I’m still on vacation, but here’s some exciting news. The Mars Rover has found water on the red planet. Water! You know, the stuff that’s necessary for life to form? The water that they found was in the form of ice, but that’s because the atmosphere is so thin on Mars that water can’t form in the liquid phase. Anyway, here are some cool pictures from Spaceweather.com.
Anyway, they say that there might actually be liquid water underneath the surface of Mars. That, in turn, means that there might actually be life under the surface of Mars. That shouldn’t be construed to mean that there are little green men under the surface in Mars. Rather, there most likely is (if there is life at all), microbes that have found a way to survive in the harsh environment of the Red Planet. And if there is life on Mars, then we are not alone in this universe. Life on Mars means that there could be life on other planets, not necessarily in our solar system.
Anyway, another broad implication of this discovery. If Mars really has a rudimentary water cycle, then perhaps future human colonists could use this water, rather than simply relying on water that they bring with them. I’m assuming here that we will eventually colonize the Moon, and then Mars. Those two bodies are the most likely candidates for Man’s first homes outside of mother Earth. And of course, we do need to leave this planet and set up shop on other planets, for many, many reasons. Maybe I’ll devote a future blog post to this topic.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure that NASA has plans to return to the moon by 2020, and then go on to Mars. I think President Bush tried to emulate President Kennedy’s famous incentive. He didn’t persuade Congress to give NASA nearly as much as the agency had in those days. I really hope to be part of these projects when they get underway, though.