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Should we send humans to Mars ?

Posted on Sunday, 23 September, 2012 | Comment icon 59 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: NASA

Even if we do overcome the technological hurdles in reaching other worlds, should we actually go there ?

Living and working on a planet such as Mars would be one of the greatest challenges humans have ever faced, not just in traveling there but in building and maintaining a habitable environment afterwards. But what of the potential to contaminate the environment with bacteria from the Earth ? Whether deliberate or accidental, contaminants brought to Mars by astronauts would have the potential to drastically affect the environment. In the far future it is even possible that the planet could be terra-formed to be more Earth-like.

"Forward contamination is a critical factor in space exploration," said John Ash from the Scott Polar Research Institute who has likened planetary exploration to drilling down in to Antarctica's hidden lakes. "Of course, it is critical not to contaminate samples that may offer scientific proof of extraterrestrial life; but there are also legal obligations."

"For humans to live on the planet for any significant period of time would require the recycling of water and air, along with other so-called "life systems"."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (59)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #50 Posted by DONTEATUS on 27 September, 2012, 1:24
THis is true Waspie ,its not the Reason we all want to go that gets squashed, Its the money,and the money is from the Politicians that hand it out. THis is why we need privet bussiness !
Comment icon #51 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 27 September, 2012, 2:46
And how will private business help exploration? Private business is there for profit, nothing else. It does nothing for the greater good, only for greater wealth. It may be great for putting tourists into space but it isn't going to poor billions into searching for microbes on Mars UNLESS if can profit from it. Politicians may not be my favourite animals but remember Columbus discovered America and Cook discovered Australia on government financed missions.
Comment icon #52 Posted by DONTEATUS on 27 September, 2012, 3:06
It puts the Dream Alive into all people on this world, ITs whats been missing in exploration. A kick start to all the young people that Look up to the People that Make Dreams come true ! Without that we will not move off this world.IMO
Comment icon #53 Posted by 747400 on 27 September, 2012, 6:45
When did national governments ever do anything for the greater good? The examples of what happened after European government-sponsored expeditions discovered (or perhaps stumbled upon) other cultures doesn't exactly suggest that they were interested in doing it for the greater good, does it? Surely exploitation was the beginning and end of the motivation.
Comment icon #54 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 27 September, 2012, 13:44
'Tis a good point I grant you, however government's and politicians are in the business of at least giving the appearance of doing things for the greater good. They will invest in projects to impress the people (either their own in the case of democracies to win votes or those of other nations to prove the superiority of their particular dogma). Sputnik 1, Vostok 1, Apollo 11; all government projects. Maybe not for the greater good, but we would not have reached the moon in 1969 if we had waited for private industry, in fact I would argue that we wouldn't have reached their yet.... [More]
Comment icon #55 Posted by DONTEATUS on 30 September, 2012, 23:39
You just said it Waspie ! THe Cost will come down,And we will explore Space as a Free enterprise world !
Comment icon #56 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 1 October, 2012, 0:10
Actually DONTEATUS, that's not what I said at all. Try reading it again.
Comment icon #57 Posted by Zeta Reticulum on 2 October, 2012, 3:44
You probably wont get eaten... but I'd say your monkey would end up as someones sunday dinner when the tinned food ran out.
Comment icon #58 Posted by Magiclass on 2 October, 2012, 10:32
Looking at this from a logical angle I think we should think about getting off this planet because all the things which man are doing to this planet is not doing it any favours! Eventually the Earth is going to be pushed out to the position where Mars is as the Sun is expanding very subtley, and it will probably take at least 500,000 or more years to push Earth out that far, so the planet Mars will be in the exact position we are in at the moment so we will be in the habitation area for life to flourish. So, get your thinking caps on human race we've got 500.000 years to Terraform Mar... [More]
Comment icon #59 Posted by DONTEATUS on 4 October, 2012, 3:54
GOODAMN WHats the problem with wanting our race to evolve into a Space faring race ! Every time I say something positive about out Travels and the need to support this industry I get a reply like Its this or that that dosnt fit the bill ! Its about time I leave this Place !

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