What does "siege" mean here? And they did this big siege approach where they had thousands of porters and they brought big camps and afternoon tea and all this kind of stuff.Context: 20141223-Humans on Mars Soonish Says NASA Bigwig Last week NASA hailed the launch of its new Orion capsule as the first step toward sending people to Mars. But is a manned mission to the Red Planet really doable? “I liken it to the 1920s, ‘30s, ‘40s when it was believed that Everest might be impossible to climb.” John Grunsfeld, the former astronaut who now heads NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. We spoke at Cape Canaveral just before the Orion launch. “Well, eventually it was climbed by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hilary. And they did this big siege approach where they had thousands of porters and they brought big camps and afternoon tea and all this kind of stuff. And that was kind of the Apollo approach to going to the moon and back safely in a decade. We brought all resources to bear. “But modern exploration on Earth—polar exploration, Antarctic, climbing, even climbing Mount Everest—people do it in a very light fashion using technology, they’re very creative and they take more risks in some cases. And I think that’s going to be our path to Mars, a much leaner path and one where we are able to use technology to enable the way, rather than a big siege approach. “And so I think it’s very realistic. I think we could do it in the 2030’s, certainly by the 2040’s, with the national will and the interest. And I think it’s our science missions that are providing that drive.”
Nov 17, 2017 2:56 AM
Answers · 7
In my opinion this piece of writing is terrible, I really recommend choosing better material to read, if you want to learn good English. The logic does not hold, and the style is very poor. An expression like "And all this kind of stuff" is only used in very informal spoken English, not in writing. The expressions that you pointed out in my opinion don't fit the context. A siege is when you surround a city to starve it so that they have to surrender, whereas here he is talking about a siege bringing food. Nonsense. And in a light fashion means without too much stress or care, or without heavy equipment. But it says 'in a very light fashion using technology'. That sounds contradictory, or he should explain how the technology makes it 'light'. Maybe he means that instead of focusing on the amount of material, they focus on the technology that allows them to bring less material - but if this is what he meant, he should have said so. We are not told. Also a camp is not something that you bring, it is something that you set up. The English is poor and illogical, and I would not use this material.
November 17, 2017
Hey there... a long time ago, armies would attack the enemy's castle. They would surround a castle and attack it and isolate it from help and supplies. They would continue to attack over and over again to wear down the resistance of the defenders and eventually win. Basically a 'siege' is any prolonged or persistent effort to overcome resistance. 'Light fashion' is the opposite of 'siege'. For example, if I were to climb a mountain in 'light fashion', I would probably go alone or with a very small group, there would be very few supplies and just enough food and water to get up to the top and down again safely. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions! Evan Franulovich
November 17, 2017
And what is "light fashion"?
November 17, 2017
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