I am pleased to unveil my multimodal project: The Final Frontier Podcast. In addition to the podcast itself, I have included a small video of myself explaining it further called “Methods of Madness” (Listed Below).
Here is the actual episode:
Some of the dialogue syncing has skewed due to the addition of transitions. Here is a transcription of dialogue for the entire podcast:
Hello Everyone, welcome to the first ever iteration of this new podcast called the Final Frontier. In it we take a bunch of 20 somethings, college students and we ask them about different things surrounding the whole idea of interstellar exploration. Right now I just want to introduce my panel. It is five best friends I would venture to say. On our far left if you can begin for us.
My name is Jerome Wachter, Senior at Moravian College.
My name is Kush Solanki, Senior at Moravian College.
My name is Vishu Solanki, I am a junior at Moravian College.
My name is Mathew Alexander, I am a senior at Moravian College.
and I am Chris Hassay, and I am a junior at Moravian College. I will be the host for this show, but what it will really be is an open dialogue, between all of us surrounding just some different topics. There will be some humor, some serious topics. Hopefully you guys get some enjoyment out of it.
So the first topic I want to just open with is a pretty broad one, that I feel like all of us can speak a little bit about: What does space travel, and the idea of going to outer space mean to us personally? So to be more specific, for me when I think of space travel I think of it as being the ultimate example of human exploration. It is kind our job and our duty to as the smartest thing on Planet Earth to explore the stars. What do you guys think?
J: When I think of space travel I think of that one thing that we know very little about, and because there is so much left to explore, it is just the very beginning of trying to find what is out there, how far man can go.
C: That is pretty similar to what I was thinking. It is more so about like the one thing we haven’t explored. We have explored a lot of our own planet, besides the sea, but space is always that things that has eluded us as a species.
M: I think at this point it is almost essential because for almost the entirety of human existence we have had something to explore, and now we have come to the point where we have explored the vast majority of Earth and the only thing left really is space, so I think we should push more towards space exploration.
K:Bouncing off what everyone has been saying, Space is endless possibility. You don’t know what’s out there; it could be anything.
J: and there have been a lot of positive results from just things we found from stuff like the Mars Rover that have given us groundbreaking technologies.
C: How has the idea of what space travel is changed from when you were a kid to what it is now?
K: GIrls go to Jupiter to get more stupider.
J: When I was a kid, it was a magical kind of thing. I was very, you know, thinking like the cartoon movies where you are in some super spaceship flying around. You can go anywhere in a matter of milliseconds.
C: I always wanted to be an astronaut I don’t know about you guys. Like I definitely wanted to be an astronaut when I was a little kid. It is what I wanted to dress up for Halloween; stuff like that. ( 3:02)
M:I was Buzz Lightyear for Halloween.
C:Were you really??
M: Four Years. From like 3 to 7 years old.
C:That is because Buzz Lightyear was a boss dude.
V: I always thought personally as a kid that space was really cool. Now, I still think it is cool, but I really think it tests all of human life. It is lonely up there, it is quiet up there, there is a lot of adversity, a lot of things you don’t know, and that just goes into human character in trying to find what’s out there. It just shows what human are capable of.
C: Yeah, but do you think other people think this also? Do you think most people our age are interested in Space travel, or do you think for the most part people don’t care?
M: I think there was a falloff in interest in space, I assume between the late 80’s to the early 2000’s. So I think we are starting to see more of a resurgence, especially now with more and more space movies coming out. We are seeing people expressing interest and asking why we haven’t gotten to Mars yet. I think also with the death of Neil Armstrong, and people realizing that he is gone and his whole life since the moon and we haven’t landed on Mars yet.
C: Do you guys think he is a hero? Would you classify him as an american hero? Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong?
V: Yes easily.
J: No way, I mean I I wouldn’t put them in the same class as like war heroes. They are definitely heroes in the sense of an eploreer. Like your Lewis and Clark.
C:and do you think if you said Neil Armstrong to a class of 3rd graders right now do you think they would know who he is?
V: They don’t know who a lot of true heroes are, but that is a whole nother topic.
