Carl Sagan’s message to future explorers of Mars.

Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century, particularly with respect to Mars. The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists to find out more about Mars, which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science; and that sequence has played major role in our present ability to get to Mars. It certainly was an important factor in the life of Robert Goddard, the American rocketry pioneer who, I think more than anyone else, paved the way for our actual ability to go to Mars. And it certainly played a role in my scientific development.

I don’t know why you’re on Mars. Maybe you’re there because we’ve recognized we have to carefully move small asteroids around to avert the possibility of one impacting the Earth with catastrophic consequences, and, while we’re up in near-Earth space, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump to Mars. Or, maybe we’re on Mars because we recognize that if there are human communities on many worlds, the chances of us being rendered extinct by some catastrophe on one world is much less. Or maybe we’re on Mars because of the magnificent science that can be done there - the gates of the wonder world are opening in our time. Maybe we’re on Mars because we have to be, because there’s a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process, we come after all, from hunter gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we’ve been wanderers. And, the next place to wander to, is Mars. But whatever the reason you’re on Mars is, I’m glad you’re there. And I wish I was with you.

(via vernalized-deactivated20120815)

2 years ago
  1. tempeanthalia reblogged this from dresdencodak
  2. falteredseas reblogged this from itsvondell
  3. penguinchris reblogged this from ryannorth
  4. thespookyscienceofficer reblogged this from science-is-everything
  5. dandeliondreamers reblogged this from science-is-everything
  6. science-is-everything reblogged this from itsvondell
  7. quickiekissit reblogged this from itsvondell
  8. serpentking456 reblogged this from dresdencodak
  9. bwansen reblogged this from elfboi
  10. 67000mph reblogged this from fuckyeahnerdpr0n
  11. talefurynothing reblogged this from fuckyeahnerdpr0n
  12. borderlinesaint reblogged this from kitsunyx
  13. vilebile reblogged this from fuckyeahnerdpr0n
  14. elfboi reblogged this from fuckyeahnerdpr0n
  15. fuckyeahnerdpr0n reblogged this from hannahisdead
  16. eyebeeart reblogged this from shenoah
  17. ceruleanmakesasplash reblogged this from vaguelyhumorous
  18. ununnilium reblogged this from ryannorth
  19. aosushi reblogged this from dresdencodak
  20. uncomfortablejazzodyssey reblogged this from dresdencodak
  21. birdsfalldown reblogged this from itsvondell
  22. batgirls reblogged this from dresdencodak
  23. atomscrowbar reblogged this from ryannorth
  24. nitrox72 reblogged this from dresdencodak
  25. thesem reblogged this from dresdencodak
  26. theredfolio reblogged this from dresdencodak
  27. badatwords reblogged this from itsvondell
  28. larquebus reblogged this from dresdencodak
  29. rivendellrose reblogged this from dresdencodak and added:
    Oh, Carl Sagan.
  30. benitah reblogged this from dresdencodak