Not too long ago we read of NASA’s desire to appropriate $170 million to “lasso” a meteor by using a specially developed and built spaceship in order to study said rock. Apparently we still have not learned our lesson and money continues to grow on trees in Washington, as they now are headed to Mars with a new exploration named Maven.

At a cost of $671 million, what are we trying to determine? Why the Martian atmosphere went from warm and wet to cold and dry? I know I ask myself this question each morning before I even step out of bed.

It is this kind of thinking that makes me wonder how the minds at NASA can be in charge of anything.

To bolster this latest project, billionaire Dennis Tito has suggested we need even more Mars expeditions. Key word here? “Billionaire.” I’d strongly suggest that Mr. Tito pry open his own checkbook and fund as many trips to Mars as he can afford.

The red planet would serve to support but a handful of people, no matter what we did there. I’m missing something with this fascination with so far off a place.

In a time of swollen deficits and a nation that is far from perfect, I again question this outrageous spending. The farm bill is again in the headlines, with the hint in these very newspapers of $6-a-gallon milk if it does not get approved (“Milk price could rise to $6 a gallon if farm bill fails,” Dec. 7).

Our priorities do not lie within the barren and desolate playground known as Mars. They instead should lie here in a nation that is listing as far as it can possibly be.

Scott Plummer

South Casco