Tag: Space Travel

Space: The Next Victim of American Expansionism

By William Ramage | United States

Manifest Destiny was the nationalistic ideology that westward expansion was inevitable, and that it was the destiny of the United States to occupy all of North America. It was the common belief that the land was provided by divine rule to nurture the nation, and the people of it were obligated to put it to use. The federal government went to great extents, often socially and morally unjust, in order to fulfill their destiny, such as the Mexican-American war, the Louisiana Purchase, and the construction of a transcontinental railroad. This not only benefited the land holdings of the Union but also a sense of national pride. Trade networks were constructed, and capitalism flourished.

Manifest Destiny was achieved to a great extent, leaving many expansionists with a temporary feeling of accomplishment. However, expansionism did not die when America reached its North American goal, and neither did the desires of the citizens; it has remained in society and continues to be a very big part of the American identity today. In modern America, opportunities for discovery and the ability to boost national pride in a peaceful way come seldom. However, often hidden in the shadow of “science and technology”, America’s quest for the colonization of Mars is essentially a modern-day Manifest Destiny.

It is in the progressive nature of Americans, a result of the ethics this country was founded on, to exceed expectations and set a high standard in everything we do. NASA leads the world in space exploration and is taking the global effort of Martian colonization into its own hands. When compared to other nations with exceptional space programs, the United States has continuously been the most successful and evidently had the most drive. The successful recent landing of Nasa’s InSight probe further advocates America’s expertise in this field. Space is the last frontier known to man, as humanity has managed to leave virtually no region on Earth unmapped.

The unknown and opportunity to explore, conquer, and obtain land has captivated Americans since the days of our founding fathers. As technology, science, and national pride began to climb as a result of the (mostly) successful conquest for North America, Americans were presented with the technological and financial means to map and explore an unimaginably large frontier. The desire and sheer will of accepting a task as mind-boggling as this was provided by themselves; the very reason NASA is as successful as it is.

In a nation infamous for its great political rifts, Americans have always been able to bond over exploration and discovery. This does not pertain solely to territorial acquisitions, but travels deeper. Contemporary American society will always have a desire to learn and deepen their understanding of the universe, an expansion of the mind. Therefore, modern-day expansionism is an effect of the American mindset and ideology and remains a prominent aspect of American culture as we all seek to expand our knowledge, liberty, and values of our country.

Expansionism is now at its greatest peak, as every day we get closer to providing social liberty and the greatest amount of political unity possible. Although America has expanded its territory and values to a great extent and already set a precedent for future democracies, it is still far from perfect and will continue to grow closer and closer to its ultimate goal of expanding ethically to all.


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Elon Musk’s Boring Company Is His Most Exciting Project Yet

By Spencer Kellogg | United States

Elon Musk can’t run for President of The United States. I know this because I checked a long time ago and then I checked again recently:

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Disappointment for a second time.

Lovingly compared to the comic book tech titan Tony Stark, Musk is one of those rare thinkers that has the vision, money, and hutzpah to significantly move our human civilization forward. His politics are a futurist medley of populist libertarianism and he is right at home warning on the future dangers of Artificial Intelligence:

His failures with countless Tesla rollouts have been well documented and the quarterlies for Tesla have not looked good. His promise of a “mass-market” vehicle that can meet the energy efficient demands of consumers has nearly become a running joke. Tesla, for all intensive purposes, feels decades away from turning a market away from the insatiable bank accounts of oil executives. Which is why Musk has been looking into other ventures. Namely, rockets and tunnels.

First, the rockets:

One of the great obstacles in the exploration of our universe is the immense costs associated with rocket technology. By producing a rocket that can land on a pinpoint location, SpaceX will cut the prohibitive costs of space travel and allow for low orbit missions that include the Moon, Mars, and asteroids for mining. With the federal government as uninvolved as ever with space exploration, accurate and reusable rockets are among a new class of assets that will only grow in necessity and value.

But what about simple problems on earth? Like traffic. Our roads and bridges are falling apart after decades of poor maintenance and the need to address transportation issues of today is critical. As Trump calls for a 1.5 trillion dollar infrastructure plan, Musk has suggested one alternative to the transportation builds of the 20th century:

The Boring Company.

The Boring Company’s idea is simple: dig into the earth and create massive tunnels that can transport humans with efficiency and timeliness throughout the Southern California area and beyond. The thought was birthed one day as Musk sat through another day of insufferable Los Angeles traffic:

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The tunnels will be multi-tiered with as many as 12 layers of underground transport. Users will board autonomous transportation pods located in public areas the size of a parking space. The pods will lower into the ground and act as an updated subway system to transport people to their destination in a timely manner. According to the image on The Boring Company’s media page, the initial plans show paths that crisscross Los Angeles:

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One major obstacle that Musk will have to hurdle is California politics. Just last week, Californians were informed by state officials that the proposed price of the above ground bullet train project has more than doubled in estimation from an initial $33 billion dollars to a now staggering $77 billion. Some analysts have pinned the project’s cost at closer to $100 billion dollars after a slew of regulatory and aesthetic issues have cropped up in the past few years.

There are also structural concerns for the project. Southern California sits on the San Andreas fault line and is known for its earthquakes. Furthermore, no one can be quite sure what sits underneath the ground and what the cost of relocating sewers and water lines might be.

In late 2017, Musk and his team put in a bid to build an express transit lane between O’Hare airport and downtown Chicago. With ongoing discussions in LA, Chicago, and NYC, The Boring Company could become the biggest disruptor in the modern transportation field.

Image Sources The Boring Company

Watch: Elon Musk & Space X Successfully Launch “Falcon Heavy”

By Spencer Kellogg | United States

In an unprecedented feat of technological and engineering genius, Tesla & Space X CEO & lead designer Elon Musk and his team have just sent their new “Falcon Heavy” three rocket craft into space:

Musk had questioned whether the rocket would work or not but as winds settled and provided a safe passage for liftoff, the Space X engines lit up and exploded towards the sky. With a thrust of over 5 million pounds and with the combined force of 18 Boeing 747’s launching together, Falcon Heavy just became the world’s biggest rocket by a power of two according to Elon Musk.

Inside the tri-rocket design sat a fake dummy inside a cherry red Tesla Roadster that blasted David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” as it launched. On December 2, 2017, Musk first pitched the idea of situating one of his Tesla models inside the rocket ship:

The rockets launched at 3:45 EST at Kennedy’s Space Center in Florida. Excited onlookers cheered and as the Space X creation skied upwards. Space X has been a revolutionizing force in the contemporary space age as they have made major advancements in the reuse of rocket cells. One of the biggest obstacles at the moment in regards to space travel is the cost associated with the manufacturing of rockets. In the past few years, Musk has invested largely in rocket technology and after failed attempts to land a space orbiting rocket onto a small platform in the ocean, the Space X team was finally successful on April 8, 2016:

While many have bemoaned government cuts to NASA, Musk and private corporations have stepped up to the challenge of space innovation. The success of Falcon Heavy is another milestone in the Musk’s innovative history that continues to situate him amongst some of the greatest thinkers and innovators of all time.