Teshi argues why space trips are not the priority right now when the rest of the world is facing the adverse socioeconomic effects of the virus.
Two billionaires recently went to space. Jeff Bezos flew on the New Shepard rocket ship, and Richard Branson flew on SpaceShipTwo, a ship his own company developed. They have been prepping for their trips ever since it seemed possible, and at this point, it would not be outside the realm of Elon Musk to tweet that he’s also aboard his SpaceX Dragon.
Remember when space flights were a competition between nations and the will to represent themselves as militaristic and technologically powerful? Now, that same disparity is between the super rich and the rest of us.
"Going to space doesn't seem like a priority at the moment."
Going to space, exploring a world beyond ours, understanding the differences are all pivotal to human development. In simplicity, it gives us something to do, but at what cost? Ruin one planet and when it is inhabitable, a portion of us will escape to Mars while the others get wiped out on Earth.
When Neil Armstrong went to space or when Rakesh Sharma made every Indian proud by being the only Indian citizen to travel in space, they were pioneers representing humanity's goals. They were not going to space to flex their dollars; instead, they were allowing every little kid to dream of the stars and the galaxies that lie beyond earth.
Like mentioned earlier, billionares are now venturing to space. But, they are spending immense amounts of money to go to space while the rest of the world is still struggling with the virus and other socioeconomic consequences.
Disparities between the rich and poor are increasing day-by-day. I know you must have heard it a thousand times, but it does not make it less true. The poor are getting poorer and the rich richer. Naysayers may believe it is utopian to think that if the rich start contributing, our world would be so much better. But, reality says that the rich are not taxed enough, and are not forced to contribute to charity. Going to space doesn't seem like a priority at the moment.
We have been fighting a dangerous virus for almost two years now. Solving this problem is the priority.
It is imperative to understand that we are facing crisis after crisis. Although space trips can inspire future generations and help travelers achieve their dreams, they are not the priority. Even if we disregard the virus for a moment, our own planet Earth is in desperate need of repair. Our obsession with something new and something different blinds us from the bigger picture. Why don’t we focus on fixing the planet we have ruined with pollution and waste, instead of saying climate change is not real? One can become an explorer, innovator, engineer, or philanthropist in that sense. Taking everything for granted is the biggest toxic characteristic a person can hold. Right now, our planet and our people matter, and to me, space doesn't seem pressing.