Beyond the Farthest Island
The Mars One Project
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
read an article recently that would-be space pioneers are signing up in
droves to be the first humans to rocket to Mars -- and remain there for
the rest of their lives. No round trip, and no way back later,
either. At last count over 30,000 US citizen had already signed up to
go, well, APPLIED for a seat on the ship to Mars.
When the vetting process is finished only four people will be chosen to go -- two men and two women.
Understand: This is a ONE-WAY-TRIP ... period. There ain't no coming back to ole Mother Earth.
Consider this from http://www.digitaltrends.com/
not certain if it’s a mark of how miserable people are feeling about
life on terra firma, or an indication of just how far people are
prepared to go to satiate their appetite for adventure (possibly a
mixture of the two?), but 100,000+ applications for a one-way ticket to
Mars is an impressive figure in anyone’s book.
about the Mars One project; you may have already heard of it. The
Dutch-based company behind the plan – and yes, it is for real – wants to
colonize the red planet, kicking things off in nine years’ time with
its very first mission.
The application process, which opened in
April, costs $38 and involves submitting a resume, a letter outlining
the motivation behind your application, and a video – a selection of
which can be viewed here – explaining why you’d like to be considered." SOURCE: http://www.digitaltrends.com/international/mars-one-project-more-than-100000-sign-up/
The article continues: "The
plan is to select a group of 40 of the best applicants from around the
world by the end of this year, before whittling it down to just four –
two men and two women. If all goes to plan, the mission will blast off
in September 2022, arriving on Mars seven months later in April 2023.
Another four people would be sent to Mars two years later." SOURCE: http://www.digitaltrends.com/international/mars-one-project-more-than-100000-sign-up/#ixzz2eJq1Hnvb
you think you detect a bit of excitement in the scribe's pen when
writing about space travel, space exploration, and space colonization,
you are absolutely correct. It is a dream I have had since childhood.
See, I am convinced that man's destiny lies out there -- among the stars -- and even beyond the stars.
is inherently an explorer. We yearn to learn what's over the most
distant hill, around the next corner, beyond the moon, past the galaxy,
past the universe, and on and on and on.
I had once thought
that space exploration and colonization should belong to governments. I
no longer hold that opinion. As one looks at the early history of
America we see that private companies financed a great deal of the
exploration of this continent.
Yes, I am aware that by allowing
private companies to lead the way in the exploration and colonization of
new world planets, some of them will become unbelievably wealthy with
treasuries exceeding those of many countries on earth. Entire planets,
entire worlds, will be owned by -- and governed by -- CORPORATIONS.
And why not? They will have bought and paid for the privilege.
a clash is already forming. There will be future clashes between
governments and private companies over property rights, mineral rights,
even real estate, and such, in space. We've seen it all before, except
right here on earth. It all got sorted out, to one degree or another,
Earth governments already aggressively exploring space
are not just spending all that cash for the prestige of being a
space-faring nation, Oh, no. They are looking for a return on all that
spent cash. They can be expected to "protect" their investments in
space aggressively, And, hey! There's no law in space. So, "what ever
it takes" may well become a watch word in settling disagreements way
out there beyond the reach of the so-called long arm of the law.
far as having only adherents to conservative politics (as I have
suggested) as the colonists of Mars and/or other planets, well, yes, my
tongue was resting firmly in my cheek. BUT, having said that, it might
be worthy of considering having colonies consisting of colonists who
share the same political ideology. Having a capitalist planet and a
communist planet separated by a few hundred light years does have a
certain appeal, I must say.
this all shakes out, it will be a whole new world(s) in less than ten
years when Mars One blasts off. Hopefully, those chosen to populate the
new colony will shake off much of our divisive philosophies leaving
them here, on earth, where they were created.
Then, again, that's
not realistic. We are, after all, only human. That has not , nor will
it, change. We're an exasperating lot. Even God, Himself, repented, at
least once, that he created us.
Now, we are about to go
traipsing around in the Garden of God, out beyond the blue cloak of this
earth, hopefully, we will be respectful of the endless power, majesty
and beauty of that realm.
Since man's earliest sentient moments
he has gazed longingly at the stars of the night sky. A yearning akin
to homesickness seems to emanate from his soul. Only a hopeless
romantic, or a fool, such as yours truly, would dare think it possible
that man is finally preparing to go "home." Then, most of us who hail
from northern European ancestry have a tad of the Viking in our DNA.
Maybe, like our ancient forbearers we, too, have a longing to learn what
is just past the farthest Island. Indeed, we do.
© J. D. Longstreet