I’ve blogged in the past about space exploration. It’s probably my most inner desire, to explore space beyond our planet.
[era uma vez o espaço]
It’s not that I want to be an astronaut, get into a spaceship and fly into space. No. What I’d like is to be part of a space exploration mission, deal with the technology aboard the spacecraft, develop software (both onboard and mission control), and give our data back to the experts to analise.
A probe like the Mars Science Laboratory would be a cool start.
But there is still so much to do! We’re just taking peeks through a small hole at our Universe. We still (apparently) need to do a lot of effort to put a spacecraft decentely into space (just look at the most recent missions, Phobos-Grunt springs to mind), when missions like these should already be under our complete control, tried and tested. We should be aiming higher, like building a bigger spaceship in Earth orbit, capable of taking a decent crew (something like 25 people), with “artificial gravity” and high-tech facilities on-board with wich we could safely travel to other planets and study them. This is what I would really like to be a part of. Something like the Enterprise from Star Trek, but obviously smaller.
Imagine getting our Enterprise on Mars orbit, and launching robotic probes like the Fobos-Grunt or MSL from the ship. A lot less things could go wrong, communications and remote control would be simpler (almost no lag, from Earth it takes 19 minutes), samples would be available in hours, and testing could be done at the onboard laboratory, with results sent to Earth.
If we could just stop wasting money on useless stuff (we see governments doing this every day) and focus on the evolution of Mankind…
Think about it for a second. Do you really believe we’re meant to be stuck on this planet? I’m certainly not going to tell you how we’re going to travel all those light-years that separate galaxies in a reasonable time-frame. But our solar system is pretty near us, and it bears a lot of answers about our Universe! Thinking it is Mankind’s fate to be stuck on Earth is, at the minimum, a very poor thought. We’ve been given the courage, the intelligence, the resources. It’s not easy, but nothing worth doing is easy.
Plus, I believe there is another reason for us to colonize other planets, moons, or space stations. Earth is a little fragile celestial body on a dangerous Universe. Imagine a catastrophe would happen to our planet; we’ve all seen movies about this (2012, Armagedon, Terminator, etc), wether it’s a meteor, Earth instability, or our plain stupidity using massively powerfull weapons and/or technologies. The Earth is really, really small when we reach this scale, and it’s imperative that we proliferate away from Earth so that Mankind has a chance to survive. Former NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin spoke really well about this.
I’d hate to see the every-civilization-autodestroys-itself-quickly-answers-the-Fermi-paradox guys being proved right.
I’m really disappointed with our performance as space-faring creatures. I hope I can contribute one day, in any way, to our space exploration endeavours.
And don’t get me wrong, one day I’d love to go “up” there. But I’d prefer it to be a trip on the “Enterprise” to one of our Moon colonies, or to a space station orbiting Mars.