I heard a talk by Deepak Chopra recently where he suggested we, as a species, might only have a few decades left on this earth. I’m also aware that Amazon.com founder, Jeff Bazos, has created Blue Origin – an American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company. And, Elon Musk, of Tesla fame, has created SpaceX, saying he forsees putting humans on Mars in a mere 20 years. Even google is in the space race with their “google lunar xprize”.
If some of the strongest minds in the IT world are looking outside of the earth to solve humanity’s problems, what does that mean for the rest of us? Are some of the brightest minds around starting to give up on “saving the earth” – or humanity and all the other creatures dying on earth)? Apparently, among the tech elite, space exploration is the ultimate status symbol.
Dishearteningly, even President Trump introduced a bill last year to fund NASA programs to the tune of $19.5 billion for the 2018 fiscal year. Think of how much good $19.5 billion dollars could do in one year in the United States alone.
One vision for space travel is the one Elon Musk puts forward: “One [path] is that we stay on Earth forever and then there will be an inevitable extinction event. The alternative is to become a spacefaring civilization, and a multi-planetary species.”
Jeff Bezos has a completely different vision for his Blue Origin company. According to the article cited above, “Bezos is interested in an unlimited future economy where much of our manufacturing takes place in space, sparing Earth from pollution. ‘You go to space to save Earth,’ Bezos said. ‘We have sent robotic probes all over the solar system. Let me assure you, this is the best planet.’”
What do you think of these strikingly different visions for how to think of space travel.