Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Review of The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must by Robert Zubrin

Just finished reading The Case for Mars, which I bought after reading The Martian novel last year.

The author Robert Zubrin is an engineer with a plausible (to me) plan for a human Mars mission that he's been trying to "get off the ground" for twenty years. Talk about determinate optimism!

One criticism is that Zubrin is confused or mistaken about the implications of finding life on Mars. Recall the Fermi paradox - "where is everybody", why are there no signs of other life in the universe? Many of the good explanations involve the concept of a Great Filter - see the Nick Bostrom paper "Why I hope the search for extraterrestrial life finds nothing" [PDF].


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