From the Cold War space race and humanity’s first steps on the moon to science fiction and the Star Trek frenzy, space travel has transcended contemporary history books and pop culture. But today, it seems more relevant than ever. As we stand on the precipice of irreversible climate change, continuous war, and energy crisis, space travel and the possibility of inhabiting new planets seem to many as a necessary step forward for humanity. For others, space travel holds the risks of serving as luxury tourism for the elites as well as a competitive playground for the world’s commercial giants. What are the prospects and implications of space travel and how will it affect us all? The SNF Dialogues discuss with Dr. Tanya Harrison, planetary scientist, Mars expert, and Co-founder/Director of the Earth and Planetary Institute of Canada, seeking answers to the above questions.
People tend to assume that the struggles that we're going to run into with sending humans to Mars are technological. Can we feed them? Can we keep them warm? Can we keep them healthy? But I don't think we fully understand what the mental impact will be.
Produced by Celia Tsigka
Sound recording and design: Aris Athanasopoulos
*The opinions expressed by Dialogues participants, whether representing officially institutions and organizations or themselves, on events, articles, or other audiovisual media are solely their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) or iMEdD. Opinions are made freely, without prior guidance or intervention from the team.