Elon Musk thinks we need a Backup Earth

Elon Musk thinks we need a Backup Earth

Planet Earth

Humans do need a backup planet as Earth will not stay forever.

It is a common information that Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, wants to colonize Mars with humans. He is extremely passionate about that and has clarified the world about his intentions on several occasions. The fact that he sent a Tesla car towards the asteroid belt clearly indicates the amount of effort he is spending to achieve this goal. According to his claims, ‘Falcon Heavy’ will be equipped with boosters in order to carry fleets of ships to the red planet.

A lot of theories suggest that Earth will eventually become hostile to humanity as various human actions will lead to its destruction. Similarly, natural disasters like an asteroid strike can also bring an end to the life on this planet. Musk wants to save humanity from extinction and that is why he wants to make us a multi-planetary species.

Science Fiction has played an important part in spreading the word to the public that we are heading towards a dark future if we stay confined to Earth. Movies like Terminator, Armageddon, and Elysium showed different problems that mankind may have to face if we don’t look for alternate options. Another recent example in this regard is the 4th episode of ‘AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction’ which was aired on 21st May. It covered the topics of dark future and colonization of other planets.

Science Fiction has always been the catalyst that urged humanity to explore foreign worlds beyond Earth. Wernher von Braun, the designer of the Apollo rockets which visited the Moon of our planet in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was very fond of science fiction. Before designing these revolutionary machines, he joined hands with Disney and created educational films about spaceflight. Similarly, the man who presented the idea of liquid rocketry for the first time, Robert Goddard, was also a fan of science fiction as he himself wrote in this genre. The presence of craters on different heavenly bodies around us clearly guides us that rocks from space can collide with our planet and this will bring chaos and destruction.

As Earth has previously been hit by asteroids, this idea can never be neglected. The Asteroid Search Program of NASA clearly indicates that humans are worried about that but these arrangements might prove insufficient if an asteroid decides to visit our world. Similarly, sun poses an inevitable threat as it is expected to engulf Earth in about 4 billion years. In these circumstances, we do need a backup for Earth and Mars is the most popular choice of Earthly people. Initially, it was claimed that living beings are present on the red planet. However, these claims died as soon as advanced technology looked into the details of the Martian surface.

Robert Zubrin, the founder of ‘The Mars Society’, the human exploration advocacy group, told the world that Mars will become inhabited by humans. You might think that exploring Mars is an easy job as science fiction portrays things like that in movies like Total Recall and The Martian. Contrary to that, things are much more complex in real life as scientists face quite a lot of challenges in their quest for colonizing Mars. Zubrin described human mindset in the following words:

Here we are, 500 years or so after [Nicolaus] Copernicus [who said Earth orbits the sun], and most people still talk about the Earth as the world, and there’s a thing above us called the sky. Most people still have this geocentric viewpoint.

Musk has changed the traditional thinking of humans as he is striving to explore the space. The overall mindset of NASA as an institution was a bit reluctant as they were trying to avoid the challenges. Having said that, there were people in NASA who wanted to explore their surroundings but were unable to do so as they were restricted by the higher authorities. Zubrin praised the efforts of Musk as he said,

The most important step is deciding that you want to do it. This is really the dramatic step that Elon Musk is taking. There are people at NASA who want to do it, but as an institution, it has been dragging its feet and providing every excuse to the political class not to embrace the challenge.” 

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