M: I don’t know about in the U.S. but I remember they did something in Britain where they asked children who they thought the first man on the moon was. I think like 60 percent of them said Buzz Lightyear.
C:BUZZ LIGHTYEAR IS A BOSS!!
M: I am going to assume that a lot of kids don’t know. I assume they know we have been to the moon.
J: They probably have also not seen Toy Story if they really think it is Buzz Lightyear haha.
C: Well he does look incredibly realistic. Especially in that first movie. That horrible animation. It was a great movie, Buzz Lightyear is awesome. I had a Buzz Lightyear action figure. This is kind of beside the point, but I had an action figure, he was cooler than Woody. No one liked Woody as much as Buzz.
M: Space versus Western everyone is going to go for space.
K: What is the movie called? Aliens verse Cowboys
C: Wait what?
M: With Harrison Ford.
Van: Daniel Craig
C: Our cameraman, Van, had an excellent point. Daniel Craig, James Bond, is also in that movie if that is any indication of how important space is.
M: Our American Hero, James Bond.
C: Greatest American Hero of all, British Spy James Bond haha.
K: Didn’t Pierce Brosnan?
C: Brosnan was before Daniel Craig is the newest one… There was a James Bond Movie in Space.
M: Which one was it?
C: Isn’t it to die another day? I don’t remember which one it was let me look it up.
J: Oh to Die Another Day!
C: The one with the moon.
M:Have any of you seen 2001 A Space Odyssey?
M: I would say it is by Stanley Kubrick. People say it is one of the best movies ever made, I think that it’s shot really well but I think it is boring just the amount of stuff that people were able to display people in space, and I think that kind of opened up the SCIFI genre. If it did that I would say it is very good because science fiction leads to science fact, and helps push people towards being interested in space. (6:55)
C: How important do you guys think SCIFI as a genre is to kind of Galvanize the public into thinking that we should actually travel in space. Because 2001 A Space Odyssey is pretty abstract and odd if you think about the way (I mean it is a crazy good movie), but if you think about the way it is actually shot…It is not really realistic but it makes.
M:It came out 1961 I think.
C: That was back when he (Kubrick) was on another level. He made A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, all those movies.
J: I feel like SCIFI it goes to creativity and your imagination. When you look at these things you have smart intelligent people that say: why can’t we make this a reality. This is cool. Star Treks doors that open on their own or their watch cellphones, things like that.
M:One of Karl Sagan’s more famous quotes. I am going to butcher it but, when he said something like, “the more science fiction in the media, the more you will see people gravitate towards it.” The more you will see people have more of an interest. It opens the way.
K: One of the questions that I have had, I know this is a little off track or whatever, but after watching Star Wars I wondered: when will light sabers become a reality?
C:Haha it will be crazy when those are real!
M: If any of you guys had the chance would you go? If you had the chance to go to Mars would you? Say you could go, but it was a one way trip (at least for most of your life). You probably wouldn’t get back until you were like 60.
C: That is an actual thing by the way. Elon Musk is setting up a program where he is going to send people on a one way trip to Mars. Be the first people to colonize the planet.
K: I wouldn’t
J: I wouldn’t either.
C: Why not?
K: because you don’t know what is going to happen, and until something figures it out no. It is exciting to an extent, but you are setting yourself up there, you don’t know what is going to happen.
M: Think of it this way: In 3000 years when Mars is as developed as Earth, and human are on tons of different planets, they are probably going to have a statue of you and a bunch of other people where you were colonizing. You will be right alongside Armstrong.
K: When I think of colonization of a different planet, it reminds me of Elysium. When the people that are capable or the people that are healthy end up on that new planet where they have vast resources, and the people that aren’t as fortunate are left to die.
C: Just to provide some context: what is Elysium?
M: It was a Mark Wahlberg or Matt Damon?
All: Matt Damon, The same guy who made Distric 9
V: They actually offered Eminem the role.
C: The gross on that movie was 93 million dollars. So we can really understand how big space is and how science fiction creates science fact. You said earlier. 93 million dollars was just the domestic total if you look at the foreign total it was 286 million dollars from that one movie alone, and that is pretty far out from what the actual current technology is, but I think it is interesting to see like the people who grow up to be scientists, who view these scific movies, they were kind of influenced by them I think. A great example was in Back to the Future they had a hoverboard. Think about all the kids who saw that hoverboard and are trying to create it as engineers.
