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Is the Mars Curiosity Rover really necessary?

Now, I am a huge proponent for space travel, exploration, and so on, so I'm not saying "let's close NASA and use the money to build roads." I'm merely saying that, given the technology that we currently have, and the limited abilities of the Curiosity (which can move and collect rocks, as far as I know. Correct me if I'm wrong), is Mars really going to bring us any significant scientific knowledge? I mean, we know that life is possible in this solar system, we know it's possible elsewhere, and we know humans cannot live on Mars; what can we really get out of this rover? I understand that it is a large symbolic step, both for the NASA program and for the world, but scientifically, is it a necessary step? Personally, I think not.

Topics: Mars life space
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    Aug 4 2012: It is in the accidents that happen when researchers are looking for something else that great discoveries are often made. Think of Alexander Fleming and penicillin. All research starts with hopes and dreams. It is the foundation for the formation of hypotheses to be investigated. This is partly why children should be encouraged to dream and tell stories and to play and find out about the world through their lived experiences. It is also why children should be given the structure of how to find information as well as the knowledge of how to apply it in school and further education.
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      Aug 5 2012: You are definitely right there -- but the question is: can we afford to look at these things, or shouldn't we rather make these accidents happen in other, more pressing fields of science with a more direct benefit for humanity?
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        Aug 6 2012: I have been having conversations with James Zhang and Debra Smith and posted some of my own ideas and debates. I struggle to find the correct vocabulary at times because even though I speak English, English is a complicated language and words have different meanings for different people. I was trying to get people to look at the idea of balance and natural cycles through the mathematicl formula used in Fibonacci's golden string of numbers. As a language it is unambiguous, it requires more mathematical fluency than I have. I like to think of the search for new knowledge and progress as a giant literature search of all the available knowledge. It is just some knowledge is hidden and needs to be scientifically investigated before it is dismissed i.e. with curiosity and even if it is not a good fit for the original hypothesis it might still have use elsewhere. One of my friend's sons loves to draw cars and I suggested he might like to draw some of the space vehicles. He is very clever and maybe he might have a thought one day that would benefit all of us. This is why I am also so keen that society nurtures women as well as men because who knows who has ideas that will benefit us all. Namaste.

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