Landing the rover Curiosity on the Red Planet is going to pose a serious challenge because of the nature of its atmosphere. But this Rover landing which is part of the larger Mars Science Laboratory mission has great goals namely to plan for a possible manned mission to Mars in the future and also to solve the mystery about life on Mars. Additionally, operating Curiosity on the surface of the planet will give more insights into the geology of Mars and its climate.
I was really thrilled when the United States signed a bill two years ago permitting a manned mission to the Red Planet by the 2030s. I guess we really aren’t going to get anywhere near a space colony in my lifetime with all the difficulties that a manned mission to Mars poses. These could be anything from physical effects such as eyesight loss and exposure to high energy cosmic rays to the psychological effects of having to be away from Earth to even things like being unable to get good medical facilities.
Still, the launch of the rocket with the rover in it to Mars at the end of November last year is a significant move forward in the idea of colonizing Mars that has been around since the dawn of the twentieth century. I am eager to see the outcome of the landing of Curiosity in August of this year and I hope it will satisfy my curiosity about the planet’s evolution process, the chances of life being there or ever having existed and other things related to the Red Planet.