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Is Space Travel to the Planet Mars too Dangerous – No

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"Is Space Travel to the Planet Mars too Dangerous - No"
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Is Space Travel to the Planet Mars too Dangerous?

Is it too dangerous to go to Mars? No, it is not. Some people cite the dangers of cosmic radiation, technical difficulties, bone mass loss, the deep isolation, food and water issues, etc., but in all honesty, these issues will be solved or addressable before we go, whether from all the growing research upon Earth, the ISS, or on future moon missions. The only danger is not having the political will to do it and more importantly, to continue with the missions and not have a one-off, flag-planting exercise.

What people have to remember is that astronauts are willing participants in this mission, their chosen job. Just as people smoke, join the army, drive fast cars, become stuntmen, skydive, etc., there is danger in everything we do, so danger is relative. When people say it is too dangerous to go to Mars they are likely thinking of today's technology and not of the many innovations and experiments that are being tested and practiced for the future by NASA, organisations like the Mars Society, Universities and other institutions, especially the new private companies involved in the so-called New Space Race. Just as with any industry, these preparations will lessen the dangers and make space travel safer than it is, as safe as it can be, and as safe as any other occupation with inherent dangers. Space to other people now and to our future generations is and will be just another medium for their work and life.

Going to Mars will not be a one-nation mission either, but an international mission, so any danger will be shared. The danger and expense of going to Mars will lessen significantly over the course of a few missions with the live off the land' philosophy being advocated by NASA. The Mars mission will not just be about scientific advances and pure exploration, but about expanding knowledge about ourselves and what we can truly achieve, spreading our genes and gaining new resources and territory across the cosmos so we can survive longer and prosper as a race. The more we discover about Mars from rovers, satellites and human missions, the more we could depend on Martian resources (oxygen, fuel, minerals, water, etc.) to survive. The danger really is in not trying.

I do not believe that we humans will lack the courage to go to Mars when the time comes, but we will need to do it soon so that the fear of trying does not prevail and that the survival of our race is more secure. Going to Mars would be the most selfless thing that mankind has done and if that is dangerous, then it would be worth it.

More about this author: Ray Burke

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