A bunch of years ago, I wrote a documentary for fulldome called MarsQuest. In it, our audiences explored the past, present, and future exploration of Mars. Over the years, I’ve watched many missions go to Mars, following the progression we imagined in our show. First, robotic explorers. Then, if all goes well, we send people to Mars to give it a close-up human touch.
Today, we’re at the stage of planning the first crewed missions to Mars. Right now, we’re using robotic probes and we’ve sent many of them. Joining them this week are the Hope mission, the Tianwen-1 mission, and the Perseverance lander with its tiny helicopter.
Exploration of Mars
Imagine the first Mars explorers setting foot on its rusty, sandy surface! Courtesy NASA/JPL
Of course, people have already explored Mars in a limited way. And, we’ve always dreamed of walking its surface. But, dreams of exploration are only a first step. Unlike the explorers of old who circumnavigated Earth, people going to Mars will prepare for a most alien place. That complicates the exploration of the Red Planet quite a bit.
Humans Need Mars Water
What is the most important thing that Mars explorers ...