As our plans for space travel expand and the reality of living on another planet becomes closer each day, there are many questions to answer about what that means for the future of human existence.
In September, Elon Musk revealed the plan his company SpaceX is working on in order to colonize Mars. SpaceX will use their Interplanetary Transport System to fly up to 1 million people to the red planet over the next 50 to 100 years. Right now, using current technology, the ticket price per person is a staggering $10 billion. Musk believes they can lower it to about $200,000 by 2024, the year in which crewed flights to Mars can begin.
After the initial mission, SpaceX will launch up to 1,000 spaceships to Mars every opportunity they get. Unfortunately Mars and Earth only align favorably every 26 months, which is why they must send as many ships as possible when this occurs.
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As of now, only 12 people have ever set foot on a surface outside Planet Earth. These 12 people were the astronauts from the Apollo missions that walked on the moon between 1969 and 1972. Sending 1 million people to live on another planet in our solar system is quite the jump from a dozen astronauts taking a stroll on the moon. Not only will there be infinite logistical questions to answer, but taking human life to exist somewhere other than Earth will naturally bring about a slew of ethical, philosophical and perhaps theological questions as well.
As Jason Silva discusses in the virtual reality video above, space travel will likely inspire an entirely new realm of art based on these new questions. When musicians, artists and poets travel to space, what will they be inspired to create? What new ideas will the cosmos spark in them?
Neil DeGrasse Tyson said, "Doing what's never been done before is intellectually seductive." It's incredibly exciting to think about the new ideas that will come from space travel inspiring some of Earth's most creative minds.
-- Molly Fosco