Carl Sagan's message to future humans on Mars

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Carl Sagan's message to future humans on Mars

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This audio message was recorded in 1996 and delivered to the surface of Mars in 2008 by the NASA Phoenix lander:


I'm Carl Sagan, and this is a place where I often work in Ithaca, New York, near Cornell University. Maybe you can hear, in the background, a 200 ft waterfall, which is probably – or, I guess – a rarity on Mars.

I don't know why you're on Mars. Maybe you're there because we've recognized we have to carefully move small asteroids around to avert the possibility of one impacting the Earth with catastrophic consequences, and while we're up in near-Earth space it's only a hop, skip and a jump to Mars. Maybe we're on Mars because we recognize that, if there are human communities on many worlds, the chances of us being rendered extinct by some catastrophe on one world is much less. Or maybe we're on Mars because we have to be; because there is a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process. We come after all from hunter-gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we've been wanderers. And the next place to wander to is Mars.

But whatever the reason you're on Mars is, I'm glad you're there, and I wish I was with you.

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