David Bowie once asked: is there life on Mars? Well, no David, there isn't. But soon there could be. At least that's what Elon Musk, CEO at SpaceX, believes needs to happen as soon as possible.
This could mean films like The Martian (trailer below) could become a reality.
Disturbingly, Musk wants us to start colonizing the Red Planet pronto because of the very real threat of World War 3 destroying Earth, leaving it too late for us to do anything about it. Talking to GQ, he said:
I don’t think we can discount the possibility of a third World War. In 1912, they were proclaiming a new age of peace and prosperity … and then you had World War I followed by World War II followed by the Cold War. Perhaps there’s a complacency and arrogance in assuming this won’t happen again.
Nuclear War is Likely
And, although we really, really don't want to entertain the thought of a global war, the threat is real. Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer has said a nuclear war is "likely" following Turkey shooting down aRussian jet.
According to Musk, any nuclear attack would wreck havoc with Earth in ways we've never witnessed before. It could also damage space technology to the extent it could set us back decades. As a result, he feels that:
“It would be, I think sort of immoral not to [colonise Mars], if it meant preservation of life on Earth as we know it.”
It's not only man made disasters, either. With global warming a heated topic, we could also be preparing for natural occurrences that threaten our existence on this planet. When you consider the possibilities, it does make sense to consider our options.
If, or perhaps more fittingly, when, this happens, what could our lives be like? Below are a number of Sci-Fi films that illustrate what it would be like if humans left Earth, and could give us an indication the challenges of inhabiting another planet.
1. 'Interstellar' (2014) - It Would Make Us Feel Insignificant
Life on Earth is cosy. We've been here for years, and we know what it takes. We can also ignore the fact that in the scale of the universe we are beyond miniscule. Like, there are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on earth miniscule.
2. 'Moon' (2009) - Things Will Get Pretty Lonely
We're using technology to make the Earth feel smaller, but there's no shying away from the vastness of space. We'd better be prepared for lots of Skype conversations with friends and family.
3. 'The Martian' (2015) - The Weather Might Be a Bit Rubbish
I'd say we'll need more than an umbrella to stop that kind of storm...
4. '2001: A Space Odyssey' (1968) - The Technology We Use Could Turn Against Us
Man used tools. Then man used technology. Then technology uses man? It's possible. Kubrick's classic explores how artificial intelligence could end up owning us if we're not careful. Something to bare in mind when we got planet hopping.
5. 'Total Recall' (1990) - Alien Raves Could Be Fun
Remember, with all the change going on, it'll be important to stay abreast of the situation to make sure nothing goes tits up.
6. 'Red Planet' (2000) - Colonization Might Not Actually Work...
Trying to move humanity beyond the Earth is sure to come with its challenges. We can only try though, right?