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Space colonization: 2020

Humans living in outer space have been a dream for our kind since discovering “space”. Movies, books, and poems portrayed our future living between the stars and flying through galaxies. Humanity took the first step toward achieving that goal back when it succeeded in the moon landing. Thus, Scientists have been working non stop in the same path ever since.

Expectations vs reality

If we take into consideration the 20th-century expectations, we are way behind schedule. 2020 was supposed to be a futuristic year filled with flying cars and moon voyages, instead, we are reaping the results of greed and ignorance.

After the Apollo moon landing, many believed in the impossible. Thus, scientists and NASA officials hoped to send astronauts to Mars back in the 1980s. Then after a safe landing, they envisioned building cities there to be habitable by the 2000s.

The reality wasn’t kind to that line of thought. The 1990s space experiments provided the optimistic with a harsh but a humbling illustration of how easily space missions could go awry. The first attempt to colonize mars was a 2-year disaster. The prototype Mars colony known as “Biosphere 2” witnessed bugs multiplying, crops failing, and crew members splitting into factions. Then, in 1994, scientists attempted another try on Mars. however, it only managed to last six months before dissolving into “vandalism, foul language, lawsuits, finger-pointing, shaming.”

2020 and space

As the world gets more advanced, the probability of finally achieving the impossible seems less unlikely. Many eyes are focusing on space as a solution for earth problems or at least for a new way to live. In a way, discovering the best way to live in space has now turned into a race between countries and companies.

China is focusing its efforts on space as well. They are currently preparing to send crewed missions to the moon by at least the 2030s. The SpaceX founder Elon Musk also has his eyes set on the Red Planet. Thus, he hopes to send people there within the near future. Moreover, Bigelow Aerospace is drawing up plans for some kind of Earth-orbiting hotels. Furthermore, data proves that competition for geopolitical power and profits promised by space travel is increasing all over the world.

Additionally, NASA is never out of the picture when it comes to space. On July 30, 2020, it launched the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover mission as the newest edition of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Mars Exploration Program is a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. Moreover, they are testing a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere while identifying other resources important for human survival.

The significance of space colonization

Though many would prefer leaving space out of humanity’s reach, it is ignorant to deny the significance of truly inhabiting other planets. One of the most major environmental problems of our modern time is the increasing consumption of Earth’s resources. Most important resources are finite while human ambitions, greed, dreams, and desires, most, unfortunately, are not. Thus, space can provide a solution.

Moreover, such expeditions can potentially replace our current Earth-polluting industries, since we will be able to use other space materials. Thus, these colonies may help our environment in many different ways. They can also play a major role in refining our current knowledge of the Earth’s ecology.

For many, space is a marvelous place filled with yet untapped potential. It can provide solutions and answers to questions we’ve never even thought to ask. Though many attempts ended in failure, the space future still shines bright.

References:

ALIENATING MARS: CHALLENGES OF SPACE COLONIZATION (NY ACAD OF SCI), May 12, 2020, virtual, 7:00-8:15 pm ET. (n.d.). SPACEPOLICYONLINE. Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://spacepolicyonline.com/events/alienating-mars-challenges-of-space-colonization-ny-acad-of-sci-may-12-2020-virtual-700-815-pm-et/Colonizing other planets, is a bad idea. (2019, June 1). ScienceDirect. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016328718303136M. (n.d.-a). Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover. NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://mars.nasa.gov/mars-exploration/missions/mars2020/M. (n.d.-b). Overview. NASA Mars. Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/overview/Space Colonization. (n.d.). NASA. Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://www.nasa.gov/centers/hq/library/find/bibliographies/space_colonization/Thompson, H. (2020, April 15). ‘Spacefarers’ predicts how space colonization will happen. Science News. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/spacefarers-book-predicts-how-space-colonization-will-happenWall, M. (2020, January 3). The Decade of Mars: How the 2020s May Be a New Era of Red Planet Exploration. Space. https://www.space.com/mars-exploration-2020s-alien-life-colonization.html

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