Based on a real conversation with my mom
“I want to build out there, in space. On the Moon, on Mars, & Beyond!” I said excitedly.
I was met with a short silence.
“I just don’t get it. Mars? Is there even oxygen there? Can we even grow plants? Why do we want to go there?”
It took me by surprise. For me, it has always been abundantly clear. Humanity will conquer the stars. We have to be a space faring civilization. All the benefits have unquestionably outweighed the risks. I knew this from the bottom of my heart, but having to explain it to my own mother made me realize that it wasn’t as obvious for most people.
“Well,” I said with patience and love, in case you were wondering. “We have to go to Mars to ensure the endurance of the human race. The Earth won’t be here forever, specially since we seem to be actively destroying it.” I paused. “Or rather, we are destroying it for ourselves. Planet Earth will still be here, the question is whether humanity can be here.”
“But that’s not going to happen in our lifetime, right?” She continued.
“Not necessarily (although I am sure we can work something out), but we can’t think just about our affected lifetime. We have to think our children and children’s children.” I waited for her to respond.
“So these people are risking their lives and doing all this work for a future they won’t even see?” She asked.
For the sake of briefness, I won’t get into the part where we talked about singularity and the plethora of scientists working on extending human life. Don’t worry, we circled back to the main point.
“So those astronauts that are going there on 2022 are getting on that rocket knowing full well they might die?” She asked in disbelief. “They are doing it for Science? They are doing it for the future of humanity?” It seemed like such an alien concept for her.
“Yes.” I simply replied. “It is a huge sacrifice.”
The conversation lingered on my brain, and it made me reevaluate how often we take these sacrifices for granted. There are people dedicating their life’s work and effort to advancing human society and probabilities of survival. Why do we go around glorifying billionaires, entertainers and athletes above the very people risking their lives to ensure…