It turns out that scientists are decided on the history of Mars as it relates to water. From what they can tell from the plethora of probes at and around the planet, water existed and for a long period of time. It’s something in the magnitudes of millions of years (12 million years seems to ring a bell). At this interval of time, life is apparently a good bet, though only microbial I think. Still, this has the Mars mission community buzzing with excitement and plans for the next mission. They aim to get robotic astronauts onto the surface for a more thorough analysis. There’s also the issue of a return trip, which has to be tested as well. I am personally very excited that man will most likely step foot on another planet within my lifetime. My parents got the moon, but I may get Mars. I’m guessing that our progress to other planets or solar systems will be exponentially harder. To assume that we may get one hurdle per generation is a bit optimistic. I think the Mars mission is a monumental summit, but getting beyond Mars is an even greater challenge with a whole new set of risks and impossibilities.