adBlockCheck

Bush Still Working On Manned Mission To Mars Quietly In Spare Time

Top Headlines

Politics

The Arguments For And Against Bernie Sanders Staying In The Race

Bernie Sanders is ramping up his efforts in the presidential race despite long odds, while sharpening his criticisms of a Democratic Party increasingly focused on the general election with Hillary Clinton as their presumptive nominee. Here are the arguments for and against Sanders staying in the race

Donald Trump’s Campaign: Myth Vs. Fact

Donald Trump’s political positions, personal history, and potential governing style have been the subject of much debate throughout the 2016 election. The Onion separates myth from fact in this breakdown of Trump’s campaign:

Report: Well, Here We Go

WASHINGTON—With Donald Trump’s two remaining GOP rivals suspending their candidacies and clearing a path for the billionaire businessman to assume the Republican presidential nomination, reports indicated Wednesday that, well, hoo boy, here we go.

Ted Cruz Dressed For Campaign Rally By Swarm Of Loyal Vermin

INDIANAPOLIS—In what has reportedly become a daily routine on the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz stood alone in the center of his hotel suite Tuesday morning where he was carefully dressed and groomed by a swarm of loyal vermin.

How The GOP Plans To Stop Trump

In response to Donald Trump’s growing presidential primary lead, here’s how Republican Party leaders are ramping up efforts to prevent him from getting enough delegates to win the nomination outright.

It Unclear Why Thousands Of Loud, Chanting Trump Supporters Gathering Outside Arena In Iowa

‘There’s No Event Here, But They Keep Coming,’ Say Concerned Stadium Staff

DES MOINES, IA—Noting that the Republican presidential candidate had not announced any plans to visit Iowa since the state held its caucus 11 weeks ago, baffled sources reported Wednesday that it remains unclear why thousands of loud, cheering Donald Trump supporters are gathering outside the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Obama Caught Trying To Jump White House Fence

WASHINGTON—The White House was briefly placed on lockdown Friday morning after “an addled and emotionally distraught” President Obama was reportedly caught trying to scale the North Lawn fence, the third such attempt this year, Secret Service officials confirmed.

FBI Convinces George Clooney To Wear Wire During Clinton Fundraising Dinner

SAN FRANCISCO—In an effort to gather evidence in their investigation of the presidential candidate’s alleged misuse of her private email server when she served as secretary of state, members of the FBI reportedly convinced actor George Clooney to wear a hidden listening device Friday night while attending a campaign fundraising dinner with Hillary Clinton.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Bush Still Working On Manned Mission To Mars Quietly In Spare Time

DALLAS—Speaking from his home in Dallas, former president George W. Bush told reporters Tuesday that when he's not busy giving lectures or writing his memoirs, he spends most of his spare time working on the manned mission to Mars he proposed in January 2004.

Bush goes over some of the statistics on surviving in a prolonged low-light environment.

"This is genuinely important to me," said Bush, looking over sketches of potential rocket systems he had drawn up while waiting for his oil to be changed at a service station earlier this week. "I wasn't kidding when I announced a plan to get us to Mars, by God, and I intend to finish what I started. That's why I try to carve out a little time before lunch and after dinner to work on this important interplanetary initiative."

"It's a big project," Bush added. "Lots of little details to work out."

While in 2004 many critics suggested Bush's call for a mission to Mars was little more than political theater, the 43rd president has called those claims "ridiculous." Bush said he has spent many hours scouring the web for information about space travel and Mars, in addition to checking out "a bunch" of books on the subject from the local library and regularly e-mailing contacts he still has at NASA to ask their advice on his plan.

He also frequently watches the PBS program Nova.

"It's the first thing I think of when I wake up after having some breakfast and doing the crossword," Bush said. "Ask anyone: Whenever I have a spare minute, I'm always thinking about how to put astronauts on the surface of Mars."

The former president believes the journey from Earth to Mars will be feasible, although fraught with peril.

"And Laura knows not to bother me on Saturday afternoons when I don't have a speaking engagement or a golf match to go to," Bush added. "That's my Mars time."

Working from the makeshift basement office he refers to as "Mission Control 2," Bush said he has grappled with some of the major issues surrounding a manned mission to Mars. For months he's been jotting down notes about how zero gravity would affect the bone density and muscle mass of the crew, and he spends about five minutes during his morning jog each day coming up with ideas for safely storing a year's worth of onboard oxygen.

Sometimes, Bush said, potential solutions come not when he's reading about the Red Planet's inhospitable surface conditions on Wikipedia or brainstorming shuttle names through free-association exercises, but when he's not thinking about the historic 34- million-mile voyage at all.

"Just last week, I was out in the garden tending to the tomatoes when it hit me: The astronauts should grow their own food to eat on their spaceship," Bush said. "I'm not saying I have all the specifics down just yet, but how the astronauts going to Mars will eat is at least one thing the next president won't have to worry about."

Bush recently started a blog devoted entirely to his thoughts about setting up a permanent colony on Mars. To achieve this, he writes on MarsUSA.blogspot.com, the astronauts will need to bring materials for building a sustainable base on the planet, and be able to convert water in the Martian soil into hydrogen and oxygen for the trip home.

"That's just common sense," Bush said. "All the science-fiction writers know that."

Bush admitted that he didn't have as much time as he would like to devote to the mission, but assured reporters he would never give up on something so important. While the challenges may seem insurmountable, he said, the greatest hope for man to achieve the incredible goal of landing on the surface of Mars lies in exploiting as-yet undiscovered technologies to overcome the incredibly daunting physical distances involved.

"I'm pretty busy right now, but when I get a spare 30 minutes, I'm going to start working on that," Bush said while flipping through a copy of Scientific American. "I'll have my friend Jerry from down the road come over and crunch some of the numbers for me. He's good with computers."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close