Have a listen to Mary Fahl, easily one of the top five female vocalists in the world today, with a live, acoustic solo performance of the October Project song Ariel.
It’s heady stuff, really. There’s a quantum difference between sending a robot to Mars and sending people there, but it’s not an insurmountable difference; if the right raw materials are found there, it’s entirely possible to establish a human colony. In a generation or two, there would indeed be Martians; human Martians, Homo sapienscitizens of the red planet. (One wonders if there would be a military captain named Carter among them.)
So when do we start sending robots to exoplanets?
Closer to home: There should be only one reason to forgo a human colony on Mars, and that’s a long shot – the presence of native Martians already inresidence. The presence of any life, even microbes, presents an ethical dilemma – not only the possibility of wiping out an existing ecosystem, but the very real possibility of inadvertently transporting those microbes back to Earth, where they may die out from our thick, hot, poisonously rich atmosphere – or they may become the worst of all invasive-species nightmares.
It’s a pretty problem. Hopefully one we’ll solve soon. There’s another K-T event coming sometime in the future, maybe a million years for now, maybe next year. The best way to prepare for that is to make sure humanity has more than one planet to call home.
In other science-y news, it seems red dragonflies are sexy. Red is the color of passion, after all. That’s probably why Mrs. Animal looks so good in red.
Happy Hump Day, True Believers!