astro.niall astro.niall

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Niall McKinnon  17 years old, future colonist on Mars. | Resist

It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life.

"Humanity's Dept", a short story by /u/andrewtater:
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Always has humanity been on the front lines of war. Not with their soldiers, nor armadas. Humanity had long ago decided that they would only wage defensive wars, they would only commit troops to conflicts that were righteous in nature. They never conquered, they refused to join in expansionist wars. But on every front line, in every army, humans were always there.

It began when the human organization known as the Red Cross met the intergalactic agency called Hands for Hearts. They were found most often in the slums of megalopolises, the derelict space stations, serving the poor. When Mt. Rainier on the continent of North America finally erupted, the devastation wrecked on Sol-3 was incredible. Three billion humans died in a matter of days. Even counting every colony and every human traveling outside of the United Human Confederacy, humanity lost a tenth of their population. The Red Cross, and its sister organizations the Red Crescent, Red Crystal, and Red Lotus, could not together handle a fraction of the catastrophe.

When Hands for Hearts dropped out of FTL above the skies of Earth, they appeared in numbers so vast the humans’ scanners glowed to the point that one tech nearly went blind. The UHC military went to Defence Condition Omega, nearly firing on the organization. Luckily, a human that had been volunteering for the organization was able to get to a communications center to ease the situation.

Then they landed.

They brought atmospheric scrubbers to prevent an ash winter, firefighting vessels that could drop millions of gallons of water at a time to extinguish forest fires, housing units that could be emplaced in minutes with the capacity to hold hundreds of families, agricultural equipment that tilled acres upon acres of land a day to reestablish sustenance production, cloning systems to reestablish both domestic livestock and wild fauna. They carried the capacity to essentially re-terraform an entire continent.
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Continued in comments; this image is from the short film "Wanderers" by Erik Wernquist

When attempting to comprehend the scale of the Universe, it seems that we are both pathetically insignificant and miraculously important at the same time.

Not the flashiest post, but this is the current trajectory of the Tesla Roadster after completion of the Earth escape burn, per Elon's Twitter.

Elon Musk escapes to Mars aboard his personal Boring Company flamethrower, 2018. (colorized)
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Image made by u/FeaturedMemes

I think that the world has depression. Ever day, we are constantly bombarded with news of terrorism, diseases, natural disasters, and incompetent politicians. These are very real problems, but the real problem is that no solutions are being reported alongside the issues. From my perspective, the world seems to have accepted the grim nature of its existence and trudges through each day without any hope of redemption. Truth is, many of the world's biggest problems CAN be solved, but the world doesn't seem to know that. We've stopped believing that things can improve because we see very little evidence of that improvement.
THIS is why spaceflight is important. In fact, I'd go out on a limb and say that expanding into the Solar System is one of the single best things that can be done for the world. Take the tried-and-true example of the Apollo program. In 1969, the United States was at war and under constant threat of nuclear attack. Yet people looked at the space program as evidence that a greater future was in store, that there was light at the end of this long, all-encompassing tunnel. Human presences on the Moon and Mars will not just be technological achievements, but monuments to the fact that seemingly impossible problems can be overcome. If we can build a city on Mars, why not cure cancer, or develop nuclear fusion, or ditch fossil fuels? It's a pattern we've see throughout history, from the American Revolution to the transcontinental railroad, then from NASA to the Internet, and today SpaceX and Tesla. They serve as monuments to that desire of a better future, a testimony that our hope is not in vain. It's an empowering thing, and it's what humanity needs the most.
That's what people who say things like "fix Earth problems first" get wrong. In order for Earth's problems to be fixed, we have to believe that they can be. And it'll take such an incomprehensibly challenging effort like human spaceflight to make people realize that our terrestrial problems may not be so hard to solve after all.
PC: @sciencetripper

This is the most absurd thing I've ever seen. And I love it.

GUYS... IT'S HAPPENING!!! Fr tho... It's weird to see a Falcon Heavy that isn't both six months away and a computer rendering. Best of luck to SpaceX on this historic launch!

Back in black. #CRS13

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

In honor of those who died during the Attack on Pearl Harbor, 76 years ago today.
Repost from @astro.kenzie

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