We are human and we have a tendency to anthropomorphize everything. So, that little robot-science lab on wheels that is wandering around Mars makes it almost seem as if we have a person on Mars. Curiosity is cute; it has one of the same eyes as Wall-E who had a delightful personality. By association we also suppose that Curiosity is equally delightful. Wall-E, of course, skewed male, while Curiosity has been presented, so far, as androgynous, making it difficult to choose an anthropomorphic pronoun. Whatever sex is assigned to Curiosity, I have decided to think of her as a “she” because I can. As I go through my day I sometimes remember that our little Curiosity is traveling ever so slowly over the landscape on MARS! She is constantly taking photos that she sends back to earth and she is sampling the materials on the surface of Mars to send us data about the chemistry of the Martian surface. And like Wall-E’s girlfriend Eva, she is looking for any signs that there ever was or that there is now life on Mars.
The ideas for terraforming Mars have been around for several decades now. Kim Stanley Robinson wrote a fictional Mars trilogy to help us picture the possibilities. Red Mars, Blue Mars and Green Mars, the three volumes in the trilogy create a set of Martian pioneer people who take us through the three stages of terraforming and the human drama that might accompany such an endeavor.