April 11, 2012

Elon Musk: Let's go to space—humanity's survival may depend on it

Nature has posted an interview with Elon Musk, SpaceX's chief executive and chief technology officer. Unlike so many people these days, Musk is not afraid to talk about going to space, whether it be missions to Mars or beyond. And his desire is not just frivolous; he sees humanity's presence in space as way to back up the biosphere. He was asked, "Do you see a space-faring civilization as a way of defending humanity against a catastrophe on Earth?", to which he responded:
Absolutely. We would be backing up the biosphere. We wouldn't just be preserving humanity, we would be preserving much of life. It is certainly possible for some calamity to come along — as we see in the several major extinction events in the fossil record. Humanity has obviously developed the means of destroying itself, so I think we need planetary redundancy to protect against the unlikely possibility of natural or man-made Armageddon.

It is important that we take action now to make life multi-planetary, because this is really the first point in the 4-billion-year history of Earth that it has been possible. That window of possibility will hopefully be open for a long time, but it may only be open for a short time. That's why I think urgent action is required on making life multi-planetary.
Read the entire interview here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This guy has made the obvious, the need for a tremendous expansion into our solar system, or be faced with a future of to many people, not enough resources, sexy. Its also astonishing common sense.

The fact that private companies (as long as its SOMEONE) are likely to play a major if not dominant part, maybe we'll get our act together and make it happen! We have only a very bleak future for humanity if we don't. I wish this guy nothing but success.