A friend posted on Facebook today: “When I was a little girl I loved learning about space, solar systems, planets, walking on the moon. But when I grew up I learnt how much space exploration costs and how many people here are sick, hungry, abused. Now I see no justification for funding our curiosity until we improve life on earth”
Yesterday I spoke to another friend who was beside himself with excitement at this extraordinary pursuit of knowledge, and the incredibly feat that we – mere blips in the great expanse of the universe – have landed Curiosity on Mars.
There are the heartbreaking questions that come alongside the expansion of human understanding, that come with doing things that have never been done before just to see if we can… those heartbreaking questions include: Why is it more important to explore a dusty, red planet that has taken eight years and two and a half billion dollars to reach; than to feed the 25000 people who die every day from poverty.
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Trust the Yanks to use a gridiron term to describe the landing of the one-tonne plutonium-powered rover, Curiosity, on Mars.
But it was somewhat appropriate considering the landing itself was something of a “Hail Mary pass” - a phrase that originated in American football, meaning a very long forward pass made with limited chances of success.
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