Wednesday, October 1, 2008
“Mars Lander Finds Water!” The news made me so excited, that one of the mugs I was making collapsed as I listened to reports of the Phoenix Mission’s successful collection and analysis of moist Martian soil. This discovery is really important, because it makes a future manned mission to Mars so much more feasible - wherever we go, we will need water.
In my youth, I was an avid reader of science fiction and often day dreamed about space travel. I really count my blessings when I see many of the stories in those books actually played out in real life today.
The Russians are already taking tourist astronauts to the space station and it seems that tickets costing millions of dollars are no obstacles for some multi-millionaires. Alas, I will have to be content to ration out the few remaining skyrockets that I have stashed away and leave a Martian trip to my imagination.
One advantage of space travel that appeals to me comes from Einstein’s ‘Theory of Relativity’. He claims that a space traveller will return home younger than his earth bound compatriots.
I have now reached the age when so many bits are falling off, or are in need of urgent repair, that any relative age slowing advantages would come really handy. Genetic engineering is another possibility; but knowing my luck, they will discover how to prevent aging when I am a bed bound 90 year old and offer me another 100 years!
These thoughts about aging resurfaced recently while I was playing music to an audience of largely of grey and white haired faces. It made me think “How on earth are we going to cope with all the Baby Boomers when we enter the ‘gah gah’ stage?” That time is not far away and it will be a real headache for any future government.
The cash strapped Russians are promoting adventure tourism and the Japanese are planning retirement space hotels for the elderly. Perhaps we should spend our super in this area rather than terrestrial rest homes. Instead of looking out onto immaculately kept gardens, we could be gazing down at the Earth, hoping the next generation does not spoil the view.
When the time comes to pass on, like deceased Viking warriors, we could then be shipped of into Outer Space, preserved in capsules of liquid nitrogen. Somewhere out in the Universe, a more advanced life form might resurrect us and reconstruct a youthful body from our DNA.
Who knows, they might be expecting us.