Why Mars?

Historian: I was telling a dear friend how the second asteroid mission we posted about Friday [link] was part of work toward a crewed mission to land on Mars. She asked: "Why are we so obsessed with Mars; why do we want to send a crewed mission when we should be working to sustain this planet here?"

Physicist: My grandmother, my mother's mother, gave me books when I was young. I especially remember The Conquest of Everest where the answer to "why?" was "because it is there." It is one reason I studied physics — because it is there, because it is a formidable mountain to climb.

Historian: We are wondering and wandering beasties. We wonder what is beyond. We wander to see what is beyond. We wandered out of Africa, to Asia, to Europe, across oceans to the western hemisphere, to the north pole, to the south pole, to the highest mountains, to the deepest seas, to our Moon. Could we stop wondering and wandering?

Physicist: Sciences, engineering, management, team work, and more perfected by NASA missions can be used to sustain Earth. NASA does use these to watch over Earth. In resources we curate we collect many examples of sciences being used to help sustain Earth.

Historian: Our Apollo missions to our Moon inspired environmental protection. We can hope that a crewed mission to Mars can also inspire us to be better stewards here. We can hope that the team work it takes to do this can inspire us to work together to sustain Earth [link].

Physicist: The key to the conquest of Everest was working together. The key to sustaining Earth is working together — ALL of us working together.