I enjoyed the humor of Alexandra Petri's tongue-in-cheek discussion of NASA's discovery of water ice on Mercury ("Mercury has ice! Does Venus have gin?" Tribune, Dec. 2), but want to make one additional point.
Unlike the dysfunctional, gridlocked navel-gazing of our government leaders, NASA is out there using its severely limited budget to gather facts. That's right, facts. Not ideology, not opinions, not conspiracy theories. Just facts about the universe around us.
For the first time in the thousands of years of humankind's history, we now have direct evidence of water ice on the planet Mercury. Could this fact be useful to us humans in the near-term? Probably not.