This is a response to the Dec. 20 letter, “Space missions a waste of money.” The point of view expressed by the writer shows, in my opinion, a lack of understanding both of how NASA plans to go to Mars and of how NASA contributes to the world’s ongoing measurement and understanding of climate change. Diminishing the incredible work of our local heroes, such as NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, flies in the face of what we need to do here in Maine to inspire and encourage young people to enter STEM-related fields, as well as pursue their dreams no matter how difficult and long term.

NASA missions and funded projects include some of the most important and useful data to climate activists available. Without our space-based missions we would not fully understand current and trending climate data.

Regarding how NASA, and our private sector partners such as SpaceX, will get to, live on and return from Mars, I will need to be brief here. Engineering plans are underway to produce rocket fuel on-planet (i.e., on Mars) by utilizing the huge frozen water resources current and earlier un-manned missions have identified. By breaking apart water molecules, the outcomes provide oxygen to breath and hydrogen to fuel return trips and other energy needs. We will live off the land on Mars, use local resources and return anyone who wishes to return to Earth.

So, I say, Jessica, let’s go on to Mars now!

 

Ronald Dyer

Winthrop

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