Why We Need to Go to Mars
With Elon Musk recently announcing SpaceX’s plan to send us to Mars, a new space race has begun. It will be interesting to see who lands a human on the red planet first. Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg claims that “the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding a Boeing rocket.” There’s a group of billionaires, private companies, and government organizations, all trying to establish humanity on a Martian planet. We’re living in truly extraordinary times!
Getting humans to Mars would be a monumental accomplishment. It would require significant amounts of capital and human ingenuity. Some may ask why we would want to pursue this endeavor in the first place. A crucial question to consider, since why we need to go to Mars is just as important as how we’ll get there.
Here are 4 reasons why we need to go to Mars:
- Humanity needs to become an interplanetary species
Mass extinction events are very real and very scary. Throughout its life, Earth has experienced five of these events. The worst mass extinction event occurred 250 million years ago and wiped out 96% of marine species and 70% of land species.
It’s virtually certain that if humanity doesn’t leave Earth, we will face some existential threat. An asteroid impact, climate change, our sun dying, biological warfare, a super-volcanic eruption, or nuclear war, are all legitimate threats to our survival.
Having our species scattered across the cosmos gives us a chance at intergalactic prosperity. Landing a human on Mars and establishing a base would be the first step.
2. New breakthroughs in engineering and science
Going to Mars will require innovation and cooperation on a grand scale. This will lead to new technologies that will find their way back to Earth, benefiting us all.
Many technologies we enjoy today have been spurred by humanity’s desire to explore the stars. Artificial limbs, anti-icing systems, firefighting equipment, temper foam, and solar cells are all but a few technologies that are attributed to space exploration.
3. Exploration and inspiration
Great civilizations explore. In the past, that meant sailing the ocean, climbing over mountains, and exploring new continents. Our civilization now has the potential to explore and visit nearby planets. Landing a human on Mars, and eventually setting up a base, will be humanities grandest achievement. It will inspire generations of scientists and engineers to take on the task of pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
4. It will create new and exciting industries
Having humans living and traveling in space will create new industries and new types of jobs.
Asteroid mining will become a major industry, extracting resource-rich rocks for materials that will aid in construction (titanium, gold, etc.), sustenance (water, oxygen), and rocket fuel (hydrogen, oxygen, ammonia).
Space tourism will become a reality. Large groups of people will be visiting low-earth orbit hotels and experiencing zero gravity in specially designed aircraft.
Companies and non-profits will set up laboratories in space to pursue research in fields like materials science, biology, medicine, and physics. This will lead to even more scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs.
Let’s do this! 🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀
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(Note: This post is merely a reflection of what goes on in my weird little head)🤓