11.27.2018 0

Is the U.S. ready to colonize the moon or Mars?

By Donald Wilfong

In a remote area of Hawaii, near the volcano of Mauna Loa, the University of Hawaii has set up a project know as HI-SEAS, which simulates missions to Mars. They have run a total of six missions, each consisting of a crew living in isolation and consuming freeze-dried food like typical astronauts do. Unfortunately, disaster struck the compound late this summer when a future Mars colonizer was seriously injured during an electrical failure. This project is just one example of the lost potential in the U.S. regarding space exploration.

After the University and NASA conducted their investigations, the project has been officially terminated. But the owner of the compound, Henk Rogers, has a better idea. Rogers has decided to turn the compound in Hawaii into a moon simulation on his own accords and allow people to spend time at his simulation so they can learn exactly how it feels to colonize the moon.

Whether you plan on taking your next vacation days off from work to spend it at the moon simulation or not, the idea poses an interesting question. Should we aim to colonize Mars or the Moon first? If the proper appropriations bill passes and grants more funding to NASA and Space Force, this question would certainly come up as a topic to all Americans.

Unlike some conspiracy theorists out there, I believe Americans landed on the moon and planted our flag. There’s a reason as to why we have not been able to do the same for our hopeful future planet of Mars. The trip to the moon takes three full days to complete, compare that to the journey of 333 days to reach Mars. And that’s just a one-way trip, these astronauts brave enough to agree to travel to Mars would be looking at a round trip of nearly two years.

Luckily for us, there is a way to cut down the time on our journey to Mars. The fastest know entity in our universe is the speed of light. A speed so fast that we have yet to even scratch the surface of traveling that fast. If we were to travel at the speed of light — or even close to it — from Earth to Mars, it would take a mere 3 minutes to complete.

With more funding for researchers and engineers, we can hopefully eventually bridge this gap from a 333-day trip to a 3-minute one. Until then, we can begin to colonize areas like the moon and take logical steps to get us ready for Mars colonization.

Unfortunately, the truth is that we are just not ready to colonize any area of space due to the lack of funding for the scientific research that would make it possible. This is where Space Force can come into play, which President Donald Trump has proposed as a new branch of the military to compete with Russia and China. But Space Force or no, NASA needs more funding.

America is supposed to be the world leader, yet in many areas both Russia and China arguably have more successful space agencies than the United States.

NASA employs some of the brightest minds in the country, minds that can solve tomorrow’s problems right now, we just have to give them a chance. The way for space exploration doesn’t necessarily start in a compound nestled up to a volcano in Hawaii. It starts with more funding being shifted towards NASA and allowing them to take on the challenges of getting our way to the moon, Mars and beyond.

Donald Wilfong is the development officer at Americans for Limited Government.

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