I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Elon Musk is going to save the human race. Despite his forays into the manufacture of flame throwers, Musk has spent the last few years focused on sustainable energy, electric cars that don’t look like electric cars and, most importantly, on space flight. The Falcon Heavy launched successfully this year and that gives me hope that private companies will be taking us to space sometime soon.
When Barack Obama promised that the U.S. would get to Mars, I was hopeful. Mars is close but it’s still another planet and I would be more than happy to write for an interplanetary newspaper. With Trump’s presidency, the focus has shifted from science to social issues and I became worried. Would I ever get to see the red planet?
With major issues taking the forefront here on our own planet — from climate change, to racism, to poverty and starvation — governments have a lot of very important things to focus on, and to spend their money on. Private companies will save my dream. They’re filling in the gaps where governments are falling behind. SpaceX’s Dragon and Falcon 9, Blue Origin’s New Shepherd and SpaceDev’s Dream Chaser (and many more) all have the potential to change space travel and make it more accessible to the average person. These companies are pumping millions of dollars into this venture. The competition between is only making things better. With someone to compete with, companies are pushing forward faster and faster, creating better and better rockets and testing more technology to get us out into the solar system and beyond even faster.
Space tourism might not be a thing that will happen any time soon, but in the mean time I — and anyone else who wants to colonize Mars — will be working on my useful skills. They’re going to need all kinds of people when things get rolling. Once the tech is in place, I want to be ready.
Maybe I won’t ever get to go to Mars. I guess that’s fine, but I’d like to know that other humans get to go there. Mr. Musk, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore. Shut up and take my money.