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After watching the NASA Perseverance rover landing on Mars, it struck me how underwhelming this appears to be to the majority of the world’s population, yet the possible impact of such exploration could be essential to the continued existence of humankind.


It’s a symptom of modern living that what to a couple of generations back would be regarded with extreme pride of achievement is now looked on as being an everyday occurrence, sitting in the news secondary to the trials and tribulations of former Royals, and American rappers and television ‘personalities’ (I use the term loosely).


When you think that the rover has been on a nearly 300-million-mile journey since it left Earth 7 months ago, and has landed, with such precision, on the surface of an alien planet, you should realise how advanced science has become, and how this is laying the foundations for humans to live on another planet, our first step in colonisation of first our own solar system, and, in time, much, much further away. And this is where the problem in our conception of such an amazing phase of human existence is being lost. We are so used to watching science fiction movies, playing computer games etc. that real life achievement seems but an extension of these unreal worlds. Maybe the answer to get people to understand the possibilities and value of such achievements is to send these otherwise valueless ‘celebrities’ to Mars for a proper survival reality TV show. Meghan on Mars has a good ring to it.

Make no mistake, the rate at which we are eating up natural resources of the Earth are at an unsustainable level. That, combined with overpopulation and pollution will eventually lead to the end of us all, taking most life as we recognise it with us. Our only solution is to make certain such fact-finding expeditions such as Perseverance serve their purpose, and give us that footing on other worlds that will allow us expansion and provision of raw materials to keep our unending thirst for more satisfied.  Perseverance will study Martian climate and weather and test technologies that could help humans survive on Mars, and, eventually, other planets. Indeed, NASA has stated the 2030’s as a reasonable timeframe for the first manned flight to Mars, and has already began work on the necessary vehicles that will be necessary for this ground breaking ambition.


Already capitalism is taking its usual part in the possible exploitation of as yet untapped and unlimited resources and possible profits with private spaceflight companies such as SpaceX looking at ways of providing commercial interplanetary travel. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has already gone on record with his own beliefs that humanity must become a multiplanetary species if we are to survive, a view shared by many people, and he is working on a plan that could see a million people living on Mars before the end of the 21st century.


And that’s why these journeys of exploration are so important, the more we learn about Mars, the better equipped we’ll be to live there and on other planets, someday in the not-so-distant future. Now, the question is, did life ever evolve on Mars, and is it still around? And will we need to pay rent?


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