Analysis Of Lynda Williams Irrational Dreams Of Space Colonization

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Now that the colonies have power, the next issue, and arguably the most important one, needs to be tackled: creating food. The food provided by NASA can only last so long, and supply drops can takes months to arrive if Mars is on the optimal position, and well over a year if it is not. Because of this, colonists need a way to ensure that they have a sustainable and sufficient source of food, so they remain properly nourished and do not starve to death. This is the exact problem seen in the popular film, and the novel it was based on, The Martian. To surmount this obstacle, Mark Watney (the title character) uses his extensive knowledge of botany to grow potatoes in the Martian soil, using his own waste as fertilizer. While the book and movie…show more content…
There is no denying that simply reaching Mars, let alone colonizing it, is a very expensive and dangerous mission, with no guarantee of success. Lynda Williams, a Master of science and physics teacher at Santa Rosa Junior College, is one such skeptic. While she acknowledges the fact that man’s time on Earth is finite, Williams (2010), in her article “Irrational Dreams of Space Colonization,” says that “we have five billion years, plus or minus a few hundred million, to plan our extraterrestrial escape” (p. 4). Williams argues that the only real, immediate threats that the Earth is faced with are the destruction of its environment by climate change and warfare and depletion of natural resources. This brings up a question of morals and ethics: “should we put our resources into developing human colonies ... or should we focus all of our energies on solving and mitigating the problems that create these threats on Earth?” (Williams, 2010, p. 5). Ultimately, it is a question of ensuring the future of humanity on another world versus maintaining the planet that humanity currently…show more content…
Fortunately, if the effort pays off, humanity could have a new home after Earth is no longer habitable. While the criticisms do bring valid points as to the difficulties of space travel and colonization, they can be overcome with mankind’s technology, the resources already present on Mars, and old-fashioned human ingenuity. India has developed a method to drastically decrease the cost of space missions, and SpaceX has successfully re-launched a previously used rocket; with their contributions, a Mars mission no longer has to break the bank. Thanks to NASA, colonists will be able to sustain themselves for a considerable amount of time using oxygenators and water reclaimers, ensuring they have breathable air and clean water. Pockets of geothermal energy beneath the surface will provide the key to powering a large colony long enough for nuclear plants to be established. Finally, plants can not only be grown in Martian soil once the proper nutrients have been added, but those plants will thrive in an atmosphere with a high CO2 content, which can be controlled with pressurized greenhouses. Colonizing Mars will be no easy task, but because of the contributions of scientists across the world, it is a task that is no longer considered
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