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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Should We Establish National Parks On Mars?

•, By Clay Dillow
 There’s an old proverb that states “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” And if some in the scientific community have their way, that sentiment will extend to other planetary bodies as well. A movement among some in the spacefaring community believe that humans need to set up a kind of national parks system for planets prior to human and further robotic exploration to ensure that pristine environmental value--both scientific and intrinsic--is preserved beyond Earth orbit.

Earth orbit might be a good example as to why. The area of space where human activity has been most prevalent is filled with debris--the leftovers and byproducts of our presence there. And with private spaceflight now rapidly making up technical ground on even the world’s most capable space programs, it’s only a matter of time before manned exploration is happening elsewhere in the solar system and outside of the strict oversight of a state-sponsored space agency, advocates argue.

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