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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Paul Rosiak (03/10/04)

As for Mars related topics, I feel like I have a much greater understanding of our overall solar system. Most importantly, I understand more and more why Mars has caught the eye of scientists all over the world. Generally scientists are interested in Mars for possible answers on how our planet works, but even so much more. So many answers lie within the information Mars has to offer us. After learning about it more I feel the space program is increasingly more important to all aspects of scientific discovery and vital to discovering new knowledge.

The fact that Mars has no platonic plates fascinates me because originally I thought that every planet had them, but now I realize that so far we only know we have them. It brings the whole “what is necessary for life” into a bigger perspective. I realize more that many answers now can lie simply within the fact that Mars doesn't have them. If scientists could figure that out maybe we can predict what will happen to the future of our planet. In correlation to this idea, I have always been fascinated by the question: Is Earth or Mars ahead in the space-time continuum? In other words, does Earth's success resemble what will happen to Mars in the future or what already has in Mars's past? If we resemble Mar's past then we have a whole new way of looking at our planet. Maybe even a whole new scare.

I also thought the theory of the origin of our moon was really interesting as well. To sum it up, an asteroid or really large object hit Earth and after who knows how many years, earth reformed into a sphere with an extra pal. The theory behind the moon is amazing, because the moon affects our degree of rotation which affects our atmosphere and a long list of things. I didn't know that Mars rotated in crazy patterns in comparison to ours and as a result largely affects its polar ice caps. If we didn't have the moon, would it have been possible to have life on Earth? In an endless cycle, every so on years our polar caps would melt because of they would be directly facing the earth. If earth does resemble Mar's future as asked before, would stabilization of Mars's rotation in time make suitable conditions for life?

Our limited knowledge of Mars already has us asking all these questions and scientists battle these questions day by day. Just imagine what it would be like if we (or will) someday answer some of these questions. What new ones would we be asking? It's crazy and awesome to think about. For these reasons, we have to keep sending probes and robotic spacecrafts to Mars. All the answers are out there for us to grab, but it would be impossible to grab them without a hand.

As for dinner, I would first like to thank everyone (Prof. Jim Head, Dr. Khrushchev, Dr. Basilevsky and everyone else that was there) that helped make that night happen. It was an awesome and fun night, almost as awesome as Prof. Head's house itself, and the Bliny was incredible. It closely resembles a Polish food that I won't try to spell out that I missed so much from home. I enjoyed the company of everyone and had some good conversations with Dr. Khrushchev and Basilevsky. Discussions with Khrushchev varied all over from the Russian space program to the new European coalition that Europe is trying to conjure up. Furthermore, Sasha Basilevsky gave me a great perspective as to how life was like in Russia during that time and the path he took to become a scientist. It really was an incredible story.

I even got to talk with my dad about the fact that I was talking to these men from Russia. My dad, living most of his life in Poland, had many different perspectives of Khrushchev (especially Khrushchev's father) and was amazed how times have changed since then. He couldn't believe that we were even in the same room as them. “Boy how times have changed.” The fact that we as Americans and Dr. Khrushchev, a Russian, now both have the same understanding is amazing. A few years back we were enemy's with different motives, and now we are allies and realize our general motives were the same. It truly represents not only how times have changed, but also how we are bettering ourselves as people.

I had a great time and a great experience to remember and again want to thank everything that made it happen.





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