Hopefully Mars isn't like the Doom video game.
It's another great week in space news, with the NuStar telescope launching to study Black holes and methane lakes being spotted on Saturn's moon Titan., I want to focus on another aspect of technology and its benefit to society, which is the current discussion board and voting system implementation for future Mars exploration. From the site:
We’re inviting the Mars exploration community and all interested people, regardless of educational or professional background, to engage in a conversation about the future of Mars exploration ... This dialogue will be open for participation until July 1, 2012. This forum is an experiment that we hope will help us better understand public interest, and specific areas to focus our attention on; so please help us make it worthwhile
There's a great voting system, similiar to sites like Digg and Reddit, that allows readers to vote up or vote down discussions and comments. It's not exactly what you may think - they're not holding Astronaut Idol to vote for who goes and what he or she will do. But this forum, which is linked directly from NASA's main site, offers a rare opportunity for space geeks, NASA personnel, and the average Joe to speak their mind on complex issues such as the realism of terraforming Mars and the possibly of partnership with private companies such as SpaceX. There are some trolls as always that attempt to derail discussion, but the moderation of the site is quite good - I've seen offending posts get voted down quickly.
Check it out!