Last night the CBC program Ideas began a series called Generation Mars about the possibility of exploring and colonizing the red planet. Last Tuesday President Obama said we will be sending people to Mars by 2030. On our trip to Newfoundland we went for a hike in a place that is helping scientists figure out just how people might survive on Mars. We hiked the Tablelands in Gros Morne National Park. The rocks which make up this desolate place originated in the earth’s mantle. They were forced up during a plate collision several hundred million years ago. There is methane in these rocks from deep in the earth and since methane is also produced on Mars, there’s the possibility that deep down in the crust of Mars, there could also be life. That makes the Tablelands a great place to test technology and equipment that will be needed for space missions to Mars. Scientists have discovered that the water flowing through The Tableland rocks while low in oxygen and high in pH is actually teeming with life. That gives them hope that there may also be life on Mars. I think its pretty cool that the Tablelands of Newfoundland are helping us discover how we might explore and even live on Mars in the future.