This week, one of the foxes asked, “Would you travel to the Moon or Mars (assuming you could return)?
Growing up, I loved to watch Star Trek on TV. Then the movies came out and I enjoyed several of them. I watched the first Star Wars movie when it first came out. But by that time my interested had run its course and I didn’t watch the rest. I think part of it was that I’d learned enough to realize that traveling anywhere off planet earth was not a day trip. According to Universe Today, “The total journey time from Earth to Mars takes between 150-300 days depending on the speed of the launch, the alignment of Earth and Mars, and the length of the journey the spacecraft takes to reach its target. It really just depends on how much fuel you’re willing to burn to get there. More fuel, shorter travel time.” (Cain, F. (2017, March 16). How Long Does it Take to Get to Mars? Retrieved October 08, 2017, from https://www.universetoday.com/14841/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-to-mars/) So space travel, even at speeds I can only dream about, will take years. And there’s so much we still don’t know about life outside our known world.
To return to the original question…
Basically, I’m a chicken. So space exploration is not something I would be willing to do. I’m really not one to jump in on anything new, other than what my family calls my “techie gadgets” – my phone, watch, laptop, and car. But even with those items, I don’t rush out to get the latest version of everything. I get what’s current when at the time I’m ready to purchase, and then I keep it until I need a new one. I don’t wear the latest fashions, don’t read the best-sellers, and don’t watch the latest movies. I’m more adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, but even before I understood that the phrase “to boldly go where no man has gone before” was a split infinitive, the idea didn’t resonate with me.
My dad pounded into us that we should never buy the first model of anything, but to wait until all the problems were discovered and fixed. So I think that even if the type of teleportation depicted in Star Trek were to be developed in my lifetime, I would wait until all the kinks were worked out. What if something malfunctioned while I was off the planet? And if I remember correctly, teleportation involved taking people apart and then putting them back together. What if I arrived at my destination and all my body parts were stuck together incorrectly? I’d have to learn how to do everything all over again.
I think it’s wonderful that so many advancements have been made in space exploration during my lifetime. If I’m blessed with a long life, I’m sure there will be plenty more before I’m done here. Ray Bradbury wrote a chilling story called All Summer in a Day, which eloquently brings home the point that space travel might be necessary at some point. But in the meantime, I’m perfectly willing to do my space travel through the stories I read or watch on the screen.
How brave would you be?