Ever since I was a child, I have had an interest in space exploration. Growing up at the same time as the Apollo missions was a magical experience. I was immensely disappointed when the programme was cut short and I couldn’t understand why the average person could not see the benefits that space exploration brings, not only to life on earth, but for the future of humanity which ultimately will have to move off this planet.
As I write this wee blether, several projects are on the go with the idea of sending people to Mars. NASA intends to set up a kind of base camp to support future missions, while Elon Musk and SpaceX have an eye on colonising Mars in the future, but in the meantime, intend to have crews spend time on the planet before being rotated back to earth. A Dutch project, on the other hand, promotes the idea this should be a one-way mission, with people signing up to live permanently on the red planet.
Now, this got me thinking (run for cover!) There are individuals on earth whose sole interest is making money. They don’t care how they do it, what harm it does to the environment, who it hurts in the process, or they have reached the point where making any more personal wealth is pointless. Making money is the focus of their lives.
Then there are a number of politicians who only have an interest in furthering their careers, not serving the people they were elected to serve (did your careers officer ever mention to you that ‘politician’ could be considered a job? I know mine didn’t.) There are very few politicians who could say, no fellow humans were harmed in the making of this career.
And what about the death and destruction caused by armed conflicts, still happening over one-hundred years since the start of the war to end all wars? We didn’t learn our lesson then and we are still not learning it. I saw a meme on the internet the other day, Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars. Now we manufacture wars to sell weapons.
The world is in a dire state, so I have an idea. Space exploration is vital to the future of the species, but could we not make the first few extra-terrestrial missions a sort of garbage disposal run and send the politicians, arms manufacturers, unethical business men and anyone else who cares not a jot about his fellow man, on a one-way trip to another world? It would make this one a much better place.
Nominations on a postcard please, to the usual address.