Satellite

Planet Mars, is it worth it?

Posted on Updated on

(Words 1664)

Major countries from around the world may have longed to make a manned flight to the planet Mars. A human mission to visit, and successfully land on the planet Mars has long been a pipe-dream for science fiction writers and space exploration believers. It has been a fascinating subject, seen in movies, and talked about in science books. This mammoth task to an unknown land is certainly an issue of debate as to the significance of exploration to a faraway planet. The journey will be inordinately expensive and tremendously risky. Opponents have their reasons to dismiss the exploration and rightly so when the earth has so many problems to deal with, notwithstanding that we do not own Mars. The essay that follows will present an argument and give evidence to disagree that it is worth the expense and risk to make a planned flight to Mars.

The year was 1957, and Russia had just put their first artificial satellite into orbit in October 1957 starting the infamous Space Race which had two of the most powerful nations at that time battling for supremacy. President Eisenhower, the American President had to face the reality that the Soviet Union was winning the Space Race. In 1958, President Eisenhower sent a bill to Congress to create NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Congress passed the bill. The Space Race was a long-lasting competition between the United States and the Soviet Union between the years of 1957 to 1975. On May 25 in 1961, John F. Kennedy – who had become president four months earlier – told a Joint Session of Congress: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieve the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth.” He included reasons such as being impressive to mankind, important for long-range space exploration. Moving on 50 years from JFK’s prophetic speech, there is the realization for some that a trip to Mars could open up a new planet as a new place to live. Mars has tremendous value to the human race as an occupied, settled planet where we can shuttle backward and forwards from our place here on earth to this new found land. Mars is said to be the only other place in the solar system on which settlement is relatively easy. The Martian day is only 30 minutes longer than ours, the sun provides adequate energy to grow food, the gravity is reasonable, and the temperature is not too cold. No other place is as conducive to a continuous human presence. There is also the overpopulation of the world which is rapidly growing each year, while it must be recognized that Earth has its own environmental problems. Some are amazed to think how this planet could help us, and the potential it holds. Being the first to be there would not only unite the conquering nation, but put that country on a firm standing, and bring unknown worth. The Obama Administration’s new mission for NASA, far from being anti-space exploration, puts the focus on developing new space technologies, exploring the solar system with robots, and pushing humans closer to living off the world. All of which will be funded a budget increase to NASA of $6 billion over five years. In “You Decide: Manned Mission to Mars” by Melissa Joulwan (2004), an American freelance writer, on KQED website, even puts “Regaining the top position in science and technology is another reason to support a Mars mission.”

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.