WATCH THIS: A passionate explainer of why we should go to Mars ASAP

We’re all passionate about different things. I could bore you all senseless on Spelunky, Derby County’s 1995-96 promotion season, or why The Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs is the greatest album of all time, but that’s for another post. Instead I’m going to let someone who’s passionate about something worthwhile take over and explain, in just under five minutes, exactly why Mars should be the goal of our space programme.

Dr Robert Zubrin is president of the Mars Society, so this isn’t exactly a passing enthusiasm, and he puts his years of knowledge and experience into a convincing case why humanity should care about visiting the red planet. “In short, it’s because Mars is where the science is, it’s where the challenge is and it’s where the future is,” he explains, before heading into a more detailed explanation for his opinion.

His enthusiasm is undeniably infectious, but perhaps space agencies have been and – in all likelihood – will continue to be too cautious to take the risks involved in accelerating the plans for Mars. Zubrin has views on this too. Here he is in another video from 2012, discussing the safety culture at NASA and why it’s impeding progress:

“Given the cost of NASA, which comes at the expense of various other things we could be doing with the money whether in the public or private sector, then there’s an obligation for NASA to deliver the goods here,” he explains.

“If you say that safety is your number-one priority, then you never fly, and you get a space agency which is costing $17 billion per year and accomplishing nothing.”

Of course, getting to Mars has its own share of problems and risks. Here’s what we need to overcome.

Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center used under Creative Commons

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