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Read Carl Sagan’s Inspiring Message To Future Explorers Of Mars

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Mars. The Red Planet has inspired dreams of exploration for a hundred years, from the warrior kings of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter books, to Kim Stanley Robinson’s sprawling tales of colonization. The late Carl Sagan, aside from being a passionate proponent of space exploration in general, was one of those dreamers enamored with our crimson-hued neighbor. A few months before his death in 1996, Sagan recorded a message addressed to whichever humans finally crossed the void and left their footprints in Martian soil. As with all of Sagan’s writings, it is moving, it is passionate, it is inspiring, and it is grounded in a deep belief that we, as a species, have the capacity for greatness within us, if only we work to embrace it.

With Mars back in the news, the folks over at io9 have transcribed Sagan’s message. You can read the entire text below. Mr. Sagan…you are missed. I hope that one day we will become the people you dreamed we could.

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Seth MacFarlane Helps Library Of Congress Acquire Carl Sagan’s Papers

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When the news broke last year that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane was involved in resurrecting Carl Sagan’s legendary space documentary series Cosmos, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who had to double-check to make sure I wasn’t reading The Onion. But no, it was real: MacFarlane is working with writer/producer Ann Druyan and astrophysicists Steven Soter and Neil deGrasse Tyson to create Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey, which is slated to air on Fox sometime next year. Now MacFarlane has proven to be even more unexpectedly likable by donating the cash to help the Library of Congress acquire many of Sagan’s personal papers.

MacFarlane told the Wall Street Journal that he was a huge fan of Cosmos and Sagan’s books growing up, and he wanted to help ensure that the late scientist’s work would be accessible to the public. “All I did was write a check, but it’s something that was, to me, worth every penny,” says MacFarlane. The documents filled over 800 filing-cabinet drawers, a colossal collection that includes letters, drafts of articles, various versions of the Contact screenplay (based on Sagan’s novel), and even some of his grade-school report cards and childhood drawings.

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Sci-Fi Assassin: How Lost Snuck Into The Mainstream And Why We Should Stop Looking For A Replacement

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It’s time to put away the notion that there will ever be another Lost. The series ended in 2010, and even before the castaways walked into the light, networks were trying to recapture the magic. There’s never a new anything when it comes to television shows; something we sci-fi geeks should accept.

Seinfeld left, and was replaced by nothing. But we can find solace that eventually there was The Office, Modern Family, Community, among other great network comedies. Someday there will be a huge network hit that delves deep into sci-fi mysteries.

It could be said that Lost was the next X-Files.This is because we’re not talking about a show full of mysteries as the harbinger of TV greatness. There are scores of those shows each year; all vying for your attention with sound bites that vaguely remind you of a program about some interesting people who survived a plane crash. What people really mean by “the next Lost” is a science fiction based network program that garners attention from everyone, including the CSI and Law & Order watchers. The networks aren’t looking to find the next engaging sci-fi program; they’re looking for the mega ratings.

We already have the next Lost in spirit with Fringe. But where Lost was a stealthy assassin, coming upon you slowly from behind with its crazy science and hoodoo; Fringe let its freak flag fly from the start. What Lost proved about the general public is that you have to sneak sci-fi into the mainstream audience’s blood.