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Life on Earth has gone through eras of mass extinction since the beginning of time. If an asteroid strikes Earth it could become as catastrophic as the time the dinosaurs went extinct. It took billions of years for Earth to evolve intelligent species capable of understanding our place in the Universe. It would be devastating if consciousness goes completely extinct. Today, 21st century humans have the unique opportunity to develop the technologies that could help save life on Earth if a mass extinction level event ever were to threaten all species. SpaceX founder Elon Musk believes that the future of humanity will either become multiplanetary or go extinct at some point, be it from Mother Nature’s fury, an outer space meteor strike, or an unhinged global leader that causes a massive war. Humanity should have a plan to preserve the miracle of life that took billions of years to evolve to this point. “Becoming multiplanetary is one of the greatest filters. Only now, 4.5 billion years after Earth formed, is it possible,” Musk said earlier this year, “How long this window to reach Mars remains open is uncertain. Perhaps a long time, perhaps not. In case it is the latter, we should act now.”
SpaceX’s top engineering talent is working to develop the Starship spacecraft and life-support technologies that will help humans leave the cradle of Earth to colonize Mars. Musk says Starship is the "key to preserving the light of consciousness." He envisions using Starship as a ‘futuristic Noah’s Ark’ that will expand life to the Red Planet. A reference to The Holy Bible story of Noah, who built a massive sea-going vessel to save animals and plants from a massive flood. “The goal overall has been to make life multi-planetary and enable humanity to become a spacefaring civilization,” Musk says. “And the next really big thing is to build a self-sustaining city on Mars and bring the animals and creatures of Earth there. Sort of like a futuristic Noah’s ark. We’ll bring more than two, though – it’s a little weird if there’s only two,” he said on December 13 during an interview with TIME. He was named TIME Person Of The Year 2021. You can watch the full interview in the video linked below.
Expanding life to Mars will be one of humanity’s greatest challenges. It will take launching megatons of resources to build ‘Mars Base Alpha,’ consisting of greenhouses and habitats with oxygen to ensure human and animal survival in the harsh carbon-dioxide-rich Martian environment. Starship will be capable of transporting up to 100 tons of cargo, including plants, food, medical supplies, and all materials needed to build the colony. Musk plans to manufacture a fleet of at least 1,000 reusable Starships over a 10-year period to create a self-sustaining human settlement on Mars by 2050. “Starship design goal is 3 flights per day… so (around) 1,000 flights per year at 100 tons per flight, so every 10 [Star]ships yield 1 megaton per year to orbit,” Musk explained last year, “Building 100 Starships per year gets to 1,000 in 10 years, or 100 megatons per year, or maybe around 100,000 people per Earth-Mars orbital sync”, which occurs every 26 months, he said. Starship is under development at SpaceX’s South Texas Starbase facility, where engineers are racing against time to develop the launch system that could change the future of humanity forever. The first orbital Starship test flight is set to take place early next year, the first crewed until 2023.
VIDEO: TIME PERSON OF THE YEAR 2021 ELON MUSK INTERVIEW
Image Source: SpaceX
Featured Image Source: Tesmanian.com / Evelyn J. Arevalo @JaneidyEve via Twitter
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.