K: There is actually like a prototype. Something on the market right now that mimics a hoverboard. It is like 1000 dollars or something.
C: Alright so the next topic we are going to discuss is the colonization of Mars. So all of us clearly are pretty interested in Space and we all think that it is cool as like an idea of exploring, but let’s just talk about the actual thing. What it really means to go upstairs, and visit the other planets. So, right now there is different programs that they have been setting up. They are all kind of in the media about colonizing Mars specifically. Does anybody have any ideas what I am talking about?
J: Yeah, I find it hard to kind of rap my head around such a colonization process to be sustainable. These planets are barren and uninhabitable although we have to make it habitable. We have to bring so much with us just to make it work. The amount of money this is going to take, I feel like only if there is colonization it would be a few rich elites that can even afford it.
M: I think it can’t just be one country or even a few countries. It has to be a union of dozens. A bunch of countries that would be behind everything from the food shipping, to the actual space exploration, to the amount of money that is necessary to put it all together. It would have to be a joint effort.
K: You know what I would like to see: Everyone is talking about colonizing Mars, but what about artificial habitats?
M: Do you mean like? For example, if you would like build a space station.
K: Yeah and just like expand upon it.
C: Like the ISS?
K: Yea kind of like that, but more habitual in the sense of it is for common people.
M: I think that might actually be easier.
K: I think that is easier than going to Mars.
M: They would probably have to start building it on Earth, launch it into space, and then continue building it in orbit. From there you can colonize other planets.
K: It comes back to the ideas of the creativity within SCIFI. In Elysium you see an artificial habitat.
J: The problem I see with that is it is still just an expense. What are these people doing for work up there that is going to bring revenue, that is going to make this viable? Noone is going to just throw money at this.
K: Exactly if you had an artificial habitat and people treat it as an investment to a second home or something like that. Not now, but down the line.
C: What if it becomes like a necessity? What happens if the population keeps growing, and we can’t grow enough crops on Earth, and we have to outsource it. (13:23)
M: I think eventually it is going to be a necessity so it makes sense to just start.
K: I think space colonization will become a necessity when we start running out of resources, and not everyone will have access to them.
C: Well look at the situation that happened in California with drought. California knew that there was a problem with the amount of rain and freshwater they were getting for years, and they could have been setting up desalinization plants along the cost, but they weren’t because they didn’t want to spend the money. Now they wasted so much time, screwed themselves over, and are all fucked up. That could be on a global scale if we don’t start considering space as another avenue.
J: But you are talking about a handful of plants. Just a spacesuit itself is 12 million dollars, I can’t imagine how much it will cost.
K: It is a multi-billion dollar industry.
M: It is going to be in the low trillions. With the amount of money invested you are going to see countries saying: ‘we want this piece’. Pretty soon people are going to start ignoring that. It is eventually going to be a race to colonize?
C: Would you guys go up? If you could claim land like you would be able to back in the old west when America was first discovered. Would you go to space?Where would you go? What would you do? Why would you try to take it? Would you be willing to take it?
J: I would take whatever big flat land. Not necessarily a whole planet. Just a large piece of land. I don’t want a big ravine or canyon. Flat land you could build easily on.
M: When I think of Mars colonized I just think of Australia but bigger haha.
C:The astronomical society of Utah has been using these crazy desert greenhouses to replicate the conditions on Mars and grow plants there. I feel like it would be hilarious if someone would have this gigantic farmland on Mars. I would like an asteroid field.
K:Jumping off what all of you guys are saying. I wouldn’t want to go to Mars. I would be more comfortable with an artificial habitat. Because you don’t know what is going to happen there. With a habitat at least you know what you are getting yourself into. (15:55)
M: One of the problems with colonization of Mars is that Mars has less gravity. The average human height is like 5’7. The average on Mars would be much skinnier and taller. Once they come back to Earth they would feel heavier.
