SpaceX: The Rush to Mars

By Mahi Patel

In an era with advancements in technology and space exploration, living on Mars is not as far-fetched as we might have thought. We are exploring Mars, not just to find out about the planet, but to find our new future home. Is there a possibility for a future on the red planet that could redefine the human race? We’re closer than ever to finding out… 

Faced with a growing list of threats such as climate change and overpopulation, sometime in the future, whether it is 200 or 200,000 years our planet will become uninhabitable. To address this very issue, led by CEO and founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, the company has begun to formulate concrete plans for landing, building, and sustaining a human colony on Mars, ultimately making a longtime dream a reality. But while SpaceX asks whether humans could live there, others still ask whether we should. 

SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecrafts  which have the potential to save billions of lives colonising Mars. However, whilst trying to save lives we will also have to spend billions- possibly trillions- of dollars in the process. This money could be better spent investing in renewable energy to address climate change and create a more sustainable future here on Earth.

In addition, concerns have been raised about SpaceX employees as they have accused Elon Musk of at least 600 workplace injuries. Employees state they’re paying the price for the billionaire’s push to colonise space at breakneck speed. As Elon Musk accelerates his Mars mission, SpaceX worker injuries rise. Elon Musk states that the company could land a spacecraft on Mars in 3 to 4 years and even wants to have a city of a million people on Mars by 2050. This sounds overly ambitious considering not a single person has even stepped foot on the red planet. Instead, we should carefully use this time to make sure that by the time we can go to Mars, we really should. For example, there is a risk that we contaminate Mars with bacteria and other microorganisms or affect other forms of life which should be left undisturbed.

Elon Musk has not kept quiet his ambition to help make humanity an interplanetary species. He engineered Starship, the world’s most powerful rocket, with the intention to do just that. The nearly 400-foot-tall vehicle is designed to accommodate 100 individuals as well as plenty of the essential supplies and equipment necessary to create a self-sustaining city on the Red Planet.

However, we cannot lose sight of the challenges on our planet, nor use Mars as an opportunity to neglect responsibility here on Earth. If we look at how we’ve treated Earth in the past, it raises concerns about our impact on Mars if we expand there. Is it right to use up all the resources and damage a planet only to move on to the next? If we have not figured out how to deal with problems of our own here on this planet, how do we know that the same fate will not occur on Mars?

Posted in Science & Tech.