During my childhood, while watching an interplanetary Sci-fi movie I asked the adult accompanying me. "So Neil Armstrong was the first man on Moon, but who was the first person on Mars?". The Grown-up nonchalantly replied, "No one, We didn't go to Mars.". On my further questioning, I was told about the sad state of absence of planetary travel.
That was probably one of the saddest reveals to the little me. I had spent the rest of that evening sitting on stairs, pondering to come to terms with the level of regression of humanity. After all, I use to watch shows about the galaxy far far away with the older kids in the family and thought that was pretty much the reality of galaxy far far away. That one information made me feel like we were living in stone age. Now, I find it quite amusing that I had taken the Sci-fi portrait by the entertainment media to be the real world.
However, the world changed since my childhood and the technology upgraded exponentially. Alongside I kept tabs on the expansion of technology. I still have the scrapbook I kept for the newspaper articles on Spirit and Opportunity. I gained knowledge on the technology through books and internet. I was very excited for the Curiosity Mars rover. It is one of the most monumental projects on planetary science. It provided us abundant information and the with the internet that information super-accessible.
Today we are at a place where we have the technology, to take humans to mars, in its rudimentary form. Nasa estimates to put humans on Mars by 2040s. However, sadly governments are shying away from investing in science. The input of private companies has a very important part to play in the goal of making humans space nomads. One such company (and currently the biggest player in the field of space exploration) is Elon Musk's SpaceX.
Elon Musk, in a presentation last year, pushed in this time constraint to reach Mars. He had put forward his plan to land human on Mars within a decade. Musk's plan not only plans to make a human visit the planet but also to colonize it. If you know anything about Elon Musk you must also be aware of the fact that he is a man of grand visions. When I first heard about Elon's plan reveal I knew it was going to be promising. Unlike, Mars One which was DOA. So much so that the enthusiasm for Mars One basically infuriated the nerd in me.
Musk's ambitious plan aims to eventually form a self-sustaining colony on Mars. He aims for Mars to support a population of a million humans. The most important and revolutionary aspect of Musk's plan is the reusability of the space ship. The announcement of the project was an hour long video explaining how SpaceX will execute this design. He plans to provide an affordable travel to Mars for anyone who wants to go. Each mission/space flight will eventually be taking 100 passengers on a reusable interplanetary vehicle that Space X aims to employ for the project. You can watch the video here.
In fact, early this year SpaceX successfully tested the launch and landing of Falcon 9, The reusable rocket. This is one of most historic achievement in Aerospace. It can cut down the cost of space travel to a great extent. Following is the video of the test.I find it extremely cheerful to watch, It is one of my favorite videos. The sweet adrenalin rush!
The need for this expansion of our living space is something that is instinctual to human. That is what we human do. The first homo sapiens were limited to Africa, still, over time, we conquered the whole planet. Prehistoric Humans traveled and settled down to the far off locations with a wide range of living conditions. Even Australia and America, despite having ocean restriction, were populated by humans who traveled to those locations from Africa. We have an extraordinary ability to survive in the oddest of the condition and innovative brains to look beyond the horizon.
Thus Living and existing only on this planet is a myopic point of view. Keeping in mind our history, our desire to take the leap is inevitable. The future human will try to push the limits further. Moreover, eventually, our planet will stop supporting us. Being the only species of homo genus it is our existential calling to make sure that out DNA is passed on. It will evolve into something new as the rule of nature. We are aware of this phenomenon, unlike our cousins, have a special responsibility to deliberately make efforts for the long run. It is not an individual human being, but is about the mysterious thing we call "consciousness". We possess the wonderful ability to register our existence in the universe. The attempts to keep it alive is probably the best thing to do. Though, it would be just a small step on the scale of the vast universe it will be the first one. Talking about interstellar world seem too farfetched for us but it is not so on an evolutionary scale.
If I get a chance to travel to Mars in my lifetime I would hop on board at once. Spoiler alert for my fellow travelers I get grumpy whenI am hungry. So don't forget to carry extra snacks!
Would you travel to Mars If you could? Would you like to move there? Let me know in the comment section.
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