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Why Silicon Valley is in two minds for Mars



During a recent dinner for startup companies at an early stage, the founder on my left bent in conspiracy to share what he described as his brilliantly destructive idea of ​​space travel. then all on earth will soon have to move to a new planet, right? Probably Mars. But before that happens, we need to send some colonizers to put it all. So, what about all those people who will lose their jobs in the Revolution of AI – why not send them? But besides being inhuman and impossible to accomplish, this idea also seemed to me unnecessary.

Why is it forcing someone to walk on Mars when so many people are willing to volunteer? I do not like flying here on Earth, so I'm not interested in interplanetary adventures. Risky trip to a cold, hostile and empty planet that does not have real-time communication with the home? No thanks.

But when a Dutch nonprofit organization called Mars One asked for one-way travel requests in 201

3, it received 200,000 applications. At the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, which simulates the life of the red planet, crews pay for shift volunteers. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said he would like to live his old age on Mars.

This is particularly bold, considering how difficult it will be to get there. According to NASA, the trip will take about nine months. Earlier this month, a prototype of the next-generation SpaceX missile from a fire ignited just a few minutes after the engine's ignition.

If you can get to Mars, you will encounter a planet whose atmosphere is much thinner than Earth, so that parachutes will be difficult to open. This complicates the landing because parachutes are less effective at slowing the probes as they are near the surface.

Probably these risks are the reason why public interest in Mars seems to be diminishing. A Pew Research Center survey last year found that less than one in five people think sending people to Mars should be a priority for NASA. When scientists found evidence of the existence of a glacier lake last year – the best place to search for life on the planet – this did not attract much attention. NewSpace Global, which tracks companies that want to commercialize space, says there are nearly 1,000 startups working in the area. One of California's RedWorks companies believes that the chances of reaching Mars in the near future are so high that it works on a 3D print system that will use Martian soil to make buildings once there.

Musk SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' blue background, but last year the minds of the two men seemed to be focused elsewhere – Tesla electric car musk and Neuralink, Bezos to build the Amazon Brain (in short) at -the precious US public company

Now that we mark the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the moon, the cycle seems to be turning again. Harvard research has proposed a new way of terraforming Mars with silicone blankets to warm the surface, melt the ice, and block ultraviolet radiation. Next July, NASA will release its Mars 2020. He thinks people could be on Mars in the 2030s. Ever-optimistic Muskus thinks it will be only five years.

Whether we want is still an open question. Take the people on Mars and their microbes too. If we can make Mars habitable for ourselves, there is a good chance we can make it uninhabitable for anything that may already be there.

There is also an argument that we must first deal with the planet on which we live. As Andrew Smith writes in his recently updated book Moondust: In search of the men who have fallen on the ground even the 12 astronauts who went to the moon were trying to express what missions meant.

was cut off.

Elaine Moore is deputy column editor of Lex's FT. Follow @FTMag on Twitter to find out first about our latest stories. Listen and subscribe to everything else, the FT culture podcast, ft.com/everything-else or Apple Podcasts


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