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or we’re going to be stuck on one planet until some eventual extinction event,” he says. “In order for me to be excited and inspired about the future, it’s got to be the first option.” Tyson, though, disagrees with Musk. For him, the question is not “could we?” but also “should we?” Tyson isn’t convinced that we have to send humans to Mars; he bets it would take less effort and less money to figure out how to survive threats to Earth than to colonize another planet in order to maintain the species: “I think HE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, AND we should visit planets, as you’d visit any place you’ve never been before,” he says. EVERYTHING IN IT. THE WORLD AND ITS “But we evolved on Earth to live on Earth.” PEOPLE BELONG TO HIM.” (PSALM 24:1) In other words, why spend the money to go to Mars, when the resources to BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THOSE solve Earth’s problems are here? PEOPLE ABANDON THAT WORLD ALTOGETHER? THIS This tension—whether to NOVEMBER, ACADEMY AWARD- AND EMMY-WINNING invest in fixing this planet or PRODUCERS BRIAN GRAZER AND RON HOWARD ARE invest in finding another one— LAUNCHING MARS, A DRAMATIC MINISERIES BASED IN could end up being one of the SCIENTIFIC REALITY. THE SHOW ENVISIONS THE FIRST most important questions our HUMAN CREW SENT TO HABITATE THE RED PLANET generation faces. And it has IN 2033. a unique application when it comes to Christian theology. What’s unique about the series is the scientific MARS’ AIR is less than 1 percent of In short, does God have a foundations it is built upon. Leading innovators and the density of Earth’s and more than plan for humanity specifically scientists, including SpaceX founder Elon Musk and 95 percent carbon dioxide on Earth, or does astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, all conHe intend for us sulted on the show to make sure it was based THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE on to create our own in scienctific fact instead of science fiction. Mars is minus 81 degrees Fahrenheit future and popuMars exploration is a universally excitlate other planets ing and beneficial premise for the scientific LACKING A SUBSTANTIAL MAGNETIC as a sort of backup community, but the concept of building perFIELD like Earth’s, Mars cannot deflect plan? manent human settlements on harmful radiation from space Jim Stump the planet is actually a point of ASTROPHYSICIST NEIL of the organizacontention. DEGRASSE TYSON MARS’ GRAVITY is 38 percent of tion BioLogos, a In September, Musk unveiled S AY S M A R S H A B I TAT I O N Earth’s thinktank dediSpaceX’s plan for a human misIS NOT A QUESTION OF cated to exploring sion to Mars by the year 2024—at “COULD W E?”— COMMUNICATION SIGNALS from Earth Christianity and the cost of tens of billions of dolBUT “SHOULD WE?” take between 3 and 24 minutes to science, believes lars. NASA’s plan is to send hureach Mars—one way the disagreement mans to Mars in the 2030s. between Musk’s and Tyson’s Musk’s team has already successfully landed their A YEAR on Mars is 687 days perspectives is a conversation Falcon 9 reusable rocket on a drone ship off the East people of faith need to join. Coast of the U.S. this past April, a technology key to SPACECRAFTS take a minimum of six Stump says Christians are SpaceX’s Mars plan. (It was a groundbreaking feat months to travel to Mars called to explore creation—an likened to throwing a pencil over the Empire State act that helps learn more about Building and landing it on a the Creator. “The first chapter shoebox on the other side—in a of Genesis basically commands windstorm.) us to do that—to uncover what God SpaceX’s plan appears has done,” he said. achievable. But it is not about The question then becomes, space exploration for Musk; does uncovering everything God it is to create a new home for made within the “heavens and humanity because TESL A AND SPACE X earth” extend to colonizing worlds of inevitable Earth FOUNDER ELON MUSK beyond this one? extinction. It’s a question that soon may not “The future of simply be the stuff of science fichumanity is fundamentally going to bifurcate along tion, but a reality for people who one of two directions: Either we’re going to become may be calling the Red Planet home. a multi-planet species and a spacefaring civilization,


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RELEVANT-Issue 84- November/December 2016  
RELEVANT-Issue 84- November/December 2016