A large crew is being chosen for an interstellar journey to a distant planet containing the first known extraterrestrial life. The expedition won’t return for a century, but the crew will be in suspended animation and age only a few years during the trip. Would you be interested? If not, what, if anything, would change your mind?
I don’t think so… no. That curious desire to explore that a lot of people have? I’m pretty sure I don’t have it.
Don’t get me wrong, I am curious about the unknown. I’m curious to see what’s out there. I’m curious to see what’s left behind in abandoned locations. But I’m not willing to make the sacrifices it takes to explore such things.
I’ll watch a YouTube video where some moron explores an abandoned hospital late at night with just his camera and his wits all day long. But I’m not putting myself in that situation.
I know that, by not going myself, I’ll miss whatever discoveries these astronauts come across when and if they return in a hundred years. And, come on, a hundred years? How close is this “distant” planet?
The bigger question for me isn’t so much what will these explorers find out there. It’s what will they find when they finally return to earth? What track is humanity on when these astronauts leave the planet? How far gone will we be once they come back? Someone should write that story… DIBS!
But what about you? Would you want to volunteer for that kind of mission? First contact with an alien species? BTW… the question doesn’t necessarily say that these aliens are intelligent… they could be bacteria for all we know. Would you want to go? Let me know in the comments!
*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.