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Space It is unarguably the final frontier to be explored Humans took their first steps on this frontier with the landing on the moon in 1969 That single monumental step unlocked the mental gateway for space colonization From that point on there was little doubt outer Earth colonization was possible Now a second step is being taken on the red planet of Mars Mars being the closest planet to us and with atmospheric similarities it seemes like the obvious step up from the moon I wondered as a child what Mars was like Television and comic books warped my mind into believing that Mars was a distant planet full of little green men just waiting for their chance to invade Earth jealous of our beautiful green and blue planet Movies like Total Recall taught me that Mars was a dry and desolate place full of death and despair After reading HG Wells War of the Worlds I could not sleep well for a week At one time I believed that humanity had poisoned our Earth beyond repair and that perhaps Mars could be our second chance Though I thought more pessimistically then I still believe that Mars could be cultivated into a second Earth It seems ironic that perhaps it will be the Earthlings invading the Martians and in light of recent studies that idea does not seem so far fetched In September of 1999 NASA announced that their Mars Pathfinder the first Martian spacecraft that would actually touch down on the surface for the purpose of recording data had successfully landed on the Martian surface The Pathfinder would analyze soil samples collect weather data and most popularly take pictures of the Martian landscape The world stood in awe as the Pathfinder tansmitted its first images of the Martian landscape the first ever from the surface of the red planet The landing of the Mars Pathfinder forced
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