Scientists at NASA are doing their best to keep one paragraph ahead of the Chinese and Russians at exploring and colonising space.
NASA has confirmed that the south pole of Mars contains a deposit of ice the size of Texas and 3.5 kilometres thick.
The presence of significant amounts of water, even in the form of ice, will make colonisation of Mars much easier, NASA claims ecstatically (Notice:“will”, not “would”). Interestingly, they also calculate that if all that ice on both poles were to melt, the entire surface of Mars would be flooded to a depth of 11 metres.
Now for the scary bit, and I do believe they were sober. They seriously suggest that, in order to liquefy some of that ice for human use, it would be entirely feasible to trigger a Martian ‘global warming’ using knowledge gained from our experiences here on Earth. This is Capitalism on a longer leash than ever ...or no leash at all. This is all about gaining resources in the interests of profit. Do you honestly think a corporate-driven country like america go to all this trouble and expense for purely selfless and benevolent reasons?
OK, NASA, a little critique. First, you’re still adopting the long-disgraced assumption made by colonialists like Columbus and Cook that new territory is “Terra Nullis” (=owned by no-one), therefore ‘finders keepers’. Are you so sure? You admit you don’t yet even know if there is Life there or not. And you’re assuming that “Life” must be in forms that we humans recognise, carbon-based etc. Are you perhaps being a little “humano-centric”, or what?
If you think this is all a load of BU--SH-- then listen to this ABC Australia news report about the global warming that is ALREADY happening on Mars.
Secondly, the money being spent on space programs/star wars etc could have done a great deal to prevent the problems we are suffering from here on Earth (climate, hunger etc). Mouthing your tired cliches about "it’s better not to put all your eggs in one planetary basket" simply doesn’t cut the galactic mustard:
This Mars gig is clearly the super-wealthy elite’s way of trying to ensure a one-way ticket out on the the Good Ship "FinalArk", after messing up big time here on Earth:
An out-house on Mars?
2038. Mars is colonised by the USA and claimed by a pre-emptive invasion (flag-on-a-stick, big ‘Mission Accomplished’ ceremony with funny hats, etc).
2046. A NASA space-station is built, containing a large Solar Heat Concentrator to warm the Martian atmosphere. Dick Cheney builds large coal-fired power-stations to provide power to Halliburton Munitions factories (…after all, you just never know where terrorists will turn up, right Dick?).
2060 The pole begins melting faster than anticipated. Panic as the project goes all pear-shaped. Dick can’t find the brakes (because he hadn’t budgeted for them).
2080 The pole has fully melted and the planet is swamped under 11 metres of water. Cheney, having forgotten his water-wings, succumbs to an aggressive and toxic silicon-based slime-lizard, re-activated after millions of years’ deep-freezing. The doomed space-station (with its 4-star ‘Mars Bar & Pub’, franchised by Starrybucks) is flooded and lost.
2090 Atmospheric heating proceeds so fast that the oceans rapidly evaporate and, whipped up by giant storm systems as seen on Saturn, dissipate the massive clouds high into space. Once forced far enough into space, the water vapour breaks down into elemental hydrogen and oxygen. It’s gone… forever! This loss of ALL its water means that the planet Mars now weighs considerably less than ever before… and consequently is less drawn by the gravitational pull of the sun. Danger Danger, Will Robinson.
2095 Mars therefore begins to widen its orbit around the sun, gradually spiralling outwards and away, heading towards the frozen regions of the outer solar system near Pluto.
2100 On its new path, Mars approaches gradually closer to Earth, its neighbour. Earth’s greater gravitational magnetism draws Mars ever closer. Scientists at NASA are alarmed to calculate that Mars will collide head-on with Earth at 6.08pm GMT, on 3 July 2128, exactly 120 years after George Bush was executed for War Crimes, Illegal Extraterrestrial Invasion, and Gross Dereliction of Duty on Climate Change.
Holy Planets, Batperson! Will this approaching Mars disaster spell the end for the Tele-Tubbies series? Even more crucially, what could it imply for the careers of Paris Hilton? ...or John Ducklips Howard? :-)
Keep watching FunkyPix2 for the exciting Sequel. . .
... to a smallish screen very near YOU!
PS: the film's theme music is this genuine mp3 recording of the sounds of Saturn. Unfortunately, Mars itself couldn’t get to the recording gig as it was busy shooting down spaceships from Earth (Haliburton ones, if Martian CNN is to be trusted).
I also wrote a similar article for Earth, but ow! …it’s already coming true!
Update:FunkyPix2 notes (with a brief roll of the old blogger's eyes) that the US has turned down an offer from Moscow to jointly explore the moon, but has agreed to co-operation and money for the International Space Station. The only reasonable conclusion? The US wants assistance to colonise the moon and Mars first but doesn’t want to share the real estate/mineral boom once it gets there. The US never does anything that it thinks is against its own national interest. Ain't Freedom grand?