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Graphic of Space Craft Launching.
Graphic of Space Craft Launching.

Why are we Going to Mars?

Rohan Thapliyal
Rohan Thapliyal #space

In the last few decades, the human race has progressed substantially and exponentially. We have created supercomputers that can fit in the palm of your hand, manned rockets to enter space, and, eventually, will be able to create colonies in other planets. Of course, progress is only made when we need a solution to a problem, and the problem that we are solving by colonizing Mars is the ongoing issue of our planet slowly dying. Dying due to our man-made pollution, our seemingly never-ending issue of deforestation, and our lapse in judgement in believing these to be non-issues.

Our race to Mars may be our last hope of our species’ survival.

To stray away from the existential crisis that is the human races’ mortality, our trials leading up to where we are today in space travel have been very successful. We are on the verge of being able to take a portion of our population to a different planet and have a fresh start free from the Earth’s problems. In fact, there are multiple ways we could be going about starting these colonies, from creating buildings with aerogel insulation, to fully terraforming planets, starting the growth of a habitable atmosphere as well as new life. Of course, these are a far cry from where we are today in technology and “on the verge” may actually mean “on the first few steps towards”.

So, why are we spending so much time trying to go to Mars if it’s a project that may not even be completed in our lifetimes? Why are we spending all this time looking for a way off of this planet instead of looking for a way to save it? Well, while Elon Musk, the owner of SpaceX, is trying to find ways to get to Mars, he also owns a company that’s actively trying to stop global warming. Tesla has made major leaps in the past decade, at first creating expensive electric cars that people saw as gimmicks, but then improving the cars while making them more affordable for a larger consumer base. Though it may seem to be all in the pursuit of cash, it may also be a way for a large portion of our population to stop using gas powered vehicles and a way to start a new generation of cars, free from air pollution. Elon Musk has even gone on record saying this was the very reason he started Tesla, though I wouldn’t give him too much credit. He is a multi-billionaire after all.

While it’s easy to say “Why even try to save Earth if we have other planets to fall back on,” you must remember that even the billionaires trying to colonize other planets are trying to save it at the same time. We cannot just watch idle waiting for some genius to find the easy way out of our situation. Earth is dying, and we’ll have to take the right steps to try and save it before it comes to us having to abandon ship. 

What you can do to help.

  • Save electricity- try to turn off lights when they aren’t needed
  • Try to limit use of your own car- use public transportation, bikes, or walk when you can
  • Invest in clean energy for your house- (if you can) try to buy solar panels or look into getting energy for your house from clean energy plants
  • Vote- (if your old enough) vote for a candidate that addresses climate change and plans to help prevent it from continuing
  • Speak up- talk to your friends and family to spread the word: without change, our planet will die