Argument: Mars mission would inspire kids to become scientists

Issue Report: Mission to the Moon or Mars?


“Why we must go to Mars.” On to Mars: “The first manned landing on Mars would serve as an invitation to adventure for children around the world. There will be some 100 million kids in the U.S. schools over the next 10 years. If a Mars program were to inspire just an additional 1 percent of them to pursue scientific educations, the net result would be one million more scientists, engineers, inventors, medical researchers and doctors.”

Will Heaven. “We should ditch Trident to go to Mars.” July 20th, 2009: “There are, of course, the tree-huggers and the naysayers like President Obama, who whinge that space exploration shouldn’t be a priority. During his presidential campaign, Obama promised that an ‘early education plan’ for US children would be paid for “by delaying the NASA Constellation Program for five years”. The president would delay the US plan to land men on the moon before 2015 because, he argued, American kids are lagging behind in the worldwide ‘knowledge-based economy’.

But what Obama doesn’t seem to realise is this: there is nothing more inspiring to a child in education than watching mankind achieve feats of scientific enterprise – especially in space. He should heed the words of the 79-year-old Buzz Aldrin who is strongly urging a manned mission to Mars: ‘Americans, do you still dream great dreams?’… ‘Do you still believe in yourselves, are you ready for a great national challenge?'”