69 – Mars

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.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

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.

Photo by Nicole Avagliano on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by SpaceX on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

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75 thoughts on “69 – Mars”

  1. What a fascinating theme Frank . I don’t know whether there’s life on Mars but what I do believe is that we can’t possibly be the only life force in the Universe. There’s far too much that we don’t know and understand in this infinite Universe. And technology has advanced so much that it’s only a matter of time before we understand more. I guess in the meantime all we can do is focus and look after our own home, our planet Earth. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miriam,
      Glad you enjoyed this. Technology takes us to something new every day, and as long as technology continues to improve, we will continue learning. Yet, in my opinion, we know only a small fraction of the universe of knowledge. ,,, and yes … we need to take care of our home because it is our home – our only home.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting. I agree, we do have an instinct for adventure. And also a need to protect and preserve Earth. Our only home. But yeah, what if we explored elsewhere?
    Btw… you need to read about the latest propulsion technology being explored. It looks like it may be possible soon to triple ( at least) our space speeds..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kendorphin,
      Welcome first-time commenter to my personal cyber-beach – and thanks for jumping into the topic. I have no doubt that exploration is embedded in human DNA. I also have no doubt that propulsion technology will improve … and who knows – we may achieve the warp speeds of Star Trek. Now – where in our world are you located? (I’m in Cincinnati, Ohio)

      Like

  3. Interesting. I watch man’s endeavors to go beyond earth and explore the universe. Who knows what the future will bring. Most people on planet earth are busy handling their lives and space seems far away and unimportant to them. I commend NASA for their success in exploring space. I was and still am a Star Trek fan – so I lived your quote about the final frontier.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peggy,
      Growing up during the space age was fascinating – the space race, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Spaceshuttle, the International Space Station, let alone numerous satellites. I still recall watching the shuttles test flight in amazement – attached to a larger plane that released it so it could glide home. Humanity has come a long way since the days of the stars and our being attached to a dome – and yes – who knows what is to come. Cheers to the final frontier. Oh … thanks for the reminder that I have a beach walk about Frontiers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Frank, I loved this. So much music written for Mars too! (Also, my planet! 😉) True about the 3 factors. Really, did we do so well here that we can now safely explore other planets? …really?!!!!
    Happy earthly Tuesday, my friend.
    Yamas!

    Like

  5. Great post, Frank. I think there must be life out there somewhere–perhaps some form that our limited senses can’t see or something we can’t even imagine. The three points you made were excellent.
    (I think they changed “no man” to no one in subsequent Star Treks to recognize other genders–and non-humans, such as Klingons. 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post…….I’m all for exploring other planets – other possibilities – but I worry we will trash other places as we have Earth. I’d like to think we’ve learned lessons over time but not sure if that’s WISHFUL thinking or reality. Mars is intriguing as is the Moon…..who knows what lies ahead. Not me but I will watch from my heavenly home as man continues his journey for adventure and of that I am SURE! I loved the last video – Carl Sagan’s planetary exploration program on PBS years and years ago was what truly captured my interest in this incredible solar system we are part of.

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Cheers to our joint thoughts about exploration on the next frontier. I only would like to do it in my dreams because I know the G-forces involved would bring havoc to my body. Sagan was a true promoter of the universe – maybe the best ever. Unfortunately, although I’m curious about visiting Mars, I too fear we would screw it up.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. There is an expectation that children will one day leave their home and search out life, their life. As a species we are still young, perhaps we have a little more growing to do but we will search out life one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Unser Planet hat noch so viel zu entdecken … Ob wir auf dem Mars etwas entdecken werden, bleibt abzuwarten. Die Investitionen könnten hier auf der Erde besser investiert werden, um nach alternativen Technologien zu suchen. Es gibt viel zu finden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rudi,
      First of all, I hope the translation is accurate …. Our planet still has so much to discover… Whether we will discover anything on Mars remains to be seen. Investments could be better invested here on Earth to look for alternative technologies. There is much to find.

      Much truth in your words because space exploration is very expensive – and how else could that money be used for. After all, we have ourselves to overcome.

      Like

  9. As always, really good post with excellent points. Earth is indeed our home, and we need to take care of it. Unfortunately, we are one destructive species. Let us hope we can come to terms with our destructiveness. On a lighter note…that is one funky video. My husband is a space buff, and I had to call him to look at it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You usually manage to make me think, Frank, so I reckon twice a week will be sufficient. I’m wearing out the grey matter at an alarming rate 🙂 🙂 It amazes me how much more we know about space now than when I was at school. Were you fit and able, would you volunteer to go to Mars?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo,
      I recall that life would stop to watch the rocket launches, and as time went on, they became routine and a side-note in the news. And the satellites on their missions that make the news when NASA releases the images. Amazing stuff. Would I go to Mars if fit and able? Hmmmm … I don’t think so – but I would love to see our planet from above. How about you?

      PS: Thanks for the feedback about two posts per week. I’ve got the feeling I will settle on two per week plus an occasional third based on my schedule. Time will tell.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Cincy,

    You’re right about humans and exploration being in the DNA. 2040, while ambitious, isn’t out of the question when you think about all the other challenges that have been scaled over our history. I just wish we would do more to make life work here before we go scoping other home field advantages.

