The Final Frontier

Anyone who knows me knows I have an infinite fascination with space and all it encompasses. I love space, I read all the new studies and reports, i try to keep up on theories and whatnot.
I cried when the Columbia blew up.
Studying the universe is important. There is so much to learn, so much it can tell us. So many ways in which it will humble us. And god knows that as a species we could use some humbling right now. Hell, the study of the universe is what made me an atheist, made me realize just how insignificant our galaxy, our solar system, our planet, our species is. Everything comes and goes and does it in such a quick span of time that the universe as a whole doesn’t even recognize it.
Anyway, I have a point. Bush is announcing manned missions to the moon and to Mars. Interesting, but stupid. We don’t need manned missions to these places. A mission anywhere is expensive, hugely so. Every single aspect of space travel costs a lot of money, take all of the elements that cost money and add to them the cost of keeping organisms alive and comfortable and the costs skyrocket exponentially so to speak.
What more do we need to learn about the moon? What can be accomplished with manned missions that can’t be accomplished with cheaper, faster, expendable probes? And Mars? Why do we need to send humans to Mars? We can’t afford to send humans to Mars. The success rate for sending probes to Mars isn’t exactly filling me with confidence, and we want manned missions?
This whole thing just smacks of a large pissing contest with no one. It strikes me as a desperate pre-election dicking around by a guy who couldn’t find the star closest to our planet if he were sitting outside, at noon, on a cloudless day. The worst part is, people will fall for it, “Oh Bush is gonna get us on to Mars! If we don’t get to Mars then the terrorists have won! The whole point of fighting terrorists was to GET TO MARS.”.
Sigh, people are dumb and reactionary sometimes.