THE MARTIANS ARE COMING…(WELL, MAYBE)


Mars, 2001, with the southern polar ice cap vi...

Mars, 2001, with the southern polar ice cap visible on the bottom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1998, a movie was released which reminded each of us that we are not alone in our Solar System.

Species II gave us a new interpretation of the Mars Invasion. If you’ve never seen this movie, grab a six-pack, sit back and get ready for a few laughs.

J. Craig Venter

J. Craig Venter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week, Space.com announced that scientist J. Craig Venter has plans to send a Biological Teleporter to Mars. This machine will actually seek life on the Red Planet, examine it, break down its DNA (if it in fact has DNA) and “beam” the information back to Earth.

Once the cloned info is received, they will recreate the DNA in a lab which they plan to make sure is “super-secure”.

Now, this life form can be anything from an amoebae-type to some form of plant life. The lab would recreate the Mars atmospheric conditions so that they can analyze the life form. Then, they will probably attempt to introduce the organism to our environment to see if it would thrive.

I would also assume, that they might attempt to splice the DNA with similar Earth based cells. What forms would this take? Would they create new life? Would this life have actual medical applications? These and many other curious questions will be posed and answered.

I’m sure that this is something that is a few years down the line. They have to build the machine, get it to Mars, build the super-secure lab and hire the staff. However, this is yet another example of humanity reaching beyond itself to examine life.

As humans, we’ve only ever really looked at or defined life as how we see it. This venture will give us the opportunity to find out how life may have actually thrived on Mars at one time. Was there a planet wide extinction, or has Mars always been a wasteland planet? Would it be possible to actually place a colony of humans there long-term? Would we thrive there?

There are more possibilities than I can come up with. What do you think about this future venture? What are you hoping will be found? Do you think aliens hid a huge terraforming machine under the surface, à la Total Recall? Do you think they will find life there?

Let me know what you think.