Monday, August 18, 2008

Discovery of Water on Red Planet No Surprise for Author and Scientist Ben Bova

Part II of a ColoradoBiz Magazine interview with author Ben Bova was published in the August 6, 2008, issue. The conversation revolved around the recent discovery of water on Mars, the planet’s ability to support life, and Bova’s new book, Mars Life (Tor Books, 2008).

Here’s an interesting exchange between Bova and magazine editor Mike Cote:
Mike Cote: In Mars Life, there’s a debate about limiting the number of people who travel there and protection of both the environment and archeological sites. We’re seeing the same argument in the West right now with the escalation of energy exploration. As a scientist, how do you balance the two?

Ben Bova: As far as Mars is concerned, the idea of turning Mars into a real estate development is pretty ludicrous. Lots of my science fiction friends talk about terra-forming Mars, remaking the whole planet so that it’s like Earth and people can walk around in their shirtsleeves. Not only is this technically very, very difficult, but it’s probably the most expensive undertaking you can imagine. I don’t think it’s even necessary or desirable.

Mars should be a preserve for scientists to explore and learn, especially if we find evidence of life, either existing now or extinct. Mars should be a research park in my opinion, and I’m sure that’s the way it’s going to go.
Part I of the interview discussed Bova’s views on renewable energy.

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