In order to determine if exploration is worth the manpower or cost, we will consider the following questions:
What explorations have been conducted?
What is the cost?
What have we learned and what do we hope to learn?
What is the effect on Florida’s economy and job market?
Should We Continue the Mars Exploration Program?
Mars Exploration and Cost The switch from the shuttle program to the new exploration initiatives (Mars included) could mean fewer jobs over the next several years. NASA has pumped billions of dollars into Florida’s economy for over four decades. $4.2 billion has been spent on Mars exploration to date Sometimes miscalculations Often reasons are unknown Reasons for failures 50% success rate overall. Of eleven missions that were to land on the surface of Mars, only six actually transmitted any data after landing. Spirit and Orbiter (the 51 st and 52 nd missions) are currently exploring Mars and have worked 16 times longer than planned and have driven 20 times farther than expected. 54 orbiters and landers have been sent to Mars Began exploring Mars in 1960 Con Pro Information
We see a mission failure rate of 50%, often for unknown reasons, at a cost of 4.2 billion dollars coupled with a falling need for personnel in the job market as evidence that we should not support continued missions to Mars .
Mars is the fourth planet from the sun, our neighboring planet.
It has a similar amount of land mass to Earth.
The length of a day on Mars is similar to Earth, while a year is twice as long.
685 solar days 365.2 solar days Martian Year Earth Year 24 hrs. 39 min. 23 hrs. 56 min. Martian Solar Day Earth Solar Day
What Have We Learned? Scientists are not exactly sure how Mars lost its atmosphere, but they hypothesize that Mars did indeed have an atmosphere at one point in its history since liquid water cannot exist without some level of atmosphere. The Loss of the Martian Atmosphere In September 2007, a NASA orbiter captured images of gullies and other landforms in which water may have traveled on Mars. Deposits of minerals such as salt have been found on the surface of Mars where water was thought to have once evaporated from these areas. Presence of Water An orbiter unintentionally captured video evidence of an avalanche on Mars, so scientists definitely feel that there is still geological activity on Mars. Geologic Activity
According to scientists at NASA, future Mars explorations are aimed at learning:
How the planets formed
Whether Mars has ever/could ever sustain life
Whether Earth could ever evolve into the type of planet that Mars has become?
Will finding answers to these questions really help us as humans on this planet?
Summary of What We’ve Learned or Hope to Learn
With initial explorations proving that there is no life, no way to support human life, and no water to support agriculture, we conclude that exploring Mars is not producing knowledge or opportunities that benefit Earth.
While scientific discovery is a worthy pursuit, using our science resources here on Earth to feed the hungry and cure disease has much greater benefit to mankind.