The successful landing of the persistent US spacecraft on Mars provided stunning images of the red planet. It wasn’t the first successful Mars landing, but it was the fifth for the Americans. And above Mars, another Chinese mission will soon land, and a satellite from the United Arab Emirates, looking into the Martian atmosphere.
The red planet has been in the spotlight for a long time, because its closest neighbor in our solar system has an almost terrestrial character. Mars still has something of the atmosphere and the water flowing at once. The mission of perseverance centers on the intriguing question of whether there is life on Mars.
Don’t imagine much of that earthly character
Some scientists, space entrepreneurs and earth-hungry rulers dream of humans on Mars, which is a space colony. But don’t imagine much of that friendly earthy character. The defective atmosphere of Mars is made almost entirely of carbon dioxide and has an average temperature of minus 60 degrees. You can’t breathe and freeze to death. A colony on Mars means living in a bubble, literally. This would be technically possible; The raw materials needed are available on Mars, and labs have already shown how to use them.
But why would you want to go to Mars as a human? For fun? Go ahead, but you’ll have to wait at least two years for the return trip to Earth. To start extracting minerals and bring them back to Earth? To do this, it must increase the current raw material prices by a factor of one million or more. As a rule? Colonization of Mars to explore space from there standing on the newspaper of the scene. You think you made a huge leap with that colony, but you became one more pill in the Sahel.
Exploring celestial bodies is a wonderful science. Science has made remarkable discoveries and incredible achievements, such as the successful landing of 50 million kilometers from the Flight Control Center.
Man became possible thanks to the earth
But dreaming about people living on Mars is a misunderstanding of what life is. Man is not the supreme form of life who happens to have chosen Earth as their home. It is a form of life provided by the earth itself.
Other life forms are conceivable. In fact, there is a great chance that other forms of life may exist elsewhere in the universe. For them, Earth would be an uninhabitable Hell, with this toxic oxygen in its atmosphere. But man and other terrestrial life were made for and by this planet. This does not exclude space colonies. Bacteria, rodents, and humans can all live elsewhere in the universe, which is not the point. But survival is not life. This life is not separated from the earth. You won’t find it anywhere else.
Commentary is the opinion of Trouw newspaper expressed by members of the editor-in-chief and senior editors.
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