We need a mission to Earth, not a mission to Mars
[Matthew 28:19-20]

By T.C. Howitt

Mar 14, 2017

In response to an article from Florida Today: Lockheed Martin says Mars Base Camp possible by 2028

Whether you get excited about missions to Mars or not, you ought to care about this. Budgets for sending drones or people to Mars ranges in the billions per year for over ten years, starting now. So we’re talking about a sum on the order of 100 billion dollars to get started.

The argument for space exploration in general relies on the dubious claim that it brings new technologies to market and gets kids excited about science. That’s a really roundabout way to achieve those goals, but that’s all they’ve got. The fact is, it’s a boondoggle for overgrown adolescents who watched too much Star Trek and have achieved too much success in the tech industry to temper their pride.

From the article, a retired Navy test pilot who now works for Lockheed Martin says going to Mars is a “really exciting idea.” He says, “It would be really exciting to get the opportunity. And if it turns out we can’t fit [human travel] in on [this 2028 trip proposed by Lockheed Martin], just getting on with it and doing it soon is going to be exciting.”

I get the feeling he’s excited.

And that really gets to the point. Technologists and technology fans get really excited about technology, and the mission to Mars is their Holy Grail. So the question arises: When these geniuses get to Mars, then what?

The first answer is, do science, innovate and explore! May I suggest that doing these things on the earth might serve us better? Not exciting, I know. The reply that “we can do both” really fails when we’re talking about spending billions per year to shoot hunks of junk into space.

The second answer is, live there! Stephen Hawking says we’ve got to get off this rock called Earth, and soon. In his opinion, we’re just screwed if we don’t progress to the status of an interplanetary species.

The article says that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, thinks “learning to live on the moon first offers the fastest path to Mars.”

May I suggest that we learn to live on the earth first?

Having failed living on the earth, pointing our destination to Mars is tantamount to a kid running away from home to take up residence wherever, even on the cold and dark streets, as long as it’s away from home and responsibility.

Look, we’ve got chores to do at home. Not something to run away from. Grow up!

I also mean that phrase in its organic sense. Grow up, like a plant. Don’t attempt to go up by jumping, or by launching rockets into space. There’s only one way up, and that way is down.

What do I mean by that? I mean that the only way up is to be planted like a seed with Jesus Christ in His death, and to be humbled and born again, raised into newness of life in His resurrection. That’s the only way, friends.

“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:5).