up in circumstances that’d be nigh well impossible to reproduce in test scenarios. Ummm….

        Mind you if it all works, then it will be a stunning achievement. Probably far more than most people will realize…

        • r0b 2.1.1.1

          I really feel for the programmers and mission controllers. One shot, impossible to test, all the blame if it fails, no attention if it succeeds.

          Ahh but if it does succeed, how cool is that!

          • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1.1.1

            In our cold uncaring quantum universe this type of project does cheer one up. One of the few reasons for having a long life, to see how some of it turns out. Peter Higgs would have been grinning for days.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.2

            And waiting 14 minutes, which is an astoundingly short time really, but Laaaaaaagg.

          • lprent 2.1.1.1.3

            Was kind of amusing watching the various teams looking VERY relieved as their part of the sequence worked.

            That was pretty damn amazing. I was somewhat freaked this morning reviewing the landing sequence…

  3. Awesome.

    I nearly cried during the live stream from CERN when the Higgs was announced so if this succeeds I am imagine I’ll get weepy…..yes, I am a real science geek. 

  4. King Kong 4

    I for one am against this.

    It is just a thinly disguised right wing imperial plot.

    Peacefull science mission today then heavilly armed at-at walkers decimating the locals tommorow.

    This is the thin end of the wedge I tell you.

  5. shorts 5

    as an unemployed father of four – where does one sign up for work on an at-at walker?

  6. joe90 6

    I’m watching the NASA stream.

    http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/ustream.html?curiosity

    And a metafilter post with a bucket load of links relevant to Curiosity.

    http://www.metafilter.com/118584/Oh-man-look-at-those-cavemen-go

  7. Pascal's bookie 8

    Go the parachute.

  8. joe90 9

    http://twitter.com/MarsCuriosity

    Parachute deployed! Velocity 900 mph. Altitude 7 miles. 4 minutes to Mars!

  9. Pascal's bookie 11

    Touchdown confirmed. Continuuing to recieve telemetry. You magnificent bastards.

  10. Colonial Viper 12

    Wow a few peeps in that control room seemed pretty happy 😀

  11. Colonial Viper 13

    Its at moments like this you remember why the USA has been such a magnificent, great nation.

    • Tiger Mountain 13.1

      Ahem, and so was the USSR. Space is now another corporate opportunity. But great to be able to view this event regardless.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        NB Russia can still send men into orbit, the USA has lost that ability 😉

    • Te Reo Putake 13.2

      Yep, it’s a triumph of their free enterprise system, fer sure. Oh, wait … 😉
       
      Loved the old hippy looking dude, I think he only took the gig at NASA coz the Dead stopped touring.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.3

      We could do the same thing if we decided to invest in researching and producing stuff rather than concentrating on farming, house speculation and capital gains.

    • muzza 13.4

      Get some cold water on those hard ons fellas eh…

  12. It’s amazing what the Human imagination is capable of! Faaaan-bloody-tastic!! (played Jeff Wayne’s “War of the Worlds”)

    Now if only we can do something equally imaginative back home. with all our problems…

    Left our good wishes on the JPL Facebook site. http://www.facebook.com/NASAJPL

  13. bad12 17

    Yeah that a good one from Nasa, space the final frontier and all that, a total facination, some primitive echo from deep within me likens it to going home,

    And for the next amazing trick?, How bout tests show that there is liquid H2O in the Martian soil, the chemical composition of the soil and atmosphere is a known and thus the same conditions can be recreated as a sealed enviroment back here to test what plant life will grow in such conditions,

    Next machine down to the Mars surface an automated seed drill complete with seeds???…

  14. lostinsuburbia 18

    I understand that NASA’s next mission is to send a probe to the National Party headquarters to see if they can find intelligent life….

    • bad12 18.1

      Cross the fingers it aint old Lizard Eyes Nick Smith that gets the honor of probing, it’s a given that if that happened the result would be a finding of only primitive amoeba having been discovered…

    • prism 18.2

      lis 18
      😀

  15. weka 19

    At the risk of becoming a pariah here, how do you all reconcile this with the looming energy, climate, economic and environmental crises?

