Earth, our home, has nursed our species of humans for untold years & now, in the last 200 years or so we as a species are maturing at an ever accelerated rate, (knowledge doubles every few years). Just like a toddler, who first crawls, then walks & finally runs. Man is beginning to walk, beginning to explore & harness space. Many if not most major technological advances, medical, science, communication & entertainment breakthroughs can be traced directly back to our space programs. It would be not be a stretch to say that exploring space has actually stimulated mans maturity, at least in a technological sense.
Earth, the jewel of known space, has been cradle to all types of life, untold numbers of species & some may have even been a lot like us, but for one reason or another have become extinct & have been lost to space, time & history.
Earth is beautiful, but also fragile & one day our species, the human race & ultimately Earth herself will most certainly share the fate of so many others that have gone before & will also be lost to the ages.
There is only one way to avoid that fate, & that is to become a space faring, colonizing species. All roads lead to Mars. By location, by climate, Mars will become the first stepping stone, the proving ground, the first test of mans ability to survive & to live beyond the lifespan of Mother earth, to mature to full potential, to become space faring.
The challenges will be great, but not any greater than countless challenges that have already been faced. Was crossing the ocean in wooden ships & canvas sail too dangerous? Is open heart surgery too dangerous? Is flying at near the speed of sound at 30,000 feet in a pressurized tin can too dangerous? Where would we be if those challenges along with countless others had been deemed too dangerous? Flip the coin over & think of what wonders the future will bring when this last great challenge is met. Who knows, at some point man may even conquer his mortality, which, if & when he does, the discovery may well be traced back to one of the benefits of accepting the challenge of going to, & living on Mars.
The challenges that the human race has met in the past has made us, as a race stronger, smarter & in many ways our lives have been made lives easier & most certainly more full of wonder. Is it too dangerous to go to Mars? The real danger is NOT going to Mars.