J: Astronauts have to be medically treated before they can go back to normal. Atrophy…it sucks.
V: I think with exploration you just said like you know it isn’t going to be safe. I don’t think it is a matter of what is safe and what is not.With exploration comes risk you have to be willing to take it and you shouldn’t be worried about what is safe and what is not.
K: Would you do it? (16:58)
V: I mean, if it is for the greater good year yeah. As far as like what I see exploration, there is really educated individuals like Elon Musk. We need more minds like him with that kind of genius he has a plan, and he is going to carry out that plan. Following a leader like that there is always a success rate. With that comes risk, but I mean for the greater good? Why not, I would do it.
J: I wouldn’t spend my life there, and then come back when I am 60. Maybe go there to visit. Like a vacation almost I wouldn’t stay there.
K: It raises a lot of fear because you don’t know what is going to happen. I would rather not be the trial. After that is done I would want to be part of it.
M: You wouldn’t be seen as a trial, you would be seen as a trailblazer, an innovator.
C: Every astronaut that goes into space is willing to die. Are you willing to die to discover. I think I am
C: What would it take for you to get into space? What happens if the world is completely overpopulated, and they come to you and say: we need an able bodied, Swiss man, with the first name Jerome to go into space. Will you be humanity’s last hope? Spoiler alert: our rockets aren’t very good you will probably die. Would you try it, or would you doom the human race.
J: I don’t know the situation you are bringing up is highly improbable.
C: Why? Swiss make the best astronauts. Cheese and astronauts.
J: I am completely unqualified haha. I am not willing to go out an hope for the best and try to make a new life. I don’t have the passion for that or the will, even if it meant a possible better future. We have been talking for so long about different doomsdays scenarios on Earth: overpopulation, food scares, blah blah blah. I don’t think it is ever going to get as bad the worst case scenario suggests. (19:14)
C: Why do we all want to come back so bad? Why do you want to come back?
K: Because I have a life here!
M: You can have a life there!
K: You don’t know that! You are saying that life can begin from nothing. You don’t know what is there . You don’t know what is going to happen.
M: I am going to be in the hands of the most capable scientists on Earth. That is far better than the situation I am in right now.
C: I understand where you are coming from but you are bringing people with you you aren’t alone. There are hundreds of you. The brightest minds the human race can produce at that time go out in space and make a claim.
J: Visiting yes, but visiting is different.
C: We are not all as optimistic about space then. Some of us think space exploration is cool only if it is beneficial.
K: You are twisting it. I think space exploration is the best, but if you are asking me personally to go into space, and not come back.
C: If not you then who?
J: There are plenty of pawns. Plenty of people willing to go.
M: Your names would be etched into human history.
V: My question is this: You guys are for it, but you guys aren’t willing to do it.
K: Yeah, I am not willing to be a trial for it. that is what I am saying.
J: You think the king and queen of England cared about going to the new world and colonizing it? No they sent pawns to do it.
C: What I am saying is this: there is four of us who would get on a ship. Honestly if people asked me right now if you wanted to go into space; I would seriously be considering it. I think it is awesome, and I am really interested in the idea of exploration whereas you guys are more: “space exploration is a necessity, but maybe not for me.” (21:10)
M: The only thing that would scare me is the possibility of my suit breaking and the air leaking out. If I knew that they were pumping out oxygen into the planet. By the time I got there there it was already pretty much breathable. Then I would definitely be 100 percent for it.
J: That is the other thing to. Turing Mars into a place that has conditions that can hold life are a little optimistic. There have been other theories that are really sound but when you are going into an area that is unknown there are variables that screw everything up.
M: Right now the problem is Mars doesn’t have an atmosphere.
V: Elon Musk wants to nuke Mars to speed up the process of colonization. He believes that will warm it up rather than waiting generations. He actually wants to get this done. Matt was saying behind the scenes about it.
M: One of the possibilities was we would send these huge gas powered machines to Mars, and all they would do is just pump CO2 into the point where Mar’s atmosphere becomes thicker to the point where it is pretty much equal to earth. The same way as what is happening with Global Warming. Mars has an atmosphere it is just very very thin. They would just keep pumping out greenhouse gasses. They think maybe 2 or 3 generations.
