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Landing on Mars Proves We Have the Smarts to Fix Earth – Curbed

If we can master interplanetary, zero-emission transportation, are high-speed trains and EVs really too hard?

Searching for life on Mars will end up saving lives on Earth. Photo: Courtesy of NASA
Searching for life on Mars will end up saving lives on Earth. Photo: Courtesy of NASA

At 3:55 p.m. yesterday, not a minute later than scheduled, the NASA rover Perseverance daintily dropped to the surface of Mars in Jezero Crater, just seven short months after leaving Earth. Within a few minutes, Perseverance casually snapped a few shots for its Instagram — including a selfie — confirming its remarkably smooth arrival. This was not the first time we’ve landed a rover on Mars, of course, but after four years of EPA gaslighting, Sharpiegate, and the Starship Troopers cosplay that is the Space Force, this moment hit different. As the cheers erupted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s mission control — a room filled with masked and plexiglass-divided scientists and engineers that was much more sparsely populated than during previous landings — I saw something I hadn’t seen before. I saw how the science that got us to another planet will deliver our own from the climate crisis.

Take the rover itself. Here we have one of the most efficient electric vehicles ever produced: a rugged, remote-controlled six-wheeler engineered for both extreme heat and extreme cold and powered by a nuclear battery. Not only is Perseverance the next-generation version of an all-weather Chevy Bolt, it’s carrying a small solar-powered electric helicopter (name: Ingenuity), that’s being stored on the rover’s belly. If we can master interplanetary, zero-emission transportation, building out a next-generation fleet of high-speed trains, EVs, and cargo bikes really shouldn’t be a problem.

Then there’s the science the rover is there to perform. Among the many experiments it’s conducting to look for signs of life, Perseverance is going to try to make oxygen from Mars’s carbon-dioxide-heavy atmosphere. This is a feat that would be critical for a crewed mission to the Red Planet if we wanted to spend any extended period of time there, Matt Damon–style. (The oxygen may also potentially be used for fuel.) Of course, these findings could be used toward developing carbon-capture technology and other ways to convert carbon to sustainable fuel back home.

Read on >>>> Source: Curbed Landing on Mars Proves We Have the Smarts to Fix Earth

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