Jim Colyer News
Our Future On Mars
@ Amazon According to this Popular Science publication, man will be on Mars by 2035. I have my doubts. It is highly conceivable that man's first efforts will fail. There are any number of ways to die. Spacecrafts could crash trying to land. And there is radiation! Cosmic rays are energized particles that could damage cells or even the DNA of astronauts. The extreme cold on Mars is dangerous. The temperature averages minus 80 degrees, and even though it can reach a balmy 86 degrees at the equator, it dips to minus 280 at the poles. That is cold! Of course, global dust storms are always a threat. While Earth's magnetic field, called the magnetosphere, protects us from deadly rays on Earth, there is no such protection on Mars. The red planet's thin atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide. This is a hostile place indeed! Scientists attribute Mars' red color to rust, suggesting that there was once an abundance of water and oxygen. Apparently, Mars' atmosphere escaped into space. Getting to Mars is one thing. Returning to Earth is something else. It is crazy, but I think it will happen, if not by 2015, then sometime in the distant future. It will be like the moon. After the first trip, public interest will wane. Years later, a generation of doubters will question whether man really went to Mars.