Space: The Final Frontier

http://phys.org/news/2014-11-frontiers-mineral-exploration.html

What I want to point out in this article is not so much the content of the article, but the title. “Frontiers in Mineral Exploration”. This is a perfect example of the misuse of the word ‘frontier’ that Limerick argues about in her book “Something in the Soil: Legacies and Reckonings in the New West”. In this article, Mars is presented as a frontier with endless opportunities for exploration and minerals. However, the article grazes over the fact that Mars is a harsh and uninhabitable world, similar to stories about the western frontier. The first Martian explorers would be struggling for their lives every single day, much like the American pioneers. Even with the technologies available to us today, such as the ability to travel to other planets, the idea of the frontier will never match the vision of wealth and opportunity that society has made it into.

Why do you think it is that society has never been able to shed the idea of a glorified frontier? What has caused it to survive this long?

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