What does it mean to us as a species to have the desire to live on another planet? What is it that compels us to reach for that dream?
Elon Musk has said he wants to die on Mars. The entire Space-X program is designed with one ultimate goal, to land humans on Mars. And this isn’t a far-distant pipe-dream – no – it’s happening within our lifetimes. The desire to reach the realms of deep space travel is becoming a reality before our eyes. We are the generation who will witness humans setting foot on the Red Planet for the first time. As incredible and unbelievable as that sounds, have you taken a look at the news recently and seen the massive advancements that have been made to achieve the goals of manned space missions to the moon and to Mars? The private sector is driving this – specifically, a group of extraordinarily wealthy individuals who share the same sense of adventure and belief that we have to go extra-planetary in order to advance our species. That’s a lot to absorb. Not since the moon landing in 1969 has there been so much buzz and excitement around the idea of flying rockets into space. These are exciting times.
We have to look at some of the reasons we feel compelled to explore space and the possibility of extra-planetary life. Firstly, mankind is moving perilously close to the point of no return in terms of climate change and global warming. We are spiralling towards a future when Earth will not be able to sustain life any longer. By that point we must have found a way to relocate elsewhere or face extinction, war, global food crises, climate catastrophes and mass homelessness. Secondly, artificial intelligence is set to become the most dominant life-force on the planet, with us subservient to a collective artificial sentience that may have the power to decide whether we live or die. Lastly, as we are still masters of our own destinies today, we must fight against the trap of remaining bound to one planet, fully dependent on it for our survival and the survival of life in our cosmos, simply because we are too afraid to venture beyond its breathable atmosphere. We are rapidly approaching the point at which we will have all the technology necessary to make this astronomical leap from living only on Earth to being a multi-planet species. We should not turn our backs on such advancement in ignorance and fear.
It is time to embrace all the possibilities – even the dangerous-sounding, improbable-looking, scary as hell possibilities of life away from Earth because our future depends on keeping our minds open and our eyes on the stars.