When people in England first decided to journey out and create a new, independent colony, they couldn’t have known what was to come. There would have been no way to know whether they would ever see their homes and loved ones again, and to make this uncertain trip would have cost them their life savings, and would probably have meant they had to sell everything they owned too.
The trailblazing spirit of the early American settlers has inspired Elon Musk to work towards establishing a human colony on Mars. While it may seem completely impossible to anyone first imagining it, his company Space Exploration Technologies, usually known simply as SpaceX, has already made major strides.
In a very small portion of overall human history, our population has expanded from under 1 billion to over 7 billion people. Experts from all fields caution that it is simply not possible for a single planet to sustain the continued population of the human race, even if conditions were ideal and there were not threats from climate change, nuclear war and a host of other issues including eventually being engulfed by the sun. Clearly, for the human race to survive indefinitely, we need to be putting our eggs into more than just the Earth basket.
Musk is not the only one who thinks so; other luminaries such as Stephen Hawking have articulated very similar thoughts. Put like this, the idea of moving out to other bodies in the solar system starts to make a lot of sense. After some careful evaluation, Mars has been identified as the best bet for the first step. Described by Musk as a “fixer-upper of a planet”, the intention of SpaceX is to terraform Mars and ultimately create conditions that are very similar to the Earth conditions that are so ideal for human life.
Elon Musk is nothing if not a go-getter, and many people describe him as a hyper-intelligent visionary. While most world governments have concerned themselves with the national problems within their countries, Musk has been focused on the issue of keeping people alive so that they can address other issues at all. SpaceX has dedicated a lot of time not only to the practical problems of establishing a self-sustaining colony on Mars, but also to the logistical issue of how to cover the costs, and the emotional issue of how to convince enough people that such a madcap journey is a good idea.
He estimates that 1 million people would be enough to establish a viable civilisation on the Red Planet, and through various ground-breaking ideas has managed to cut the costs of travelling to Mars considerably. Blasting off to new home planet[/caption] SpaceX also generates a lot of profit as a payload delivery system for several governments and other companies, and together with its cost-saving measures this has allowed Musk to set the price of a ticket to Mars at $200,000.00.
For mass-colonisation, he argues, moving to the planet has to be within the reach of enough people. In terms of motivating travellers, Musk aims to ensure that returning to Earth after 2 years is possible. As the Mars colony becomes more established and daily life gets easier, more people are expected to want to go. It will be possible to stay in touch via high-speed internet connections, though playing at your favourite online casino will need to be local to your planet since communications will only be able to go as fast as the speed of light, meaning any live action would take 10 years to reach you.
Mars and other space-themed slots games and other popular culture influences are already common, showing we really are interested in the worlds beyond ours. Once Mars is colonised, we will have proven that we know how to inhabit other planets, and can move out into further moons and other bodies in space. Many people believe we are standing on the threshold of a great new wave of adventuring in human history; one that is as seemingly impossible but actually completely possible as sailing to the New World was all those years ago.