Mankind's Future In Space

By Black Knight

January 19, 2004

For ages humans have yearned to explore past the boundaries of nature, needlessly sacrificing themselves in the name of exploration. Such is the legacy of mankind and has been for generations. The human race is a nomadic one as a whole and when it ceases to explore and expand it stagnates and destroys itself and it's ecosystem. As a race we were never meant to simply colonize continents or create vast empires. our strength as a whole is to band together and explore the unknown, which in turn gives rise to new technologies and new ideas. When we halt this process we become like a empty stomach, a hungered being who has not eaten for days. The unknown is our food, and when we stop exploring we compensate by going to war with each other. Such is our strength and weakness. That being the case we must strive to ascend past the skies and learn to travel the stars, for our world and our galaxy will someday possibly sooner than we expected...... die.

When man first stepped foot upon the land technology was a unknown frontier, and to survive man would have to explore the dangerous jungle and brave prehistoric dinosaurs to find kindling. Wood. Our first step at exploration was the discovery of fire. This newfound gift to ourselves would keep us warm and ensure the survival of our children, it would also play a pivotal role in our evolution. Fire would give way to new technologies as well as new frontiers. Humans would eventually build towns and learn to irrigate the soil, and tame the beasts of the land. Our ancestors would use fire, our eldest technology, to forge the metals of the land into parts for our wooden fleets. With these earliest ships, the galleons and frigates, we would in due time find a new world. Our ancestors founded what was to become the United States of America. Our thirst for exploring the wild frontier of this new world was only matched for our thirst for a better life. However the growth of the human race was not without set backs and sadness. In taming the new wild frontier of America our ancestors died from foreign viruses and infections while dealing with the daily chores. Infections we were not strong against, not because we were weak but because we had never experienced them before. Not only did we overcome illness we would overcome the harsh weather of each region. Disastrous tornadoes which decimated colonies, famine brought upon us by locusts and summer fires. And sadly we would take this land away from its earliest settlers, the American Indians. And yet we found the time and strength to develop new products and bond with enemies creating alliances and friendships. And to a degree we would even find a center ground with some American Indian tribes while disrespecting others. And even then our wanton desire for exploring the unknown would never die.

The Wright brothers would tame the skies, if only for a few seconds. Both Wilbur and Orville could never know what they gave birth to, nor would they ever live to see the fruits of their labor. Charles Limburg would take to the heavens with this gift and set the record for flying all the way around the world. Even then mankind would not settle for anything less than a new frontier, a new quest. A new and horrifying technology would be coupled with the gift of flight, and we would slowly pervert our selves after this day. August 6, 1945. On this day mankind would begin a ever increasing cycle of warping it's inborn need to explore to better conquer and destroy. A atomic legacy, irradiating small "uninhabited" islands and spying on each other. We too such a beautiful and divine technology, the gift of flight and for a time made it into a fire breathing dragon. A dragon which at any time could destroy the world, and everything on it. Just as we entered a nightmarish atomic frontier we emerged into a new one, a new quest. Ironically enough our fetish for tinkering with this nightmarish technology may have partially given rise to our current and most prolonged desire, the quest to explore space. April 12, 1961. On this date we would but get a minor glimpse of our destiny, Yuri Gagarin would ascend the clouds and orbit the Earth in a space capsule of Russian design and become the first man in space.

From fire to galleons, from new continents to atomic power. We would end up here, the age of space travel. And here we would linger for a very long time. Many a effort would end in tragedy and no matter how often those brave explorers who dared ascend the skies parted this world our civilization, the human race would not quit. This need to explore the dark sea of stars would demand we never stop. Mankind slowly refined its technologies of space travel, never lamenting for too long over the various set backs. Just as Icarus dared fly to close to the sun, we would vow to accept death if it meant accomplishing a dream. A dream most righteous. And then it happened, on January 4, 2004 destiny blew us a kiss in a most momentous way. A U.S space capsule carrying a remote control rover aptly named "Spirit" successfully landed on Mars where a past attempt failed. Not only this, "Spirit" would triumph by leaving the capsule lander without getting caught up in the balloon casing which protected the lander in atmosphere re-entry. Our first step as a species is to colonize the moon, and after that? Terraform Mars. Our path of ascension will change, we will run into set backs and we will overcome. For if we stall, again, as before in history we will again fall into darkness and accomplish nothing. Our place is amongst the stars. It is our destiny to explore, and our fate to perish if we stop.

