Earth, our precious planet. It has been humanity’s home for millions of years.
Humans have come a long way; from primarily emerging in Africa as Neanderthals to evolving as the Homo sapiens, the modern human species which also emerged on the same continent. It’s wild to even imagine how the interconnectedness remained after countless evolutions.
Among many other innate traits we share with our ancestors, one of those that would significantly prevail is our desire to explore. It’s been engraved in almost every aspect of who we are.
We explore to discover and when we do, we learn to thrive. This is just the beginning.
Earth is humanity’s cradle. It’s where we were born and eventually gained consciousness. But we weren’t meant to be contained here forever. Why? The answer is quite knotty and incredibly complex but allow me to walk you through it and tell you why because, in one way or another, we would ultimately need to secure the continuation of our race.
Buckle up because I am about to take you fast forward to a few thousand or even hundreds of years from now. As an individual who is at least aware of the issues going on, on this planet, try to examine different kinds of possibilities of where it might lead to. What can you see? A civilization with flying cars? A city in the clouds? Perhaps a world of A.I. dominance? Or extinction? The possibilities are endless but due to the current human behavior and lifestyle, there’s a great chance that we might be on the path that leads to havoc. We are currently on a pandemic, one of the deadly factors to cause global destruction.
We have been dealing with wars and climate change for decades, limited resources (fun fact: resources that we fight wars over are in near-infinite quantities in our solar system), overpopulation, disastrous environmental issues, and others. Bear in mind that those things are happening simultaneously on Earth right now. But what if we examine other factors that would cause planetary doom other than those previously mentioned? In order to understand the Earth and its future as a whole, we should also learn about its relationship with its cosmic environment.
The threat is inevitable and if there are countless of them here on Earth alone, what more if we consider examining its neighborhood? An asteroid collision would be a prime candidate in our long list of existential threats – and the calculated possibilities are fair.
We have many of them in our solar system and some are even identified orbiting near Earth (called Near-Earth Objects or NEOs) but as much as we would very much like to imagine them as, per se, the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man that usually swings back and forth and saves everyone from danger, still, we cannot just run away from the fact that some of them aren’t really that friendly at all and can even be the ones to cause gruesome danger. Now, we are at a point where we have to think of any long-term, practical, and propitious alternatives, or else our kind wouldn’t last the next centuries. Stephen Hawking once stated that “This is not science fiction, it is guaranteed by the laws of physics and probability.”
Looking on the brighter side, I always believed that for every problem, there is always a solution.
There is an idea that many people nowadays might find silly but it’s about making life multi-planetary, thus, our current biggest goal – settling on Mars. It is about ensuring the survival of our species. Getting there will provide a whole new meaning for us to ponder and reflect – if we can successfully go to Mars, then we are capable of going anywhere.
Stephen Hawking also said that “Spreading into space will completely change the future of humanity. It may also determine whether we have any future at all.” In fact, the idea alone of no longer living on just one planet is extraordinary and a promising concept for the generations to come.
Mars is a good target because its day (called Sol) is about the same length as Earth’s and water in the form of ice is on its surface. But if you ever find yourself in doubt of this civilization’s capabilities, keep in mind that we are bestowed with gifts. In fact, our minds are those that make us gifted. Sure enough, staggering scientific progress we have achieved or yet to achieve will usher us towards our ultimate goal.
Because of the brilliant minds and hands that worked together for the past centuries up to this very moment, we have crossed oceans, conquered lands, tasted flight (thank the Wright brothers for that), landed a man on the moon, and soon enough we will have the first crew on Mars. Overall, we dream, we share our stories, we make scientific breakthroughs and spend a great amount of time thinking about the future all while reflecting on the past.
Now, since the goal is to make life multi-planetary, it is to build a base, grow crops, and make humans learn how to sustain themselves on Mars – a self-sustaining civilization, as they call it. When we land the first humans on Mars, it won’t be just any ordinary milestone but a great moment in the history of exploration – the implementation of an insurance policy for mankind.
This goal will pave a way for exceptional developments in many fields such as recycling, solar energy, food production, and the advancement of medical technology. It is in our nature, after all, to explore and go beyond our limits since we are known to possess the abilities to manifest almost anything our brains could ever think of.
And not to mention that we have notable billionaires who also happen to be visionaries playing an important role in this planet’s societal improvements. Take Elon Musk, for example, who is deeply invested in sending a crew to Mars which also happens to be the CEO of SpaceX. He just became one of the most influential and significant people on the planet because of the amount of hard work he was willing to dedicate all to the good of humanity.
We should aspire to be like him, maybe not merely by being a billionaire but simply as someone who cares and finds a way to get through in terms of thinking of the bigger picture with an entirely wide-open mind.
After all, it’s what humanity has ever needed – a little bit of compassion and optimism, especially when we’re on the frontier towards the future of civilization. Ladies and gentlemen, to Mars and beyond.