As humans, our relationship to Mars has evolved through time. The Romans liked their god of war better than the Greeks; for them he was 'magnificent in shinning armour, redoubtable, invincible.' And in the 17th century, it was Mars that taught Kepler its orbit was an ellipse, which then turned into what we know today as Kepler's first two laws of planetary motion.
In the 1980s Astronomer Carl Sagan recognised the symbiotic relationship we have with the red planet. He was an advocate for its exploration and pointed out how science coming from Mars has inspired science fiction and culture at large.
Today, Mars has become an even bigger window into a world of possibilities, and although we may not all agree on what those possibilities are, we will nonetheless be bound together by the discoveries to come.