Braille Monitor                                     April 2017

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Cleaning Where No Human Has Cleaned Before

A view of the unspoiled wilderness and clear atmosphere of Mars.April is the month when we celebrate Earth Day, a tradition started back in the early 1970s when we realized the vulnerability of our planet and the need for humans to exercise some care for it. Many in that original movement hailed from California, a state long known for its progressive attitudes and the willingness to tackle big problems.

Always on the forefront of change, Californians, particularly members of the National Federation of the Blind of California, have turned their attention to other parts of the universe, creating the first-of-its-kind Mars Day. Why Mars, you might ask? The answer is best summed up by Ever Lee Hairston, the president of the affiliate. "Well, we know what we have done to our own planet, but what is more disturbing but less well known is what we have done to other bodies near us. We went to the Moon, walked on the Moon, and even golfed on the Moon. What did we leave: a sign saying we came in peace for all mankind—that's good, but think about the trash. We sent Ranger Seven to the Moon, admired its pictures as it soared toward the lunar surface, but we didn't land it—no, we crashed it. Any thoughts about picking it up: not on your life. That first lunar module that carried Armstrong and Aldrin: when we were through with it, what did we do? We crashed it into the Moon, and after observing the seismic impact, we haven't given it a The picture taken by the Mars Rover shows the pristine Martian vista marred by tracks left by the Rover.single thought. We simply must be better neighbors in the solar system and in the universe at large, and if we don't start it here, who will?"

Brian Buhrow, a man with a technical background, good literary skills, and a keen sense of fairness and justice goes further: “At this point Mars is a pretty pristine place. It has a few foreign bodies on it and a rover whose warranty is about to run out, but it's never too late to start reclaiming our trash and disposing of it in a manner befitting of at least one intelligent species in the universe. All of us want good American jobs and to build infrastructure, so why not create and deploy the first trash truck capable of interstellar travel? Perhaps we'll have to work on revising overtime rules for the waste disposal engineers, but we can do this in a way that creates good, well-paying, and meaningful jobs for Americans and at the same time dispel the myth that there are some dirty jobs Americans just won't do. There can be no better project to demonstrate America's commitment to hard work and the harnessing of technology and being for the world that city on the hill made so popular by Former President Ronald Reagan."

NASA missions to the Moon have left not one but three of these Lunar Rovers abandoned to deteriorate without care on the surface of our closest celestial neighbor.Not surprisingly there are some Federationists who gently offer some cautionary advice. Lisamaria Martinez, the former president of the Sports and Recreation Division, worries that the gravity on Mars will be so much less than that of Earth that those who work there will become accustomed to the lower energy required to move about and heft objects into the space receptacles that will carry the trash away. "The gravity on Mars is about .376 that of Earth. This means it will take just over one-third the energy from our muscles to do on Mars what we do on Earth. Just how we will keep muscle tone when working, eating, and sleeping will be so radically different. Unless exercise is a part of our ambitious plan, I don't think our division can really get behind this, but I am confident that the Federation, given its tradition of negotiation in getting along with interstellar beings as evidenced by multiple incarnations of Star Trek, is up to the job."

For more information about Mars Day, call (111) MARSDAY or 627-7329. Because of the intense effort in planning and advertising this event, please use only the number above. Members of the California effort are too preoccupied to take calls for general information and have contracted with the publicist for the dissemination of further information.

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