I ran across a vid of a proposal developed by Martin Marietta to explore Mars, towards settlement (and terraforming?):
What I find highly interesting is the motivations given. In addition to the Mars colonisation idea, there seems to be hope that finding “independent” life on Mars would show life must be common in the universe.
Of course, we will recall the 1990’s dust up over Nasa’s announcement of life on a meteorite held to have come from Mars. (Cf Wiki here.) Which, brings to mind Astronomer and Old Earth Creationist Hugh Ross’ thought that impacts on Earth would spread life-bearing rocks far and wide across the solar system. *His initial response to the Nasa announcement is here.)
But, too, there is a big question:
wouldn’t it be much simpler and cheaper to address the issue of whether functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information (FSCO/I) can credibly come about by blind chance and mechanical necessity right here on Earth?
Perhaps, it is time to begin decoupling the long term solar system colonisation project from speculations on the origin of life and its hoped for abundance in the universe?
Thoughts welcome. END