Lockdown vs Space

Did you ever stop and consider that the current situation gripping the world is actually teaching us all something?

How about Space Travel?

I think we’re in the midst of a new era of learning, and that this change had to happen at some point. Although I must admit, a global pandemic is not a very favourable way to bring on a global shift.

The thing with Space Travel is, it’s almost certainly the future of the Human Species. Whether or not we solve global warming (#wewill) or figure out population growth and disease (#wewill), fix poverty (#wewill), and feed ourselves (#wewill), space beckons in a way few other exploratory adventures ever have.

Here are 5 ways the evil Covid is actually preparing us for Space Travel.

  1. Remote communication is mandatory – getting into space, travelling about in space, working in space and returning from space all require significant remote communication to occur between travellers and HQ. A huge number of people globally are currently being essentially forced to become very good at communicating remotely. And that may just be one of the best things happening right now.
  2. Rationing of resources is a matter of survival – if you’re in a space station (or intergalactic time-travelling wormholemobile), a shuttle, a Virgin Galactic ship, or a Space X roadster-rocket…it doesn’t matter. Resource rationing will save your life, and the lives of your fellow travellers. So critical is resource rationing that without it, the entire endeavour of Space is impossible. Fuel, food, water, oxygen, waste management, energy, computing power & storage, light…all rationed. Ever see Matt Damon in The Martian? #resourcerationing #potatorationing
  3. Distance learning may make or break a mission – see your kids on Discord, playing Minecraft in a virtual world, whilst miles apart? Don’t scorn…let them play. As we move into an astro-future, the ability of people to distance learn efficiently and at speed, will become another critical skill. Changing mission conditions or requirements, unexpected solar flares, huge distances to cover (leaving plenty of time for HQ to develop better ways to do stuff), new discoveries, new laws of physics – this will need to be learned by people potentially light-years apart.
  4. Keeping clean will save your life – who knows what we may find on other worlds, assuming we get there? And how will we know whether what we discover is safe for human consumption, research or utilisation? Will we discover we’re actually the prey, and not the predator…? Perhaps. But one thing’s for sure. Disease & contamination pose some of the greatest risks to any attempt to colonise space or further into the universe. Think of the math on the Nostromo in Alien: 7-person crew + 1 alien + 1 cat = goodbye 6 crew + see you later cat. Think about it…and wash your hands again!
  5. Boredom is an opportunity, not a curse – current thinking versus technology puts the trip between Earth and Mars at around 7 months! Imagine sitting in a tiny micro-apartment for 7 months!! Imagine sharing that room with other people!!! We’re going to have to get very very good at living within our heads aren’t we? Being able to find calm when things go wrong, alone. Being able to keep others going when they’re losing their minds. Being happy to discover you’re bored, cause you can switch to doing something else useful. Remember…7 months! A few weeks of social isolation doesn’t seem so bad any more, does it? Meditate on it.

Hardship and mass Isolation can be a great leveller of people, and also a great opportunity. A chance to learn and adapt to change in novel ways, and faster than you usually would.

Use the time wisely.