The Future of Space

SpaceX’s (an Elon Musk company’s) rocket Falcon 9 on its 25th voyage November 13.


SpaceX’s (an Elon Musk company’s) rocket Falcon 9 on its 25th voyage November 13.

Chase Kim, Photojournalist

It seems like every day, there’s some news involving the mysterious area that we call space. Look up “mars rover,” and I can almost guarantee you that scientists have found something new from one of the countless rovers on the Red Planet. Space tourism, something that once was just a figment of first-graders’ imaginations, is actually something realistic and might be around by the end of the decade. The growth of space exploration and knowledge is undoubtedly exponential, and we’re living in its renaissance. 

I’m not kidding when I say we’re in the renaissance of space. The common, well-known definition of the word “renaissance” is simply a rebirth. Globally, space was big in the 1960s, slowed down somewhat in following years, and is again a main focus for scientists and companies. People with no prior experience in the space or aeronautics field – Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson (to a degree) – are moving into the “space market” with goals to move people into space. 

What’s clear is that the recent boom in space exploration is born not from a battle of country superiority, as the space race was, but rather from necessity. I’ll be frank: humans treat the world horribly, and we don’t get second chances at treating the Earth well. Once this world is polluted to such a point that it’s nearly impossible for humans to stay here, there’s no cleaning it up like in Wall-E. However, if we can advance our technologies to a point in which it’s possible for humans to leave Earth and move to a different planet, the future of our species will be ensured. 

The problem arises when we consider how many variables are needed in order for a person to live completely detached from the cushion of Earth. The ISS (International Space Station), an entity that orbits the Earth, receives packages that contain food and supplies every so often because the food production capacities of it are inadequate to support the number of people aboard (recently, peppers were grown on it and became the most complex plant to grow in space). The technologies are there, they just need to be enhanced.

Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson’s companies respectively aim to colonize Mars, make space transportation cheaper, and act as the first commercial “spaceline.” NASA looks for life on other planets to test their livable conditions. Together, they lead the force to making a “second Earth” on another planet that could replace our home someday.

I remember vividly from my earlier childhood that one of my friends told me his family took a vacation to Mars. Now, it’s possible that people could be walking around and permanently living on the planet by 2030. In the words of Derek Vukelich (9):

“Space is infinite.”