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Lucianne Walkowicz's Speech on Mars is on Preserving Earth

By: Alyson Wyers - Jan 23, 2016
In her speech on Mars, Lucianne Walkowicz explains why she disagrees with viewing it as a backup planet. The stellar astronomer discusses exploring the universe for habitable planets, or what she humorously refers to as "choice alien real estate." However, she is weary of the notion Mars could be used as an alternative home once humans have totally ruined Earth.

While some consider the ways to live in the harsh atmosphere on Mars, the speaker points out the extent to which we haven't inhabited out own desserts. She feels Mars saving humanity from self-destruction is like the captain of the Titanic saying "the real party is later on the life boars."

The speech on Mars posits that interplanetary exploration and planetary preservation are not actually oppositional ideas. She favors using Earth's extreme climates as a refuge instead. The speaker emphasizes the need to understand how to create and maintain habitable spaces out of hostile inhospitable places.