Dedicated to the NASA team for their success with Ingenuity – the Mars helicopter.
Due to my spring-summer work schedule, I’m reducing posts from three to two per week: Tuesday/Wednesday and Saturday. This is effective immediately. Thanks for your understanding.
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I like walking on the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
Good morning. The day is bright. The sky is clear and blue. The only clouds I see are on the distant horizon. Not many hours ago, stars filled the dark sky. Ancient civilizations thought of stars as twinkles attached to a dome that vanished by day, but today we know they are present behind the sky’s blue veil.
Probably everyone has wondered if life is elsewhere in the seemingly vast, endless void we call space. After all, our sun isn’t the only sun in the universe. Earth is located in the sweet spot of our solar system. But with many other suns, other sweet spots must exist for life as we know it.
On the other hand, we humans are self-absorbed with ourselves; that is, thinking we are the center of everything. Let us not forget that once upon a time, humanity said the Earth was the center of the universe with everything revolving around us and our planetary home. The sun moving across the sky on its own – not due to Earth’s rotation. That was the prevailing thought of the time until new knowledge changed that view – although acceptance took time. Yet, some today still embrace this notion.
Whether looking beyond the wild blue yonder or wondering as we watch the twinkling in the night sky – we wonder. Today I want to think outside of Earth’s atmosphere. As my feet travel on this soft sandy, I wonder about the surfaces on other planets.
Although the song is not about this topic, the Moody Blues lyrics, “I know you’re out there somewhere” makes me wonder about life elsewhere. Does it exist? If so, is there any commonality with life on Earth? Then again, we could be the only life in the universe. I wonder if space is a gift for being human.
Life as we know it needs food, water, shelter, and something to breathe. Our needs based on carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and phosphorus, which are the key substances (but not the only) that compose all life forms. Not just us.
I think about these needs in terms of space travel to a neighboring planet. Venus had water at one time – but water no longer exists there. Besides, it’s too hot. Mars is another neighboring planet – and those beyond it are too cold.
Mars – the red planet – a visible star with a reddish tint. Mars – an average 140 million miles (225 million km) away – an eight-month journey.
Mars – the harbinger of war. Mars – the home to Martians – those fictional warriors seemingly waiting on our doorstep.
Mars – the inspiration for science fiction, music, and achievement. HG Wells and the War of the Worlds. Gustav Holtz’s The Planets.
Mars – the planet waiting to be reached. Mars – the setting for a movie – The Martian.
The technology to get there exists and continues to be enhanced. Technology for recycling materials during the journey and on the planet exists. Technology to use the frozen carbon dioxide of Mars exists. Protection from solar radiation exists. But I wonder: Can the human body endure the journey? Can the human body endure that planet?
Some say the human trip to Mars is inevitable – even by 2040. Others say it’s a dream. Yet, we cannot forget these three important factors: 1) Earth is our most suitable home; 2) Colonizing Mars will not save us from ourselves; and 3) Exploration is in human DNA.
From our migratory ancestors to early explorers – from the Vikings to European explorers as da Gama, Magellan, Hudson, and others of their time. From visiting the North Pole and the South Pole to climbing Mt. Everest – from diving deep into the sea to landing on the Moon – Yes, humanity wants to explore because humanity wants to know – and wanting to know is in human DNA.
While we dream of Earth serving as the home base for that futuristic trip into the sky, let us not forget that we also have the opportunity to appreciate what we have and take care of it.
As I walk on the beach today, I dream – even fantasize about a possible future. Thinking about space – the final frontier – “To go where no one
man has gone before.”
Earth is my home – actually our home. Earth is where we find the flat plains of grain, the rolling hills of green, and the tall mountains with majestic peaks. However, my feet are moving on the fine sand of this coastal community. After all, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
See what other bloggers have written about Mars
- Red Surface of Mars (essay)
- Mars! (photo essays of a landing)
- Colonizing the Planet Mars – A poem
- Mars (creative painting)
- Mars Helicopter: 6 things to know about Ingenuity (essay & photos)
- From Earth to Mars (2 poems)
Next Post: Oneness – Thursday 29 April @ 1 AM (Eastern US)
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