It seems like every week now scientists are discovering new alien worlds in our galaxy. Diamond planets. Exo planets. Planetary systems with binary suns like Tattoine. There’s no definite proof if any of them are inhabitable, or perhaps even already inhabited, but will we ever find out for sure?
Since the US space program was cancelled, I’ve been wondering if humanity will ever venture any further into space. As a science fiction writer I’ve imagined exploring new worlds. As a child I dreamt of being a companion in Doctor Who and exploring all of time and space - I even wrote my first complete novel based on those wishes! I’d hoped at least to see a manned mission to Mars in my lifetime.
But now it seems like that dream is over. There are no more flights into space by the US. I watched Space: 1999 as a child, but that year has come and gone without any sign of a potential MoonbaseAlpha. Will it ever happen? In regards to the Moon is it too much a case of “been there, done that”?
Of course there are commercial plans for flights into space as part of the tourism industry. Virgin Galactic for one. Perhaps a research base on the Moon is unlikely, but maybe there’ll be a hotel? A luxury lunar resort? Perhaps private enterprise will take us back into space and beyond.
I heard on the news today that Newt Gingrich is proposing to reinstate the space program and build a lunar base. Of course, I always take promises from a politician with a big dose of skepticism, especially from one yet to be in the position to keep such promises. Perhaps it’s not just a lack of funds, but a lack of desire to go back into space. I hope not. I still hope to see that mission to Mars. “To infinity, and beyond!” as Buzz Lightyear would say.
Have we lost the drive to be a space-traveling species? What do you think?