In the early hours of this morning, the space age took another giant step forward as Nasa’s rover vehicle, titled Curiosity, touched down onto the surface of Mars.
Scientists at Nasa’s Pasadena Mission Control were jubilant at the successful landing, while President Obama announced the ‘historic’ mission to his country.
Already the craft is sending back pictures of its new home and it will shortly be scouring the planet for the gasses and minerals essentials for supporting life.
So far so amazing. But there are those who are whispering criticisms of the mission and the millions and millions of dollars it is costing in a period of austerity.
While much of the world is struggling to feed itself, is it really right to be investing a fortune in such a project? Will anything ever be gained from knowing precisely what the surface of Mars is comprised of?
Shouldn’t we focus our scientific minds on what’s going on down here on Earth and on how we conserve our own resources rather than sending missions to distant reaches of our universe?