The Wonder of Mars

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of space. The idea of other planets out there, with their own climates, their own geographies, their own histories, maybe even their own civilizations – the excitement one gets from the thought never truly wanes. When I was a child, I went through the phase where I wanted to be an astronaut; I want to say hello to aliens on other worlds, maybe even join in on some of their intergalactic games. Since then, I’ve mostly dropped the idea, due to both the idea being realistic and my growing interest in other areas (namely music). However, it still pops in to my head now and then, and sometimes I like to look up what’s happening in the big black sea. CNN recently posted some new photos that the Mars rover took. Particularly interesting was the fact that these photos were the first nighttime photos the Mars rover has ever taken – progress it always good, right?

Unfortunately, as these images are contained in a slide show, I do not know how to make them appear as photos on this blog. Therefore, I highly advise you to check out the link in the above paragraph. Some of the photos were taken using ultraviolet lights. CNN also says that the rover will begin drilling for rock soon, and has been scarping the ground to inspect for dust-free areas. This part of space is particularly interesting to me, the part that can be measured and studied in human ways. Most “science” done on foreign solar systems (insert large number here) of miles away is merely conjectural and speculative. But rocks, drilled from Mars? That is evidence. That is data. And data is wonderful and makes me feel more safe and secure about the world. Well, that might actually be an exaggeration, but I digress.

CNN has been writing stories of Mars for years, and some of them are more personalized than others. Some of them, such as this one, complain that the costs of sending things such as the Mars rover to the red planet are not being considered heavily enough. After all, this cost was $2.6 billion U.S dollars. That’s quite a bit of money, even for today. The article also tells of the costs of previous Mars experiences, such as the Spirit or the Sojourner crafts. And perhaps that is why my love of space diminished over time: the dreams were free, but to realize those would cost too much.

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