In as far as scientific community is concerned, no one can say with any certainty that there is life on Mars, the planet - not the candy bar. This reality, however, hasn't impeded the state of Delaware from appointing an Ambassador to Mars. Really.
Last week, the Governor of Delaware, Jack Markell, named one Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, vice-president for research at Delaware State University, as the state's "Ambassador to Mars" in recognition of his achievements as role in the launch of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory planned for November 25..
In a letter to Dr. Melikechi, the governor sang the praises of his state.
“As Delaware’s new Ambassador to Mars, we would very much appreciate it if you could let any Martian tourists or investors know that Delaware is conveniently located on the East Coast with a great port, strong community, excellent workforce and top-notch research facilities."
As expected in his role as governor, he also went on to promote his states local tourist attractions.
“We have beautiful beaches, important historic sites and, of course, tax-free shopping.”
I mean, one would assume or at least imagine or guess that there would be some type of Mars/Earth/Delaware reciprocity and that Martian visitors could or would or might want to take advantage of the state's beaches, not to mention tax free shopping. Of course before all of this can take place, there have to be signs of life. But I digress.
“We appreciate your commitment to scientific excellence, your significant contributions to our state’s reputation as a cradle of innovation, and the esteem your work is bringing to the First State” the governor wrote.
According to NASA, the MSL Curiosity rover has 10 science instruments to search for evidence that Mars had "environments favourable for microbial life, including the chemical ingredients for life."
The Governor provided a copy of Delaware’s new State Travel Guide to Dr. Melikechi. Although the guide is available at http://www.visitdelaware.com/, Melikechi will bring a paper copy in case Martian operating systems are not compatible with our technology.
He will be traveling to Cape Canaveral where he and his colleagues will be working in preparation for the launch.
Interesting promotional idea. If this catches on, can other states be far behind? Next thing you know, somebody will come up with a Martian to English dictionary...
Read the governor's letter here: http://news.delaware.gov/2011/11/18/governor-markell-names-ambassador-to-mars/