I’m excited. You’ve got to be kidding if you aren’t! This is Mars we are talking about. Not Antarctica, or Mt Everest, or the Mariana Trench. Those were Marses of the past. This is Mars! Where no man has ever ventured. No alien has yet been found. Which means they are pretty good at hiding. Or that they are all frolicking about in spaceships over the US & UK, waiting to be ‘sighted’ by news agencies.
*fantastically drawn polar bear
The Red Planet. Our second closest planet neighbour. Just a leisurely 225 million kilometres away. And check out our commute on the way there.
That’s the super massive space rocket that SpaceX is building. Elon Musk fancies calling it the Heart of Gold.
Christopher Columbus set out from Spain to find a way to the Indies, in search of gold and spices. Not only did he not get those, he never got to Asia. He sailed 70 long days and reached the Bahama Islands, accidentally ‘discovering’ America.
FUN FACT: Christopher never realised he didn’t reach the Indies. It was only after a year after his death that Amerigo Vespucci speculated that the new found land was a whole different continent. Christopher died a happy oblivious death.
SpaceX’s Heart of Gold will get us to Mars in 90 days. And we know where we are headed. Just no pit stops on the way. And no dolphins. And no running on the deck. Okay, floating is fine. Because anti-gravity. You can watch a sunrise, and float across the cabin to catch another one. And do that again.
There’s something awesome that we get free with our 3 month trip to Mars. An assured stay of 26 months on Mars. That’s the time it’ll take for Mars and Earth to be closest to each other again on their absolutely un-concentric orbits.
We’ll land in an ocean of carbon-di-oxide, carbon-di-oxide so dense that it will be used to make rocket fuel for the return journey. The temperature would be a comfortable 20°C to a freezing -73°C. Though that’s no reason to come out of your spacesuit and stroll around in your beach shorts. It’s a super low-pressure atmosphere out there. And stuff moves from high pressure to low pressure. Keep the spacesuit on!
One thing that Mars almost copied from Earth is the length of its day. It’s about an earthly 24 hours and 40 minutes. Wish you a longer B’day and 2.8% more annoying Facebook notifications! Though for scientists, its importance is that earth plants would grow within earthly timelines. And also for old people who don’t care about birthdays and love gardening.
Oh, and good luck if you are a rebirth of Albert Einstein who said in 1932 “There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” Or of Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, who in 1943 said “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” We know not whether they were chased down the streets later. But that could be you, on the day when we get to Mars, preferably safe and alive.
What do we do on Mars? Apart from high-fiving, there’s a ton of stuff to do, one of the most essential of them being figuring out how to make return rocket fuel. Then there’s terra-forming. A cool word that means making new weird terrains earth-like. Check it out online. It’s like playing Age of Empires, except that it’s in real life. And there’s no cheatcodes. Tough task. But we made it here! We’ll make it there too.
This is Mars! I’m pretty excited! You better be too. See you there in 2025!
To infinity and beyond!
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