Given an infinite amount of time there should be an infinite amount of possibilities. On that assumption if the human race were to pool all its intellectual resources for the greater good then we will eventually reach the stars. We don’t quite have an infinite amount of time but we have about five billion years until the sun dies and that should be sufficient to develop the technology to take us to other star systems and populate new worlds. This must be our ultimate goal if the human race is to continue on, somewhere in the universe.
Technological advances in the past century alone have been amazing. Some elderly folk will remember marvelling at the ‘Cat’s whisker’ radio receiving device which enabled ordinary people to listen to live broadcasts thousands of miles away. Nowadays those very same people can marvel at mobile phones and transmit pictures or messages round the globe in a mere second at the touch of a button. If we have come so far in such a short time we will be sure to progress further in the future.
We have become used to being able to send words and pictures via texts messages and emails – what if we could send living matter to other star systems? The thought may seem ridiculous now but if the technology was available to make it possible we would accept it. A hundred years ago would anyone have thought it possible that their grandchildren would be able to travel through the air at 500 miles per hour at a height of 35,000 feet?
The only real obstacles to our progress will be the outbreak of nuclear wars, using the world’s resources unwisely or something totally outside of our control such as collision with a meteorite or some other celestial body.
Science fiction can so easily become science fact so that the possibility of interstellar travel may not sound as absurd as the ordinary person might think. Of course there are problems we need to put right on this planet first before we begin to populate other worlds but each coming generation must do something to make space exploration more possible.
If we had continued the same zest for space exploration as we had in the 1960s and 1970s, man would perhaps have set foot on Mars by now. We may have five billion years left before our world is consumed in the fiery furnace of the star that gave birth to it but sooner or later we will have to take the idea of Interstellar travel more seriously and erase it from the realms of fiction. The human race must start its conquest of space somewhere but we have perhaps given up all too easily after we put man on the moon.
‘Thus you shall go to the stars’ is quoted from Virgil's Aeneid - and go to the stars we shall.