Last month, we had an incredible talk with Alyssa Carson, a 20-year-old astronaut and one of seven ambassadors representing Mars One, a mission to establish a human colony on Mars in 2030. In her talk, she spoke about her journey towards becoming an astronaut and all the future opportunities that space hold for us. It was incredible to hear this passionate young women speak about her dreams. You can watch the talk here.
Space has fascinated humans for as long as we have been around. Those small sparkling dots in the night sky, that huge round orb providing us with sunlight and warmth, and our own beautiful blue planet among billions of other planets and moons! Space exploration is an exciting topic.
But it isn’t just exciting; it’s also an important topic for the development of our world and the shape of our future. Going to infinity and beyond is almost a necessity if we want to maintain and give everyone access to a high life quality.
Space holds a lot of opportunities on so many levels and in various fields. Let’s look at a couple.
Space & the Future of Humanity
Space will play an increasing role as we head into the future. We are quickly using up the resources available on Earth and running out of livable places to house our growing global community. In addition, as companies like Calico are working towards to prolonging our lives or even “solving the problem of death”, we will soon need an infinite amount of space and resources to keep up. Looking to the sky for new opportunities to meet the needs of our growing global community is an obvious solution. Space literally is infinite, so once we get jumping through hyperspace down, infinity is ours to play around with.
Until then, there is enough to do in our own solar system. Both astroid mining and colonizing our neighboring planets and moons are obvious first steps to take in order to solve the challenges we are soon facing.
There is a limited number of resources on Earth, whereas the infinite landscape of space obviously has infinite resources for us to use. Scientists expect that we will need new places to mine for zin, tin, lead, silver, gold and copper within 50-60 years. That’s sooner than you might think. Many astroids within our solar system are rich with these ores, so entrepreneurs are now looking for ways to make their issues accessible to us.
For the problem is that it is expensive and complicated to mine for resources in space. You need a rocket, suitable astroids (rich on metals and not too far away), and mining robots. As of yet, astroid mining does not pay off cost-wise, but luckily it is only a matter of time before this could switch in a positive direction. Progress is made all the time, and within 50 years we should easily have made it profitable – we will need to.
Mining resources on astroids would remove the burden and risk off the shoulders of those currently mining for metals on Earth. Being a miner is a hazardous and strenuous job. Handing this over to space robots could save lives, so that must be our goal.
One topic that’s often in the media is Elon Musk’s plan to build a colony on Mars. As our human population increases, we will soon need new housing options. A team from our pirates community is working on making the Sarah desert habitable, but although the project definitely would help, it might still not be enough for the soon to be 9 billion people.
What makes Mars a cool place to colonize are the following:
- It’s relatively close to Earth.
- It is quite similar to Earth in many ways: the length of its days are almost identical to Earth’s (one Mars day last 24 hours and 39 minutes); it has a similar tilt as Earth, giving it seasons; and it has about the same amount of dry land as Earth does.
- The temperature and amount of sunlight is also relatively close to those of Earth (it’s as cold on Mars as in Antartica); however, due to the radiation and lack of oxygen, the surface of Mars is not hospital to humans.
We would have to build artificial habitats that include oxygen, higher air pressure, water, radiation protection, stronger gravitational pull, earthlike soil for plants and crops, etc. This requires a lot of preparation and the transportation of many resources, but it is doable and might even be necessary in the future.
Apart from offering us the means to create an abundant future with resources and space enough for everyone, space also poses a major threat to us.
The Earth is at constant risk to be hit by an asteroid much like the one that brought dinosaurs into extinction. All it takes is an astroid with a diameter of 10 km to cause major extinction. Comets entering the inner solar system also pose a threat and might even be more damaging than an astroid. For that reason, several NASA projects, such as DART and NEO Surveyor, are being prepared for launch to keep us safe from extraterrestrial destruction.
Commercial Space Projects
A lot of the greatest entrepreneur of our times have raised their eyes to the skies and are starting projects that will get us into space. Elon Musk has SpaceX, Richard Branson has Virgin Galactic, and Jeff Bezos has Blue Origin. Reusable rockets and space tourism are just two major advancement emerging out of the venture of those entrepreneurs, but more projects are sure to emerge soon. With entrepreneurs and companies entering the space industries, a lot more is going to happen in this field a lot faster. It’s an exciting development. Space as a final frontier might be a lot closer than we think. Soon, we might be able to do a Moonshot Bootcamp Mars – maybe Elon Musk would fund that. Would you be in? 😉
You can keep yourself updated on space missions here.