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Since man first landed on the moon nearly five decades ago, humanity has made remarkable progress in space exploration. Ever since mankind ventured into space, many people have spent a lot of time in space and have conducted many experiments which help us understand our solar system and the universe. In the recent past, space exploration was a very expensive affair, but with the advancement and refinement of the technology, space colonization is now a feasible concept. Lately, many companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin have been trying to refine the technology to explore the space. There are a variety of reasons to explore space and make humans an interstellar species. Humanity must populate and expand into space to ensure the continued survival of our race, as space has endless resources, while Earth has an increasing population and environmental concerns may push us to the point of extinction.
To begin, it is possible to tap into the limitless opportunities and resources that space has. Earth’s resources are finite, and with the ballooning human population, there is a need for humanity to look and see beyond the limitations of planet Earth. Some of the resources that can be tapped into space are energy. Energy is important for humanity as existing sources and processing of these sources is often pollutive and unsustainable. Harnessing the energy in space and channeling it on the planet can help the world reduce its dependence on unsustainable energy resources. Solar energy is abundant in space, and therefore energy-intensive industries can be built there. Living and working in space is a feasible idea which can be realized even before the end of the century. Some people may not know how space is economically beneficial, but some companies such as SpaceX are exploring how it can help make transport from one point to another on earth easier via space (Dunn, 2017). Blue Origin is exploring the possibility of space tourism which they envision to undertake by April 2019 (Wattles, 2017). There are also many governmental and private satellites which have aided communication around the world. Therefore, space is already economically beneficial, and the more humanity solves the challenges exploration poses, such as transport and inhabitability, the more opportunities that will become available. These possibilities will revolutionize the way we live on planet earth and how we perceive space.
Secondly, the human population is increasing exponentially, and it is estimated in the next three decades our population could reach 9 billion people (United Nations, 2015). Earth’s utility and exploitation are currently reaching their peak levels since the start of human civilization. It is unimaginable how a population increase of more than 2 billion people could be sustained on the Earth’s diminishing resources. Some of which take millions of years to replenish, for example gas and forests. Furthermore, the environmental harm humanity has done to the planet is irreparable. At the current rate of utilization, there is a large demand for humanity to look beyond our planet, and even our solar system. Earth is becoming increasingly small for us, and its ability to support the ever-increasing population is almost impossible. Therefore, colonizing space would create new unlimited room for humanity, where we can establish colonies and create sustainable ecosystems for ourselves and possibly, pets or cattle. It may sound like fiction, but with the current technology and talent-packed by the space exploration companies, it is very likely that space colonization will be actualized in this century. There are few indicators that the efforts of these companies and government are successful because they have managed to lower the cost of transporting materials to space significantly by creating reusable rockets (Chang, 2017).
Finally, humanity has already done permanent damage to planet Earth. Additionally, even if humanity does not destroy Earth, it can be destroyed by other celestial bodies that may be on a collision path with the planet. There is a need for humanity to have a contingency plan to preserve our species in case of an inevitable course of nature or from the self-engineered problem of global warming. If the rate of global warming is not reversed or stopped, there might not be a sustainable planet in the next century. Our rate of adaptation cannot match the rate of environmental degradation, and it may lead to the complete destruction of the planet (Mckie, 2013). Humanity needs a backup plan, and space is the only option, it should be explored and planned before we are forced off of this planet. Currently, there is a small window of either rehabilitating our planet or exploring the universe to ensure we survive on another planet. It may be hard to survive in space but not impossible. Humanity has solved many complex problems, and we can always find solutions. We hold the key to many frontiers, some of which are even unimaginable to us today.
In conclusion, humankind needs to invest in exploring and colonizing space. As space has endless resources Earth does not, our planet is becoming overpopulated and permanently damaged, rendering it futile. It may seem impossible, but other concepts such as landing on the moon, air transport, wireless communication, or organ transplant were unimaginable at some point in history. That is all different today, and one of the defining moments of this century is realizing space colonization, which will set the ground for many other things, many of which we haven’t even ideally conceived. As a bonus, in the process there will likely be many technologies that will be developed and adapted for other non-space related applications which will revolutionize our lives. To surmise, colonization of space is not a far-off concept, but an ever emergent and likely next step in our evolution.
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