Last week, theoretical physicist #Stephen Hawking said that we had 1000 years left of life on Earth and suggested that we need to work towards inhabiting other planets in order to save it. Specifically, he was referring to human life but he also said that it would be another hundred years before we would be able to perfect technologies that would allow us to inhabit the surface of let's say #Mars. Despite Stephen Hawking's #1000 years left statement, a broadly explained effort to colonize another planet leans heavily on the Mars One program which for at least the last four years has ambitiously been vetting people to take a one-way trip to the red planet and -- provided they survive the journey -- live on the planet's surface.
Technology already exists to live on Mars?
According to the "Mars One" project website, they explain that living units would be dropped on the planet's surface as individual landers, which will be positioned in place with the help of rovers. Rover technology has already been functioning on the Martian surface for many years and with the project's initial goal to send people to the planet by 2023, at least that technology has already be tested extensively. In addition to landing these living units, they will have inflatable living sections, an airlock and materials for constructable rooms with floors, wet areas for showers and electrical outlets. These living units would then be filled with breathable air in time for when pioneers arrive.
During the early stages of the project, most of the coverage written on the program was skeptical over how ambitious it was to suggest that pioneers would risk their lives to go to make such a trip. They were even skeptical about the concept around the living units for which the Dutch-based company approached another company called Paragon Space Development Corporation to design the units. As recent as February of this year, Paragon was still on board and had completed a full concept, answering many questions on how they would be used and providing more details on the producing oxygen in the units, recycling it and other methods to sustain human life. And while they claim that the technology does exist, the massive six billion dollar funding they need to literally get off the ground, does not.
Stephen Hawking statement and reasons for anxiety
While Hawking is often looked at as the oracle of human initiative for the future, it would perhaps be more of a "leap" if he had suggested some innovative way to fund projects that could get us off to another planet. Stephen Hawking's bleak outlook is around the Earth's climate and right now there are a lot of figures and analysis which points to dealing with those issues, which are consistently dismissed by climate deniers and in turn, makes something as simple as infrastruction projects harder to complete -- much less fund at the very least -- in America. This leads to constant gridlock with lawmakers who have also made it harder to fund space exploration programs, leaving us with nothing more than telescopes and a dream.
So far the privatization of space travel and the technology is produces seems more certain for hope in support of Stephen Hawking's prediction. Another suggestion has been to inhabit the moon again, even with legislation from earlier this year to do just that. And since Donald Trump won the election, "The Washington Post" pointed out that Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich favors going to the moon, but that NASA is currently "jittery" as the incoming administration has yet to approach them while they try to met deadlines. But Elon Musk's Space X project is said to be looking towards going to Mars by 2030, and so there are plenty of cases where ambitions are past the concept stage. In any case, Stephen Hawking's view that humans have 1000 years left to find another planet, is good enough distance for it to have anything to do with anyone alive today or even multiple generations those yet to be born.