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At Least We’re Still Sending Spacecraft to Mars…

I keep adding such posts, expressing my disappointment and anger at the loss of interest for space exploration, and the fact that what is still being done focuses on nearby bodies, is in good part driven by the private sector and looks at possible commercial developments. Some of those posts are about humans getting back out there, but those from 2017 and 2014 are more relevant now, dealing with how, decades ago, we could send probes to all planets and even beyond, maintain a continuous presence even beyond Jupiter, and now we apparently can’t do that anymore. Those past posts are more detailed than this will be and include quite a number of links, so have a look if you want, I won’t repeat what’s already written there.
All I’ll repeat now is that humanity’s plans that go beyond Mars are few and far between, those beyond Jupiter even fewer and far in the future, and a return to the ice giants still pretty much out of the question. And, as I already mentioned, the involvement of the private sector and commercial interests pretty much destroy the chances that most of the missions to nearer destinations will be done for the right reasons and aim for actual scientific goals. And, of course, there’s still the lack of cooperation, nations still operating separately to a large extent, competing and even using such missions to become even more of a threat to each other and this world as a whole.
Still, I guess I should mark these recent launches, Al-Amal (Hope), Tianwen-1 and Perseverance all making use of the opportunity provided by the current launch window for Mars. Still working separately, still focusing just on Mars, and it obviously remains to be seen how many of these missions will be successful, but at least the launches themselves were, it’s been a while since we’ve had such a series, and the very fact that the plans weren’t put on hold because of the current situation should probably be noted as well. Maybe this will send a signal, possibly leading to positive developments, whether down here or up there, that wouldn’t have taken place otherwise. Humans being humans, I doubt it, but I guess it remains to be seen…


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