Community

Maclean NASA retiree says humans will one day walk on Mars

SCIENCE FACT: Manned missions to Mars may still be a long way off but former NASA sub-contractor Vince Schultz is certain they will happen.
SCIENCE FACT: Manned missions to Mars may still be a long way off but former NASA sub-contractor Vince Schultz is certain they will happen.

THE timing of The Daily Examiner's phone call to Vince Schultz about his views on the latest NASA announcement about Mars couldn't have been better.

The Maclean retiree, who worked as a sub-contractor on NASA's training manuals for moon landings and the space shuttles, was listening to an audio book of The Martian, the novel that inspired the latest in a long line of Hollywood blockbusters about space travel.

"It's very well written and accurate in its science, but done in a light-hearted way," Mr Schultz said.

"I can't wait to go down and see the movie."

Mr Schultz said the plot reminded him of his days working for NASA.

"When you're doing things for the space shuttle there was no 'good enough'," he said.

"Everything had to meet the most exacting standards. Each thing you did was tested and re-tested.

"It was very demanding but I loved it."

Mr Schultz was speaking after NASA last week announced they had uncovered the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.

While the announcement sparked widespread excitement Mr Schultz does not expect to see a Mars mission in his lifetime but does believe man will eventually make the journey, "because it's there".

"The reason we go is not going to be for something as silly as fears of global warming or overpopulation," he said.

"We will find ways to feed a growing population. We've got to do it smarter."

While travel to Mars may be some time off, Mr Schultz believes before then private enterprise will encourage journeys into space as "space tourism".

"There's not much doubt about that," he said.

Mr Schultz said the lack of focus on exploring space since the heady days of moon landings and space shuttles was lamentable.

He said the by-products of the space race had turned out to be some of the most useful products we know.

"Think about Teflon, Velcro, super glue, Kevlar, space pens," he said.

Topics:  mars, nasa, space




Opinion: To SRV or not to SRV

Craig Howe.

One option for making ends meet

Acquittal on five DV-related charges

Grafton CourthousePhoto Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Jury finds defendent not guilty after three day trial

Strange Politics: Roald’s darling makes for an ale tale fail

Pauline Hanson demonstrates how to use a squat toilet at Tanby Point, Emu Park.

'Just consider these wonderful lines from the book'

Latest deals and offers

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

Branson "amazed" he's still alive after cycling crash

Branson saw "his life flash before my eyes" during a bike crash

John Krasinski has better sex now he's in good shape

John Krasinski says there's at least one good reason to get jacked

Kanye West gets 'free reign' at VMAs

Kanye West has been let off the leash for the VMAs

Robbie Williams sings at manager's funeral

Robbie Williams and Lamar sang at the funeral of their manager

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m