Woah, this is incredible.
Mars One, a privatized Dutch company, is planning to colonize Mars by 2023. Eleven years from now their goal is to have four humans living on Mars, then to send an additional two people every two years.
There is so much to feel here. One one hand, I absolutely love the prospect of extending our knowledge of science and space by sending humans into such uncharted territory. The possibility of discovery is so tempting. This really would be the next “giant leap” for humanity.
On the other hand, part of me wonders if we should really consider colonizing another planet considering what we have done to our own Mother Earth. Granted, there are no ecological systems for us to tamper with or atmospheric balances we could disrupt (as far as we know) but there still seems to be something fundamentally askew with extending our reach so far before we solve our own issues as a species.
I’d like to be idyllic and imagine that our timeline is similar to that of Star Trek: that we suffer a profound catastrophe in the mid 21st century that shocks us out of our selfish frame of mind and over the course of several hundred years develop a united world of peaceful cultures and communities that then strives to explore space.
It’s like we, as a species, are still in our adolescence, just teenagers rebelling and trying to find ourselves while at the same time trying to leave home before we’re really prepared to. Maybe leaving home will do us some good, give us a new perspective on life. Or maybe it won’t change a thing and we’ll go on causing ruckus wherever we can extend ourselves.
I guess, as a whole, I am cautious, worried and thrilled about this new development in science. I admire the four individuals who will be selected (apparently they have quite the process to go through) because I can only imagine the excitement and fear that must come with leaving an entire world, your home world, without the prospect of ever returning. That’ll take some pretty tough cookies.
So whatever happens, cheers to the future. Let’s hope its a good one.