The Problem of Human Missions to Mars

I just published a short piece in the Journal of Cosmology’s special issue Colonizing Mars: The Mission to the Red Planet. It argues that humans will not reach Mars on the power of peripheral arguments about science, national pride, or technological spin-offs. Advocates of a human program need to articulate the core values of human spaceflight and justify their missions accordingly, even if they are difficult to measure. Although the essay leans towards science policy rather than history of science, it discuss the importance of historical analogies in contemporary debates about spaceflight.

About Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson is a professor of history at Hillyer College, University of Hartford. His research focuses on the history of science and exploration. He is the author of The Lost White Tribe: Explorers, Scientists, and the Theory that Changed a Continent (2016) and The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture (2006). He runs a blog and podcast at
This entry was posted in astronomy, History, Physics, Science, Space Exploration. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Problem of Human Missions to Mars

  1. Pingback: Reaching for the stars and staying down to earth | The Bubble Chamber

  2. Pingback: Weekly Roundup | The Bubble Chamber

  3. Marilyn says:

    If the reason isn’t already known, would ultraviolet bring to light the source of the methane or does it have to be thick vegetation for any thing to be seen to be analyzed.

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