Saturday, January 03, 2009

Space: the Final Frontier … and Suburb

Many of us who grew up in the 1960s were/are fascinated by space travel. The ‘race to the moon’ dominated the news and our culture then. Americans have always been obsessed with exploration and it seemed only natural that the moon, and eventually Mars and other planets, would be the next frontier. After all, we ran out of continent at California and stopped colonizing after Alaska and Hawaii.

Colonizing the moon was supposed to be the next step. A working environment there would serve as a place for scientific research and a jumping off point for further space exploration and, of course, real estate development.

Those dreams seemed inevitable then, impossible now.

Fortunately there are still some dreamers among us, including Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society. Come to think of it, if there is a Mars Society, there must be plenty of dreamers. Zubrin just published a book called "HOW TO LIVE ON MARS: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet."

I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to. The author has a background in nuclear engineering, aeronautics and astronautics and seems to have a great sense of humor, too. Some of the chapter titles are How to Get There, How To Choose Your First Ground Rover (don’t buy the usual rover, buy a Honda), How To Get Rich (there is plenty of beachfront property available).

Here’s a quote from the press release:
With the housing market in a slump, isn’t it time to break away
from these earthly boundaries? Let’s face it: Mars is where the
future is. Its wide-open (and affordable!) spaces are waiting for
folks like you with guts and gumption to go out and make your
mark. It’s a new world, ready for a young civilization to be born,
and rife with history raring to be made.

That’s my kind of humor; and in a way, my kind of dreaming.

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