The inspiring Mars landing has rekindled hope for a manned mission to the Red Planet

Please send your letters to

Saturday 20 February 2021 13:43
Nasa’s Perseverance rover successfully lands on Mars

I must confess to being old enough to have watched the first moon landing – we had special lessons about it at junior school. I then enthusiastically followed all future missions to our satellite, hoping, even confident, that a man (bound to be in those days) would set foot on Mars before the 1990s.

Alas, the space race slowed and then stopped mainly due to the Soviets curtailing their programme.

Although many achievements have been made over the last few decades, nothing has grasped my interest more than the latest Mars landing.  Watching the pictures already released and reading the excellent articles over the last few days has been truly inspiring. Let us hope that my rekindled confidence in a manned mission bears fruit.

However, other than enthusiasm and sheer awe at the achievement, one worrying thought crossed my mind: how long will it be before we are plagued with Mars-landing deniers? I wonder.

Robert Boston

Kingshill, Kent

Nothing new

Vaccine passports are nothing new. I have one issued in 1967 for small pox to allow me entry to the US.

If it is the non-take up of vaccination domestically or stopping the spread of the virus internationally, the inner workings of the Tory party or other political considerations should not take priority over what is needed to stop this pandemic. I have nothing against temporary vaccine passports – bring them on.

Richard Matthews

Address supplied

Force for good?

Our government claims to be a “force for good” in the world by giving away the surplus from its over-ordering of vaccines, but only when it knows how much we have spare. That smacks of the giving away to a charity collection the spare cash in one’s pocket.

Yet we seek to be that “force for good” in the world as chair of the G7 and Cop26. Which line of expenditure will the chancellor debit with the cost of the surplus vaccines we give away? Will it be the overseas aid budget he is shrinking without parliamentary approval?

Christopher Hall


Post-lockdown partying

With the end in sight for lockdown, thoughts of going out and partying are now uppermost in our minds. My dilemma is what to go as to my first fancy dress party. Having not been to the barbers for months, Boris Johnson would seem an obvious choice, but do I just don a hi-viz jacket over my suit or an ill-fitting lab coat?

Geoff Forward



Uber has always insisted they are just an app and not a transportation company and their drivers are not workers for them, but self-employed. That has got them off the hook on employment laws. The situation was farcical.

Now the supreme court has ruled their drivers are workers and as such entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay. Uber has used new technology to exploit their drivers for years, but now they will have to change their business model and stop being the soul-destroying juggernaut they had become and start treating their drivers as human beings.

David Heath

Address supplied

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments