A mission to Mars is certainly dangerous, but not as dangerous as not going to Mars. More people will die at birth, in car accidents, and from obesity this year than have ever died in all the years combine of space exploration. A mission to Mars could save lives on earth.
A Mars mission is certainly extremely dangerous and the risks are high. With all the variables, unknowns, and human errors, it is quite possible one or more people could die. Three astronauts died on the launch pad during the Apollo program before we made it to the moon. Astronauts have died during the destruction of two different Space Shuttle incidents.
It is sad, and a great tragedy whenever a life is lost. This comes with the territory, however, and is a risk all astronauts are sharply aware of. It is no different from the explorers of ancient times that sought out to find new trade routes and ran into the Americas.
A mission to Mars will be costly in both monetary terms and quite possibly the lives that will be claimed in the process. It is never good to trade a life for a life, but consider the good that came out of the Apollo mission as need drove new innovations. Literally tens of thousands of new technologies have found their ways into our daily lives, medical care, food quality, and safer transportation.
Will we find life on Mars? Will we even find water? Maybe, maybe not. What we will definitely gain are more advances in technology that can find applications in the world around us to entertain, enlighten, enhance, and even save and preserve many lives. A mission of this magnitude, like any exploration mission in history, forces us into an inventive mode with a fresh way of looking at problems.
If we continue looking inward at solving our world problems, we will continue doing the same things. Given the course this world is taken as we destroy one another while being fascinated with broken lives of those in Hollywood, we are not progressing. A fresh look at worlds outside our own is scary and daunting, but far less dangerous than becoming numb in our comfortable cocoon.
Gus Grissom, Ed White, Roger Chaffee gave their lives in 1967 not just to satisfy a President's vision to go to the moon, but to advance society as a whole. They are not just explorers of new worlds but pioneers bringing back treasures from them. America and the world need a hero again. We need to go to Mars.