With Mars back in the news for a quick moment as we make contact, I found myself interested again in this red planet, and our attempts to tame it. The next planet over from us (away from the sun), Mars, has always been the one that got away. It was right there, but not really. Mars may be the most viable option in terms of landing/colonizing a planet, but the amount of effort and funds it takes to get there, especially with humans on board, is extremely overwhelming to most sane people. I say most, because there were and currently are people who view putting humans on mars as totally feasible.
Our moon took a lot of attention away from Mars, but why wouldn’t it? It’s much closer and we can see the damn thing almost always just sitting there, waiting for us to get our shit together and visit again. It’s one thing to get a space craft to orbit an object, but its a whole nother ball game to land something on it, especially if that something contains humans. The manned flight to the moon went from being a scientific achievement to a political chest beating match between us and the Soviet Union. We were severely embarrassed when we found out that the Soviet Union beat us to space, so we had to beat them to the moon. I bring this up because it shows just how much was riding on the moon projects while Mars plans were few and far between, always eclipsed by the moon.
Don’t get me wrong now, Mars may have played second fiddle to the moon, but it has always remained on our, for lack of a better phrase, “bucket list”. People have had all sorts of ideas on how we will get to the moon, but I believe that only now are we living in a time where we have the technology to actually pull it off. We just landed a large rover, now why not humans? Many great minds pondered this and I will discuss some of these people in my next post.
Here is a great video of the lunar landing that has just recently been found. (NSFW: Heavy Language)