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      You appreciate it all the more because we’re not going to be able to do much more than this, for much longer.

      By the way, the US Viking Program put a lander on Mars in 1976. You might notice that 35 years later, they’ve just achieved essentially the same thing, albeit with more up to date technology and a wider mission.

      • weka 19.1.1

        You appreciate it all the more because we’re not going to be able to do much more than this, for much longer.
         

        Understandable.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.2

      how do you all reconcile this with the looming [1] energy, [2] climate, [3] economic and [4] environmental crises?

      Easy:
      1.) Space program doesn’t use that much energy. Effective power down will save far more (of course, we’re not actually doing that yet but I’m sure we’ll get around to it).
      2.) While the initial launch would have produced some pollution most of it would have been water.
      3.) We’re not actually having an economic crisis yet – we’re having a financial crisis.
      4.) This is a bit more of a concern considering the destructive mining techniques used to get the resources to actually build the spaceship.

      • weka 19.2.1

        1) did you include all energy costs eg manufacture, running costs of infrastructure etc?
         
        2) again, any cc related pollution audit would need to take into account total outputs, not just launch.
         
        3) point taken but I did say ‘looming’
         
        4) I was more thinking of the money/time/energy/scientific development being better spent elsewhere.

        • Draco T Bastard 19.2.1.1

          1.) Most of the infrastructure is in place and mostly used for other stuff. The space program would be a small diversion of that existing energy use.
          2.) See 1.)
          3.) I’m reasonably certain that even after the economic crisis hits we’ll still be able to afford a space program.
          4.) You may not have noticed but a hell of a lot of information about the climate comes from NASA. In fact, if it wasn’t for the space program we probably wouldn’t know as much as we do. A ‘space program’ covers a hell of a lot more than just a few space ships which is why I think we (NZ) need one with at least $1b/year government funding.

          • TheContrarian 19.2.1.1.1

            “You may not have noticed but a hell of a lot of information about the climate comes from NASA. In fact, if it wasn’t for the space program we probably wouldn’t know as much as we do. A ‘space program’ covers a hell of a lot more than just a few space ships which is why I think we (NZ) need one with at least $1b/year government funding.”

            This one rover mission cost over 3b NZD. Plus we have to build it, train people, house everyone, feed everyone, educate everyone, mine everything, provide everything for everyone from our own resources (this is of course what Draco has suggested NZ should do)

            You can’t have it all, Draco.

            • McFlock 19.2.1.1.1.1

              True.
              Let’s regulate the finance companies better so they don’t have to be bailed out. That’d sort us for most of the costs.
              Increase income tax levels to be more in line with Aus, an FTT and a CGT would fund the needed social services expenditure.
                   
              Hell, we can have it all – except for growing inequality and financial traders who have minimal oversight. Those we will have to drop, sadly. 

            • Draco T Bastard 19.2.1.1.1.2

              This one rover mission cost over 3b NZD.

              And took how many years to develop?

              You can’t have it all

              Yes, actually, we can. We presently produce more food than we can eat using a small fraction of the population. Same goes for housing, training and mining. Thing is, if we actually limited our economy to provide only that which we need as far as those essentials go we could actually have a hell of a lot more than we do now as we wouldn’t be wasting so much of our economy producing cheap food to buy expensive toys. Back 30 years ago when we actually had a major manufacturing sector the service sector made up only about 5% to 10% of the economy, now it makes up about 30% which really is a huge waste of resources. Do more stuff, be richer and all we have to do is sacrifice McDs. I think we can live with that.

              • weka

                We presently produce more food than we can eat using a small fraction of the population.
                 

                But only because we’re strip mining the fertility from the soil that was built up over millennia. It ain’t going to last. Wanting to run a space program when we are likely to struggle to feed ourselves some time this century is a very strange idea. But even if that weren’t true, there are still better things to spend our money/time/energy on.
                 
                 

                • Weka, I think you may find that the space programme spends only a fraction on the most colossal waste of time, money, and energy in human history; the arms trade.

