The week has been exciting. NASA has announced there is liquid water to be found on Mars – in certain circumstances. If any of the Mars colony projects are to succeed, they need water. Water means life. We can’t survive without it.
The water is locked in Mars’ soil and atmosphere. It’s soil is hydrated. There is humidity in the air. It is the same thin atmosphere that makes the water unstable, boiling at ten degrees Celsius. In some areas, perchlorate salts trap the water, causing it to boil at twenty-four degrees, thus making it possible for the Curiosity rover to detect flowing water.
The chances of anything coming from Mars was a million to one, they said.
If you factor in NASA’s Mars-shattering announcement earlier this week, the chances of anything going to Mars have now increased. If the chances were a million to one, what are they now? Any mathematicians or statisticians care to weigh in?
This raises the stakes.
Mars could not have dreamed that we would scrutinise it, as as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply, looking for a drop of water – looking for the possibility of life on the planet. Do we now regard Mars with acquisitive eyes and slowly and surely draw plans for it?
It is now only a matter of time before scientists can engineer usable liquid water on Mars’ surface. These are the first twitches toward the next giant leap for humankind. The chances of seeing a human colony on Mars, in my lifetime, have increased.
But tread gently. Our track record with tending our Earth is not encouraging. We teeter on a major climate change. Mars has already suffered such a fate. Would we inflict it upon the planet again?
And what if there were little green men, slumbering, watching our progress, dreading our preparations to invade their world?
- Evidence of liquid water found on Mars
- Salty water seen flowing on Mars, not far from Curiosity rover
- What Makes Liquid Water on Mars Possible?
- Don’t Drink the Water on Mars (Just had to get a Doctor Who reference in)
“No-one could have dreamed that we were being scrutinized, as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water…
… regarded this Earth with envious eyes …
and slowly and surely they drew there plans against us.
– Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds.