Roadsters in Space: Space as a Time Capsule
When we look into space, we are literally looking at the past. When the Hubble Space Telescope looks at distant galaxies, they are looking at what the galaxy appeared 100 million years ago. Up until the last 50 years, humans have not ventured into outside of our own atmosphere. In the 1960s, we began to our foray into the great unknown. Our adventures have left 4 different vehicles on the Moon. On Mars, there are several vehicles/rovers. Now, with Elon Musk’s Roadster in orbit, we can begin to see space as a time capsule that is marking our experience as not just Earthlings but as inhabitants in this universe.
Most great civilizations have looked at the stars and felt an affinity to the skies. The stars have played a part in Hinduism, Egyptian Dynasties, Roman Empire, the Greeks and even Christianity. We have claimed for centuries that the stars influence our personalities and believe that planetary shifts dictate the energy that influences the good or bad. We track our birth based on calendars that were created by marking time by Lunar and Solar activity. Ultimately, most people believe in some form of deity who does not dwell on Earth but in some heavenly place in space.
When Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, the moment was captured in time and space. It was one small step for mankind, but the collective unconscious of mankind would never be the same again. Gone was the wonderment of what was the Moon made of and the child-like innocence of the Moon being right next to us. In less than 600 years we have gone from Ptolemaic geo-centrism to heliocentrism which was found to be heretical to the crashing reality that an astronaut could use his thumb to cover the entire planet while he stood on the Moon. Not only are we not the center of the galaxy, we are but a dot on an arm of the Milky Way galaxy that is not even the largest of the galaxies in the universe.
Human beings come in many forms, but we tend to have two operating modes: settlers and adventurers. Some of us are content with putting down roots, owning land and seeing history as tethered to places and things. These people are the pillars of communities and families that build cities and countries. Some people, however, are the adventurers. These individuals are those who can trace their lives by their experiences and see rootedness not as something that is stabilizing but as limiting. Society needs both types of people and, in many ways, each group can learn from the other. However, we need both – it is the adventurer who boldly goes forth and dreams of space, not just as a place to visit but one to explore and we need the settlers to create colonies in space from which to set forth.
Space is our past and our future. We do not look at stars as if they are historical monuments but as illuminated aspirations. We see rocket launches not only as amazing human achievements but another trial run before we all can venture into space! We are not apart from space but participants in something much larger than any of us can comprehend.
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