Exploring Mars is About More Than Martians

NASA’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars today with the goal of searching for signs of ancient life on the Red Planet. But exploring Mars is important beyond just the search for alien life.

Artist’s impression of the Perseverance rover landing beneath its skycrane on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Humans have had a longstanding obsession with Mars: Our sometimes-nearest neighbour, a world that is Earthlike enough that we can relate to its towering volcanoes and windswept dunes, yet alien enough to…