Space : the Final Frontier, say the famous opening lines in Star Trek. And, the stars have always fascinated humanity. Now, human beings are actively exploring space. Most of it is satellites with sensors. And, there are rapid advances in many areas. Most countries seem to be focusing their efforts in different areas of space, and hopefully, they wall all come together to progress the cause of space travel.
The Indian Space Research Organisation, on Friday the 23rd of June, will launch 30 nano satellites into orbit. A few days earlier Mangalayan (the Mars Orbiter mission)
completes 1000 Earth days in its orbit, today (June 19, 2017) well beyond its designed mission life of six months. 1000 Earth days corresponds to 973.24 Mars Sols (Martian Solar day) and MOM completed 388 orbits.
Earlier in June, China’s robotic cargo ship, refuelled for the second time in space. This means that space ships don’t have to land on earth to get refeulled, there could be giant ‘fuel stations’ in space — much like there are petrol stations on earth.
But, why is space travel becoming more important. The answer is simple, earth is over populated, using up most of our resources, and humanity needs a back up plan, in case a large meteor strikes.
According to Stephen Hawking, we may need to get off this planet in the next 100 years.
He also says
“We have given our planet the disastrous gift of climate change … When we we have reached similar crises there has usually been somewhere else to colonize … But there is no new world, no utopia around the corner,” he said. “We are running out of space, and the only places to go to are other worlds.”
Billionaire inventor, Elon Musk, agrees. He has been spending a vast part of his fortune, to enable cost effective space travel, that will help human beings migrate. If you are interested, there is a 15 page manifesto that Musk has published that is available here.
I think there are really two fundamental paths. History is going to bifurcate along two directions. One path is we stay on Earth forever, and then there will be some eventual extinction event. I do not have an immediate doomsday prophecy, but eventually, history suggests, there will be some doomsday event.
The alternative is to become a space-bearing civilization and a multi-planetary species, which I hope you would agree is the right way to go.
So how do we figure out how to take you to Mars and create a self-sustaining city — a city that is not merely an outpost but which can become a planet in its own right, allowing us to become a truly multi-planetary species
Why is this important to you ? Because you live on earth, and maybe one of those who migrates? or maybe you are building things that help people migrate. Or maybe you are studying how plants or animals will live and thrive on an alien planet. Or maybe you are just curious about the world
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