Saturday, 20 February 2021

Mars is ours or is it?

Despite the pandemic still going nicely the Perseverance spacecraft has landed on Mars. The planet Mars that is. Just to make that clear. It seems to me that humanity is standing in front of a gate. Two choices. Stay as we are or open the gate and go through. If we stay put then we shall have to cope with the usual things, un-equality, diseases, weather, climate change, rising sea levels, the lot. If we go though the gate, space exploration, new technologies, harnessing power systems that do not deplete. Perhaps the gate is a way of beginning a future that at the moment is pretty unclear. But it could mean he beginning of getting to grips with the solar system, galaxy and the universe. That is why Perseverance and its predecessors were and are important. Of course, there are many problems on Earth still to be solved. No denying that but through mastering technologies, existing and still to be discovered we might have a chance to properly manage humanity’s existence on the planet, if not ensuring its survival! It is quite exciting to see these clear pictures of an alien world and frankly these pictures show a warning. A warning that the solar system, the universe are hard places that do not take prisoners! Mars today is a dry, dusty world but by all accounts was not always so. Now it might be that natural processes occurring made Mars desiccated but as this was billions of years ago who knows it could have been a type of life that did things much as we are today on Earth. Fouling water, warming up the atmosphere, using all the resources that sustain life. Cutting down all the forests, poisoning the oceans. Of course this is just me thinking, no-one knows for real whether that is or even can be true but without proof.....we might know at a later time. But we should heed the warning signals and know that existence is frail, balances need to be maintained. Everything we know has a beginning and an end. Hence so has our existence, the solar system, the galaxy. We are not certain how the universe works, finite or infinite. But let’s try to find out!

Ed. But at the same time we should also know the incredible distances. Is is really feasible we can reach the stars? I am all for research but I am also a realist! Perhaps it is really simple, at this moment in time we cannot reach any stars, too far and we haven't the technology. Besides all that, present technology is not particularly clean! Remember CO2. So, I believe that to do things like space exploration, you should start from a clean slate. Sort the Earth's problems out. It will not do to live on Mars and leave Earth like the planet as depicted in a Disney film called 'Wall-E'. A little sentient robot left all on his own clearing the mountains of rubbish left by humans before they 'skipped' off the planet to become fat in a supersize rocket 'parked' beyond the planet Neptune. Great stuff but a cautionary tale!


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