Detractors of space exploration/colonization

Detractors of space exploration/colonization

I keep seeing people coming up with arguments that sending shuttles in orbit is a waste of ressources, worsening the polluton problem, that these amounts should be used for famine and poverty.

But I don't get if these detractors see in the long term where there is clearly an advantage for that for human specie survival.
The Earth has been existing for about 4,5 billions years and the Sun will become a Giant Red in about 5.4 billions years and the temperature of the solar system will increase drastically and the Earth matter will heat up and it will evaporate. This will sign the end of the human race.

Even if we only colonized Mars at that point, we will still be in a bad situation, because Mars will also evaporate.

There is 2 options if we wanna see humanity thrive,
Either we create a general AI that can travel through interstellar travel without need for life support like oxygen or food so it will reach Proxima Centauri in the next 4243 years and navigate for another biology-hostile planet to colonize it with a cyborg AI made by human.

Or you can send a replicating machine that finds an Earth-like planet and then starts a new phase to the human race with a yet to be engineered 3D printing machine that assemble a colony of humans to preserve the billions years of evolution that brought us humans and avoid wasting all that complexity formation.

The other option is we don't do anything and we disappear with our sun.

Are we going to sink with our ship or navigate to find new ones.

Which one would you rather see happening?

miajack789 | March 12, 2018

A third would most likely be that private investigation would be more centered around financial advantages. There's as of now discuss space rock mining and a private undertaking would send a specialty intended to decide the mineral estimation of a space rock, not a general science bundle that wouldn't yield that key data.

blue adept | March 13, 2018

With option #1 we wouldn't be preserving Humanity, only an example of human ingenuity in the form of a "cyborg" which would likely result in the mechanized colonization of the Solar system/Cosmos that would possibly displace all organic life as a result whereas, with option #2, while it does have some merit for insuring the continued proliferation of our species and it is a novel idea to have a machine (which wouldn't necessarily be susceptible to the harsh, radiation-laden environment of the open vacuum of Space, let alone managing the precarious pratfalls of navigating it or the deteriorating ramifications of the passage of Time), it might well be more than 5,000 years before we're able to devise the means of "3D printing" actual humans, if ever, and that's only if the constituent materials manage to survive the trip unfazed.

Intriguing thought experiment though.

nadurse | March 16, 2018

I think by the time the sun swells into a red giant, humanity will be long gone. Either because we have traveled to other solar systems or that we wiped ourselves out or that the world has become inhabitable for one reason or another.

These more pressing issues are the near term catastrophes that could cripple or end humanity's existence on earth: nuclear war, climate change, contagion, solar flares, and asteroids (in whatever order you want). The only way to prevent that is to become a multi-planetary and eventually interstellar species.

And if thats too far fetched for people, they need to understand the technology derived from space exploration often has practical uses here on earth that go a long way in changing peoples lives for the better. Heres a short list of that:

Rumi11 | March 26, 2018

I agree with you, nadurse. I think humans will be long gone before our sun ever becomes a red giant. The history of species shows they tend to die out.

7thGate | March 27, 2018

Species tend to die out, but the adaptable ones with strong skills in their niche can last a long, long time. Sharks, for example, have been around hundreds of millions of years. And while sharks are amazingly well optimized predators, nothing on earth is as adaptable or as powerful as humanity. Other species have to adapt to their environment; not only are we excellent at doing that, we also can force the environment to adapt to us, both on localized and grand scales. The only real threat we face is ourselves.

I'm not too worried about the future of space exploration. I sincerely doubt we'll get government funded colonization efforts, at least in a democratic environment, as there are too many people that don't want to expend resources on it. As long as corporations are free to make the attempt, however, it doesn't matter if the majority is on board. As soon as enough people with enough money want it, someone will figure out how to provide it and reap the benefits.

Should_I | March 27, 2018

So scientists have some chemical evidence life may have begun 4billion years ago and you you are worried about the condition of the sun in another 5.4billion years. Wow, just wow.

I am all for space exploration but the condition of the sun so far off is the most absurd argument I have ever heard.

Far as colonization of other world's, if life developed here it will develop in many places I would sooner presume all suitable habitats will have life we should not colonize. What line would you draw for life on another plant where we should just come in and take the land? Obviously intelligent life would be and issue but what if it is just a healthy rain forest like system full of animals but not life that manipulates it's environment?

Orthopod | April 7, 2018

Any intelligence conscious of it's own existence

Rumi11 | April 7, 2018

Came across this interesting article about a scientist who spent time in ISS and says trips to Mars should be for study, not colonization. He feels that Elob Musk's mission removes the sense of responsibility towards our planet. Do you guys agree? I mean, at the end of the day few of us will ever be able to leave Earth, so would we really lose our sense of stewardship?