    Here’s to Carl Sagan and the Moody Blues

    (Not a bad cover band name)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marco,
      When it comes to exploration, humans aggressively attack the details. I’m confident that more than we realize of the technology necessary for the trip is already in place – so it’s down to the details. Then again, it’s the details that determine success or failure. Humans also like goals – so being the first species to screw up two planets would be quite the accomplishment! … but … that is one heck of a cover band name.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If the program is really serious about venturing to another place and laying down roots, we should send some pols along for the ride. Cruz and Gaetz and the Miss Quanon come to mind. And it’s mandatory they go. And not come back. Vaya con dios kind of deal.

        Like

  12. Space is so very intriguing, isn’t it?! I was 14 when man landed on the moon! Who’d have thought that was even remotely possible way back when…though Jules Verne sure did, LOL! And Offenbach wrote music about the moon, based on Verne’s book…
    OK, this post was about Mars!!
    Why on earth (Pun intended) do they call that candy bar, a Mars Bar?? And what about the Mars food company, they make a lot of pet food. Yikes, our pets will soon be Martians!
    And there is also a saying that men come from Mars, but women come from Venus. Hmmm, these days that might be very PC…

    I too love looking at the heavens at night. Though I never have had a look with a telescope, except when I went to a planetarium, in DC is I recall correctly. They were having a lecture. Long befor peeps had computers and tere was no internet either.
    I took one semester of astronomy in college…fascinating subject! I had an uncle who would study up on those things, and when I was a kid, I loved to pore over his books:)

    I look at Mars and Jupiter and Mercury and Venus when I know they are in the sky to view, and recent conjunctions are always wonderful to see! So interesting! Saturn was visible earlier with Jupiter, but it was too cloudy to see here.

    Oh, MY I am rambling…must be that teaser, so early for me to get up to achieve a ‘firstie’…what a doozy! I did not put forth any guesses…LOL! Now that was teasing you:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ingrid,
      You had me laughing so much I’m not sure where to start my reply. Cheers to your love for astronomy, plus the influence your uncle had on you. Planetariums are so wonderful – but I can’t recall the last time I visited one. There is so much happening in the sky, and fortunately, we have the Internet and media to tell us to look. Can you imagine Galileo and Copernicus studying? Fascinating. Meanwhile, the time is nearing to see you receive Teddy’s weekly award or two. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and the chuckles. … but I’m getting the Mars family founded the Mars Company.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was fun to make you chuckle! I love to do that at my work, too…
        Here is another fun one:
        Our Church denomination has a seminary: MId America Reformed Seminary…which is also known as MARS!
        (Oh and now you know why there wasn’t any guesses from myself at Teddy’s Teaser.)
        Have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. now I am stepping to a slightly direction, as there is so much that we can do to the planet we live on, why reach for mars. Spend some of that money to more acute places. as you said: 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. We are insatiably curious creatures, aren’t we? There will always be those among us willing to risk their lives to explore beyong the horizon, but as an incurable homebody, I’m content to remain on earth and leave no stone unturned.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The perspective of the universe leaves our space-time framework. We need the mathematical tool to estimate distances and times, but it is not really perceived by our mind.
    It is the same for the duration of geological time. we can date the rock layers by considering their relative position in space and also by the modern way of dating but can we really understand them in our mind?
    A French scientist-philosopher Blaise Pascal (XVIIth century says “the heart has its reasons which reason does not know”. Perhaps the same can be said of geological duration and sidereal distances
    Very interesting sobering post, Frank.
    In friendship
    Michel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michel,
      I greatly appreciate your points about the human perspective of space and time. I content most people don’t really comprehend how big of a number 1 million actually is – lead alone hundreds of millions. Yes, we know a 1 followed by 6 zeros before a decimal, but lack the perspective of quantity. Thanks for your wonderful examples.

      Like

  16. Even with light pollution I can often see the planets when they are close, relatively speaking, of course, and i feel a thrill. I don’t think I have any desire to visit Mars, but the date suggested by which that might be possible is probably not too convenient for me, as I set my day planner! 🙂

    I did see a meteor in March. It was actually my birthday, and I felt it was a good sign for the year to come. It was three-staged and absolutely spectacular as I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I would have wondered if I was accurate in labeling what I saw as a meteor, but I went to the Griffith Observatory website and found corroboration.

    And very nice moving quoting Moody Blues!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Earth is uniquely designed for human life, Frank. However, I like to think other forms of life might exist on planets or stars we have yet to discover. I don’t think that “life” will look like anything we’ve imagined, but who knows? It’s an interesting possibility, don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura,
      Glad you enjoyed this post. Mars is definitely interesting. Hearing a NASA speaker served as a bit of inspiration for this one. Watching it progress will be interesting. Thanks for the feedback about posting twice a week. I’ve got the feeling that there may be an occasional third (Thursdays) from time to time – simply depending on my time. Oh well … time will tell – and thanks fo the support. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Frank,
    I think you’re right that humans feel the need to explore. We’ve been doing it since our existence. Now that we feel we’ve “conquered” Earth, it’s only natural to want to go out side of it. Will we benefit? Possibly!

    Liked by 1 person

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