One from many
Lagrange Points or Mars?
Why technology is better suited to explore space than we are.
Man's own technology is not up to life supporting function in microgravity, neither is terrestrial life suited to life in microgravity, we loose bone denisty and our immunity is 50% as effective if we can use New Scienctist and logic as a source (http://www.newscientist.com/gallery/dn17734-space-station-science/7)
I recently watched Star trek (Review here. Brilliant, sheer brilliance. If you have not seen it watch it.)
Remote sensing technology is critical to our exploration of space, more critical than our physical exploration of space. Dramatically increasing resolution will play a major role in space exploration, more than putting humans on the Moon or Mars. Although these functions are useful, with limited resources and the seemingly accelerating evolution of human society and technology, it would seem logical to focus all your resources at the edge of what is possible. We would still need astronauts so that side of the human experience and function would not go away. Those people in society that feel a need for being in a total otherworldly experience would still be valued and more would be needed.
If we do further our endeavours to explore further beyond ourselves. Which we will, we have a need to and it would seem so does evolution. Occupying more space just needs a eureka moment for getting us into space. If we could get to space easily and get resources there at less cost well then lots would be possible. This comes to mind as a culmination of a number of things I have read and experienced lately. One being the option of getting to the Lagrange points to perform maintenance on new generation telescopes, as opposed to a straight shot at getting to Mars.
Getting to Mars in a universe filled with similar stuff is a worthwhile exercise. However, getting a new very powerful pair of binoculars at Lx (apparently there is some question as to which of the 5 Lagrange points are suitable) is a much more worthwhile exercise. We have the to ability to dramatically increase resolution on our remote sensing environments, they are no longer single pieces of equipment, but a community of components. This is surely what we should do. Seeing that the dust on Mars is somewhat similar to the dust on the Moon or on Earth or putting a symbolic footprint in the dust, although important steps are quite antiqutated. I realise I am missing out of a whole myriad of points and values there are for putting people on Mars or the Moon again, but they are really not the relevant. we have advanced beyond that, the human being is no longer the most succesful remote observer. We have been surpassed. What we are very good at is build things with machines and very focused purposes. This is our current greatest value trait. Indeed our chances of success due to this fact are increased considering the amount of resources required to put us there.
Bizarrely I read a remark somewhere the other day that there is talk of no-return missions to Mars, many scientists willing to volunteer for an opportunity like that. Once again an idea with value. However, as above.
Just imagine what a football field size mirror array telescope could see... Getting people to Mars will just confirm what we already know. Terrestrial life is not really suited to hostile environments. I wonder if there is smog and haze in space at a very high resolution? Would that mean things may be closer than they appear to be. What if all that dark matter was just normal matter behind the clouds... Of course there are no clouds in space, only in our understanding thereof.