(1) A manned trip to Mars is a justified scientific goal because (2) it affords a unique opportunity to explore the origins of the solar system and the emergence of life. However, (3) from a scientific standpoint, an initial landing on the tiny Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, would be more rewarding than a landing on the planet itself. Because (4) the Martian terrain is rugged, (5) humans would not be able to venture far, (6) nor could they operate a robot vehide for great distances, since (7) Mars's mountains would block their view. (8) Explorers on Phobos and Deimos could easily send robot vehicles to the planet's surface. (9) Using Mars's moons as a base would also be better than unmanned exploration directed from the Houston space center. Because (10) the distance is so great, (11) radio signals to and from Mars can take as long as an hour. Thus, (12) driving an unmanned rover from Earth, step by step, would be a time-consuming operation. (13) Sample returns to Earth would take months instead of hours, and (14) follow-on missions would be years apart instead of days, further slowing the process of exploration.
Experts are waiting 24/7 to provide step-by-step solutions in as fast as 30 minutes!*
*Response times vary by subject and question complexity. Median response time is 34 minutes and may be longer for new subjects.