Blossom Bogen-Froese / Courier An astronaut holds a sign that says JPL and Caltech, standing on planet Earth, and a martian looks into his reflection standing on Mars, in an illustration, on Thursday, April 1, 2021. JPL and Caltech have found that there is up to 99% Martian water within Mars’ crust—but these findings are expensive and invasive, is it worth it?
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In order for humans to survive as a species we must invest in space exploration.

The estimated budget for NASA’s fiscal year for 2020 according to nasa.gov was 22 billion. The number may seem high at first glance but in order to gain perspective on how America spends, we must compare it to the military budget. As specified on defense.gov the Department of Defense was allotted 718.3 billion US dollars. It is an obvious assertion to say that the United States is more invested in the continuation of power rather than the advancement and survival of humankind.

What is the purpose of power if we are on a collective path to destruction? Denying funds to a program that serves to protect and improve human life will never be a poor investment. We are consuming our natural resources far quicker than they can replace themselves. The disruption of the carbon cycle and the over consumption of the natural occurrence of fossil fuels is just one example of our carelessness.

Fossil fuels take millions of years to form and while they can be replenished, we will never see it because we are using them at a far greater speed then they are produced. Becoming an interplanetary species could assist in the overconsumption of our natural resources, especially if it is coupled with a conscious lifestyle that focuses on our individual carbon footprints.

There are many benefits to space exploration that are not limited to space alone. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson stated in an article for business insider, “this cross pollination of fields, innovation in one, stimulating revolutionary changes in another,” referring to the Hubble telescope’s imagery becoming more visible due to the tech used in the medical field for X-Rays.

Therefore, whatever we discover in our pursuit to colonize may be an advantage in an unrelated field that ultimately assists our quality of life.

As it stands now, Mars is uninhabitable without the support of technological advancements. With the discovery of water under Mars’ surface and within its rocks, we have a chance of changing this. As a species, united in our survival, we can push ourselves to a new idea of evolution in the revolutionary discoveries of Mars as one of our homes. The results of any question or pursuit of innovation will only help us grow.

The cost to explore Mars may seem great but the prospect of extinction is greater. Time is of the essence and science needs our support now more than ever.

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