I think I’m copying Elon Musk when I say I’d like to die on Mars, just not on impact. Welcome to Throw Forward Thursday, where we have a look at something that’s going to happen in the future and think about how it might impact us today. Today we’re jumping forward into the future, when people are starting to live on Mars, it is going to happen. Maybe we’ll build a moon base first that feels a little bit closer and easier to attain. And we’ll see people walking, working and living on the moon. And then sometime after that, will be heading off to the Red Planet and setting up a base on Mars. Right now, the technology that we have will allow us to get to Mars, but you can’t get back. And that’s why when Elon Musk was talking about his plans and his dreams for SpaceX and ultimately working up towards sending a mission to Mars, he talked about the fact that if you accept going on the mission, you’d have to accept that you spent the rest of your life there.
It’s a one-way trip, at least with the technology that we can currently envisage. Of course, you could build a rocket and bring it back. But the amount of resources to get to Mars and then build the return is a little bit beyond what we can do. And so initially it promises a one-way trip and the rest of your life on a different planet. And genuinely, I think I might be up for that.
There was a project a few years ago called Mars One, which with a lot of hype, got 100 people initially whittled down from thousands of applications down to 100 people who were committing their lives to developing the technology and raising the funding to do this. Sadly, it looks as if Mars One was a lot more hype than reality, and their initial launch date of 2022, definitely unattainable. But the project and the idea and division are still there. And when you hear these people talk and many of them are still talking about it, why do we want to do it is the question that was often asked.
And there are lots of reasons. The first is that as human beings, we are explorers. This is what we do. We explore the world, the universe that we live in and moving to become a multi planetary species, which is the language that they use is just the next step in exploration. The second is more scientific that the innovations and technology advances required to take us to a moon base. And then beyond that, to a Mars base. Well, those innovations and technologies will impact and influence and improve life here on Earth. That’s been true for the 60 or 70 years. We’ve been doing space travel and developing our ability to get into space. It was true of the moon landing and some of the great technologies that we got out of that, it will be true of a moon base and Mars as well. So on, innovation and technology advancements are valuable.
And then, of course, what we will learn as we think about living in a planet or living on spaces that are fairly inhabitable. Now, that, of course, can be applied immediately here on Earth. So, some of the people who are planning and thinking about going to Mars are setting up habitats here on Earth and the Antarctic, in deserts, in places that at the moment we can’t live in as human beings, and they’re trying to see what we would need to do in order to live in those and that’s going to have immediate benefit here on Earth.
I don’t know. Would you want to go to Mars? I am that way inclined if you like. Do I think we should go to Mars? Yes, I do think that we should, of course, there are a lot more immediate problems that need to be solved in the world, and maybe we should be spending money on other immediate priorities. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t spend any time or any effort or any resources at all pushing the boundaries of our space, our place, our knowledge, our technology. We need to keep moving forward and testing where the boundaries are and pushing beyond them when we can.
I’m a huge favour of spending more time exploring our universe, expanding our horizons as human beings and learning from that today. Throw Forward Thursday. I hope that in my lifetime we will see people on the moon and people on Mars. I think it will be really worth doing.
Thank you, as always, for joining us on a journey into the future. If you are using these videos as a way of getting your team to think about the future, maybe this week you can get your team to reflect not on life on Mars. That’s maybe not something that’s going to be useful to you at all, but maybe considering where are the boundaries of your industry? Where are the boundaries of your current thinking about the products and services that you offer in your work and what would happen if you just blew those boundaries up and push yourself not just to the moon but to Mars and the stars beyond them?
What would happen if you just thought there are no boundaries, and we can go anyway? Might even be that asking your team to say, what type of products and services would we offer a group of people living on Mars? It’s a ridiculous crazy question, but it might come up with some interesting, innovative ideas for the work that you could do today.
Join me next week in the Throw Forward studio as we continue our many series on transportation. Mars was a bit of a stretch to include in this many series, but next week we’re going to talk about space tourism and what that might entail and how far I think it might be into the future.
Don’t forget that you can ask me any questions, or you can contribute to this series. Next week’s talk about Space Tourism was contributed by Andre De Toy, who went to ask about the future com (askaboutthefuture.com) and shared some of his thoughts and some of his questions.
Ask about the future. Com is where you can speak to me about anything you’d like to as long as it’s got to do with the future. I’ll see you next week as we throw forward Thursday again.
Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.
For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.