When I think of space, Star Trek usually comes to mind. Being able to whizz off into space at the speed of light just never gets old. Zero gravity fist fights? Now, that’s even cooler. The sad truth of it all, however, is that we are light years away from being able to reach the stars we see painted across the night sky. On the upside though, we reached the moon. Scratch that off mankind’s list of feats we thought were impossible. But, that’s besides the point. The point is that we can’t do it yet, at least not with what we have right now. I mean, forget about the distant stars and take a look at just the planets in our solar system.
The farthest planet we plan on reaching next, based on what I know, is Mars, which is only about 225 million kilometers away, an estimated 7-month trip. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Seven months isn’t really a long time and I don’t blame you. It isn’t, but we should look at this from another perspective. What I mean is that we shouldn’t look at how long it will take, but how much it will cost. Just getting out of Earth’s atmosphere is a feat in itself, as we use up gallons upon gallons of rocket fuel, and that’s only the start of the journey. We then have to think about the trip going to Mars, landing safely on Mars, and take into account the trip back. Forget about even trying to get to Mars. We already had problems getting to the moon.
But, let’s take a step further, shall we? Specifically, let’s look to the other planets in our solar system. In order to better understand our situation, I decided to take the challenge of creating a model of our solar system the size of a meter stick, so that it looks nice in picture. I’m kidding. But, I am serious about using a meter stick. Anyway, the following were used to construct it, with the help of my brother, