Thursday, July 25, 2013

Much Ado about NOTHING

I'm not sure why, at this point, people still want to go to Mars. The environment there makes Antarctica seem like the Garden of Eden. In all the pictures the rovers send back, there isn't a single plant visible, not even the tiniest cactus. The atmosphere contains very little methane, which would be present in significant quantities if life was present, even if underground. (So forget about sand worms.)

Despite looking deceptively like parts of Arizona, it's not a place where anyone could walk around without a spacesuit. Whatever running water was present disappeared billions of years ago, along with most of the atmosphere. So, it's a dead world -- even if we do discover a bacterium or two there someday. It would be incredibly dangerous for humans to travel there, something that would require months with current technology. If anything went wrong, there would be no chance of rescue -- which was true of the moon landings too, but the moon is only three days away by rocket ship, so there was much less time for something to break.

Just keep sending robots, I say, until we discover something like a warp drive or anti-gravity propulsion, and can get there and back in a few hours. Then we can collect all the precious Martian rocks we want.

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