Space Travel: Our Future or Our Folly?
Video from Future Unity
"For the first time in the history of humanity, we stand a good chance of walking on the surface of Mars! And this is thanks to the dogged ambition of Elon Musk. The billionaire is building a mighty spacecraft, the Starship, that will take volunteers across the vast distance between Earth and Mars! However, since the trip will take months in deep space, Musk's company, SpaceX, has to find a way to protect the travelers from the effect of microgravity during the duration of the journey! This is why SpaceX has come up with an artificial gravity Starship! What is this spacecraft, and how does it work? Join us as we explore SpaceX's insane artificial gravity Starship! Regardless of whether you think attempting to go to Mars is foolhardy or is not going to work, Musk is forging ahead with his plans to take people from the Earth to Mars to live there permanently. This is the main reason he is building the Starship, the space rocket that promises to be the most powerful ever built! It will be configurable for carrying humans or cargo. The Starship is unique in several aspects. It is capable of lifting more than 100 tons to orbit, which is necessary given that lots of tons of cargo have to go ahead of the colonizers! This will contain systems that will keep them alive. Remember, Mars is a very harsh environment, and special provisions have to be made. Musk has to supply water, food, materials for constructing shelters, machinery for making rocket fuel, and all the works! SpaceX has designed the Starship to consist of an upper and lower stage. At the point of separation, the lower stage or the Super Heavy booster will return to Earth while the Ship will proceed to Mars after refueling in orbit. To save on cost, both stages of the Starship are completely reusable. The booster returns to the land and is quickly checked out and prepped for the next flight. It will depend on about 30 Raptor engines for propulsion. The Raptor engines are designed and developed by SpaceX. The upper stage will also re-enter the Earth after each mission, with heat resistant tiles protecting it from getting damaged by the heat produced. SpaceX plans to make about a thousand of these starships and launch at least three per day. This will allow Musk to quickly reach his goal of one million people on Mars! Of course, the Starship is not meant for Mars trips alone. NASA plans to use the Starship in its next mission to the moon. The spacecraft will drop the astronauts on the moon's surface and return them to orbit after they complete their missions. As a cargo carrier, the Starship is relatively simple to design. However, when the Starship is meant to transport people, some complications begin to show up. For shorter trips, like to the moon, SpaceX won't have to worry about because this will last several days. However, going from Earth to Mars takes months and exposes the passengers to harmful radiation in the harsh environment that the Starship has to pass. But of course, this particular problem can be fixed by putting shields on the Starship. But one other problem that is not easily solved is gravity. It is an issue that affects astronauts that are not going as far as Mars because they have to keep to a strict regimen of exercise while aboard the International Space Station. Even this is not always enough, as returning astronauts sometimes have to be stretchered out of their spacecraft when they return from months-long missions. You might have seen films with a plot based on space travel. Most times, you see a massive spacecraft where the actors live or even fight and shoot at one another. However, most times, the script is silent about gravity in the spacecraft! The travelers that survive whatever the conflict is about get to their destinations, embark, and walk away! Musk would wish to have that luxury, but the real world outside of movies is not so forgiving! He has to produce some gravity on the Starship!" from video introduction.
Mankind has been attempting to reach up to the heavens since the Fall.
The Tower of Babel was the first example of such an effort and we read that God did not approve. Then as now mankind is attempting to make a name for itself and along the way specific men will make a name for themselves as well.
I grew up with stars in my eyes like many of you. I watched the first moon landing on our new color TV the den of our home in Pasadena, Texas not far from NASA headquarters at the time. I read Arthur C Clark , Isaac Asimov among others imagining that someday we as humanity would be like Captain Kirk zooming across the galaxy!
But God knows more and knows better, always.
As I have grown, matured and discovered that I am the worst of sinners, the realities of God's creation have eclipsed anything mankind can conjure up.
The reality of our sin nature is brought home by the fact we as a people, as nations, as leaders can spend billions on space hardware while millions on our world starve. America is as hypocritical as any other nation. We are or were considered the most advanced and prosperous nation until recently yet we have given in to the same selfish ambitions. You know the excesses, the huge amounts of money spent on weapons, political candidates acquiring large sums of money to win elections in areas that are poor and in great need. The foolish and prideful decisions we make as a people by omission or commission impact those around us.
We know we are sinners, and we know there is no perfect world yet Christ has given us The Person of the Holy Spirit to help us do better, be more just and compassionate.
We all are aware that projects such as this have yielded to some degree great innovations. Yet we are still left even after those innovations with our brothers and sisters, our fellow citizens who are in great need!!
What if there was a project with just as much effort and expenditure (as going to Mars) to help those who are addicted to drugs, or perhaps renovating inner cities, setting up factories for more jobs. Setting up a system of mental health care across our nation??
What if the Jeff Bezos, the Elon Musk's and Donald Trumps of our world stopped selfishly lining their own pockets and actually helped the world around them?
What can you and i do in our own communities to make life better? Let us go to our Lord in prayer, seeking his wisdom and discernment! - Andy