How and Why We Must Colonize Mars
The human exploration of Mars is not a task for some future generation. It is a task for ours, says aerospace engineer Robert Zubrin. In his new book, he details a feasible plan.
What's the Latest Development?
Fifteen years ago, aerospace engineer Robert Zubrin published The Case for Mars, calling for resolve among the aerospace community to put humans on the Red Planet. Now he has updated the book to reflect recent scientific achievements: "Today we know exactly what to do. As to cost, SpaceX company president Elon Musk testified directly to the panel that he would be willing to develop a 100 tonne to orbit class H.L.V. (heavy lift launch vehicle) for a fixed-price contract of $2.5 billion. This claim is very credible, since SpaceX recently developed and flew a 10 tonne to orbit medium lifter for a total program cost of $300 million."
What's the Big Idea?
Why is a mission to Mars so vital in the first place? Wasn't the race to the moon, after all, simply a product of Cold War power games? "There are real and vital reasons why we should venture to Mars," says Zubrin. "It is the key to unlocking the secret of life in the universe. It is the challenge to adventure that will inspire millions of young people to enter science and engineering, and whose acceptance will reaffirm the nature of our society as a nation of pioneers. It is the door to an open future, a new frontier on a new world, a planet that can be settled and the beginning of humanity's career as a spacefaring species."
It marks another milestone in SpaceX's long-standing effort to make spaceflight cheaper.
- SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space early Tuesday morning.
- A part of its nosecone – known as a fairing – descended back to Earth using special parachutes.
- A net-outfitted boat in the Atlantic Ocean successfully caught the reusable fairing, likely saving the company millions of dollars.
Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
- Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
- This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
- The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
The world's richest people could breeze through a climate disaster – for a price.
- A new report from a United Nation expert warns that an over-reliance on the private sector to mitigate climate change could cause a "climate apartheid."
- The report criticizes several countries, including the U.S., for taking "short-sighted steps in the wrong direction."
- The world's poorest populations are most vulnerable to climate change even though they generally contribute the least to global emissions.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.