Mars Beckons But The Moon Returns
Some of the most popular sessions from past editions of SXSW have focused on Mars. In March 2017, for instance, panels like “Humans, Robots + Microbes: The Challenge of Mars,” “Making Law on Mars,” and “So You Want to Go to Mars” drew very enthusiastic crowds.
Look for even more future-focused, red-planet-related content at the 2018 event including “Artful Eyes: A View From the Future” (March 12), “Earth v. Mars: The Future of Exploration” (March 13), “Generation Mars” (March 12), and “NASA’s Universe of Storytelling Tools” (March 14).
Given all this momentum around all things Mars, the less lofty lunar aspirations of Space Policy Directive — 1 is a little bit underwhelming. Said President Trump on Monday: “The directive I’m signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery. It marks an important step for returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use this time. We will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars.”
The phrase “eventual mission to Mars” is certainly a bit of a buzzkill — although not nearly as much so as the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality on December 14 (which could undermine so much of the egalitarian promise of the Internet). Yes, everything old is new again.
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.
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