I have been watching the National Geographic series Mars which splits between a talking head styled documentary set in the present, 2016 with those who are involved in Mars missions and a speculative interpretation of what the first landing on Mars could be like in 2033. Combining questions of how and why with what could happen it is an interesting way to look at the questions of space travel. The show combines questions of science with speculation in a way that is fun and interesting to watch.
At the same time Mr.T and I have been re-watching the Star Trek series Enterprise on Netflix (after upgrading our internet to unlimited we can be more liberal with how much bandwith we use). The opening sequence of Enterprise focuses on the history of exploration and how we moved into space step by step and watching it I find myself wondering why we are focusing on getting to Mars when we still haven't built a base or station on the Moon. I understand that shooting for Mars is more glamorous and brings back the ideals of shooting for the Moon way back in the '60s but wouldn't it make more sense to launch space missions from somewhere other than Earth, given that we need so much energy just to escape Earth's atmosphere. Wouldn't it make more sense to launch from either a space station or a base on the Moon? Because I was raised with the expectations of the original Space Race I still long for the promised space stations and moon base we were promised way back in the heady, idealistic days of the 1960s.