I wonder if there will be an adequate supply of Styrofoam (a registered trademark) on Mars when man finally moves onto it? I wonder a lot of things about Mars. I wonder also if we are making a big mistake in some of our endeavors toward Martian exploration at this point in our galactic history. Why should we care if there was once water on Mars or not. Why look for the splinter in our brothers eye when we cant see the log in our own?
A quick math problem: at this writing there are 6,357,535,084 of us humans here on Earth, each perhaps needing arbitrarily 5 gallons of water a day for minimal survival (no car washes, and turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth). Five times 6,357,535,084 equals roughly 32 billion gallons per day, 4,144,080,314 square feet of that lushy liquid that keeps our skin so soft and our thirsts so quenched. So, if we did find water on Mars, hypothetically we could use it for our planet after we used up or ruined all of our own. We could build an enormous fleet of 425, four-million-cubic-foot-capacity vessels that would make continuous daily shuttles to Mars at the going round trip pace of about 425 days. So far so good, the only immediate problem might be that this rocket ship is going to have to be so big that it is probably going to rattle a few windows on take offs and landings on both planets.
To power these vessels, we are going to have to come up a considerable amount of our precious fuel resources. Hmmmmm, nuclear? Liquid Nitrogen? Solar Wind? We have to take into consideration that there probably wont be a fueling station there on Mars once we established our aquabase operation, so well have to double our fuel capacities from this planet so the ships will be able to make the return
Did I forget the plants? Just like in our homes, if we have plants and want to keep them healthy, we have to give them water. The same holds true for plant life on our planet. If our water is gone or not fit, we are going to have to pick up extra while we are on Mars for our plants and such. Maybe we will need a fleet of ships going and coming each day. Our precious trees, well whats left of them after we strip out the rain forests and such, will be necessary for oxygen for us to keep on breathing and they need water. Well need crops of all kinds. That also takes a lot of water. I dont know if the weeds will be necessary, but I think they serve some purpose in Gods big plan? So maybe if we quadruple our fleet size, we can make this work.
Ray Bradbury and Buck Rogers are probably thinking right about now that I have no imagination. No foresight. No guts. Well, I do have an imagination, and ironically, a calculator solar powered no less, and both my imagination and my calculator are telling me right now, this water supply theory is tenuous, at best.
This water scenario is getting too hard to figure. It might be easier to just move everyone here on Earth up to Mars and commence a cultivation program up there. We can use the same ships as we were going to use for the water here to carry people there instead. We can get those Martian lakes and oceans filled in no time once the engineering and mining equipment arrives. It will be nice a regular Eden, a chance to start anew.
Now Im wondering if what happened on Mars millions and millions of years before we poked our noses out of the mud isnt the same thing as is happening to us right now. Perhaps they had a great thing going and they blew it by overpopulating, using up all their natural resources and water and in a last ditch effort to save their species, shuttled as many as they could down here to Earth which was probably on the verge of just becoming habitable way back then.
Maybe the bones and fossils were finding are really Martian remains instead of early humans. They might have brought two of each species on a big ship and upon arrival cultivated a plant here and there. They would need food to survive, just like us today. The rest would be easy. They would have learned from their past cosmic mistakes. They would not do the same things here on Earth that they did on their own dying planet. They would be cautious and practice Zero Population Growth and not strip their new planet of its vital compounds or destroy the very water it needed to survive.
Okay, so perhaps someone, like myself, who makes their livelihood sculpting Styrofoam cups isnt the one to be speculating about universal life forms and interplanetary relocations. Better left to the scientific professionals and the government. I should just sit back and relax and enjoy riding this big blue ball though space and dismiss my unfounded worries.
J. Jules Vitali is a sculptor, columnist, inadvertent moral philosopher and poet who resides in Freeport, Maine. He is the creator of the art form Styrogami which can be seen on the web at www.styrogami.com. He is also an Artist in Cellophane (www.artomat.org). He tries to have fun in life.