The cover story in this month’s Popular Science is entitled “After Earth”. In it they speculate, as only PopSci can, about how more people will live off earth than on it in the near future. Maybe.
I confess that I still love the magazine and not for its future accuracy but rather for the American style of inspiration it provides to so many, especially young people. That alone is worth the cover price.
Now why am I telling you this?
Turns out that there is another point of view for how we colonize space and I have not seen it published before (but that does not mean it hasn’t).
What I expect is that as we leave the earth it will be “people” whose consciousness has been ported to a silicon based version of our selves. This silicon version will have a robot skeleton and be very capable. But this “body” won’t need –
- air to breathe
- CO2 to be recycled
- organic matter to be grown for its food
- different organic matter to be recycled into fertilizer
- water to drink
- to be kept at 98.6F
And this will make the living and the very long trips manageable. Ray Kurzweil has speculated (1), (2), (3) and there is growing belief that we are tracking to some parts of this unusual but happening in our lifetime prediction.
If this is right, then space travel will be made somewhat easier because we will be able to send intelligent sentient beings with our space probes. And if we send one “person” I suspect we will send several. Why? Because even with the “porting” of humanity from carbon to silicon substrates, I believe the beings will remain and want to remain social with others. It is defining for us all.
So for now, read the PopSci article but as you do think about what the humans that travel on that journey really might look like!