The Mars Generation

A little more than half a century ago, the world had its eyes set on sights out of this world. When the United States became the first country in history to land a man on the moon and return safely to Earth, it was a monumental breakthrough into the new frontier. A perfect mixture of innovation, mounting political pressure, and many, many risky decisions unlocked the keys to discovering the universe and answering the questions at the heart of space exploration – why are we here, and are we alone?

 

In the later decades of the twentieth century, public interest in space exploration seemed to disappear. The rise of modern technology began to take over, and coincidentally, this technology was a direct result of the research and innovation that led to the moon landing. But, there’s a new generation in town: The Mars Generation.

 

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These two images of Mars (swipe for a view from 2016) taken by our Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble), show very different views of the same hemisphere roughly two years apart. Both were captured when Mars was near opposition, which occurs about every two years, when Earth’s orbit catches up to Mars’ orbit. At that time, the Sun, Earth and Mars fall in a straight line, with Mars and the Sun on “opposing” sides of Earth. The first image, taken on July 18, 2018, features a global dust storm, with spring in the southern hemisphere. You can tell that dust has engulfed the planet by swiping back and forth. Details like craters become more difficult or even impossible to spot. The second image, taken on May 12, 2016, shows a clear atmosphere. Credit: NASA, ESA, and STScI #nasa #space #mars #RedPlanet #dust #hubble #spothubble #telescope #science #storm #planet #solarsystem #duststorm #marsstorm #picoftheday #pictureoftheday

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The up-and-coming Mars generation is committed to exploring deep space and understanding the infinite wonders of the universe that have yet to be discovered. Experts believe Mars used to look and feel much like Earth does today, and the recent discovery of water and ancient rivers support this theory. The young Americans leading the Mars generation believe they will be able to step foot on this planet within the next decade or two. By exploring deeper into space and understanding Mars and all of its unique properties, they hope to shed some light on those age-old questions at the basis of humanity.

 

While we may not know the answers in this lifetime, we can learn some lessons from the moon landing and be able to make some future predictions relating to a possible Mars landing. For one, there will be (another) major technological revolution on the horizon. Advancements in space technology trickle down to average consumers in ways that transform society (think: laptop computers, iPhones, weather radars, Wi-Fi, etc). There’s no telling what our society may look like as a result of deep space exploration, but big changes are on the way.

 

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