Geo016 - Exploration of Mars

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Geo016 / Exploration of Mars / (M) 3:00-5:20 / Lincoln Field 105 / Prof. James Head

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Josef Tallo (04/08/04)

Exploration, as I look at it, is a search into the unknown for the unknown. The findings of these explorations give rise to many questions that lead to exploration and search even more. Many times, if not all, scientists have an idea of at least where they want to search, if not always what they want to search for. By exploring, we find clues about the past or whatever we were looking for which gives us a better understanding of what and where we need to look in future explorations in order to answer some of the questions we may have. Science plays a huge role in our exploration because without it, we would not have gotten as far, and we wouldn't know as much as we do today. Science provides the technology and tools necessary for exploration to the extent in which we explore. Transportation, robots, satellites, sample testing, and countless other applications can be credited to science.

We can use the moon as a place to compare results, perform experiments, and test technology while we prepare to go to Mars, which will give us a better foundation to work off of. Going to Mars will most likely give us a better understanding of possibly how the solar system formed, and answer more of our questions about our past, than exploring the moon, which is dry, dead, and has no hope for even a trace of life. Mars, on the other hand, possible could have liquid water somewhere or have some traces of life, which could be the key to answering many of our questions. Mars constantly gives scientists a spark of excitement by providing possible evidence of past traces of life, water, or some other finding that many scientists are very anxious to discover.

One question whose answers from the other classmates I found to be very interesting is “What are the factors that generate and support exploration endeavors?” I was very surprised by the responses that students gave, from saying that power and leadership was a factor, to earning a sense of immunity by exploring the unknown. Fearing the unknown was also a factor that motivates mankind to search for answers so we know how things work and predict what will happen in the future by piecing together the past. Also, the internal competition of scientists and politicians plays a role in supporting the explorations endeavors. Popularity and fame may not always be the key reason to which people want to make discoveries, but they certainly influence many to want to go further faster.
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