Should Humans Really Go to Mars?
Astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, is hurled through outer space to land, improbably, on Mars in this fall’s latest box office hit. This makes for great cinema and ties in with the ongoing debate concerning whether or not human beings should really be trying to reach and live on Mars. Striving to go beyond Earth’s limits is not only a positive aspiration, but even if it is never achieved, the benefit to mankind could be revolutionary.
I was considering this question just last week when NASA scientists reported that they’d found water under Mar’s surface. Would it be a good step for mankind, or a folly of epic proportions? There is actually historical precedence for this, if you consider the early years in the space program. Because of the push to be the first to circle the planet, to break the sound barrier, to land on the moon, vast numbers of people were employed, colleges saw a surge of new students in the science and mathematics fields, and new technology was developed that later had applications for the average household. Some of those inventions include the microwave, early computers, and improved telecommunications.
Thinking beyond our own borders, I believe we would be able to make another evolutionary step for the planet and mankind, in that our perspectives would change. No longer would we be considered by a nationality, but by a location in the solar systems. We wouldn’t be Americans, we would be Earthlings. Considering that these types of ventures almost always spawn new thinking, create new jobs, bring more people together, and achieve more than was dreamed, going to Mars should not only be done, but I think it should be made one of the planet’s priorities.
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