A large percentage of adults over thirty-five, cannot easily tolerate some of the dizzying rides in amusement parks, much less an incredibly fast hundred and fifty million mile journey through space to then attempt life on a planet without comfort or human support. Technology can someday create an environment for humans that would buffer the punishment of radiation, and lack of gravity, but could it replace normal human companionship, and familiar sensory feedback well enough to keep them healthy?
For those special individuals who have the vigor, training, and mindset for space travel, technology may offer more and more safety for such a journey. However, it does seem the answer to this question brings about a much large issue. If there is enough money to develop a spacecraft to safely deliver a human being to Mars, what events would then follow? Is there a really good reason to risk one human life to further explore a planet that is extremely inhospitable.
Although it would be interesting to some of us to see more measurements of the planet, and a lot more photos, to what end would the space travelers be working? And at what cost? Meanwhile, back here on earth, full resolution to many human problems continues to remain out of reach even now. Most of them show no signs of disappearing.
We may have to send teenagers on this investigative trip to Mars. They may be the only specimens among us that have the physical resilience, and intellect, needed. On the other hand, perhaps we ought to consider sending older humans, or people who are indifferent to life on earth, or even persons very excited to live on the edge. It is likely that any humans traveling through space to Mars, will suffer some kinds of health problems on the way there, while they are measuring rocks and craters, or on the way back to earth.
We should certainly quench our curiosity about our solar system, and way beyond. It does seem unlikely that we ignore so much need on earth, in exchange for discovery that tantalizes our imagination. Of course we do have an impressive record so far. It is certain the space program will move forward with more ways to keep our astronauts safe, although once they are out in space, there are limits to how we can save them from encounters with the unexpected.
It is hard to grasp the dangers of space travel. We have become very familiar with space through cartoons, and special effects. The real dangers of space travel offers few alternatives to those in the spacecraft, although the ground control has exquisite technology at itsfingertips. Only time will tell, if Mars is one day going to be on the travel channel. In the meanwhile, it doesn’t appear to be a worthy exchange for developing better ways to live on earth.