I was asked recently whether I believed humanity would become a multi-planetary species. It was a good question, but one I have no doubt to the answer. Simply put, I believe humanity will become a multi-planetary species. It is in our DNA to be so. How do I reach this conclusion? History and technology.
Over the last one hundred years there has been an explosion of technology, from the Wright brothers setting us on the path to the skies, to Frank Whittle and his gas turbine engine and then on to Tim Berners-Lee and the global communications revolution that is the internet. Each of these achievements shrunk the world a little by degrees, to a point now where the world seems the size of a small town and everyone is able to speak to almost anyone else at the click of a button.
On top of this you have the human propensity for endeavour, of striving to go to the limit of what is known and beyond. In many cases this is driven by financial gain, or simply the challenge of doing and achieving, but whatever the motivation there are countless of us who continually line up to be the pioneers of tomorrow.
Humanity also has an endurance and ability to adapt to the harshest environments. We are problem solvers on a grand scale and dreamers with the desire to always go beyond what we know. To learn and understand.
I have no doubt that we will get to Mars and possibly the asteroid belt, but to stay there I believe there will need to be more to it. Extrapolating the extremes of Earth to venturing into space, getting there will be an achievement, but staying there will need desire. Generally, that desire comes from financial gain or a base need within ourselves for betterment. This betterment can be knowledge driven, or an individuals desire for more than we have for our families and loved ones, a call to our need for wealth generation.
To find examples of any and all these human qualities you only have to Google it while watching the display of your hand held device, which in turn uses solid state microchip technology invented for the space program to navigate man to his first steps on the lunar surface. You can do all this while sitting at the top of the highest peak on Earth and chatting to your husband or wife on the other side of the world.