Elon Musk, Elon Musk, what have you done? Since the 60s America and the soviet union had been vying to travel to space, to land on the moon. The US win that race and land a man on the moon before the Soviet Unoon. Ever since that time Americans and the world always thought that one day, yes, us humans, will explore the universe and by the time we reach 2000 we will be jetsonning’ our way around the solar system, hopping from planet to planet. Very much like the space series 1999, the one created in the 70s, which expected us very much by now, actually 17 years ago, to be extraterrestrial beings.
Of course that never happened. In fact, even our local, safe planet, Mars, has not been reached yet. First the moon, then Mars, that was the plan.
NASA, apart from sending some robots to the planet have never looked within a million miles (or 33.9 million miles to be exact) of being able to send a human to Mars.
Step in… the private sector !
What NASA have successfully been able to do is to get the private sector into this space exploration business. National government space agencies that spend billions is not sustainable in the long-run. Very much like the first European explorers of the new world centuries ago, they were motivated by that little dirty word: money.
Elon Musk and his Space X program have come to understand this. Actually, what he is proposing is to make what is basically a train service between Earth and Mars that departs every 2 years or so. He wants SpaceX to be the big ship, and hopes entrepreneurs will think of ways to make money from the Red Planet and thus speed its development as a second home.
It has been a long time coming, but Mars, seems to be ever closer. Musk is promising a short three month journey when he starts human trips in 2025. Think about it this way, voyages across the atlantic in the 1600s could take anywhere from a month and a half to over four months. Three months in a space ship, for many budding explorers doesn’t sound too bad at all.
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