The first color image from Curiosity. Source: NASA
A Friend on Facebook recently wrote about the Mars Curiosity mission and said:

I don’t understand how finding evidence of water or microscopic organisms benefits us on the home front.

I responded with three reason that I think this mission is important and benefits us.

  1. It encourages curiosity among kids. Odds are the first person to walk on Mars was staying up late to watch the first grainy images come back from Curiosity.
  2. By understanding if there ever was life on Mars, we gain a greater knowledge of how organisms and planets evolve. This knowledge will enhance geological, chemical, and biological sciences. Also, we know that there is water on mars, it just isn’t in liquid form.
  3. The knowledge we gain from technology developments needed for space exploration is incredibly. Things such as scratch resistant lenses, memory foam, ear thermometers, satellite communication, smoke detectors, cordless tools, and water filters all came about because of NASA and space exploration.

That is just the tip of the iceberg. Why else do you think we should explore space?