Water on Mars

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Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 11.10.00 AMThis is the game-changer, if we allow it to be.

I can wax poetic about the discovery of running water on Mars.  In order to survive, long-term, anywhere, humans need oxygen.  We need water to generate that oxygen.  It is easier, cheaper, and makes things much easier when it comes to transportation.  Yes, we can generate oxygen, like we do on the space station, but it is recycled, like living in the cabin of a plain, long-term.  Oxygen generated from water will be cleaner.  It is also one of the most important building blocks of Terran based life.

Terraforming is a wonderful idea.  We first start by sending up little robots probes, Martian versions of Johnny Appleseed, to plant genetically modified seeds of plant-based life.  We use plants that generate their own oxygen.  Mars has CO2 on its surface.  Plants take in CO2 and exhale oxygen.  Over a period of time, the atmosphere starts changing.  The more oxygen in the air, the more clouds will form and the more water will be generated, which will speed up the propagation of the plant based life we need to continue the cycle.  One day, in the distant future, it will be possible to transform the planet into something of a smaller version of earth, complete with flowers, and trees, and streams, rain, and animal life.

The process literally began, today.

I have been waiting for this announcement since the spring of 1981!  It is literally one of the most important planetary discoveries – ever.  It changes everything, if our political leaders have the vision to comprehend that we now have a potential world for humanity.  And – that’s the problem, the political will to do the right thing for humanity.

When you consider what the Obama Administration has done, crippling our ability for heavy-duty launches, and rendering this nation incapable of putting anything in space beyond a payload or a satellite, I’m not holding my breath.  Politically, it is rather fascinating that Republicans are constantly damned for not supporting big science, but the bottom line is Republicans are the ones who, consistently, over the years have been far more willing to put big bucks into space exploration.  Democrats have a bad habit of slashing that money.

Government doesn’t do all that much right, but when it comes to space exploration, NASA is like the little engine that could.  They come through, time and time again, no matter how severely the budget is slashed.  Right now, I’m not too optimistic about what will happen.  The Obama Administration has shown that they are unwilling to use NASA for much more than diversity training, and climate change.  That is not NASA’s mission.  NASA’s mission is to explore the final frontier, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no human has gone before.

I suspect when the final shouting is over, I’m going to be supporting the candidate who articulates their vision of space exploration.  The future of humanity is in space, not here on this planet.

We can be the Martians, if we so desire.

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