Apropos the 5th anniversary of the Mars rovers

I know I’m a total airhead but when younger I always thought we’d go to the stars, someday. At the very least I thought our neighbouring planets would had gotten human visitors by now.

That was some years ago, though. Last time I seriously thought we’d get somewhere like Mars was, maybe, in the late 70’s. And people keep telling me we should spend our precious monies on other things than burning them in space.

About a month ago this was discussed at the Green Dragon, and people managed to come up with rather a lot of ways we have benefited from there being a space program at all. Among others

  • Pacemakers
  • Miniature electronics
  • GPS
  • Satellite enabled communications, including remote doctors
  • Robotics that can be used for prosthetics
  • Treatments for cancer (lot of radiation in space)
  • Treatments for osteoporosis (also a ‘humans in space’-problem)
  • Light AND strong alloys

were mentioned, among others. And of course there’s LOTS of scientific data to be gathered, not to mention inspiration for more than a few authors ;-)

I do understand people who think we should spend our money on other things. People starve and die all around, even in “civilized” countries. What I don’t understand is when people insists any space program is a total waste of money, and for naïve dreamers only.

But come to think of it – where would humankind be if there hadn’t been dreamers there, all along?

(Thank you JPB for posting the link to Mars rovers roll on to five years, from the Beeb)

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