As man continues to evolve, there seems to be very few places to explore on this world. Some would argue the depths of the sea is a good place to look around, but one of man’s most basic desires is to seek out new territories to claim and develop. Look at the pioneers during the early days of this country. Men like Daniel Boone and David Crockett both kept moving away from settled areas because they felt they didn’t have any elbow room.
In January 2004, President Bush proposed putting a man back on the moon by 2020. He also hoped that in another ten years, man would reach Mars. Today, the House voted to ok funds for the Mars exploration. However, there was opposition to this. Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) believed that this appropriation of funds was not necessary. As he saw it, this was nothing more than political without any scientific purpose.
In contrast to this, Representative Dave Weldon (R-FL) said, “We are destined to explore not just Mars but go on to other stars. It's in our nature as human beings.”
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter on this is that humanity needs new challenges in order to better itself. Look at history and every challenge which was presented to mankind. In fact, exploration was what led to the creation of our own country. Think of this pattern:
1. Silk Road is cut off to European traders by the Turkmeni from the Byzantine Empire.
2. This cut off forces the rise of the nation states in Western Europe.
3. Each nation state must develop new ways in which to out perform the other nations.
4. Slowly but surely, long routes around African is found to Asia.
5. Christopher Columbus proposed to sail west in 1492.
6. The New World is discovered.
7. Colonists come to the New World to create a new life, which flourishes.
The most important fact to understand is that man had a challenge in Western Europe. They wanted trade goods from Asia. Instead of getting exactly what they wanted, Europeans got something better. Here was an undiscovered land that had unlimited resources. And let’s face it, I think we are all better for this land being discovered.
The problem I have here is that there are politicians who do not see the bigger picture. Representative Frank says this is a cultural thing and it is only based in politics. Well, what do you call the Apollo 1-11 missions? From 1957-1969, the United States was in a race against the Soviet Union to get to the moon and that was based on cultural superiority and politics. If Sputnik had not occurred and Kennedy did not make such a huge goal of wanting to place a man on the moon before 1970, the drive to do it might not have ever become a reality.
The main reason I think Representative Frank made this comment was because he is a Democrat and President Bush is a Republican. Like most things that are said by the President, the loudest critics are ticked off Democrats. I cannot help but wonder if Bush would be praised for this proposed challenge to America if he were a Democrat. It seems to me that one of the biggest problems driving politics today is people’s inherent dislike towards their opponents for personal reasons. People get petty and cruel.
Look at the recent Senate Primary race. The things I read from Webb supporters were pretty mean and childish. Now with a straight Senate race going, it is happening again. One would hope people could just stick to the issue instead of lowering themselves to such childish antics.
Lets look to Mars. Lets look to the galaxy. We need a challenge and dream that everyone can aspire to. M-A-R-S.