Orthopod | April 8, 2018

I think it gives us responsibility to develop technology to become multiplanetary and make the human specie thrive. If one man feels like sending the world through a nuclear winter, over 90% of humans will die anyway

Madatgascar | April 8, 2018

Humans will never be able to thrive on Mars. It's 10% of the Earth's mass, so the gravity and atmospheric pressure are all wrong for us. Not enough water to drink, can't breathe the air, need massive protection from solar radiation, etc.

If you think of the most remote and inhospitable place on Earth, it would be far better and cheaper to build a bubble there to ride out whatever disaster befalls us, once you are in the business of manufacturing atmosphere anyway.

For the 5 billion year timeline, it's nice to know what else is out there and start dreaming of ways to get there. The exploration could take hundreds of generations... not something we are used to thinking about.

Orthopod | April 8, 2018

Humans will never thrive on Mars of course not.
The same as an intern who has a rotation in cardiac surgery will not become a cardiac surgeron for 1 month.
But this is inherent in the process to learn how to becone multiplanetary to one day do multistellar.
You need to get in a situation to make potential errors to learn from them.
Because we're humans aftet all

nadurse | April 9, 2018

@Madatgascar, so if it will take hundreds of generations then each generation in theory will have a duty to push the envelop a little bit further. Which is exactly what Mars would be for this generation, as was the space station for the prior and the Apollo missions for the one before that. Figuring out how to send people to Mars and start to colonize it is just the next logical step in the journey.

Or the alternative is to just ride it out until some inescapable disaster befalls us, which is terribly depressing at least to me.

Nexxus | April 9, 2018


Mars is actually 2/3rd's earth's mass. But the other stuff is right on. Elon talks about terra-forming the planet, but without an atmosphere (.02% earth's) or magnet field for protection, the solar wind will strip or kill any efforts at such an endeavor.

Rumi11 | April 9, 2018

Is there some artificial means of creating an electromagnetic field? I don't think the atmosphere will be as crucial due to the little bubble biospheres that could theoretically be built. I could see residential ones and agricultural ones and commercial ones...with little tunnels connecting them to each other.

normy | April 9, 2018

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Uncle Paul | April 9, 2018

Elon's other projects will all come together to help colonize Mars.
Electric vehicles for transportation.
Solar panels to provide energy for all operations.
Boring tunnels to connect people.
Hyperloops for longer distance.

Selinajasmin0 | April 17, 2018

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Looking at we have done to Earth, one wonders if it would be a good thing to infect other planets with human beings.

nadurse | April 20, 2018

Depends on how strong your sense of self preservation is @george... I'd like to think that the next planet and humans on it will build a society and culture based on more of our strengths and less of our shortcomings. But I'm feeling optimistic today.

Rumi11 | April 20, 2018

@UnclePaul - There is a method to Musk Madness!

I think as long as humans love comforts, luxuries, and technology, there will always be abuse of people and the Earth (or planet). The best relationship between humans and heir planet is one in which humans are part of a "primitive" culture. I don't so much feel sorry for the planets involved, since planets, being rocks and metals, are not sentient. I do feel terrible for the other animals with whom we share our planet and for the plants since they are alive and voiceless and often suffer the worst.

Tesla2018 | April 28, 2018

But what if advanced aliens want to come and take over our planet and use humans as food sources?
I dont really care what happens to the planet after I am dead. My great grandparents never knew I existed and I will never know anyone who is born 50 years from now.
Things are better now than they were 150 years ago since we have plumbling, electricity, cars, planes, etc

If we were to look 100 years in the future we would see than man has a way of improving his longevity without having to go back to a primitive society in an inhospitable planet.

Madatgascar | April 30, 2018


The mass of Mars is only 10% of earth’s mass. Gravity is 38% of Earth’s gravity.

Orthopod | May 12, 2018


maybe not send human being to other planets but radio transmit the information for a self traveling and replicating rational Super AI with a noble goal like colonizing the universe and spread the DNA of all the instinc mammals and that have gone instinct because of human race infection.

But once again, is the main goal of the Universe having an intelligent life form appreciating the complexity of what the DNA replication and evolution can achieve or honouring the basic mammals that existed before self counsciousness emerged

spuzzz123 | May 13, 2018

Call me a procrastinator but I think we can wait until the last minute to address this. Let’s wait until we only have 1 billion years left then we can start worrying about it. But seriously something else will snuff us out long before the sun dies out. Probably something we do to ourselves. War or AI. Or some botched attempt at genetic engineering. Or maybe just the armageddon asteroid. Since we actually had a pretty nasty one hit us last century and a species-ended hit us 60 million years ago - it’s going to happen in the next 3 billion years. Not if but when.

Orthopod | May 14, 2018

waiting isn't always a bad idea?