                  At least with the space programme, we’re furthering the boundaries of our collective knowledge.

                  With the arms trade, we’re creating novel ways to slaughter each other.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  But only because we’re strip mining the fertility from the soil that was built up over millennia.

                  There’s a solution to that, one that’s been known for centuries:

                  1.) Only produce enough food for us so we’re no longer strip mining the nutrients
                  2.) Once we’ve finished with the produce we treat it and then return it to the soil using suitable field rotation so that the earth can fully reintegrate the nutrients (no more need of artificial fertilisers)
                  3.) Make sure our population never goes above what the land can support

                  Throw in renewable power generation to run the electric tractors and we still only use a small fraction of the population to feed ourselves. Besides, farming has always resulted in lots of people with nothing to do. It’s how civilisation developed, how the sciences came to be understood etc etc so even if we were back to the same productivity that the Romans had 2000 years ago (which isn’t going to happen) we’d still be able to support a space program.

                  But even if that weren’t true, there are still better things to spend our money/time/energy on.

                  You let people work where their interests lie and some people are going to want to do space. Probably several thousand in fact.

                  • weka

                    “There’s a solution to that, one that’s been known for centuries:”
                     
                    But not one that’s practiced on land that’s already been stripped mined (and they didn’t use electric tractors, for very good reasons). I understand what sustainable agriculture is, and I agree that stopping exporting food is crucial whatever we do next.
                     
                    However, see if you can produce one reputable source that shows NZ’s capacity to produce food sustainably, what the population would be, and how we would manage all our other needs within an acceptable footprint. AFAIK that work hasn’t been done yet.
                     

                    You let people work where their interests lie and some people are going to want to do space.
                     

                    At the moment, many want to make shit loads of money from growing and exporting industrial milk. Many also want to eat at McDs.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Unfortunately, the country can’t and won’t stop exporting food unless we want to cease buying items and energy from overseas.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      AFAIK that work hasn’t been done yet.

                      No it hasn’t and so it needs to be done. The fact that it hasn’t been done isn’t an argument against the basic premise.

                      At the moment, many want to make shit loads of money from growing and exporting industrial milk.

                      So? Regulation prevents over use of the land meaning that they can’t no matter how much they want to.

                      Many also want to eat at McDs.

                      But nobody wants to work there.

                      @Colonial Viper

                      Unfortunately, the country can’t and won’t stop exporting food unless we want to cease buying items and energy from overseas.

                      We’d need a transition period but the sooner we start it the sooner we finish it.

                    • weka

                      No it hasn’t and so it needs to be done. The fact that it hasn’t been done isn’t an argument against the basic premise.
                       

                      Er, yes it is. What you are proposing isn’t possible given peak oil, economics, the size of our population relative to land, the state of our agricultural sector and the fact that most of the population will have a very hard time getting its head around giving up their flat screen TVs (amongst many other things).
                      If we’re lucky we might successfully transition to a low energy society. Transitioning to sustainable food production will take time, and then we won’t have cheap oil to build the wind farms to power the electric tractors, let alone build spaceships.
                       

                      At the moment, many want to make shit loads of money from growing and exporting industrial milk.

                      So? Regulation prevents over use of the land meaning that they can’t no matter how much they want to.
                       

                      Right, but in this brave new world where people have accepted sustainability as a baseline, they’re willing to let the last of our precious metal resources be sent into space? Resources that will be needed by generations to come? I don’t think so.

                      Sorry, but none of this stacks up, not the economics, the resources, or the politics.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And at the fundamentals, it’s actually the psychology which doesn’t stack up. The psyche of the modern, growth expecting, convenience seeking consumer is (very) badly adapted cope with what needs to be done over the next 20 years.

                    • weka

                      Yep.
                       

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      @CV
                      Well then, we need to change the psychological make up of society. We do that all the time.

                      @weka

                      Er, yes it is.

                      No it’s not.

                      What you are proposing isn’t possible given peak oil, economics, the size of our population relative to land, the state of our agricultural sector and the fact that most of the population will have a very hard time getting its head around giving up their flat screen TVs (amongst many other things).

