We can’t live without Cosmos

2021 — in progress

In the great majority of cases, Ludens do not live on Earth. All their interests, their lives, are beyond Earth. d.a.m.n it, you don’t live in bed! 

A. Strugatsky, B. Strugatsky. “The time wanderers”

The world has not seen so much large-scale interest in space exploration from a number of countries as it does today for several decades. Unmanned robotic science missions have already transformed our view of the Universe. Previously — the Moon, now Mars has become the most important strategic point of the space race. Humanity does not give up trying to make it its backup planet in case of an urgent evacuation, even if only theoretically. 

But experts agree that, although the exploration of Mars is incredibly interesting from a scientific point of view, there is not much practical sense in the development and even more so the colonization of the Red Planet yet. After all, no crew will be able to fly there, since the issue of protecting living beings from space radiation has not been resolved. Thus, the question of the expediency of sending people into space is increasingly being raised.  

In addition, manned space travel in general is overly romanticized. This is another reason why, for example, in the US, they are largely transferred to private hands. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos — visionaries — plans to establish a settlement on Mars and giant rotating colonies in space, where you can fly for a while. Realising this dream requires a vehicle that’s up to the task. Starship is a rocket and spacecraft combination that could ferry more than 100 people a time to the Red Planet *. Obviously, this is just another type of business.  

That dream of leaving the worries of Earth behind is not shared by everyone in the space community. Analysts ** believe that the enterprise of human spaceflight is broken and is not driven by science. It’s inefficient. It’s overly expensive. Wouldn’t it be better to spend public money allocated for space programs on solving problems on Earth and eliminating the consequences of climate change? The UK’s Astronomer Royal, astrophysicist Lord Rees of Ludlow believes we have to accept our limitations as a species that’s evolved for life on Earth.

But with the seemingly dubious appeal of leaving Earth forever, more than 200,000 people from around the world are willing to build and live in colonies on Mars. They have already applied to participate in the expedition being developed by Mars One.  

The desire of these volunteers can not be called deliberate. And yet, despite the fact that I agree with the analysts, I also dream of flying into Space. Facts and reasonable arguments do not seem to connect with the irrational childhood dream. The dream of flight, freedom, and omnipotence.  


* https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-55564448

** Linda Billings, an analyst at the American National Institute of Aerospace Research, " Should astronauts abandon the space station?” — https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20201030-should-astronauts-abandon-the-space-station