The good news about Mars? It has sunlight, carbon, water, and nitrogen. On a good day, it's only 35.8 million miles away. True that good day is July 27, 2018, but still, it beats trying to reach the closest other Earth-like planet which is 70 trillion miles away.
The bad news about Mars? We've sent forty spacecraft there. Many didn't make it. The ones that did get there didn't find so much as as a bacterium fossil. Mars is unimaginably dry and frozen and regularly blasted by solar winds. But still, we want to reach it. Partly because it's our best chance to go anywhere and party because -- for all of its unearthly harshness -- it really is a close cousin in other ways. We'll tell you more on today's show. You can join the conversation. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.