I Hear Mars Is Chilly, But It's Uncluttered
IF anyone is worried about the administration in Washington giving tax breaks to the rich, while raising taxes for the poor; or worried about Congress stealing money from the Social Security trust fund, or where we'll get toasters if all the savings and loans fail; or if someone is concerned that uncontrolled immigration is changing the heritage and direction of the United States, he will be happy to learn there is something else to worry about. Where should we go when we leave the Earth?
This may not seem like an urgent problem but there is a lot of argument about it. People have been polluting the planet for about 10 million years and now it seems easier to move than to clean it up.
NASA thinks the US should start out into space by first establishing an outpost on the moon.
Others, in the same line of work, think we should skip the moon and go directly to Mars. So far these are the only two places under consideration. Pluto and Saturn seem a bit on the dreary side.
At one time it was suggested we just send our garbage to the moon or Mars, but since people seem to be increasing at approximately the same ratio as their garbage, it might be wiser to send the people somewhere else and let the garbage inherit the Earth.
The moon is easier to get to. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any atmosphere and people would have to bring their own oxygen, wear fishbowl hats, and dress in funny suits.
Mars, on the other hand, has some air, but it's cold. It has some water, but it's frozen. Besides, it takes 22 months to get there, which is longer than it takes to fly anywhere by commercial airline even if you have to change planes in Dallas.
If I had to make a choice between the moon and Mars, I suppose I'd have to choose Mars, even with the rocket lag. The climate, they say, is terrible and its best season is something like the South Pole in the winter time. No one lives there at present. At least that is the latest scientific opinion because no one has been seen walking around.
I have this uneasy feeling, however, that when Earth people land on Mars, some person is going to crawl out a hole in the rocks and ask after his cousin who lives in Liverpool.