C: Do you think it is better for Elon Musk to put 3 trillion dollars to that or 3 trillion towards improving the situation here on Earth. What should he do? (23:33)
V: I would say Mars because, in my opinion you can only fix so much on Earth, you got to explore.
K: With the current situation happening in the world right now, I wouldn’t invest in Mars, because think of it this way: Mars and space travel is of our concern, but is it of our immediate concern if we have 3 trillion dollars right now? I wouldn’t say so.
M: Think about it this way. Tomorrow, for all we know, an asteroid can come and hit Earth and wipe out humanity, and the only thing left would be not even 100 years of radio waves floating out into space. If any alien picks that up they are not going to know what it is, it is going to sound like mumbled garbage. If humanity wants an actual future they should do this.
K: With everything happening in the world right now, I would invest in Earth.
M: The Earth could be perfect, but it could still be wiped out at any time.
J: There are things we can’t confirm until we actually get there. For example, with all the science that went into the first moon landing they had the serious concern that when the spacecraft lands on the moon, that there would be 10,000 feet of dust. Based on calculations of how dust would be created so many years ago. It turned out to be only inches thick, but that was a serious concern they had to deal with. There is other variables that is going to be on Mars where you just don’t know until you land. It is like trial by error.
M: Now we have robots, and things that test. The margin for error is a lot lower.
C: The Mars Rover has been there. Even if there is a huge margin for error, the opportunity cost of going to space is so huge.
M: Think about the first people in Africa in the cradle of human birth. They said we can stay here and be comfortable, or we can go out and see what is beyond.
V: Yeah you have to get out of the comfort zone.
K: Think about it is in a business perspective though if you have 3 trillion dollars and problems you need to solve, versus something that you don’t have enough information about, you are taking a tremendous amount of risk to invest in that area.
M: I think we have a large amount of information, and even if it fails then we know we can’t do it right now.
K: Then why haven’t we invested already? Multiple countries haven’t invested.
M:Yeah, but we are looking to do it, we are looking to plan a manned mission to Mars within the next 20 years.
C: So let’s say this then: we referenced earlier this whole idea of space interest kind of dipping in the 80’s and I think the reason why is the end of the Cold War. The real reason we were so interested in getting to the moon, was to show the Russians during the Cold War, that we had the technological capability of having these super long ranged missiles. Once the Cold War ended, people stopped being so interested in NASA, and the budget for NASA didn’t really increase with inflation as much to the point where it was kind of on its way out. Now that there is kind of a resurgence in Space interest and exploration it is worth having these conversations again. Can you imagine how different it would be right now if you found out, because I know there are a lot of Asian Countries especially China who are dead set on going to the moon. Could you see a situation where there would be a similar kind of race to colonize space?
M: I actually heard a joke, that when China goes to the moon they would accidentally knock over the U.S. flag, and that would kickstart the space race all over again.
C: That would be awesome haha. Just like this rivalry. Throw it into space.
K: I know that is something we are going to discuss later in the podcast, but that is a scary topic.
C:Well lets just go right into it. What are the scariest things about space for us? (28:00)
K: Adding onto what I said earlier, it is a scary thought that there is going to be a space race to colonize parts of space. It might even lead to a space war. It is kind of hard to fathom.
J: The other thing that is scary: if Space is expanding what is it expanding into?
K: What if it was a galaxy within a galaxy within a galaxy.
M: You have heard of the muti-verse theory right? There is multiple universes, and there could be an infinite amount of universes. I wonder if that could also mean that each universe still exists right next to each other, and eventually they can expand into one another. That is horrifying.
V: For me the scariest thing is, I watched Gravity, Sandra Bullock did a great job in there, just floating in Space. Floating around because you are not going to get stopped unless you hit something which is really unlikely in space. Fear is merely an illusion so it is going to happen in space, but that is something you deal with.
J: Black holes too, some scientists just found one that is about the size of a thousand suns. That is scary.
C: Have you guys ever seen the movie mission to Mars? In Mission to Mars they have like these little jetpack things, and the one guy runs out of fuel and he starts floating away from the space station and he can’t grab anything. He literally opens up his helmet and instantly freezes. I think that is the scariest thing to me. (30:27)
M: I saw it a movie where they went to one of Saturn’s moons. They went to Titan, and something similar happened where a guy had to get out of the space ship in order to repair something in the hull, and he got disconnected and he was floating away. The spaceship wouldn’t have been able to turn around in time to save him.
C: DId he open up to and freeze?
M: I think it is a rumor but they give astronauts cyanide in case something like that would happen.
C: But how would they get at it if was in their space suit?
M: I think it is the same way how they have a water tube so they have access to it.
C: I hope you don’t mix up the tubes haha.
J: “I need some water” death rattle haha.
V: Would you guys take the helmet off? What would you do?
C: I think I would let myself float for awhile before I had the confidence to do that. But yeah that movie was in 2000 it is a pretty cool movie. It is a lot like the Martian. A guy gets stuck there. He has been living on Mars for awhile. There are aliens in it.
J: Aliens are the father of the human race.
C: Yeah, Gary Sinise is in it. Another thing that freaks me out is the idea of aliens. I am not saying aliens in the sense of like people with test tubes prodding you, just the fact that we have no idea what is out there and we could find out there is some kind of crazy organism.
M: I was reading about how there is a high percentage chance there is other life in the universe, but there is also a high percentage chance that there is another life form existing that is virtually exactly the same as humans. So it would have had the same evolution, and we would be pretty much the same. They might not have the same technology, but one could come here and we would see them as human.
K: That is what you would want. To think that we are the only human race.
C: Do you guys believe in aliens?
J: Uhmm, I am like 50 50. I can see very good reasons why there would be, I can also see good reasons why there wouldn’t be. I don’t discredit the idea.
K:What are some of the reasons why you don’t think aliens exist?
J: It comes back to my Christian beliefs.
M: There is a theory that since we haven’t run into another life yet that we might be the most advanced lifeforms. Theoretically, there will have to be one species that evolves to the point of being advanced life. There is always the possibility that we are the first.
K: I think we are the only lifeform in this galaxy. You don’t know how many galaxies are out there.
M: We are the only intelligent life in this galaxy. There could always be microorganisms or germs somewhere.
K: Growing up though it was always we learned about each planet and found out that some planets were unlivable.
M: We think it would be in the ice of Mars.The moon Titan there is oceans underneath the surface. We want to explore that.
J: Like Armageddon?? There is a Ben Affleck movie.
C: Ben Affleck Bruce Willis Liv Tyler
J: Ben Affleck asked Michael Bay why would NASA hire a bunch of oil drillers, and not just teach astronauts how to drill haha.
C: Armageddon was 1998. Let’s kind of shift into the next thing that I want to talk about. We have been referencing all these different artifacts that exist in our society that we enjoy as entertainment in different forms. What are some of the biggest SCIFI things that we have been interested in ourselves, and how closely do you think Hollywood or whatever else is mirroring what is actually happening? So for example, the Martian has just come out, it took the world by storm. It has a gross of 385 million dollars domestically. A lot of people were genuinely considering the Martian as being as accurate as you can get to a NASA scientist who would survive on the planet. There was a lot of feedback from real people in aerospace saying: “this is real, this could happen, this is fake.” I think it is interesting that something like the Martian that grosses so much can be considered accurate. What kind of artifacts do you hold as being really important about space, and do you think that they are accurate at all?
J: Well I think about Interstellar. I saw that they interviewed a scientist about different aspects of the movie. What is fake, what’s true, what’s plausible. Surprisingly, there is a lot that is plausible or true. The time differences, the theory of relativity, the rate at which you move through space. That whole seen where they are on a planet for a short time and it is longer (SPOILERS)
C: Just a quick note, I was actually incorrect a domestic total for the Martian of 202 million with a worldwide gross of 464 million. Then for Interstellar it is 188 million domestic, and a world wide total of 675 million. You can just get a sense of how popular those are.I don’t know who all saw interstellar. For me, it was one my favorite movies of the yea. Came out 2014. I saw it in theaters and I remembering being blown away, and I think that kind of awe and magnitude. That movie has a great sense of scale to it. It connects with the whole idea of what space is in my own mind. It is limitless.
