The future could (and should) be now

Sarah RomerI know, like me, you are all disappointed by the White House’s refusal to build a Death Star. Apparently the administration “does not support blowing up planets.”

For some of you, this a sad fact that you have come to deal with. For others, who do not haunt the internet to find things like this and might not believe it, it is very true.

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Unfortunately, the petition to build the Death Star on petitions.whitehouse.gov grew to overshadow a much more realistic and useful petition: the petition to build the Enterprise.
While building the Death Star was probably started as a joke, building the Enterprise is a very serious endeavor.

If you ever find a spare moment I suggest you look at www.buildtheenterprise.org. This is a website where almost every angle of building the iconic ship is examined. Cost, size, practicality, functionality and more are all looked at and calculated to give a very exact approach on how to make this inspiration tangible.

Will this Enterprise be able to make Warp 9 and battle Romulan birds of prey? No. Will it be able to support a gravity wheel that would be necessary for space travel? Yes. Would it be able to make it to Mars in less than a sixth of the time of conventional rockets? Yes.

Something people don’t pay much attention to in regards to space travel is the idea of how inhospitable space is to humans. To put it frankly, it hates us. There is nothing in space that would enable human life because there is practically nothing in space. Those movies you have seen where an astronaut removes his or her helmet and freezes are absurd. There is no fire or sound in space because space hates everything equally, fire, music, life as we know it, etc. Because of this, any form of space travel is very difficult.

Starting in spring of 2015 a year long mission (funding permitting) to study man’s health in space for long durations will be examined. The current record is 438 days held by Valery Polyakov, a Russian Cosmonaut, but that does not mean that it’s a great place to live. No gravity is actually pretty bad for a person. Without gravity, muscles atrophy and coming back to Earth becomes increasingly difficult.

This makes the gravity wheel on the proposed Enterprise a revolutionary step in space exploration. It would also be a prototype for other gravity wheels that would need to go into a Moon or Mars base in the future.

I understand that other people do not feel the passion I do for space travel. I cannot see the appeal of Crocs or designer clothes or Apple computers. Some people cannot see that advancing in space travel would advance us in green energy, sustainability, world peace while granting an economic boom and frankly, just being awesome. Space travel would help us understand the world around us and our place in it.

I recently met someone that when they heard I want to work in the space industry told me that when she learned more about the universe and how small Earth is, she almost freaked out. Earth is tiny. We are minuscule. But I passionately support space travel because I believe it makes us part of something bigger.

Did you know the universe is always moving and changing? That galaxies basically “eat” each other? That the light in night sky is millions of years old?

The Death Star is awesome, in the literal sense of the word. It is no wonder why the Internet jumped all over that. If I heard about it sooner, I would have too. But the lack of support for the “Build the Enterprise” petition shows me something else. It shows me that people do not see the value in space travel, in expanding our knowledge. They do not flock to serious attempts to advance humanity, to launch it into a new era, but a fun idea that can be exploited by one man who shuts off his guidance system is what garners attention.

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Serious space exploration ripples through daily life in ways you likely have never thought of. Modern airplanes, health regimes, sustainable buildings, and green energy have all been helped out by space travel.

It is my opinion, and my sincere request, that space should not be so casually forgotten as we step into the future. In fact, it is the fastest and greatest way to make that step.