This very week, Elon Musk is busily assembling his starship to whisk people and things to Mars. Or rather, directing others to do so, but the point still stands. After decades of looking and wondering and mountains of math equations and physiological experiments, we stand as close as we ever have to a very important dash on the timeline of human history. One one side, the days before we’d explored another planet. On the other, human history after we’ve gone to Mars. Why go? people ask. Plenty of problems here on Earth are without answers and goodness knows, we could spend centuries cleaning up our own backyard before we’d freed up enough bandwidth to have nothing else remaining on this planet to fix before we go bouncing around the solar system. But then, that’s not really who we are as a species, is it? Restless, wandering, what the hell is around the corner, over the horizon, anyway? This short goes a long way toward, certainly not answering those searching questions, but reminding us of why they matter.

ADVERTISEMENT