Now that we have the potential and technological means to travel into outer space, more and more organizations are paving the way for interplanetary travel, and I’m not talking about the usual discovery approach, but an entirely new perspective of commercial journeys that would take humans throughout the universe.
Although we still have many tests to surpass before venturing into such an adventurous journey, there are people already predicting that in due course, commercial voyages to Mars will become a reality. Among these figures is the revolutionary Elon Musk, the business magnate, engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur of several innovative businesses such as PayPal, SolarCity, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX.
This visionary man has claimed for many years that humanity’s only chance to survive is by developing interplanetary travel before it is too late, and he doesn’t limit to just one planet, but the entire galaxy if not the universe. He also believes that the human race has the ability to evolve to an almost god-like level, and we’ll have to credit him for the tremendous involvement in trying to achieve that goal.
At our current rate of technological growth, humanity is on a path to be godlike in its capabilities, Musk told Aeon.co. You could bicycle to Alpha Centauri in a few hundred thousand years, and that’s nothing on an evolutionary scale. If an advanced civilization existed at any place in this galaxy, at any point in the past 13.8 billion years, why isn’t it everywhere? Even if it moved slowly, it would only need something like .01 per cent of the Universe’s lifespan to be everywhere. SO why isn’t it?
To answer these uncertainties, Musk went on to expose his point of view about why humanity hasn’t managed to come in contact with alien beings by now. His first hypothesis suggests that our universal loneliness might be due to us living in some sort of simulation. If this however, sounds too insane for you, his other perspective reveals a more plausible approach, suggesting that we could be in fact an experimental race surveilled by a highly advanced alien race interested in the evolutionary process and behavior of our species, similar to the way researchers study the behavior of animals in a safari, where the wrong idea of wilderness is spread among the unaware subjects.
The absence of any noticeable life may be an argument in favor of us being in a simulation. Like when you’re playing an adventure game, and you can see the stars in the background, but you can’t ever get there. If it’s not a simulation, then maybe we’re in a lab and there’s some advanced alien civilization that’s just watching how we develop, out of curiosity, like mold in a petri dish.
Musk considers to establish a Mars colony in the near future, achievement which he believes, will prolong the existence of the human species. However, for such a daring plan to take shape, around 1 million people need to be sent on the voyage to guarantee the mission’s success, and since the aspirational billionaire is not focusing on building a mothership for the moment, his plan will need another way around.
As a matter of fact, he intends to send several ships to Mars at once, but for the moment, the costs for such a fleet seem unaffordable, since “rockets are the only form of transportation on Earth where the vehicle is built anew for each journey." As a problem fixer, Musk is now relying on the development of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, a prototype intended to return to Earth after carrying humans and cargo into space. Achieving this will mean a drastic decrease in expenses, thus making a journey to Mars affordable even for the masses.
According to recent studies, there is an increasing desire among earthlings when it comes to a one-way trip to the Red Planet. Over 200,000 people applied for this breakthrough initiative, all of them willing to leave their lives on Earth behind for the chance to colonize another planet. Although Musk plans to charge as much as $500,000 for each individual, it doesn’t seem so much if you think that none of your earthly assets are needed when you are out there. So if you are willing to leave this life behind, selling everything that you own might buy you a one-way ticket to Mars in the future.
There needs to be an intersection of the set of people who wish to go, and the set of people who can afford to go, Musk said. And that intersection of sets has to be enough to establish a self-sustaining civilization. My rough guess is that for a half-million dollars, there are enough people that could afford to go and would want to go. But it’s not going to be a vacation jaunt. It’s going to be saving up all your money and selling all your stuff, like when people moved to the early American colonies.
If life on Mars is your thing, hurry up and raise the money, because as Elon Musk predicts, this is going to happen in the next eleven or twelve years. And don’t worry about the time spent on the way there, because according to NASA, “it takes nine months to get to Mars. It is possible to get to Mars in less time, but this would require you to burn your rocket engines longer, using more fuel. With current rocket technology, this isn’t really feasible, but some high-speed transfer orbits could make the trip in as little as 130 days."
Now that you know how easy it’s going to be to reach the Red Planet, let’s enjoy life on our own while we still can. After all, Earth might become as desolate and inhospitable as its neighbor one day, or at least that’s what the most intelligent and resourceful people have predicted. So how is that for a free warning?