                      Don’t need oil, economics is the distribution of scarce resources not the movement of money and we have the resources and agriculture needs to decline so as to protect the environment. Won’t be giving up flat screen TVs. They may not have two or more to a house but we can still have them. As I’ve been saying, we have the resources and the knowledge needed to make our own. Such knowledge also goes towards the space program. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the US space program we probably wouldn’t have them today.

                      Transitioning to sustainable food production will take time, and then we won’t have cheap oil to build the wind farms to power the electric tractors, let alone build spaceships.

                      Don’t need oil to do that. Sure, makes it easier but we don’t need it.

                      …they’re willing to let the last of our precious metal resources be sent into space?

                      Two things:
                      1.) We won’t be. Even at present rates of consumption it’s going to be centuries before we (NZ) even start look at running our metal resources dry. The biggest problem will be mining them without oil but there are ways around that to.
                      2.) There’s resources in space that we can start bringing back which don’t come with all that environmental damage that comes with mining on Earth.

                    • “They may not have two or more to a house but we can still have them. As I’ve been saying, we have the resources and the knowledge needed to make our own. Such knowledge also goes towards the space program. ”

                      Quite frankly that is delusional. Some of the materials involved, the precious metals, do not exist in NZ or, if the do, need to be extracted in such a manner as to strip mine large chunks of land for very small, an economical, amounts.

                      This has been pointed out to you several times.

                      “There’s resources in space that we can start bringing back which don’t come with all that environmental damage that comes with mining on Earth.”

                      We are decades away from that.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      This has been pointed out to you several times.

                      Really? I haven’t seen them so point them out to me.

                      BTW, I assume you mean rare earth metals rather than “precious metals”.

                      We are decades away from that.

                      So the earlier we start the better.

                    • Without trawling through the archives Draco you’ll remember the discussion you have with higherstandard (I believe it was) and myself about the manufacturing of surgical equipment in New Zealand. And I have also discussed with you the feasibility of this also re: New Zealand having little in the way of radioactive materials. Don’t play dumb.

                      “There’s resources in space that we can start bringing back which don’t come with all that environmental damage that comes with mining on Earth.”

                      We are decades away and no matter how soon we start we are still going to have to find our own rare metals first and construct, test and more than likely lose many probes before getting it right. Metals NZ doesn’t have without significant investment in mining

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Oh, that short spiel where I proved you wrong by linking to the official geo-data. Got it. IIRC, I even said that I supported building a research reactor for the medical supplies.

                      Metals NZ doesn’t have without significant investment in mining

                      And I’ve even said that I supported such mining. My biggest problem with most mining plans in NZ is that it ends up without NZ actually benefiting from it due to:
                      1.) It’s usually done by an offshore company that has the mining rights
                      2.) Which then sells the produce offshore for a huge profit usually in its raw format (little or no processing is actually done here)
                      3.) That huge profit is then also shipped offshore except for the minimal royalties we demand
                      4.) We then have to buy back the products produced from those resources at higher prices than what it would have cost to make them here

                      Private companies should not be benefiting from our resources (much better for us if the government did the mining) and raw resources should not be exported at all.

              • Indeed, Draco.

                On top of that, when we had our own manufacturing sector, we had low unemployment and few people on unemployment welfare.

                Now we have cheap showes from China – and a whopping huge social welfare bill with it. No wonder we can’t afford free tertiary education any more.

                So those “cheap” chinese shoes ain’t so cheap after all.

                Interestingly, Bernard Hickey said something about our non-productive service sector a few months back, He stated that having thousands of people working in service, retail, and other similar sectors was a drag on the economy because it wasn’t supporting a productive export sector…

              • bad12

                No please No, anything but macca’s, take Pizza-sh*t and Kentucky-turd, but please oh please leave us with our Macca’s…

  16. Kotahi Tāne Huna 20

    Yay! Amazing. Fantastic. Something for humans to be proud of.

  17. Adele 22

    Frankly, I am hoping that if there are Martians, they will tell humanity to keep the fuck off their planet.

