Recently, US President Trump asked NASA, why not bypass the Moon and go to Mars first:
Trump made his interest in Mars much clearer today, asking Bridenstine to explain NASA’s Moon plans and why they were necessary. He asked Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins his thoughts, to which Collins replied, “Mars direct,” indicating NASA should go straight to Mars and bypass the Moon altogether. “It seems to me Mars direct,” Tump replied. “I mean, who knows better than these people. They’ve been doing this stuff for a long time. What about the concept of Mars direct?”Loren Grush, “Trump repeatedly asks NASA administrator why we can’t go straight to Mars” at The Verge
It would provide a practical test of origin of life theories, long a victim of what-ifs, would-have-dones, and must-haves. If there apparently isn’t and never has been life on Mars, why should we assume it exists elsewhere? If there is/has been life on Mars and it looks like it came from Earth, well, that’s a game-changer in itself. If it doesn’t look like it came from Earth, that opens up whole new, non-speculative vistas.
The moon is a good place to test equipment.
The Mars Society offers some thoughts.
See also: Chemist James Tour calls time out on implausible origin of life theories He writes, “It is time for a temporary time out. Why not admit what we cannot yet explain: the mass transfer of starting materials to the molecules needed for life; the origin of life’s code; the combinatorial complexities present in any living system; and the precise non-regular assembly of cellular components?”
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2 Replies to “Would bypassing the Moon, going to Mars first, help with origin of life?”
A Manned Mission to Mars is a death sentence with absolutely no possibility of rescue if something goes wrong.
Human biology does NOT like a high radiation, low gravity environment. Even just orbiting in the space station is known to shorten the life of astronauts.
For the cost of a Manned Mission to Mars, we could FLOOD Mars with unmanned rovers, each of which would perform more Science than a couple guys (at least 1 of which MUST be female) who have to keep running back inside their Lander to switch oxygen tanks (and change their diapers…).
The Manned Mission to Mars is NOT Science. It’s a publicity stunt that requires US taxpayers to fork over a couple gazillion USDs in tax money.
How about colonizing the Sea Floor? Actually we TRIED that. It was INCREDIBLY boring, and boring stuff bores TAXPAYERS. And even sending men (oops, “persons”) to the South Pole is also incredibly expensive, but the expenses are apparently buried deep enough in various different budgets that taxpayers have no idea how much they’re paying.
I read somewhere, way back when NASA was sending men to the Moon, that live video of what the Moon LOOKS LIKE up close was probably the worst PR disaster NASA ever had. Millions of Americans got to ABSOLUTE NOTHING in every direction they pointed the camera. “OK, so here’s a much of white nothing. And, oh, LOOK! A ROCK! And here’s some more white nothing…” Mars would of course look pretty much the same, except for a coating of rust.