Elon Musk, the visionary behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has come to the conclusion that the human race must leave this planet as soon as possible, as a measure to ensure the human species does not become extinct. According to Musk, because of the future and the inevitable cycle that Earth will cross at some point, we need to make sure our species survives the test of time.
According to a lengthy article published in the blog Wait But Why, under the title How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars, the site editor, Tim Urban, had the opportunity to sit down Elon Musk and talk about SpaceX and their goals concerning Mars.
Elon Musk revealed his concern about the future of the planet and mankind, in general, saying that space colonization will be the only safe alternative in order for our species to survive the future.
There are some people who love, and others who hate Musk largely because he has NEVER missed an opportunity to share his –crazy yet innovative— visions of the world, filled with ‘extravagant’ ideas which range from ‘dropping nukes on the red planet’ to leaving Earth before Earth faces the next Armageddon.
Elon Musk: Let’s put a MILLION people on Mars
While many of us are loving the idea that in the near future, there will most likely be a human colony on Mars, Elon Musk is taking the entire Martian colonization to a NEW level.
Musk believes we need a bigger colony, and when he says BIGGER, he means a million-people-bigger.
According to Elon Musk, sending a handful of people to the surface to the red planet every couple of years will ensure a thriving and prosperous human colony is established on Mars.
According to an interview with Ross Anderson for Aeon Magazine Musk believes that if we are to achieve the level of industrialization and infrastructure currently present on Earth, we are going to require a HUMONGOUS labor force present on Mars:
“Even at a million, you’re actually assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars. You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more challenging environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil.”
Musk is right; we need to LEAVE Earth behind
Looking back at the distant history of planet Earth, we come to realize that our planet has been continuously bombarded by space rocks. According to researchers, these cosmic collisions turned our planet in what we see today, a thriving Oasis in somewhere in a ‘cosmic desert’ we call the universe.
Interestingly, our planet is still being bombarded by thousands of tons of space matter. Looking at Earth’s modern history, we see that rarely has a larger space object collided with our planet.
We do, however, have to realize that some 65 million years ago, a massive space rock smashed into our planet kick starting the extinction of the predominant species on the planet back then: Dinosaurs.
But if we look back at Earth and asteroids, in 2013, the Russian Chelyabinsk meteor collided with our planet entering at a shallow able of 60 times the speed of sound.
Upon ‘touching’ Earth’s atmosphere, the ‘alien rock’ exploded in an air burst.
Scientists found that the size of the space rock –before it made contact with Earth’s atmosphere and exploded— was around 20 meters across, weighing around 13,000 metric tons. While this isn’t a BIG asteroid, it had sufficient power to injure thousands of people and damage to 15,000 buildings in the region.
Just imagine what would happen if an object of 200 meters smashed into Earth?
So where should mankind go to?
Well, if we are to ensure our species continues to live on, we need to head to the stars.
However, before we venture out of our solar system, it is imperative that we start colonizing anything that’s close to Earth.
This is where Mars comes into play. According to an interview in 2013, at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital Conference Musk said: “Either we spread Earth to other planets, or we risk going extinct. An extinction event is inevitable, and we’re increasingly doing ourselves in. The goal is to improve rocket technology and space technology until we can send people to Mars and establish life on Mars.”
“Mars is a fixer-upper of a planet,” Musk said. “But we could make it work.” And honestly, even if we can’t make it work, it seems that we have no real choice but to try. Musk concludes, “I agree this is an unlikely outcome, but if we don’t keep improving technology every year, we won’t get there.”