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A Woman on Mars.

2013 January 18

I am not sure what your plan is in 2013 and what’s your wish for the new year. 

Some 34,000 people wanted to build Death Star and wrote a petition to the White House asking for it, supposedly for the purpose of galactic domination. Unfortunately the estimated budget of USD 840 quadrillion required for the mission makes it a complex demand in these though economic times and I am pleased to read that the US Administration doesn’t support blowing up planets (PS I would love to see the rationale for that budgeted amount!)

Some other people want to build a human colony on Mars. To these people Nasa gives supplier contracts. I am obviously talking about Elon Musk, arguably one of the most inspiring entrepreneurs in the world, according to many, for sure according to me. Being a good entrepreneur he set up a budget, gathered a team, built a coalition and, of course, set up a company: SpaceX.

So I start 2013 with two certainties and one question. First, I am sure we are not going to build the Death Star. Second, I am sure Mars is one step closer now that Musk and team – the Musketeers- are working on it.

My question is: which humanity we will be sending on Mars. The dreamers are going there to push the boundaries on mankind further, to explore, to understand, perhaps to get one step closer to other civilizations. But after the explorer and the dreamers, all the other will follow. Are we going as greedy colonialist to exploit the planet? Will we militarize it bringing our rivalries or our hope to restart? Will we go on the red planet bringing equal right for all? Men and women, with no boundaries, no ethnicity , no discrimination to divide us?

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy went in front of congress asking for the resources to send a man on the moon and bring him back safe. An American male president, preparing to send an American male hero in space.  That decision was part of a technological and political race that almost brought us to World War III and was  male business. A man indeed landed on the moon and there wasn’t any world war.

 For 2013, and onward, I am pretty confident that the goal of building a colony on Mars is taken well care of by Elon Musk.  My endeavor will be to create a world where a woman President embarks on the inspiring mission of putting a woman on Mars. I invite you to follow this endeavor unfolding by following Wedu.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. Michael B permalink
    January 18, 2013

    Sadly, the calculation was woefully poor estimation. Here is the original source: http://www.centives.net/S/2012/how-much-would-it-cost-to-build-the-death-star/

    The long and the short of it is the took the cost an American aircraft carrier, divided by the weight to get the per pound cost, and assumed a solid death star made of steel. I would at least have used more reasonable materials and included their space-sourcing costs, and the construction costs as well. You could still use the aircraft carrier estimation method, but the construction costs and manpower needed could be scaled as if linear with weight ratios. Very disappointing.

    On your more serious note, I would wonder how we would secure a world with equal rights for all when not everyone here on Earth wants that to be the case? If the same people who wish to restrain the world’s people are willing to use violence, isn’t it incumbent upon those wishing to defend those rights to be ready to fight for them? Inter-State conflict is always in some way focused on resources I am sad to conclude, but it is often painted in a light of defending liberty. Sometimes that defense is valid and sometimes it isn’t. How do we tell the difference, and how do we defend, without violence, those equal rights we seek to ensure?

    • Mario permalink*
      January 19, 2013

      Thank you Michael for your comments, insightful as usual and I totally love the details on the budget for the Death Star!

      I do not negate the existence of conflict, both at small individual scale and and national or global level. Conflict are a very important tool for growth, a manifestation of difference which is necessary to present options among which as a society we can choose which one we prefer, for whichever reason. It is the way we deal with conflicts that characterizes our level of civilization.

      I believe that people rarely invent something new. Most times we just do what we know how to do. I also suspect that besides few circumstances where we have epiphanies, we only know what we have been thought in school, by our family, friends or the media. This is the reason why I believe that education is the single most important aspect of society to focus on. It shapes our culture, our social DNA, it frames everything we will do for the rest of our lives, including the way we will take decisions and deal with conflicts.

      Education is a continuous process and there are many ways to educate individuals and masses. One of these ways is to provide role models and examples. A pre-existing case which becomes a data-point in your set of alternatives options. I believe examples are powerful. How many times did you hear saying “If we have put a man on the moon, then we can….”, or “if we reached a global agreement for the ozone layer, we can find one for global worming” and so on. The common law systems is based on the importance of a previous case.

      Putting a woman on the moon, is a way to offer an inspiring data-point, a quotable life story to motivate entire generations.

      It may take a lifetime, maybe two or three lifetimes, but when I dream about a world with equal rights I am really looking at history. I try to step back from human impatience to see things happening fast and have quick satisfaction, but I keeping the human sense of urgency to keep moving, always keep moving forward toward the goal. By educating new generations toward the achievement of higher social goals, we will be making the history we can dream of.

      But this is just my humble thought.

      • Michael B permalink
        January 19, 2013

        I think this is about the best we can expect to do, I agree! :)

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