Mission to Mars
"Bush's Mars plan is an election-year strategy: a weapon of mass distraction designed to divert our attention from the economy." Gail Moore San Francisco
The urge to explore space is in our blood, and only the uneducated can stop us from going [Jan. 26]. It is certain we will benefit from the knowledge we gain. We should embark on this venture as part of a cooperative worldwide effort. It sounds like a pipe dream, but there is enough out there for all of us. Robert King Edgerton, Wis.
We must aggressively venture into space to exploit the vast resources of other planets and asteroids. It would be the height of stupidity to ignore the opportunity and continue to strip our planet bare. Space exploration is also an insurance policy for humans and other Earth species. We must colonize the moon, Mars and then other worlds to ensure that our species goes on should Earth suffer a cataclysmic disaster. William Hubbell Miami
The proposed manned trip to Mars is a political boondoggle supported only by NASA and the aerospace and defense industries. It will be very expensive, with a low probability of success and very little real scientific value. The same goes for the International Space Station and the Star Wars missile-defense program. It's time we demand real results and use common sense to control reckless, wasteful, political-payoff spending. Truman Hunter Oxford, Ohio
As a freedom-loving American, I would gladly back the mission to Mars if the first person to go were President Bush. I am quite certain that we won't be able to find Vice President Cheney, or I would insist that he go too. Colleen Stone Merced, Calif.
Unless there is some plan to pack billions of dollars into garbage bags and hurl them into space, the Mars project will be essentially a domestic spending program. The bucks will be spent in the good ole U.S., for the most part. They'll be used to pay top-notch technicians, engineers and scientists plus manufacturers--a worthwhile subsidy indeed. Frank L. Cooke Tallahassee, Fla.
U.S. troops are still in Iraq, and we have no reason to believe they can leave anytime soon; the economy has major problems; we are constantly at risk from a terrorist attack. With conditions such as these, only George W. Bush would come up with a stunt like a mission to Mars. It is a slap in the face to our troops, the working class, senior citizens and those of us who are worried we won't have Social Security when we retire. Lisa George Shreveport, La.
Why should we spend vast amounts to reach Mars when there is a very high chance of its not providing anything that would improve our lot here on Earth? Why not allocate those billions for "home improvement"? Think of the progress that could be made in curing cancer, aids and other diseases; in cleaning our water, air and soil; and in feeding hungry nations. Why confront the hazards of outer space when we should be fighting homelessness, poverty and unemployment on Earth? Corey Brunish Lake Oswego, Ore.
We are doing a pretty good job thus far of ruining Earth, so is now the time to spoil other planets? Paul Pugliese Long Branch, N.J.