Now, NASA's focus has shifted from the moon all the way out to Mars, a cold, red, sandy place as inhospitable as Parkland's ER waiting room. We've already plunked down some expensive unmanned machinery on the surface of Mars, and just last week, one of these gizmos found ice just beneath the sandy surface. The ice might as well have been Pez dispensers given the way the scientists exploded with glee. This milestone only feeds the dream of one day putting human footprints in the red sand.
Is it time, perhaps, to finally show some restraint in the realm of space travel? Of course, those involved in pushing the envelope say that man's curiosity must always be kow-towed to. And that man's drive to explore the unknown will always have merit. But for the life of me, I can't see the benefit of making the red planet just another way-stop on our way to "progress". I've been to West Texas and I know we're not short of red sand. Of course, the scientists are falling all over themselves proclaiming that Mars will unlock the Gordian knot of the origin of life. Mercy. Deliver me.
I pity the poor astronauts selected for the initial trip. It takes a whopping nine months to get there. And you thought it was boring to drive to Abilene. How long will it take before the pilot has to roll up a magazine and pop the guys in the back seat who are making faces at each other?
So let's be satisfied with our historic trips to the moon and shut down NASA. Certainly, the Martians would want it that way.