I’ve been a proponent of space travel ever since I was young and discovered Star Trek. One on level, this was due to the excitement of travelling the galaxy and seeing new and exciting new things, reaching out to find civilizations, boldly going, and all that fun stuff. It wouldn’t be until I was older and Kirk’s many green-skinned dates started to look more interesting and when I was much older that I started to look at space exploration as a species survival mechanism.
Now, I’m not trying to be alarmist, but if our species stays in one place – namely this planet – we’re toast in the long run. If we don’t manage to destroy ourselves through war or flat-out wrecking the environment in the name of profit, something is going to get us eventually. Most people know about the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, that hunk of space debris that whacked the dinosaurs along with most life on the planet, but that was just one of many times the Earth teetered on the brink of becoming yet another lifeless hunk of space rock. The bottom line, folks, is we need to get off this rock and scatter to the stars so we don’t have all our bread in one basket.
Fortunately, science is on our side. With all the rhetoric and kerfuffle surrounding the current U.S. leader and the Russians, it’s easy to forget that wars are started by politicians, not normal people. Normal people usually don’t care about countries unless they’re prompted to, scientists even less so. Science doesn’t care about politics or religion or elections, it cares about science and what it can do for us.
I recently read a story that reminded of two things: science is still working and not everyone is completely batshit insane these days. In order to get off planet, we need to take baby steps. Among other things, that’s going to require getting back to the moon and establishing a permanent presence there. That’s no small feat and one that’s going to require cooperation – something sorely lacking in the world these days. Science has our back, though; US and Russian scientists are working together to get us into space.
Because we can either have this as a future.
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And now, your moment of Zen