According to Musk, civilization as we know it could go extinct at any moment. That’s not fearmongering, but a reality many of us are not acquainted with.
And that’s why we need to accelerate our development of interplanetary technology that will allow the human race to visit other planets (and moons) in the solar system and travel to the nearest solar system to Earth.
The title of this article is not meant to convey a sense of fear. On the contrary, it is meant to portray the reality that many people are unaware of; our lifestyle, society, and civilization as we know it can go extinct at any moment.
Numerous threats are out there, but there are many threats here on Earth as well.
The fact that we must work towards interplanetary travel is nothing new. On the contrary; numerous scientists, including the great Carl Sagan, already knew of this reality decades ago;
“Since, in the long run, every planetary civilization will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring–not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive… If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds.” ―
Just as again was right when he wrote the above-mentioned quote, so is Musk, who, together with the late Professor Stephen Hawking shared the idea that humankind must accelerate our development of interplanetary travel to safeguard the continued existence of the human race.
After all, we are all but stardust, and as such, it is our unspoken mission to travel to the stars.
However, despite this, many people are unaware of the dangers of space and those currently present on Earth, and therefore do not understand the necessity of spending money on space technology that will allow us to reach distant worlds.
After all, what’s the point of traveling to a new world if we cannot solve our problems that affect our plant presently?
Well, to me, because it is worth it, and because it is our destiny to not stay on this cosmic island, and seek new worlds, new forms of life; in other words, just as we saw decades ago in the popular TV series Star Trek.
Speaking to Kara Swisher in a Sway podcast, Musk explained that we need to have various companies competing to advance the future of spaceflight so “we can ultimately become a multi-planet species in a spacefaring civilization. You know, I think this is actually fundamentally important for ensuring the long term survival of life as we know it is to be a multi-planet species.”
Musk is one of the people on Earth who wants to help take mankind to another planet, and for the time being, that planet is Mars. Although the Tesla and SpaceX CEO is one of the main promoters of the colonization of Mars, he is not the only one with interplanetary pretensions.
For example, Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world, wants to do the same on the Moon with his space company Blue Origin. Bezos wants to see mankind colonize the moon and bring our industries up there.
But even though it should be imperative to take mankind to another world, we still have a very long journey ahead of us. After all, the last few decades, although awe-inspiring in terms of exploring the universe and our solar system, have not been as exciting perhaps as the moment when mankind set foot on the Moon.
“I think it’s kind of sad that we were able to go to the moon in ‘69, and here we are 2020 can’t even go back to the Moon. So, you know, we definitely want to make sure civilization is improving over time.”
I also found it very interesting that Musk made reference to ancient civilizations throughout the history of mankind.
“It’s important to note that there’s an arc to civilizations. They don’t just always go up. Look at the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, Babylonians, ancient Greece, and they all had a civilizational arc. Where they had incredible technology, and then they lost the ability to use it.”
Musk wants to see civilization improve, and at the moment, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO feels like there isn’t much advancement. We seem to be progressing, but at an extremely slow pace.
“As soon as I look at the skylines of the city, I’m like, hm the skyline’s not changing much. It’s not a good sign.”
“I’m a bit worried they were slowing down our rate of improvement. And we’re slowing down our change, and we’re getting old.”
You can read the entire transcript of the podcast by clicking here.
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Sources and references: Sway