Recent space news is nothing short of exciting: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/20550/20160409/nasa-and-affiliates-send-inflatable-habitat-named-beam-into-space.htm.
An inflatable habitat is headed to space. This of course makes great sense to be light and efficient when considering that weight is probably the single most cost-prohibitive factor when looking at space ventures. In the future, this level of modularity and portability will be what let’s us ‘camp’ on the Moon, Mars, or beyond. So, so exciting, and leaves a tremendous amount of work to be done.
In my opinion, what better way to figure out how to camp on Mars, than to camp on the ocean floor? Some might argue that we’ve been there and done that with the many semi-permanent undersea habitats that we’ve seen over the last half a century, but I’d argue differently. Those programs taught us a tremendous amount about human physiological limitations, and gave rise to a plethora of new diving technology, but have done little to put that capability (or some variant thereof) in the hands of the masses.
I think it’s just about timing and perspective. In the very same last fifty years, society has started to look at improved efficiencies in all areas of life. We all want smaller, faster, lighter, cheaper in just about everything we do. We’re starting to see this trend on the homesteading front as well with ‘tiny houses’ and ‘eco-capsules’. Within the outdoor recreation community we’re seeing smaller and more functional tents, sleeping hammocks, and so on, which makes getting way off the beaten path within reach for a much larger population segment.
What does this do? Well, is serves to satisfy our inherent human curiosities and continue to ask questions about what’s out there in the world around us.
I see no logical way forward to camp out on Mars, than to start camping out on our own seafloor. There are human performance lessons to be learned that are much better worked through here than while a million miles from home. Call it ‘practice’, but sounds like a lifetime of very exciting innovation and exploration that we can do right here at home in our backyard. What we’ll learn about the ocean, and ourselves, will be priceless and paradigm changing.
To the sea…