Why does Mars exist, and why should we go there?
Mars, the small frozen desert planet, is the way it is and couldn't be any other way...right? But what if we look back with billions of years worth of hindsight, and apply a bit of chance and probability. If we do so, we will find that Mars very easily might not have formed at all, or could have ballooned to the size of the Earth and evolved quite differently than it did. The discovery of thousands of exoplanets allows us to see how those alternate realities did play out around distant st/ars, and gives insight into our own red planet. But should we go to Mars? Is it worth the cost and r-isk, especially with so many pressing problems back here on Earth? The potential rewards are immense: a sustained human-led science campaign at Mars is the best chance we have of answering fundamental questions about the origin of life in the solar system, and determining how rare life is in the universe as a whole. The challenges and accomplishments associated with sending humans to Mars may also inject a bit of hope and existential meaning into a society that increasing needs it.
- Friday, August 24, 2018
- 1:00pm - 4:00pm
- John C. Hitt Library