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ibstubro's avatar

If humans can reach Mars, why can't they _________ [Complete the sentence.]?

Asked by ibstubro (18770points) January 14th, 2016

Finish the sentence with something that seems like a human innovation no-brainer

For instance, my finish would be:
”...convert salt water to fresh water, economically?”

We’ve had since the beginning of time.
Imagine the consequence when human exploration/travel/transportation was largely by sea.
What if humans were consuming all the fresh water in the Western US?

Wouldn’t it be prudent to get things settled out here on Earth – war, pestilence, and famine wise – before we worry about extraterrestrial exploration?

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23 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

feed everyone.

longgone's avatar

…get along?

Cruiser's avatar

Time the traffic lights so you are not having to stop every other block.

Guitarded's avatar

get the pizza to my condo without getting lost and having to phone me 2 or 3 times before they even find the building.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Use the money to invest in more helpful things instead of building spaceships to reach Mars?

Darth_Algar's avatar


In the United States about 50 cents on every tax dollar is spent on Social Security, welfare, Medicare/Medicaid and various other aid programs. By contrast NASA receives half a penny on the tax dollar. Half a penny. If NASA’s budget were doubled we’d still be spending nearly 49x as much on public aid. And the economic and technological benefits of NASA are nearly immeasurable.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Grow hair on Captain Picard head?

flutherother's avatar

Make a tin-opener that works.

cazzie's avatar

I think the better question is, ‘If humans can spend so much money and effort designing ways to kill each other and wage wars costing trillions of dollars…’ if you mean just the economic side.

If you mean just the technology, I wish there were more advancements in the treatment and cure for autoimmune diseases. But, I know that the advancements made in engineering and technology and biology and really all the sciences, with the research involved in space exploration and living on the ISS, has real benefits here on Earth. I completely agree with @Darth_Algar .

LostInParadise's avatar

figure out how birds migrate

get a clue as to the nature of consciousness

figure out how to double the human lifespan

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

land a decent leader in the white house.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I think we need to focus on exploration, getting off world sustainably should to be priority #1. We are just one big disaster away from becoming extinct. Once we leave it’s all good. I think going to other planets here in the solar system is actually silly. We need to learn how to exist in space without reliance on terra firma

imrainmaker's avatar

Produce food in such a huge quantity so that no one will be hungry in this world..

flutherother's avatar

Send Donald Trump there.

ibstubro's avatar

I think we have the technology to feed everyone, @stanleybmanly & @imrainmaker. We have not yet found the will.

Peace we may never have, @longgone.

But benefits, @cazzie, that also might be realized from an all out push to explore the deep ocean or any other trillion dollar research project? Cheap desalinization isn’t glamorous, but would benefit a lot of people…including those that might eventually venture into space.

**I thought they were getting a handle on the migration thing?
**Understanding the nature of consciousness steps on the toes of God.
**We’ve made some inroads into span, great strides in the percentage reaching an age to care. At least in the Western world we have the technology. I think the rich are still paying for, and hoarding, some of the life extenders.

I think maybe mankind needs to figure out how to live with the Earth we have, forst, @ARE_you_kidding_me. It makes more sense to not foul the nest you have that to live suspended in nothingness?

LostInParadise's avatar

I am skeptical of how well understood bird migration is. I want to see a simulation. Once that has been figured out, they can tackle monarch butterfly migration. From all parts of the U.S. and Canada, the butterflies end up in a small mountainous area of Mexico.

Understanding consciousness would not be stepping on God’s toes, though it might damage the idea of a soul.

cazzie's avatar

There is a lot of government funded unglamorous research going on costing even more money. No reason to stop one form of research that occasionally gets a bit of press.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@ibstubro Leave the nest and preserve it. If we stay…we die. There is not much of a choice here.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Cure the common cold, have a “smart pill” to synch a person’s metabolism to their activity (or inactivity), produce a viable flying car as promised by 2001, or a jetpack that can fly more than 90 seconds before running out of fuel.

ibstubro's avatar

I had anticipated common cold and flying cars, @Hypocrisy_Central.

All the technology seems to be there for the flying car. Maybe when autonomous cars are more the norm, they can work on ‘air cushioned’ vehicles instead of wheels. Self driving cars are going to require redesigning a lot of the peculiarities in the highway systems, IMO.

I think the target market for jetpacks is narrow?

Kardamom's avatar

Why can’t they come up with some type of portable, inexpensive, comfortable, small but functional, housing to eliminate homelessness in the United States.

cazzie's avatar

Have men give birth to the babies for a while.

imrainmaker's avatar

create a pill that will increase human qualities in human beings like compassion / love / respect for others which is decreasing day by day..

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