Well, time for a Mars mission (Curiosity) update. This weekend Curiosity was supposed to take it’s first soil sample. As with so much so far, caution seems to have precluded an urge to keep the mission in the spotlight. Its been over a month since Curiosity landed.
Has anyone else noticed how quickly the mission to Mars has fallen off the news feed?
Oh, I know. . . there’s the election, the ongoing struggle in Syria, the Romney gaffes and then the Obama wimpishness. There’s lots of more interesting news. And then there’s cats on the internet, words with friends, and the Daily show, not to mention the latest twist on the Linbaugh Franchise.
But it’s as if the p.r. budget for the Mars mission was scratched, or maybe they only had enough in it to do those great graphics relating the landing process.
Maybe they’re holding back for the notoriety they expect to get if they find really good evidence of past life on that planet. (I don’t think many are holding out for extant life there.)
What about that? I may have already addressed this idea here, but it’s worth revisiting: what will be the news when incontrovertible evidence of life elsewhere in the universe is found–if it is?
(BTW, I have no doubt whatsoever that other life exists; only that we may never find evidence of it-restraints of distance and how long we may have left to look.)
I suspect we’ll mostly be confronted with the religious implications of realizing the entire universe wasn’t created solely for humans. I’m pretty sure we’ll come through that with flying colors, however, and modify our thinking very slightly to incorporate our current obsession with humanity into its resilient status as our primary assumption.
Much more important, in practical terms, however, should be the recognition that a living planet, as Mars must have once been for any evidence of life to still be evident there, can die.
If such evidence is found, the implications for the living planet that Earth still is cannot be ignored. Especially not knowing what we know about how lethal or own current actions might to be.