    Until we learn to look after our own we should not be going anywhere near another planet.

  18. prism 23

    The graphic looks like parts of Blenheim in the dry summer. Why not spend the money frittered away on ‘nice to have’ science for rich kids and spend the money supplying watering systems that conserve water to poor countries? We don’t want to end up looking like Mars.

    The Sahara and such is similar with sand rolling ever on to make a good photo op of a dry area with great images of shadow and sand troughs and lines of people and camels in lonely stark isolation that’s almost as hostile as Mars.

    • joe90 23.1

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jul/12/senegal-great-green-wall

      Senegal is one of 11 countries in the Sahel region of Africa looking towards the same solution to the desertification problem: The Great Green Wall. The goal of the project is to plant a wall of trees, 4,300 miles long and 9 miles wide, across the African continent, from Senegal to Djibouti. African leaders hope the trees will trap the sands of the Sahara and halt the advance of the desert.

      P

    • weka 23.2

      That photo made me wince, because it’s similarity to places we’ve created :-( Glad the irony wasn’t lost on quite everyone prism.

    • Draco T Bastard 23.3

      Those poor countries are probably quite rich and are certainly quite capable of administering their own resources. Sure, help them with the knowledge they need to do that administration better but, other than that, leave them to it.

      • weka 23.3.1

        I think NZ has already demonstrated that its not capable of administering its own resources.

        • Colonial Viper 23.3.1.1

          Partly disagree here. NZ was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to electrify. We did extremely well with our natural resources and infrastructure planning between the 1930’s and the 1960’s. (Much credit goes to the MoW and its forerunners which like idiots we broke up and sold off to the private sector).

          During WWII our vertically integrated rail systems kept the country running. The railways ran coal mines, forests, foundries, design offices and engineering workshops, virtually everything it needed to keep going, under its own control and co-ordination.

          Muldoon showed some vision on the transport and energy side of the equation, too.

          We were once a powerful nation in our own right.

        • Draco T Bastard 23.3.1.2

          We can but not under free-market capitalism. Free-market capitalism actually makes it impossible to manage the economy.

  19. joe90 24

    Just four more years until Juno arrives.

    • prism 24.1

      Juno – great technology, great expenditure. Poor people and infrastructure on earth for non-scientists and non-technocrats. Squillions spent on technology – thousands spent on humans and caring for our environment.

      And technology’s use – the drone planes – robot murderers from the sky, the stealth plane a black Darth Vader so expensive, to spy undetected. Some good things in the mix, but what a brew.

      A constant turning away from people, soft objects – to technology producing hard objects. Really an art installation of man’s death wish. No wonder that women and babies have to struggle for consideration and respect in this world.

  20. Richard Christie 25

    Awesome, NASA rocks,
    A shame William Pickering is no longer here to enjoy the Jet Propulsion Lab’s continuing triumphs.

  21. Carol 26

    The space beyond earth, is an imaginary space for humans to exercise their mental exploration of what might have been, and what might be in the future.

    I enjoy space fiction – it is a fertile site for the imagination to roam, especially when it is visualised on screen with accompanying sound effects.

    I rarely get excited by actual space exploration – I think it’s appeal to many is via imagination, but, for me, fiction does it better.

    It’ll be interesting if something is learned about the existence of life in the universe. But I still can’t get that excited about so much effort (and resources) for relatively limited gain.

    • lprent 26.1

      I’m far more interested in the geology than I am in the search for life. While I suspect that Mars did in fact have life from several billion years or more ago, I also suspect that its traces are going to be pretty hard to locate from the current surface.

      Like most of the early life (and the vast majority of current life) on earth most of the biomatter would have been and maybe still is well underground and away from the rather toxic environment on the surface.

      However the geology of the planet surface that hasn’t had the massive amount of rework that earth’s surface has had will in all liklihood reveal a lot about things that we simply can’t see on earth, but which are important to us now. In particular the interactions between atmosphere and rock are going to be massively easier to see on mars than they are on earth

  22. sophie 27

    Hope there are no cats on Mars.

