Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Beyond the Farthest Island ... J. D. Longstreet

Beyond the Farthest Island
The Mars One Project
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


I 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/
"It’s 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.

We’re talking 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

If 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.

Man 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.

But 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, in time.

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.

So 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.

However 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

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