News Reality

Why Mars? An Introduction To A 10-Part Series On Sending Humans To Mars

by www.huffingtonpost.com

Momentum is steadily and inexorably building toward sending human missions to Mars beginning in the 2030s. While this goal has been an integral part of United States space policy over the past fifty years, the reality of achieving that goal has always seemed so very far in the future. Recently, however, a critical mass of support, technical progress, and scientific momentum has coalesced that may very well finally propel humanity to the Red Planet.

Mars has been the subject of a great deal of media coverage in recent years, with frequent images and scientific updates coming from various United States and international Mars robotic missions. Hollywood has also been drumming the Mars beat, with movies such as The Martian, as well as the upcoming six part National Geographic series, Mars, and the feature film The Space Between Us (with more to come).

As for policy, Congress has included Mars in multiple authorization bills ? and the Senate is currently moving forward with a Transition Authorization bill that contains the most comprehensive language in support of Mars exploration ever to appear in a major bill.

NASA has also embraced this goal, with its Journey to Mars program, and last October it also held its first workshop to investigate potential landing sites for the first human explorers. Industry has also jumped on the bandwagon, with companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Aerojet Rocketdyne having released their own proposals as to how to send humans to Mars – and in late September SpaceX joined the chorus when it announced its own ambitious plans.

Recent polls have also shown overwhelming public support for this goal.  Yet, some people still ask Why? Why should we take the time and spend taxpayer dollars? Some even ask why should we take the risks inherent in any space mission ? let alone missions to a planet millions of miles away?

History teaches us that ambitious exploration and innovation projects of this kind have always tended to benefit humanity.

Unfortunately, much misinformation has been disseminated claiming that such missions would cost upwards of $1 trillion.  In reality, none of the current credible plans would require anywhere close to that amount, and in fact they would require far less. (To put this in perspective, all NASA budgets combined since 1958 don’t come close to totaling $1 trillion – even with adjusted dollars).

Others ask why we should send humans to Mars when there are problems here on Earth that need to be addressed; but history teaches us that ambitious exploration and innovation projects of this kind have always tended to benefit humanity. Our home world will undoubtedly end up far worse off if we don’t engage in such ambitious missions that will improve life on Earth.

To better answer the question why (and how) we should send humans to Mars, we are launching a series of op-eds for the next 10-12 weeks from prominent individuals from a variety disciplines to answer the question “Why Mars?’ from the perspective of (in no particular order) –

1) Scientist

2) Astronaut

3) Policy Expert

4) Student

5) International Representative 

6) Mission Architect 

7) STEM professional 

8) Innovator/Entrepreneur 

9) Medical/Psychological professional

10) Science Fiction author

11) Celebrity

The United States – including government, industry, academia, and the general public ? and our international partners are on the verge of moving forward with one of the most significant and awe-inspiring endeavors in human history. There are many compelling reasons why we should undertake this great journey. Over the next several weeks, you will read perspectives from prominent people in the United States and in Europe, each explaining their own visions of why we should explore Mars.

This piece is part of a special op-ed series, curated in partnership with Explore Mars, in which contributors from diverse fields such as science, education, policy, business and culture answer a simple question: “Why Mars?” For more, follow the links below or visit exploremars.org.

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Why Mars? + articlesList=57fd0308e4b0b6a430359448

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.


Read Full Article On www.huffingtonpost.com
Latest
Artificial intelligence, automation and big data are raising fears of widespread layoffs in a $150 billion industry.
A number of government websites, many of them in Ohio, have been hacked with a message that purports to be supportive of the Islamic State terrorist group.
In the twilight of his boxing career, Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) may still have something left to prove. The Filipino icon currently serves in the Senate, but on Saturday he returns to the ring
Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, who has been at the center of the investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campa
Since its launch last fall, the PlayStation VR virtual reality headset has been a sleeper success for Sony. But when it comes to the headset’s launch and traction so far, count Sony among those who’v
“The Originals” Season 5 wrapped up in a familiar location. Hayley went to Mystic Falls to drop Hope off at the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young and Gifted. It’s the educational facility for s
Tim Tebow is getting a promotion the New York Mets announced Sunday. He is currently playing for the Mets’ low-A farm team in South Carolina, the Fireflies, and will move to the Class A-Advanced St.
SpaceX has succeeded in landing a Falcon 9 first-stage booster on a vessel in the Pacific after a launch from California.
Venmo is best known for making it easy to transfer cash quickly and digitally to roommates or friends. But soon, the payment service could be heading to your wallet. The company is testing out a pote
Besides lower infrastructure and software costs, it allows enterprises to innovate, says Rege
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James is sometimes the butt of fan jokes — but not like this. A caricature of the Cavaliers star forward was tattooed on a basketball fan’s leg, adding one more joke a
After weeks of secrecy, Senate Republicans released their health care bill Thursday en route to repealing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, cutting taxes on high-income earners and businesses an
Engineering product firms were among the first to embrace artificial intelligence, machine learning
Though this is the third reincarnation of the “Spider-Man” franchise, audiences have never seen Zendaya’s Michelle on screen before. The Disney Channel star is playing a socially awkward intellectual
The Cleveland Cavaliers fell short of an NBA title this month and fans and team members left with a sour taste in their mouth. The NBA offseason can be a time for reflection and to figure out how to
With products like the Amazon Echo and the upcoming Apple HomePod, the burgeoning home assistant market has seen a lot of moves recently. In the next year, that market is expected to get even larger.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that President Barack Obama should have taken action once he learned of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidenti
“Doctor Who” Season 10 is coming to an end, but the Time Lord still has much to do before the hiatus. In episode 11, the Master returned and met Missy, and Bill was turned into one of the Cybermen. B
SpaceX kicked off launches on Friday afternoon at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the launch of the Bulgaria-Sat1 on a previously used Falcon 9 rocket. The plan is to conclude the weekend wi
On Sunday, celebrities will pour into the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles to attend the 2017 BET Awards. The night will be dedicated to honoring African Americans and other minorities for their work
This article originally appeared on the Motley Fool. Steph Curry may be the most highly regarded player in NBA after leading his Warriors to the title for two of the last three years, but you wouldn'
At least 18 wildfires blazed across the West and Southwest United States Sunday following a week of record-breaking temperatures, CNN reported Sunday. There are six fires in Arizona, three in Utah, t
Apple Inc. will still sell an iPhone, but expect the device to morph into a suite of apps and services, enhanced with AI and AR, part of a ‘body area network’ of devices, batteries and sensors.
Fails to convince them about future gameplan
With “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” Season 6 winding down to its final two episodes, the drama continues to unfold, and it looks like relationships are falling apart despite efforts to fix past sins.
Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Sunday called for a delay in the Senate vote on health care and instead seek a bipartisan effort to craft a workable replacement for the Affordabl
Hackers may have accessed and compromised up to 90 email accounts belonging to senior ministers and other MP’s of Parliament on Saturday during a sustained attack on British servers. According t
Keep calm, and keep your teen safes, with apps that monitor and aid their driving.        
As June ends, Netflix has released what to expect in July, and that means some movies and TV shows will be disappearing. It looks like those who love classic comedies will suffer the most in this pur
The 2017 NBA Draft played out like most people thought it would. Draftee Lonzo Ball from UCLA was picked No.2 overall just like the mock draft projected. With the Los Angeles Lakers No. 2 pick, they
President Donald Trump took to Twitter Sunday morning to accuse Hillary Clinton of collusion with the Democratic Party against her Democratic presidential primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sander
Winter is here and the Seven Kingdoms are in trouble— at least, that’s what we gather from the latest “Game of Thrones” Season 7 trailer.
The new "snap map" feature pinpoints where users are in a neighborhood, leading some critics to question its safety.
This year's Google Pixel phones could go all the way up to 6 inches in size if the latest rumors are true.

