What does ‘Spacefaring Civilization’ mean to me?
My name is William Wilde and I am the Communications Coordinator at the Centre for a Spacefaring Civilization.
I have long held a deep fascination for space, and I believe its exploration poses questions that concern us all.
It took genius scientists to get us to the Moon. It will take even greater leaps in understanding to put people on Mars, and eventually expand beyond our home solar system. But a multidisciplinary approach is needed to ensure our prosperity beyond Earth.
The late Christa McAuliffe said before the Challenger mission,
“Space is for everybody. It’s not just for a few people in science or math, or for a select group of astronauts. That’s our new frontier out there, and it’s everybody’s business to know about space.”
Though she never had the chance to complete her mission, the concept of everyday people taking an active part in space was an important step.
We are still a long way from exploring exoplanets in person or even living on Mars, but we are already putting in motion the steps that will lead us there. If we are to survive as a species, reaching beyond our local solar system is a must.
The concept of ‘Spacefaring Civilization’ might still feel like a topic for science-fiction writers. But debates of ethics, nationhood, and economics began well before we launched our first satellite. Although the vast majority of people alive today will never leave Earth, we can all add to discussions on our future as a species.
To me, it is important to interest people in the topic beyond the scientific community, while continuing to promote vital research in space science. Humanity is being affected by our activities beyond Earth already. International cooperation and treating new frontiers with respect are among the vital considerations we face.
Landing on Mars is a real possibility in the next few decades. When we start to live on it, humanity will have to think of how to deal with the notion of ‘countries’ beyond Earth. We will also have to decide on which currencies to use and how to deal with space tourism, along with scientific considerations like the long-term effects of low gravity on the human body.
Space is therefore a topic that encompasses multiple disciplines. Lawyers, politicians, economists, and countless others can add to the discussion in collaboration with scientists.
Space is for everyone. Even if someone’s interactions with it only go as far as watching launches online, it can inspire people to think beyond the bounds of their everyday surroundings. Ultimately, discussions on space attempt to answer the questions that will decide our fate long into the future.
The opinions expressed in these blog posts are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centre for a Spacefaring Civilization or anyone else.
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