Friday, June 21, 2013

A Report on the Feasibility of Terrestrial Expeditions

The preliminary finding of this scientific committee regarding the feasibility of terrestrial missions is NEGATIVE. The reasons for this conclusion are summarized below: 

As per prior computer simulations, the density of external medium is insufficient to support any sort of directed propulsion. The measured density of external medium is approximately 0.1% of standard medium, which provides too little reaction force for motion. 

Since it is not possible to rely on external medium, the only feasible alternative is to carry a supply of reaction mass, which can be forcefully expelled to generate a propulsive force. This is similar to the locomotion mechanism of cephalopods. However, since all reaction mass has to be carried locally, this greatly restricts the range of a terrestrial vehicle. The cost of any terrestrial mission will also be prohibitive. 

A final technical point is that while external medium contains a sizable concentration of oxygen, our organs are not adapted to extract oxygen from external medium. Thus, external suits are necessary for any exploration outside the landing module. However, the general opinion of this committee is that manned explorations are cost-ineffective and provide little scientific benefit. Besides the cost and weight of extensive life-support systems necessary to sustain the crew, any manned exploration would require additional specialized equipment for terrestrial locomotion. After all, it is impossible to swim on land.

In light of these technical obstacles, we do not advise any terrestrial undertaking. Instead, we recommend further research into alternative modes of locomotion, perhaps by making trade-offs into the possible axes of motion.

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