  23. TT 28

    … meanwhile, as the USA spends billions on the pissing contest known as the space race, millions starve here on earth. Priorities?

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 28.1

      If it were a case of “either the space race or an end to starvation” you’d have a point, but it isn’t. The fact is that historically, there has been enough food to go around. It wasn’t NASA preventing it reaching the mouths that needed it, it was politics and war.

      NASA employees are also at the cutting edge of Climatology, which warns of the threat of genuine (as opposed to politically driven) future food shortages.

      We could all learn something from NASA’s priorities.

      • weka 28.1.1

        Climate isn’t really the issue though either. Humans can grow food in a wide range of climates. The problem is whether we can grow food sustainably and without cheap oil. In that sense the criticism of space exploration stands. We are wasting much, including critical time, by pursuing mars instead of looking at crucial issues like loss of soil.
         
        Is there a reason why NASA can’t study climate without going into space?
         

        • Draco T Bastard 28.1.1.1

          Yes, they need the satellites and being able to study the Martian climate helps to understand ours.

          • weka 28.1.1.1.1

            But it’s not necessary to go to Mars to understand our own climate.

            • Kotahi Tāne Huna 28.1.1.1.1.1

              Perhaps not, but it is inspiring, and will yield unexpected knowledge, and both of those things are “necessary”.

            • Draco T Bastard 28.1.1.1.1.2

              But it is necessary to go into space and so, while we’re there, we may as well go to Mars and get the extra data.

              • prism

                DTB
                Jokey Hen can use that argument. It is necessary for me to travel to Hawaii and while I’m in that part of the world I can look around and research and find out what’s going on under the surface and bring this life-giving knowledge back to NZ to aid us all. What a sweet excuse that sounds.

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 28.1.1.2

          “Humans can grow food in a wide range of climates.”

          A true statement. No-one has yet worked out how to get high crop yields from deserts.

          • weka 28.1.1.2.1

            We don’t need high yield crops, unless we want to run food production as commodities through a capitalist model. What we need is produce food that people eat and sustains them, and that can be done in a desert. Humans have been living in deserts for a very long time.
             
             
             

            • Kotahi Tāne Huna 28.1.1.2.1.1

              Well sure, apart from the fact that this scenario involves mass starvation before the new equilibrium is reached. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

              • weka

                You seem to think we have a choice about that. Which is ironic, given I am the one arguing for better use of the resources we have eg improving food security rather than doing space exploration.
                 
                The way we feed the world now is unsustainable. Even if peak oil weren’t in the picture we would be facing some serious problems from the loss of topsoil which is a direct result of modern farming practices (other cultures have lost arable land through farming practices too but they tend to do it over a much long time period and with less population pressure). We can’t keep doing what we are doing and increase population and go to space. 
                 
                We have a window of opportunity here, one that is rapidly shrinking. I understand the excitement and inspiration people feel about the mars landing. I just don’t see how that stacks up against the future we are facing. Yes we need inspiration, but only crazy people value that over survival needs.
                 
                http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/feb/14/science.environment
                 
                Note the date on that article. It’s not like we haven’t been warned.

                • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                  I am under no illusions about “choice”. I think the “window of opportunity” has closed. Adaptation is now far more important than mitigation, and with that in mind, NASA will have a very important role to play.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Which is ironic, given I am the one arguing for better use of the resources we have eg improving food security rather than doing space exploration.

                  The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Farming allows the population to be fed at a sustainable level using only a small fraction of the population which leaves people and resources available to do other things such as space exploration.

                  The big problem with food security is over population and increasing food production actually increases the over population. This is why it’s important that we find out just what the carrying capacity of the Earth and individual nations is and then communicate that to the individuals that make up those nations with the information about how to limit population growth (contraception, abortion etc). But even doing that would still leave enough resources to support a space program.

                  • prism

                    DTB
                    Space program – an expensive way for men to get far away from mundane tasks of being with family, doing the dishes and mowing the lawn.