(SPOILERS) Here we discuss the plot of Interstellar this ends at (43:45)
C:Is it okay for you to justify your own desires over that of the entire species?
K: You can’t call it moral because everyone has different morals.
C: But there are definitely social mores. Huge morals everyone upholds. You can say murder is a bad thing in and 99 percent of the population would say it is.
C: Does anyone want to talk about any of the great space video games.
K:Unlike all you guys here, I didn’t see Interstellar. What really captivated my attention on space was Star Wars, Apollo 13, Halo.
C: What do you think impacted you more? Apollo 13 or VideoGames?
K: I would say videogames.
J: Starfox for me was really the big outer space videogame that really grabbed me as a kid. I didn’t really dwell much in Halo or Dead Space, and I didn’t even play Mass Effect, but video games definitely have a whole interactive element which you are kind of immersed in the environment. Other forms of media you are kind of passive.
K: Adding onto what he said, we mentioned earlier how when space colonization becomes a thing, and artificial habitats become a reality, Halo really mimics that in the sense of government when that happens. How will a government regulate space.
C: For me, I think the one that influenced me the most was Mass Effect, and I kind of came to that one later. It wasn’t when I was so young that I didn’t understand space, and I understood that Mass Effect is pretty far flung from what is actually happening. The general concept: humanity’s exploration in space is actually accelerated because we find remnants of technology from past, more advanced species. Using those different devices and tools we are able to enter this whole interplanetary democracy type thing, and we meet a bunch of other alien species that commune with the human race. It is all about how democracy shifted from a planetary level to an entire solar system. Does anyone else have any ideas about Mass Effect? or diplomacy (how it would affect us if we discovered aliens)?
M: If we ran into aliens species and they had like an alien council how would they view us? Would they see us as primitive and violent, or as equals, or potential equals?Would they try and lift us up or would they just try and stay away from us?
J: If they are more advanced than us than I definitely see them looking at us as primitive.
K: I don’t know if this is accurate, but it seems as if the human race is seen as inferior in Mass Effect. Sheperd is viewed as an inferior specter.
C: Those games are awesome. Do you have anything? (Vishu)
V: Not really?
J: You watch Futurama?
C: That is a great show I want to talk about Futurama! The same creative minds that created the Simpsons decided to make Futurama which is a similar art style and brand of humor, but it is based on futuristic development of NYC.
J: It is 1,000 years in the future.
C: There are aliens and human cohabiting on Earth.
M: It is called New New York haha.Old New York is underneath.
C: What do you guys think about this humor based approach to SCIFI. Do you think that that is a good thing? Do you think making light of the gravity of traveling to different planets and having aliens in our own lives cheapens it or is that a good way to expose people?
J: I think it is fantastic. It opens up possibilities for jokes and humor that just aren’t available in a fixed realistic context.
M: I think it gets people excited for the future. It is either the first episode or the second episode I remember he was doing his first delivery, and he was delivering to the moon. When they got to the ship he asked if he could do the 10 second countdown. By the time he hit 7, they were already at the moon, and he just like quietly counted down to 1 by himself haha.
K: I always think comedic relief is always a good thing, whenever addressing any type of topic.
C: Have you guys ever seen the movie Watchmen? There is this really cool idea in the end of Watchmen and it kind of fits with alien interaction also. Kush talked earlier about this whole idea of space war, so I think if we would discover a hostile alien force; I feel like that would kind of immediately end all conflict on Earth between countries. We would all unite under this banner of humanity because we wouldn’t be able to fight off alien invaders. Do you guys think if we would ever find a hostile alien race that would kind of create world peace…at least world cooperation?
K: For the time being I think so.
J: We would finally have a use for our Nukes haha.
C: Yeah we would definitely have a use for our nukes!
M: Russia has like 14,000 and we have like 12,000 (nukes).
K: North Korea would actually cooperate with the U.S.
J: I think they are a lost cause.
M: But yeah, I think we would all band together.
C: So that is a positive about space travel. I mean the positive of peace.
