Life on another planet? That’s a movie you’re working on, right?

Yes, kinda. But, before I write, direct and produce that movie, I’d like to write about a subject that has fascinated me since my childhood. Space. Not only space, but alien life. Growing up with the mystery that is Area 51, UFO, abductions, movies like ET: The Extra-Terrestrial and and the one that frightened me most as a kid, Fire in the Sky.

An astronomer recently stated that finding life on a nearby planet is 100%. You can read the article here. The article excited me again about the subject and I got thinking about our future on this little green and blue planet. Stephen hawking is known to have accepted that alien life could exist, but that we should avoid it because it could well be hostile. Well, like some other things in life such as travel, economy, and relationships, finding and exploring life on another planet may become inevitable. Conspiracies aside (though fascinating to entertain, they do little to advance the argument), space is literally the final frontier. It’s the only place we haven’t really explored to any depth.

Governments currently provide most of the money for the research, development, and exploration of space. NASA (USA), ESA (Europe), CSA (Canada), CNSA (China), and those Russians with their FKA use their tax income to pay for the space programs. Some money goes to companies that do the detail-work, such as building equipment and training the folks who need to go up there, but for the most part the space programs are run by the government agencies. I think it may be coming time to privatize space R&D.

Simply put, the government is too burdened with other obligations to bother with space R&D. Privatize it! If space programs were privatized, we’d be opening up more industries which would mean more job creation. And with the latest economic bubble burst in 2008, new industries might be a good idea.

Some folks are skeptical of going into space. Their arguments range from “we have enough problems already and we should address those” to “there’s nothing out there.” You can find those same criticisms in the writings of ancient historians Herodotus and Livy, where they talk about “the people over there” as being completely barbaric. Herodotus refers to the Africans and Livy refers to the lands of what is now England. I wonder what the criticisms of Columbus’s journey were like? And consider those explorations now: they all amounted to something more than people at their time could possibly imagine.

My argument for space development relies on a few simple ideas. It would be something new and exciting to discover, it’d help our people/space problem, and we’d probably learn more about ourselves in the process.

First, it’s something new and exciting. Just like many folks like to take off backpacking for a few months or years, let’s head to space! Those of you who argue that it’s not safe, well, neither was most of Asia 30 years ago but guess when the Lonely Planet started publishing? Now places like Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, and many parts of Africa are being explored by people who, no doubt, their parents were against the idea since it was “unsafe”. And let’s face it, if there are two groups of people who will deter you from doing most things in life they are your parents and your friends. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. God knows I’ve relied on my friends and family to point out the stupidity of my ways. Safety is a concern, but stupid things should just not be done. Space exploration is not stupid.

Second, we’ve got lots of people here. Why not give us the option of moving? Similar to the argument of moving cities because it’s more “us”, more economical for business, or more abundant than other options, space presents a place where we can expand almost indefinitely. I understand the argument that we’ve got lots of room here for now, but despite the room, people still like to move to different places to fit in better or to experience new things.

Third, it’s about the experience and learning about ourselves. Travel is often seen to expand people’s horizons and not only teach them about themselves, but about the greater world. Much like most backpackers, including myself, who’ve learned a lot about themselves by making that jump across a pond or two, or those English teachers who’ve left their home lands to pursue wealth, opportunity, excitement and adventure abroad, travelling into space would present the same learning process.

Think of the opportunities! I completely understand how crazy they sound now, and they will remain so for quite some time. Teaching English on the next planet. Think of reading another civilization’s history books! The comparisons and contrasts you could make. Where would English and Chinese stand against the language of another planet? Does prostitution exist on other planets? What is their music like? Have they heard of rock or jazz music? What sort of entertainment venues do they have? Have we truly found the simple elements of the universe such as musical notes, numbers, and chemistry? And what about the other fantastically difficult to prove subjects such as God, wormholes, time travel, and perpetual motion machines discussed by writers such as Carl Sagan (though I can’t find the spot right now) and Michiu Kaku? (I especially love Dr. Kaku’s works.)

Such questions are suggested in TV shows and movies such as Star Wars, Stargate, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. The suggestions are implications of the life we could find in the universe at large. Fascinating.

But I’m not advocating writing stories about space any more. No. I want to explore it myself and others.

As a last note, I’d personally like to live to 130 years old (minimum) simply to see what my kids (or at the very least, my brothers’ and sister’s kids) will be able to do and where they will be able to go. If there’s one thing that urges me to become financially successful, it’s so I can build a space ship 😛 So support my work 🙂 In return, I’ll support those who want to go travelling abroad and into space for gaining experience and learning through some sort of grant.

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2 Responses to “Life on another planet? That’s a movie you’re working on, right?”

  1. Jessica McGowan Says:

    I would totally sign up for a trip to the moon…also, in your efforts to explore space, I think you should look into sky surfing…surfing some billowing clouds during a lavender sunset would be brilliant 🙂

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