There are plenty of science fiction stories about traveling to other planets and creating colonies and starting a new life for humanity as we become a multi-planetary species. While I feel that we are currently on our way to doing that on our own, this idea for a multi-planetary future needs to become more mainstream and popular if we want to see it happen in our lifetime. China’s most recent attempt to break into Hollywood has been with their story called The Wandering Earth. As a company, (AstroReality) and I went and saw the movie. And as typical, I got into trouble for laughing out loud in the theater at some parts, but overall the film is quite good and gives its audience some food for thought and some awe-inspiring visuals and space simulations.
To briefly summarize The Wandering Earth movie humanity has recognized that our sun is dying and that we need to navigate to a new solar system to keep everyone alive as well as keep our home alive. Currently scientists expect our sun to turn into a red giant by 5 billion years, and in the movie the issue that occurs is that that prediction was wrong, so as a result, the only logical conclusion is to strap 10,000 hydrogen powered rocket engines to our beautiful planet and use it as a vessel to find a new solar system.
Out of all the science fiction movies I’ve seen this has to be one of the most ambitious plans of recent. Plus personally, after seeing the movie I think I would vote for more of a Star Wars Death Star approach, or luxury Space cruise ships like in WALL.E and Futuramas. Sure we’d all become fat and probably have to become cyborgs to live, but space golf and robot servants seem pretty sweet, plus if we do have the planet destroying mega weapon, how much fun would it be for your birthday every year to use it to take out a big asteroid or a alien race that disagreed with us, just doing what we, humans, do best, peace through superior firepower.
Out of all of the science fiction movies that handle this subject as a movie buff and science fiction geek/nerd myself and film freak, I have to say Interstellar indeed is the best movie example that I think is most accurate on what is going to happen. From the decaying of earth’s food supply to the sending of astronauts to find our next home and the issues e of resulting issues that will occur on that mission. Plus we procrastinate so much as a species so I can only imagine that it will ultimately become a “Humanities Final Hour” scenario in that event as well.
So to prevent all these scenarios from actually happening I’m going to quote starship troopers and say “I’m doing my part” as a writer and a creative person to help inform and inspire us as a species to have some hope and stay “woke” about the opportunities beyond our beautiful planet Earth.
So NASA and a couple of other articles suggested that Enceladus, “Is without a doubt the first stop.” The reasons being “abundant.” Last year, scientists discovered that this massive snow/ice-ball like the moon has an enormous subsurface ocean deep under its southern pole. That ocean connects to the moon’s surface with active, spurting geysers. Astronomers also revealed that the ocean’s waters are at least partially warm – and studded with hydrothermal vents, like Earth’s life-friendly Lost City Hydrothermal Field in the Atlantic. All those discoveries together point a hopeful finger toward life and the possibility of maintaining human life as well.
NASA’s Cassini was able to examine the geyser water that had been sprayed into space. Pretty crazy to think about how they were able to do that in the first place, but lone behold this is NASA, so what isn’t possible? To the geyser spray scientists’ delight, they found almost everything we (currently) think life needs. “We’ve identified organic molecules, and we’ve identified molecules that could provide energy and nutrients. It’s practically chicken soup!”
Some scientists have disputed that perhaps Enceladus’s oceans are relatively recent phenomena in our solar system, and haven’t been around long enough for life to generate. However new research continually suggests the oceans may actually be much older than we initially thought, “and, frankly, we don’t know if life takes 5 minutes or 5 million years to get started”. So depending on how many moons are in our solar system, and the discoveries that have yet to occur. Enceladus seems to be the highest on the list of nearby Earth-like planets.
Of course, I had to talk about the red planet, Matt Damon’s, recent survival vacation home thanks to the findings of Childish Gambino’s math during the rescue mission of the movie The Martian. But in all seriousness, finding living organisms on Mars is a pretty grim prospect. While NASA Mars exploration missions keep going on, our best bet is still an extraordinarily slim one. Although we already know that Mars’ surface is a desolate wasteland because of Mars surface features, there’s a working theory that microbial life could potentially live in puddles of hyper-salty mud buried under the red planet’s crust. Those microbes could, theoretically, eat the atmospheric carbon monoxide (a gas that’s deadly to humans) that seeps in.
Our current understanding is now is that early Mars, a few billion years ago, was the most Earth-like environment in our solar system. It had flowing water, a thick atmosphere, and a magnetic field, which shielded any potential life from space radiation. Sadly, over time, Mars lost its atmosphere and magnetic field – and with those went the surface water we think life needs. Which is one of the main reasons why it is not as high up on the list of potential places to become EARTH 2.0, it requires a lot of extra work to get it to be habitable again.
The newly discovered Kepler-452b has the smallest planet diameter to among these planets orbiting in the habitable zone of the solar system — the area around a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of an orbiting planet – of a G2-type star, like our sun. The confirmation of Kepler-452b brings the total number of confirmed planets to 1,030.
Kepler-452b is 60 percent larger in diameter than Earth and is considered a supersized Earth-like planet. While its mass and composition are not yet determined, previous research suggests that planets the size of Kepler-452b have a good chance of being pretty rocky, while still having a lot of Earth-like features, be more massive than Earth, its 385-day orbit is only 5 percent longer., primarily because of its larger diameter The planet is 5 percent farther from its parent star Kepler-452 than Earth is from the Sun. Kepler-452 is 6 billion years old, 1.5 billion years older than our sun, has the same temperature, and is 20 percent brighter and has a diameter 10 percent larger. So more to explore a little colder. But really, really far away.
Europa, Jupiter’s 4th largest moon, It’s got liquid water, and lots of it. But Europa’s apparent habitability starts to all apart after that point. For one, the moon’s water is locked tight in a deep ocean under a thick, icy shell, and, unlike Enceladus, there doesn’t seem like any obvious way to get to it – so it’s hard to say what’s down there.
Furthermore, the barrier of Europa’s deep waters will also hinder any immediate future mission to hunt for life. There are currently proposals with ideas like sending down an irradiated submarine that can melt through the ice-cover, but none of these can be realistically achieved with our modern technology. So it has a beautiful surface, and yes there is water, but livable probably not.
In conclusion, Titan is even further away, and the future is bright for humanity. But we have to be working towards that future rather than just disagreeing about ourselves about simple issues that we have here on earth. Everything we focus on needs to be with that of the mindset of an explorer and not in the idea that our planet system is going to be around forever because it isn’t. It is better to be pursuing these ideas now rather than later.