Of all the billions of planets in our home galaxy, humanity happens to find itself on one perfectly suiteable for life.
Our planet Earth has seen five mass extinctions throughout its history, due to disasters like volcanic eruptions and asteroids.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is worried about the next apocalypse. He’s so concerned that he thinks we need to get off Earth and become a multi-planetary species as quickly as possible, according to a post by blogger Tim Urban titled How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars.
Musk’s reasoning is simple. Maybe when the next giant asteroid heads towards us, we’ll have the technology to protect the planet or redirect the space rock. But if it is something more catastrophic, like the explosion of a nearby star, we could all be vaporized. Musk says we can’t afford to wait and find out.
In his blog post, Urban gives us another way to think about it: “Now — if you owned a hard drive with an extraordinarily important Excel doc on it, and you knew that the hard drive pretty reliably tended to crash every month or two, with the last crash happening five weeks ago — what’s the very obvious thing you’d do? You’d copy the document onto a second hard drive.“
Musk doesn’t want to send a handful of colonists, either; he’d like to launch 1 million people to the red planet.
Of course, this will be no simple task. Mars is, currently, a wasteland of dirt and sand.
“Mars is a fixer-upper of a planet,” Musk said. “But we could make it work.” And honestly, even if we can’t make it work, it seems that we have no real choice but to try. Musk concludes, “I agree this is an unlikely outcome, but if we don’t keep improving technology every year, we won’t get there.”
This article was originally published on 09-11-2016.