Recent News

Celebrities send shout-outs as Pride Parade takes place in N.Y.

Josh Gad, Olivia Wilde and Sally Field were among the supporters.        
Read Full Article

One Direction's Louis Tomlinson opens up about being the 'guy in the back'

Niall is lovely, Harry is cool, Zayn has the voice, Liam dances, "then there's me."        
Read Full Article

BET Awards 2017: See the stars on the silver carpet

       
Read Full Article

Mets Promote Tim Tebow to a Higher Class A League

With the major league debut of shortstop Amed Rosario seemingly imminent, General Manager Sandy Alderson instead informed reporters of Tebow’s progress in the minors.
Read Full Article

Pineda Evokes His Forgetful Form of 2016 as the Yankees Lose to the Rangers

Pineda, who allowed 20 home runs in the Bronx last season, gave up three home runs at home on Sunday.
Read Full Article

Italy forced to bail out two more banks for €5.2 billion

The move to bail out two Italian banks for €5.2 billion last Friday (June 23rd) comes two days after the European Central Bank stated that Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca were “failing or
Read Full Article

Bird's eye perspective

Researchers have now provided the first insight into the perplexing question of how humans developed their daytime vision.
Read Full Article

Scheifele and Jets teammates score big with kids

While most of the hockey world spent the weekend analyzing the NHL draft and talking about the Las Vegas Golden Knights, Mark Schiefele and some of his well-known friends were ...
Read Full Article

Goalie Pickard sorry to leave Denver

HE is leaving the NHL’s worst team but that didn’t ease the pain for goalie Calvin Pickard when he was scooped up in Thursday’s NHL Expansion Draft by the Vegas ...
Read Full Article

Popular Finance

Dance goes digital in an impressive Barak Ballet premiere

Melissa Barak's dance company premieres "E/SPACE," blending movement with Refik Anadol's visual designs and new David Lawrence music at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
Read Full Article

Three people dead and 30 missing after tourist boat sinks near Medellin, Colombia

A multi-story tourist ferry packed with about 150 passengers for the holiday weekend capsized on a reservoir near the Colombian city of Medellin on Sunday. Police said three people were dead and 3
Read Full Article

Arroyo Seco Weekend: A dad tackles his first music festival as a parent. Someday, they'll laugh about it.

It’s an enlightening experience, attending your first music festival as a parent after a lifetime of untethered fandom. Turns out you have to plan things. Do not improvise Baby’s debut festival, a
Read Full Article

Trump tweets that Hillary Clinton 'colluded' with Democratic Party to beat Bernie Sanders

Read Full Article

Trump's day in tweets: Saturday, June 24

Read Full Article

Fast-moving fire spreads to 800 acres in Santa Clarita; 14 Freeway closed

A car crash sparked a fire in Santa Clarita that quickly spread to more than 800 acres Sunday afternoon, authorities said. The fire broke out about 1 p.m. near the intersection of the 14 Freeway a
Read Full Article
 

Here’s how to join the self-build boom

Last year, a record 1,100 people a month built their own properties or restored derelict buildings. Sharon and Les Hume (pictured) now own a house crafted to their own design.
Read Full Article

Mexican governor denounces 'beasts' and 'cowards' who killed state commander of federal police

Gunmen burst into a restaurant and killed a state commander for federal police and two other officers on another bloody day in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The policemen were among at least 11 p
Read Full Article

Muslims across Southern California mark the end of Ramadan with prayers, celebrations and food

Muslims across Southern California marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan on Sunday, breaking a month of fasting with prayers, celebrations and meals. Eid, or the “feast of the breaking of th
Read Full Article