Life on Mars and in the Imagination
Letter to The Wall Street Journal,
July 21, 2012
If NASA's Curiosity mission actually uncovers life on Mars, however microbial or subterranean, the event would reinforce humanity's yearning to shed the surly bonds of Earth. Petty questions of political sovereignty ought not to tarnish our most epochal discovery: We are not alone ("Mind & Matter: Who's in Charge if We Find Life on Mars?," Review, July 14).
Long before this journey to Mars, Earth's most renowned Martian chronicler evoked fond memories of the Red Planet. Ray Bradbury took readers on an allegorical trek to Meridiani Planum and Schiaparelli's Crater, imbuing young and old alike with a sense of cosmic awe.
In his epigraph to "The Martian Chronicles," Mr. Bradbury said it best: "It is good to renew one's wonder," said the philosopher. "Space travel has again made children of us all."