Watching a rocket launch into space never gets old for me. Last week I had the opportunity to view three nighttime launches, thanks to Space X’s aggressive launch schedule to send Starlink satellites in to space.
Living on the Space Coast of Florida parttime for the last several years has afforded me the opportunity to view dozens of launches. Since we landed on the moon in 1969, I have had a keen interest in space exploration.
That is why I have such a fascination with Elon Musk and his lofty goals to reach Mars soon. I often wish I was a young man who had the ambition to become an astronaut. Well that’s impossible but when Japanese billionaire Yusaka Maezawa announced he would pay for eight people to accompany him to orbit the moon in a Space X rocket, I was all excited to get my application in to his hands.
Essentially Maezawa calls his mission dearMoon and it is scheduled to fly on Space X’s new Starship rocket in 2023. Maezawa says he will pay for the entire journey, so those who he chooses will fly for free. Applicants were to write dearMoon and explain why they would like to visit the moon. I began writing in earnest some time ago, but unfortunately was not chosen.
It’s probably for the best. I don’t know how I could possibly pick up and leave my life for several months of training to go to the moon. I have responsibilities both personal and financial and they would certainly conflict with my passion for space travel.
But I can dream. The dearMoon mission will take three days to fly to the moon, loop behind it in orbit, and then spend three days returning. The flight page will go beyond the distance traveled by the Apollo missions. Musk proclaimed dearMoon will take humans further than any other space travel from planet Earth.
Meanwhile back on Earth, we are a world and nation deeply divided. War and inflation have caused great trials for many of the Earth’s people. Crime is running rampant in major cities. Social media fans the flames of dissent.
With this backdrop one must wonder if a Mars settlement is not a bad idea. Certainly having the private sector- Musk, Bezos, Branson etc, has been an enormous boost for space travel. As NASA continues to fumble- Artemis with great fanfare failed to get in the air twice a few weeks ago, the billionaire dreamers are making space travel and trips to the moon and Mars, reality.
It is terribly exciting if you sit in my seat. I’ve always viewed the world as a launch pad for traveling to other destinations. As dinosaurs, if they were alive and could talk would likely tell you, catastrophe might be right around the corner. If Musk, or the next dreamer, can settle Mars or another planet, it could save civilization.
Let’s do all we can to encourage space travel. Our grandchildren’s lives may depend on it.