            • prism 28.1.1.2.1.2

              weka
              I guess you have come across these names that have stayed in my memory as inspiring and achieving people in environmental matters.
              – Richard St Barbe Baker is a name to think of and here is link of one project – http://www.menofthetrees.com.au/
              In his retirement he lived in NZ till his death I think.

              Also – Wendy Campbell-Purdie is a name that should be known.
              http://www.primitivism.com/tree-of-life.htm
              She worked on the fringe of a desert planting trees that could handle the conditions and were strong growers and then crops under the shade of their canopies so there was less evaporation. She was very successful to get a working system established in a male-oriented area and rather corrupt political system.

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      "The Governments rough-shod approach to social housing in Auckland has forced the Minister to clarify and uphold his Treaty Settlement obligations to Ngati Whatua and Waikato-Tainui," says Labours Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.   “While it's a positive undertaking… ...
    11 hours ago
  • More housing humiliation for Nick Smith
    Nick Smith has been completely humiliated once again – this time by Ngāti Whātua who have used his blunders to their full advantage to extract an excellent deal for Aucklanders that the minister would never have developed himself, Labour’s Housing… ...
    12 hours ago
  • PM must stop making excuses for offensive MP
    John Key must stop dismissing the highly offensive behaviour of his Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson and publically reprimand him, Labour’s spokesperson for Woman Sue Moroney says. “Maurice Williamson’s behaviour at an Eagle Technology dinner was completely unacceptable. ...
    13 hours ago
  • Charter application skew assists rich American
    The Government has skewed the latest round of charter school applications to assist an American millionaire’s goal of ‘revolutionising” New Zealand’s education system, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ACT Leader David Seymour and Ngāi Tahu’s Sir Mark Solomon in… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Key’s refugee response at odds with Kiwi traditions
    John Key’s response to the current refugee crisis is out of step with New Zealand’s tradition of pulling its weight internationally, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 1999, under a National Government, New Zealand accepted more than 400… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Coromandel rallies against the TPPA
    On Wednesday, John Key visited the southern Coromandel area with local National MP Scott Simpson and was challenged by citizens who spontaneously organised protests against the Government position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). I went down to Waihi… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    16 hours ago
  • John Key: where is your conscience?
    The Prime Minister’s refusal to raise the refugee quota in the face of an international humanitarian crisis shows a lack of empathy and moral leadership, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “There are times in politics when you are faced with… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Report highlights National’s poor funding decisions
    The Government’s poor coordination between its transport strategy and the needs of the regions has been highlighted in a new report by Local Government New Zealand, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Local Government was forced to write its Mobilising… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government wakes up to Opotiki Harbour
    John Key is expected to finally announce Government support next week for the Opotiki Harbour development, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. "While it is astonishing that it has taken seven years for the Government to commit to this… ...
    2 days ago
  • New figures show speculators rampant
    New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank data shows mortgage lending was up 6 per… ...
    3 days ago
  • Spring is here – not pollen your leg
    It’s the first day of spring, and many people will be thinking about getting stuck into the weeds in the garden ready for planting. This year September is also Bee Aware Month. While there is a lack of movement from… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Government must do more to help global refugee crisis
    John Key must urgently increase our refugee quota and let New Zealand play its part in helping address the tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding around the world, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The refugee crisis in countries like Lebanon and Austria… ...
    3 days ago
  • The latest equal pay case – Go the Midwives
    ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Key’s threat to veto premature
    John Key’s threat that he might use a financial veto against the Bill that will introduce 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave is premature and based on inflated costings, says the bill’s sponsor, Labour ‘s Sue Moroney.  “The Government keeps saying… ...
    3 days ago
  • Reflections on the plastic bag tour
    After a marathon public tour around New Zealand that took me to 29 different places around New Zealand from the far north of Kaitaia to the deep south of Invercargill to talk about phasing out plastic bag use, I wanted… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity
    Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.  The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015… ...
    4 days ago
  • Privatising CYF about ideology not care
    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    7 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    1 week ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    1 week ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    1 week ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    1 week ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    1 week ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    1 week ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    1 week ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago

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