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Saturday, September 23, 2023


Don’t plan on exploring Mars

On Monday, Eric Berger wrote a column in The Houston Chronicle concerning whether or not we should try and fly humans to Mars. The idea is novel; we would break the atmosphere and land humans on another planet.

But according to some, the risks are not worth the reward.

Berger wrote in his column that a trip to Mars under current conditions pertaining to our national budget and space technology would have to be a one-way trip.

“In a budget-constrained world, given the challenges posed by radiation and launching with enough propellant to blast back off Mars once we get there, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that if we’re going to go to Mars in the next half-century, it probably will be a one-way mission,” Berger said.

There hasn’t been much in terms of interest from NASA regarding this one shot idea. Also, according to Berger’s column, the interest among college students is low as well. While visiting a UH journalism class he asked the students if they were interested in space flight.

“In a class of 15 to 20 kids, not one raised his or her hand. They were excited about things like medical research and artificial intelligence,” Berger said.

The lack of interest from NASA may be due to the difficulties of the mission and the fact that they’ll have to sell a space mission with no likely possibility of return. The lack of interest from students, though, is probably due to the fact that human space travel and human space exploration is something that belongs to a past generation.

Touching the soil of another celestial body was a revolution that will forever belong to the year 1969 when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Apollo 11’s landing was at least ten to fifteen years before any of the students in that journalism class were born.

The current generation has yet to see a feat of that nature from NASA, and they’re likely not going to anytime soon; because of this, the current generation has nothing to be inspired by and very few heroes to watch make history.

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