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Water on Mars!

How fantastically coincidental that in the week the new Matt Damon film The Martian opens nationally, NASA makes a major announcement: there’s flowing water on Mars! Long theorized but lacking proof, the space agency announced yesterday that they have confirmed the existence liquid water on the Red Planet.

What’s the intimation here? Martians!

This discovery is massive for the future possibility of manned missions to Mars, as liquid water increases the possibility of extraterrestrial life—even at the microbial level. Back in July I wrote about the absolute need to continue funding NASA, and this week’s announcement is even further proof that a well-backed space program benefits humanity as a whole.

The Martian, the upcoming film, was originally a science fiction novel about an astronaut stranded on Mars and forced to forge his own survival until help arrives. Creating shelter, farming food on another planet—think Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet in space. NASA’s discovery of water on Mars makes this work of fiction seem ever closer to reality (hopefully without all of the getting stranded on Mars stuff.) It’s an exciting time to be a fan of science.

Hopefully the announcement of flowing water on Mars fast tracks future projects and missions to the Red Planet, because it shows that no matter how much we think we know, there’s always more to explore.

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