Remember when you looked at the moon and your parents said “Yep, that’s made of cheese”. Well, maybe it’s a Wisconsin thing – I’m not sure. However I remember hearing stuff like that as a kid and wonder what the moon actually had on it that could help us.
It’s cool to be able to do the same thing for Mars. With the Phoenix making the “Perfect touchdown”, we might just get a glimpse of a planet so close, yet so far away. And maybe even answer the big question – is there really Amazon Women on Mars and when will they attack?
Of course Earths’ Technology has been on Mars already. While the Rover gave us the first ideals of what is and what could have been on the Red Planet, Phoenix will be concentrating on a certain area. Mostly to gather data on the frozen water contained in that area.
Some may speculate that it’s about eventual habitation of the planet. While that is not in the mission statement, we all know that this is a viable question needing to be answered. We might not find a big machine that could oxygenate the planet like in “Total Recall”, but we might find ways to at least send an astronaut to this abandoned planet.
It would also be cool if we did find real signs of past life. Pull out some pottery, artwork or whatever could surface. Something to understand life a little more.
Another exciting aspect is the technology that could come from these trips. Space travel has given us a bevy of new ideas simply because we have to adjust to conditions and sometimes think out of the box. Smoke detectors, for instance, were created to alert astronauts of smoke or fire in space. Scratch-proof glass, protective paint, and ceramic braces were some of the things we have invented to counter the cold, harsh atmosphere of space.
So the moon might not be made of cheese. Mars might not have some cool new element that could power our homes for millions of years. But the information it might contain will give us the ideas we need to invent something new. Wherever it comes from, it’s all because we wanted to “reach for the stars”.