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Long-time Imagination Connoisseur, Dean Micetich, takes a closer look at the films and shows that focus on man traveling to Mars and makes note of the fact that only half of the missions sent to the Red Planet actually land successfully. Dean asks a crucial question: Can we afford the risk in real life or will we be stuck going there in our imagination?

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Hi Rob and the PGS,

In one of my pervious letters I talked about watching movies based on real events with Space and NASA. (Apollo 13, The Right Stuff and October Sky.)

I have continued this theme, though now going into fiction. With films and TV shows centred on Mars. These where The Martian (Extended version), Mission to Mars, Conquest of Space (which I think could be the film, that opened my eyes to science fiction. Seeing that spinning space station just blow my little mind.), AWAY and of course the docudrama MARS.

I have to say that I found the docudrama MARS fascinating but also at the same time a little worrisome. It was interesting to hear what all the talking heads had to say and I agree with them.

Mars is going to cost us a lot as species before we truly conquer it. I have no doubt there will be many lives lot in those early years, especially when you know that only 50% of the unmanned missions to the Red Planet have successful been able to land on it. Those people that take on the task of going there will know this and accept the fact that they could not be coming back.

But what about those are financing these mission will they be able to accept this?

After Apollo 13 happened, Nixon got cold feet when it came to space. He did not want to lose an American life in space while he was in office. It was also around this time he was given two options on what NASA should do next. Start working on getting a manned mission to Mars (something the Saturn Rockets was partly designed to do) or build a vehicle that can get into low orbit and be reusable. We all know which chose Nixon made, if he had gone the other way. We could have a colony or at least a manned research station there now.

Getting humans to Mars does not have me worried, whenever we attempt something there is always risks and failure, but we always pick ourselves up and keep at it until we get it right.

What has me worried, is what the second season of MARS was focused on. That is the big cooperation going there and setting up shop to exploit the resources Mars has to offer, just to make a quick buck. But also in the process making deals with governments so they can do what they want. Just like here on Earth.

We all know that there are international laws regarding space and how no government can lay claim to any planet or celestial bodies within our own system. But these laws does not apply to big cooperation’s. With more and more companies now looking beyond Earth, is not time we look at these laws and make changes so these cooperation don’t start to lay claim to resources outside of our planet? I mean do we really want one company in control of the air everyone breaths on Mars as seen in Total Recall?

Personally I don’t think that will be a good idea, but I am sure it will happen unless laws are put in place now, to make sure this never does.

Peace and Long Life,
Dean M.