Thursday, January 22, 2004

Martian Chop Shops and the Future

So we've lost contact with the Mars rover. Do you think that 20 years from now, when the first astronaut scrambles out of the airlock and onto the Martian surface that he'll find it stripped and on concrete blocks?

If a Martian walked up to the rover and started yanking parts off, what would NASA do anyway? "Hey! Back off man! No! We're not kidding! Don't make us come up there . . . in 20 years."

All kidding aside, I find these missions fascinating, and I hope they reestablish contact soon. People tend to disregard these missions, calling them too expensive and risky. But call me naive, but I think the thrill of watching a man (or even a woman) first stepping onto Martian soil will help bring us all together.

Plus all the scientific benefits. Just think, the moon missions brought us Tang - good Lord, what could a trip to Mars bring us? It boggles the mind . . .

I'm not a big fan of President Bush. I think he's more interested in making him and his buddies more rich than actually benefitting the country (see Iraq, the "needed" energy policy, drilling for oil in Alaska, I think you get the idea). But this is one idea I do support.

I hope that 20 years from now, we're watching a grainy picture of an astronaut coming off a ladder onto alien soil for the first time. I hope that it helps bring us all together - like Neil Armstrong did for a short time 35-odd years ago. I hope that this astronaut, whoever he (or she) may be, can fetch back the parts of the Mars Rover from the martians at a fair price.

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