J: (Sarcastically) Yeah that is a positive, the end of the human race is coming due to an alien race. What a positive! We are uniting kumbaya!
C: Have you guys ever read any popular books about space travel? I think one of the biggest ones is War of the Worlds.
J: That movie is great. The newer one with Tom Cruise. It was a radio broadcast wasn’t it.
C: It was 1898 when it was first produced. A book by HG Wells initially. If you can imagine this is the complete opposite of Futurama in the sense of like this is not a funny lighthearted way to go about space exploration. It is actually terrifying because it is about a bunch of alien invaders that come and almost take over and enslave the human race. Luckily they are thwarted by disease and other problems that they encounter in Earth’s atmosphere, but we see a good example of this kind of appeal to pathos in our content currently. Look at Gravity. Gravity is more scary about going to space. You look at a movie like M. Night Shamalyan’s Signs.
K: That was actually pretty good.
C: Do you think that those kind of movies and books, that are really kind of scary in a sense are negative towards space exploration or has it turned you off towards space exploration?
M: I remember when Gravity came out, a lot of people were talking negatively about space exploration: “oh I would never go.” I guess people want to be excited about it and not aware of the dangers.
K: I read a book called The Fabric of the Cosmos in highschool, and it is more about theoretical physics and questioning a lot about what reality actually is. It touches on parallel universes. It puts space in this physical perspective which you kind of don’t really think about, and it shows how as humans: if we are able to survive the rigors of space. I really didn’t understand a lot of it honestly.
C: I think that is another reason why more people aren’t interested in space. It is so confusing to thing about. Like, you were talking about multiverse theory, and I don’t understand that at all. I feel like that is off putting to a lot of people because if you can’t wrap your head around these concepts why are you going to be invested in them? I think that is an issue.
V: Yeah, as a kid you just think space is so cool, but then as you get older you realize all the physics and all the math that goes into it. When I was a kid I thought astronauts were just figures going to space; it is not just that, they are like super smart, and you don’t know that until you get older. How much work actually goes into what they do. It is actually rocket science.
K: Thinking about that, the possibility of space exploration. Einstein touched on the subject of the speed of light. It is hard to fathom the idea that one day maybe humans might be able to travel at the speed of light. (54:45)
C: Space travel has always been kind of countries really interested in exploration. For us, we think of NASA. If you ask people space in the United States they are going to say NASA every time, and that is a federal government program. We are seeing now a lot of people kind of more interested in commercializing space and getting the business aspect in. Some of the biggest ones: there is a program Sir Richard Branson set up called Virgin Galactic, SpaceX is another company established by Elon Musk, Bill Nye opened his own science/aerospace technology company. There is a bunch of different people registering for trips to Mars if they are fake or real its up to the people signing up, but what do you guys think about the people trying to make money on space even though we aren’t even up there yet?
J: Is Virgin Galactic the same company that is charging like 10,000 to fly to the outer rim of the Earth’s atmosphere? For like an hour?
M: It is like 150,000. They said they hope to make it in 40 years somewhere that the average family could easily afford, just like taking a trip to Disney World.
C: Well Virgin Galactic brands itself as the first comercial spaceline. Which is nuts to think about. If you are thinking about how people can go to space as if they were going to Disney World that would be awesome. Do you guys think that’s awesome?
M: I think countries have dropped the ball when it comes to space exploration. All we are seeing is robots. That is still interesting, but we need to start sending actual people. Companies are just filling the gap.
C: Do you think that will be profitable for those people, because they are investing millions upon millions in technology?
J: Well 200,000 dollars a pop just to fly to the outer rim of the atmosphere. I am assuming that has a profit margin.
M: Just like how when NASA first sent men to the moon. They won’t just profit from the people they send, they will profit from the technology they are developing, and the patents that they are going to be able to make.
V: Not only from like a space program you are mentioning, but also like from the movies the main thing that they do is try to make money. One reason why we are so interested is because humans are curious. They are in it to make money obviously they want to spread the word about space, but they know there is money in space for obvious reasons. That’s why these space movies are usually all big hits. Gravity, Interstellar, The Martian in the last four years have all been like top movies.