Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A ranch on Mars

So it looks like I may have left my sports research phase behind me. (Time will tell). I spent a lot of time researching the history of football codes, and then I discovered a sports opinion blog called The Roar. I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time writing comments and articles at that blog, and my own blogging slowed down a bit as a result. In the end I got a bit ticked off by some of the people who continued to claim that soccer is the best sport, and as such were not a lot of fun to debate with. It started to feel like the debates were going around in circles. So, it's time to spend my brain space on other things.

A friend may have just rescued me from my football induced stupor when he asked me if I had heard about the Phoenix probe that has just landed on Mars. I had heard of it, but I nearly ignored it, which is so unlike me.

I still have lots of reading to do to catch up on the goals of the probe. Exploration of Mars fascinates me, because I see it as part of God's plan and gift of the universe to us. Imagine if sin had never entered the world. Imagine where we would be today. No wars, no death. Technology would have advanced far into space by now. Nevertheless, this does mot mean that the wonders of space are not for us now.

I like to think that Mars and the other planets are there for us to use as resources. There is bound to be a lot of mineral wealth in space, say for instance in the asteroid belt, which is between Mars and Jupiter.

The Phoenix probe landed on Mars on May 25th. It landed near one of the poles to search for ice. The purpose of the project is to research the history of water on Mars, to get an idea of climate change there and whether life may have possibly existed there.

The probe landed in a very specific spot, which is quite amazing in itself. The level of science needed to send this probe is staggering. The probe is digging into the Martian soil. Information is being sent back to earth via the martian satellites which then beam messages to earth's sattelites.

Such sophisiticated technology leads me to imagine future possiblities. The temperatures by the poles can get as low as -80 C over night, which is a little too cold for human habitation. Temperatures at the equator however can get up to +27 C. So human habitation would be possible by the equator but not by the poles. (At least in the early stages). Robots however could travel to the poles and even build roads to the poles to mine water. In fact much of this could even happen before humans ever set foot on Mars. Indeed the fact that two satellites already orbit Mars and send communications back to earth are actually the beginnings of human infrastructure on Mars.

It may still be a generation or two before humans set up a colony on Mars. I guess we need to set up a colony on the moon first to make this possible.

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