Why Even Bother to go to Mars?

MARS

Valles Marineris-http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00422

Yea, yea, “science” and “discovery” or whatever, but seriously: why should we try to go somewhere where we know we can’t survive? I mean, let’s think about it:

  1. Air not breathable? Check.
  2. Soil dead? Check.
  3. Surface too cold for human life? Check.
  4. One-way trip, no chance of return? Check.

Only human beings would see these ludicrous odds and say, “Let’s go camping there!” NASA has announced that their plan is to have a human on Mars by 2030.

I’m more and more persuaded that an intelligent species like humans (work with me) should be smart enough to leave the planet, but should be wise enough not to want to. The best spaceship in the universe is Earth, guys.

At best, living on Mars for a while would be like going back to the 18th century- underground, I imagine, since the surface is unlivable. No advanced medicine, no safe way to even grow crops (too much hydrogen buildup would blow your underground colony to bits), and confined living quarters that would be like living in a prison.

But hey, tons of people would love to perish in space despite these problems. Dying in Space: The American Dream gives a good rundown of the infamous Mars One project that takes suckers– I mean, volunteers– and signs them up for a one-way mission to the red planet.

I assume we’ll get there someday- either NASA or some private company with the know-how and guts, but I fail to see why we should worry more about a dead planet than about taking care of our own.

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