Space- Often considered the ‘final frontier’, but should it be humanity’s next one?
With our planet arguably on the brink of environmental collapse, alongside a social media-driven existential crisis, is the omnipresent void that surrounds us honestly a credible solution to those problems? With the scope of space traversal only increasing, I find myself wondering whether it should be better left to fiction or embraced as a part of our lives.
Perhaps it’s just another form of both figurative and literal escapism. I mean, not only could one argue that space is a topical distraction from the proximal issues we face, but that it entertains the temptation to simply abandon our planet as it fractures under the weight of issues we’d only burden the next world with.
Worse still, as Netflix’s wholly successful flick Don’t Look Up warns us, is abandoning our planet to capitalise on the infinity of space only exclusive to the rich? Sure, with tech moguls like Elon Musk pushing the boundaries of rocket science, one would be hard-pressed to argue that space exploration isn’t appealing…
…at least to those in the billionaire club.
Although, it might be more inclusive than you think.
Or Silver Lining?
See, believe it or not, the incidental cascade of world-transformative technologies that were birthed by the 1960s space race might convince you of the value of traveling in space. Without this mad dash to soar to the void beyond the heavens, prosthetics, portable computers, wireless headsets, camera phones, and workout machines (to name a few) might never have graced our lives!
As the world’s climate worsens and natural disasters like earthquakes rumble our structures, you can be sure shock absorbent technologies developed for shuttle launches will be the difference between being crushed or spared within modern-day shelters.
The inhospitable conditions of space demand innovation and those innovations have undoubtedly created more convenience and eased countless factors in our lives.
Space exploration- worth it? or harming us?
However, perhaps there’s something to be said for the Unabomber’s controversial manifesto after all (bear with me).
The industrial revolution and its subsequent technological advancements could be the very reason we’re faced with a temperature-rising climate. Not to mention the creation of a digitally fertile landscape for polarising social media and stifled discourse; with new online echo chambers sprouting daily (hyper-left Antifa or hyper-right QAnon to name a few), portable computers in the form of smartphones deepen the problem. What if the mad dash to space is the biggest contributor to the crises our planet faces today?
So yeah, space exploration… Is it worth it?
Perhaps space exploration should be left to the realm of TV and silver screens. A fun premise for science fiction, as flicks like Ripley’s Alien frighteningly warn us of extra-terrestrial horrors like ‘Chestbursters’ we’d face once up there. Trouble is, what if we’d be killing our only chance of conceiving technologies that might save us from the world-ending calamities we face as a species?
Whatever the case, until our divisive governments can actually come to a decision… I’ll be popping on Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar to try and figure out what the bloody hell a tesseract is for the 50th time.
Let Mr. Hunter know your thoughts below!