IMAGINING AN INTERPLANETARY HUMAN CIVILIZATION
At the dawn of the 22nd century, Humanity will be a true space faring species for three main reasons:
- Immediate concerns of: crises of environment, dwindling resources and physical space on Earth as human population rises to its peak of 9 billion by the end of the century. Necessitates extra-terrestrial expeditions for solutions.
- Military necessity for nations to maintaining a strategic presence in Earth’s orbit and, eventually, other celestial bodies
- And, the long term necessity of assuring the survival of humanity past any further existential crises on earth (plague, supernova of the sun), therefore allowing our species or some variation thereof to survive in the universe, theoretically, forever.
By 2164, self reproducing robotic probes will be delving deep into the outer reaches of the milky way galaxy in the name of mankind, pushing the boundaries of known space. A Space Elevator based in Mombasa, Africa will contribute greatly to human space presence providing cheap heavy lifting into earths atmosphere. Humanity will have a physical presence on (or above) every body in the solar system, with major colonies (2 million+ people ea.) on the Moon and Mars, as well as in earth orbit. The largest engineering project ever undertaken by man will be in its beginning stages, the Mars-Terre-Formation Project (MTFP). MTFP will be a logical step because the basis of the technology for MTFP will be in existence by 2164, already created to reverse Earths environmental crises.
While we discover and have presence in the cosmos, humanity will greatly heed Stephen Hawking’s advice: be wary of hostile extra-terrestrials. Though the risk of encountering hostile aliens may seem slight, but our ever expanding presence will ever increase the possibility of a first encounter. Humanity will not want to be caught without a defence if that first encounter is a hostile one. This scenario will necessitate the construction of a complete Earth defence network, in addition to a mobile military space fleet in the case of hostile encounters. This organization will also be the basis of Earth’s colonial administration and exploratory organization, after the early “Wild West” age of commercial space exploration has ended.
These projects and infrastructure will be the largest ever undertaken by man, and they will be completed by a united mankind, at least administratively. An outward looking humanity will mean a more peaceful, and equitable world (see, Brotherhood of Man)