China has got something circling up there, and now the United Arab Emirates scientific boffins are all bouncing up and down with joy as their fragile piece of cosmic hardware (contains software of course) goes round and round that distant land.
A land where the USA and Russia have also sent things to … to go round and round and even land on it.
What is the point?
The point is Mars.
A bereft globe of globular bereftness … although it is spectacular to ponder through a good telescope … or a finely produced science fiction movie.
What has it got? What makes our near neighbour so appealing to billion-dollar space companies?
While devoid of scientific labels and attachments after my name, I feel reasonably comfortable in saying it has, not a lot.
It's probably attractive because it's easier to land on than the other orbiting blobs.
Mars is like my wallet … empty of potential creativity.
But they reckon there might be water on Mars, as there once was, apparently.
And that could be stimulating some form of life.
Certainly not life as we would know it … they're talking molecular which means there's no future in going there to try and farm them.
It's just a big red coloured globe that goes round and round the sun and has green sunsets apparently.
I'm a devotee of the sun, but Mars doesn't cut it.
Maybe the senders of these expensive devices spent too much of their young years soaking up David Bowie's quaint tune asking if there is life on Mars.
There is that approach of one day setting up a human colony on Mars.
Which I have to responded to by asking "who would really want to live there?"
We, the human kind who grew up on this reasonably temperate but fragile globe, like to see and experience real light.
The light and shadows of sunshine.
And breathe in the aroma of the mint bushes down the back of the section.
And sea breezes … not artificial things formulated in some place called 'Pod 18' which hums away down the tech alleyway along from where the sleeping pod units are situated.
And I don't want to put a special suit on to go for a wander amidst the dust and rocks.
I want to be able to adorn light attire for the wander down to get my prepared cans of liquid sustenance (they come in packs of six).
So on the surface (and below for that matter I daresay) Mars doesn't really have a lot going for it, yet it is the target of curious human creatures … clearly with a few bob on their side.
Is there nothing else they could do with the eight-figure costs of devising machines to go there and go round and round it taking pictures to send home for the album?
Given there is so much that needs to be done for people struggling in their lands it all just comes across as flippancy.
Forget space and what it may hold.
We've pretty much wrecked this one so why go looking for another one to pull apart?
I have this theory that there are very advanced alien folks out there who have called in to have a close look at us and simply jotted down "too much trouble" … never to return.
But science is science and while there are planets circling along with us the agencies of science will seek and receive funding to go have a look at them.
But places like Jupiter and Neptune are sort of too far away and Bowie never wrote a song about them.
How about Uranus then?
I suspect you anticipated this angle but let's not go there, under any circumstances.
It would be the bottom of my list.
So Mars then.
What's the point, apart from the ego factor of doing something the Yanks once did?
As I said a few orbits ago ... I liken Mars to planet Wallet … it's unlikely to have anything in it.