A note to fiction: A bit of Martian courage

Since the article I wrote about in my previous post mentioned Weir Andy’s novel “The Martian”, I decided to make a quick note on it. I finished reading it two days ago and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I like the way the author managed to communicate the emotions of a person left from his crew on a deserted planet. However, I think that this is not the real reason the book got so popular; I think the secret of its success is that it has a happy end. After reading the articles on Mars, the recent findings that the planet probably had climate similar to ours (and therefore, they might have been life on it) I think we need some kind of hope that if things “get bad”, we can still make it. In my previous entry I said we have to take NASA’s findings as warnings, but I also think we also need a bit of Mark Watney’s courage and determination.


Mars was similar to Earth?

A few days ago I read an article from The Guardian on the newest findings about Mars. On Thursday, November 5th, NASA announced that Mars probably had atmosphere similar to Earth’s, but changed as a result of solar eruptions and “magnetic tendrils”. Scientists suggest that those solar blasts disrupted and damaged the planet’s magnetic field, leaving it unprotected from the harmful rays and causing drought.

Should we take this information as a “red light”? Yes, I think we should. Humans managed to damage Earth’s ozone layer enough already, but the findings on Mars might be more convincing. If we continue to destroy our planet, soon enough we might have the same fate as Mars.

Martians and water on Mars

Hello dear reader,

I was reading an article from The Guardian about the new findings about flowing water on Mars. So, I started thinking about why do we actually want to find another form of life so badly and what does this mean to humans as species.

I have always been curious what’s beyond the sky we all see at night, what’s beyond everything known to human kind. I have hundreds of books on my bookshelf, both fiction and nonfiction, that deal with space and the universe. And every time NASA finds something that could prove the existence of extraterrestrial life, I think why do we actually search for this other form of life. Maybe we cannot bare the thought of being alone in the universe?

Some time ago, I had a conversation with a friend about why people keep searching and exploring the universe. It’s human nature to fear the unknown. Do we explore because we are afraid, or because we want to prevent possible threats to our planet? Or maybe the truth is (like in most cases) somewhere in between? The article suggests that there still might be flowing water on Mars. What does this mean to us, however? Do we want to know what exterminated life on a planet so similar to ours, or do we want to know whether there is life that could threaten us and must be destroyed?

I do believe in science, I always did. But I am also concerned whether the purely scientific curiosity hasn’t changed its purpose.