Each and every one of us, I the writer, you the reader and everyone else may not feel it. However we all have the yearning to explore and search for new frontiers to settle. Just as our fore fathers made life changing discoveries in the new world, so shall we. Mars will be the first key to human evolution. We must accelerate our progress to reach Mars, and inevitably we will. Not one human being can withstand the urge to step foot on the red planet, it is our calling to seek that which we do not know and understand it. That being said, our timeline to reach our goal will always start off as far away however we will shorten it. We cannot be patient any further. And whereto after Mars? The possibilities are endless. Maybe we will research wormhole travel using blackholes, or perhaps we will discover FTL space travel while on Mars? Who can say what will happen when we begin to tinker with what lies on Mars. This is why we explore, to colonize and learn. Knowledge cannot always be sought within our inner selves, sometimes we must actively go out into the elements and take it.

Pandora's Box has been opened, we know not what lies out beyond the stars nor do we care. How can we be content any longer on this planet researching primortal technologies and living as woodland natives? For that is what we are. We have outgrown this way of life. We are simply better than this, we must ascend to the stars as a whole or die trying, for if we do not we will die of desperation. A man next to me tells me that if we were meant to fly we would have wings, I ask this, "why do you look up at night at the stars then?" We cannot get angered, for there will be those who are frightened, frightened of change. Alas, change is inevitable. And why shouldn't it be? The answers we seek are not here on this vivacious green Earth, for her love was only meant to cradle us. To nurture us until we matured enough to realize we were not created here, we were simply placed here. We can never know what or how we evolved on Earth, all we know is we must find our origins. Some of us seek immortality, will we find that here toying with genetics and dissecting cows? No, such advances concepts can only be found in the sea of stars where many a man and woman will surely die exploring. And yet, the great gift of our destiny is this, sometimes asteroids and meteorites crash into our Earth's crust, arriving in a fiery blaze through our lovely planet's atmosphere. Maybe we will be given immortality. None the less, we must seek the stars. Otherwise why do we even exist? And how can we much longer? We are over populating our ecosystems.

We have no choice but to reach out and plant our seed on every planet we can, for our planet is slowly dying. She may even die tomorrow sending us all straight to a chaotic hell. We must quickly and hastily reach out to the stars and take our chances, for what time we feel we have we do not. Destiny has a sister, her name is Fate. One works with us, and the other against us. And it is these two sisters of reality that push us, make us dare ourselves into exploring that which certainly stands to kill us. So why must we slowly attempt to reach the stars?

Just as it is our heritage to explore it is also our weakness that we become greedy. We elect corrupt officials to plunder our taxes and divert funds from space exploration for their own political agendas. Our greatest flaw is our need to be lead rather than leading ourselves, more so perhaps our flaw is a lack of unity. We exists as several cultures, each with a different and unique system. Some systems are more flawed than others, and others are completely flawed. We cannot continue this way, ultimately we must assimilate ourselves under one order. Such a unified system would pool all of the worlds resources where they are needed rather than into unnecessary projects and outdated research. And under a unified flag war would no longer take place, at least not brother against brother. And yes, we will ultimately end up losing some rights. And to this we must agree, or suffer extinction just like the dinosaur. We are not alone, we know this. And when the time comes we will be here playing with our flint stones and shaking our wooden spears at those from the stars, "first contact" will be our "last stand". We were to stubborn to get our act together and we chose to live as primortal cavemen with our neandertech ways. What alien species would even waste one breath on us? We are nothing but small insignificant weaklings, we are wastes of space so to speak. This is why we must begin ascending to the stars now. We deserve no respect. For what truly inspiring technologies have we discovered? For thousands of years all we have done is doodle around on this planet, as if we were a species of mentally retarded children.

When you step outside into the city who do you respect more? The tall and handsome CEO? Or do you respect that cashier who simply follows orders and counts money all day? We have done nothing to be respected for, hence if there is life close to us they will only make themselves known either when we begin to act like true sentient lifeforms, or when they want to decimate us. Such logic is simple and completely realistic. You cannot respect a person who fails to grasp the situation, and you cannot tolerate a person who does nothing about anything. The cold truth is we have had enough time to develop the technologies and skills needed to blast off into space on a daily basis, and this we have yet to do.

In the end, if we are to survive we must allocate all of our energy and resources into space exploration, including adding such areas of study to our schools starting at a kindergarten level and ending at the highest level of academia. Space exploration must run in our veins, for this final frontier is extremely perilous. We were born here on Gaia, Earth. We will leave here just as a child grows to adulthood and leaves his or her mother and home. This is our genetics, our calling.

Black Knight