Mars: Does it matter?
In my last post I intimated I may comment a bit more on Time Magazine‘s Top 10 Lists of 2008. There are a lot of lists on the list. I enjoy year-end retrospectives, but don’t want to spend TOO much time on them. I prefer to select which ideas I want to continue; to bring into the new year with me.
One of Time‘s lists is “Top 10 Scientific Discoveries“. Our local University’s work on the Phoenix Mars Lander mission was recognized, second only to the Large Hadron Collider! (Phoenix found water!!!) On the University of Arizona’s own “top 10” list the Lander was #1, of course! 🙂 In addition to ongoing projects like the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station, both China and India had major successful projects in the news.
I rattled on quite a bit, last year, about the U of A and their science programs. I’m afraid I may say a great deal more this year, as 2009 has been declared THE YEAR OF SCIENCE, for a variety of interesting reasons—check them out! Our U. is all set to launch a number of events to educate and excite us, so I’m excited, too!
As mentioned, the University’s major space-mission focus in 2008 was on the planet Mars. There will be more Martian news this year, too. So, why does Mars matter? On one level it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter at all if it doesn’t interest you. 😎 There are those who say that countries “shouldn’t spend all that money” on space programs when we have “X” issues here on earth.
Perhaps each of us have our priorities; things or programs which matter to us. All I can say is that Mars matters to me! The excitement and possibility of there being life beyond our little planet enhances my perspective of what we can be. Whether we discover “intelligent” life anywhere in the universe (including on earth) 😉 or not, does not matter as much to me as the quest which expands our vision. It interests me to look extra-terrestrially, and perhaps extra-physically for resources, energy, and (very likely) for real estate, to further our conscious and physical evolution.
So Mars matters because it is the most earth-like planetary body we’ve found so far. It is relatively close. It could help provide the answers to many questions about our physical origins. It’s a fun place; perhaps I’ll see you there one day. 😀