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Why Explore Mars?

posted Mar 15, 2012, 9:50 AM by Michael Stoltz   [ updated Mar 15, 2012, 11:17 AM ]
By Ryan Anderson, AGU Blogosphere, 03.12.12

During my thesis defense, one of the questions that caught me most off guard was: “What would you say to a member of the public who asked you why we’re spending more than $2 billion on the Mars Science Laboratory rover?"

I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t answer very well. I was all prepared for my research methods and results to be picked apart, and so I went sort of brain-dead when this question came up. I managed to basically repeat the mission objective of assessing habitability and then my adviser came to my rescue by referring to this blog, where I have talked before about the reasons for space exploration.

My failure to answer well has bothered me ever since, and now, with the brutal cuts to the planetary science budget in the president’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013, I think it’s time I gave a proper answer.

So, why explore Mars?

To read Ryan's full blog, please click here.

[Image: NASA]