Technology that allows us to reach the nearest planets is already in our hands, and a former astronaut Jeff Hoffman thinks that we must colonize other planets for the sake of our long-term survival.
Hoffman is one of about five hundred people who lived through the unique experience of seeing Earth from its orbit. Imagine that being in space, you can pull your hand and completely close our planet – so that all our knowledge, the whole humanity, and every person who has ever lived on Earth, simply disappear. This very clearly shows how vulnerable we are. That is why, according to Hoffman, for the long-term survival of our species we need to become a multi-planetary race.
It should be understood that space is not far from us. If you are in London, space is literally closer to you than Paris. Obviously, to get there, you need to spend a lot more energy than on the journey across the Channel. But this process does not have to be extremely expensive, and we can already see this in the example of the rapidly developing sector of commercial space travel.
Let’s say that we want to establish a long-term settlement on Mars – what is needed for this? This settlement should be self-sufficient and we need to learn to live on what the land gives us. But what does it mean? With the help of the carbon dioxide taken from the Martian atmosphere and water, which is now confirmed to exist on it, and a little bit of chemical engineering of the 19th century, you will get potable water and oxygen to breathe from methane and oxygen, which your rocket fuel consists of.
Many of the factors that shape our society here on Earth will undergo a fundamental change on another planet. We will face new types of social situations, and we will need a new philosophy and political paradigms that will develop in these unfamiliar conditions. Transfer of life from Earth to other planets must and will become a revolutionary step not only in the evolution of humanity but also in the evolution of life in general, believes Hoffman.
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