Why should the world be cautious about Elon Musk’s space race

Why should the world be cautious about Elon Musk’s space race

The first flight is scheduled for 2018 and is that is so ambitious, it borders over the unbelievable.

Musk’s moonshot idea has been welcomed with enthusiasm by the majority of fans of space, however certain people are skeptical. Some commentators are uninterested and dismiss the plan as a massive cost-cutting scheme.

The ambivalence in this case isn’t that surprising at all because history has shown that shortly following Apollo 11’s Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, people changed their TVs to more earth-based activities as they were contemplating what the reason was. NASA continued to return to the Moon over and over beginning with Apollo 12, then Apollo 13 and then Apollo 14 – all the way the ladder to Apollo 17.

Natural process Or an interaction with others?

Musk could tell you that the truth: he’s not using taxpayer money to launch his moonshot, and that the SpaceX business is actually a privately-owned business. The SpaceX’s biggest customer to date has been NASA which is a government agency that is funded by taxpayers which pays SpaceX to transport items to the International Space Station.

Before SpaceX had made any promises, NASA made a large investment in the company to help get the company up and running. Any assertion that SpaceX is solely commercial is also amazing.

As do many space enthusiasts, Musk will tell you that this moonshot is the initial phase of this “natural process” of human space exploration. The next step is exploring the Moon and, later, Mars.

Space travel isn’t something that happens naturally; it’s a social event that involves domestic, political, and international competition, the promotion of patriotic heroism, and the dispersal of public funds.

Recalling the dark past

It is also a concern that the “colonisation” theme of space expansion is not without controversy because it is a sign of a possible reemergence of the environmental and social catastrophes caused by colonial efforts. The idea of being a supporter of “space colonisation”, then could be compared to enjoying the displacement of indigenous peoples and celebrating the eradication of the wilderness.

Elon Musk may tell you that this moonshot is the initial stage in the ‘natural process of human space exploration. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Unfortunately that is the case, space expansion has relied on historical battles to plot the future. Take the Star Trek Space: The Final Frontier theme, or Musk’s personal plan to colonize Mars.

The call for a future “age of exploration” in space evokes the past voyages to discovery but ignores the fact that Chritopher Columbus devastated native tribes with smallpox and the ways in which Spanish conquistadors sacked Mesoamerica’s temples in search of gold.

Space enthusiasts may argue that there aren’t enough individuals in space that could be colonised, or that there are no people in space, and that the Moon as well as Mars are uninhabited areas. But the idea is to colonize Mars, for instance, and then set on extracting precious resources without determining if an other species has been living there, even if those living species are microbial to be reckless.

It also smells like anthrocentrism as humans are likely to bring to Mars the notion that microbes are lesser lifeforms and it’s okay to walk all over their planet, causing pollution and contaminating their surroundings.

Even if they’re dead, it is important to remember it is the case that everyone shares Moon and Mars. They are the common heritage of humanity. The first people try to travel to the Moon or Mars shouldn’t be allowed to rob these planets to make their own personal gain or adventure.

An alliance of interest

One notable supporter of American space exploration includes US president Donald Trump. ” Space is terrific,” Trump said in Florida in the year 2000. Trump also called for greater space exploration in a recent address in Congress.

A lot of scientists are sceptical about Trump’s views on science; however, the president has shown a remarkable willingness to embrace science and the universe beyond America. Trump wants NASA to ” explore the mysteries of deep space“.

In the course of this, Trump is also working on ways to get rid of NASA of those nagging climate scientists whom he believes are selling “politicised” science.

Trump was introduced to Elon Musk within a matter of days of taking the presidency. As a result of their love for capitalism and a penchant to promote themselves, they appear to be entering into a relationship, which some have described as the practice of cronyism.

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