There are many days that I feel his presence; a yearning
itch to “call or go home.” No, I am not hallucinating. All of us are stardust
people. By this I mean the fundamental threads that helped produce all life and
eventually human life are from the universe. Being part Martian could be a
given in our DNA profiles. We could also be part of a life-form from a far
distant planet. This possibility could also mean, a little bit of ET could
reside in all of us.
Is this cosmic itch universal for Earth’s humankind? I am
inclined to say yes, despite any current scientific evidence that supports it.
In this regard, is the very large and extended interest by many people in both
learning about the planet Mars, and maybe visiting it unusual or inborn? I will
take the easy way out, and say it is both unusual and inborn. Regardless the
growing urge to visit Mars and to even colonize Mars persists whether it is a
genetic urge or just human curiosity and adventurism.
Greek and Roman mythology and even philosophy links Mars to
aggressive warfare. Could they have already known that we had a genetic Martian
link and that the link induced warlike societies? Would an expedition to Mars
and the inhaling of Martian dust increase our warlike demeanor? Well, this
could all be just a SciFi brainstorm and have no real relevance, but are we
sure? The Greeks named Mars, Ares (their word for the god of War), and the
Romans did the same using the name Mars to label the planet. What remains a
deep puzzle is why this red planet, rolling across the solar system got tagged
as warlike. Was it the redness of its color and the conclusion that it was a
blood filled planet ; thus lethal and warlike?
Science Fiction (SciFi) has also endowed us with a deep
interest in Mars and outer space in general. Imaginative descriptions such as
the following from Ray Bradbury’s “Martian Chronicles” always enlivened our
mystified interest in life on Mars.
..”They had a house of crystal pillars on the planet Mars by the edge of
the empty sea, and every morning you could see Mrs. K eating the golden fruits
that grew from the crystal walls, or cleaning house with handfuls of magnetic
dust which, taking all dirt with it blew away on the hot wind,” From Ylla – The Martian Chronicles – by Ray
In their landmark publication “The Exploration of Mars”
rocket maestro Wernher von Braun and his colleague, Willy Ley clearly state the
non-fiction appeal of the exploration of outer space. Were both of these great instigators of our
present day space exploration focus endowed with Martian dust? Wernher Von
Braun’s family history is filled with many family members who had influential
military careers. So here we have a
member of a warrior family who strives to put the lie to the Greek and Roman
myths and to show Mars and space exploration as a good thing, a safe thing, and
as an exciting and inspiring venture. Considering our advances in the space
sciences it appears Wernher von Braun was on the right track.
Well, back to my Martian me. It actually should be called a
space exploration itch. Yes, I want to go to Mars, maybe even live there for
awhile, but I also wan’t to go as far and as deep in space as I can. I want to
live for real that glorious moment of going “where no [human] has
gone before.” For me, it is a Martian imperative.