Felix Baumgartner: Mars is a waste of your tax dollars

In a strident interview, the Red Bull jumper says that the Curiosity rover money would be better spent by having more curiosity about our own Earth.

Mars? It's too far away, people. Red Bull Stratos

Felix Baumgartner hasn't stopped leaping.

The man who chose to risk his life on behalf of mankind and a caffeinated drink, wants you to know that sending little machines to Mars is a pointless exercise.

Yes, you might have thought that the famed sky-leaper would be in favor of any sort of spatial exploration.

But, no. In an interview with the Telegraph he made it clear that the Mars money could be spent more wisely.

"That is tax money," he said, differentiating it, perhaps, from lottery winnings or a Vegas windfall.

He added:

People should decide 'are you willing to spend all this money to go to Mars?' I think the average person on the ground would never spend that amount of money -- they have to spend it on something that makes sense, and this is definitely saving our planet.

There is something charming about an obviously not average person on the ground defending the views of we, the trapped mortals.

Yet if you didn't quite get the point that our curiosity is misplaced, Baumgartner made himself even clearer:

I think we should perhaps spend all the money [that is] going to Mars to learn about Earth. I mean, you cannot send people there because it is just too far away. That little knowledge we get from Mars, I don't think it does make sense.

He's surely twanging a very human nerve.

Just as in our everyday relationships, we fantasize about something else, something different, something that we hope will be exotic -- when compared with our own mundanity.

But we don't bother to delve a little more deeply into what we have and what it could be. Instead, we'd rather let it rot away, in the belief that something else will come along.

Given his marauding tendencies, though, I wonder what Baumgartner might do if NASA created a means to send humans to Mars and offered him a place in the capsule.

I bet he'd leap at the chance.

 

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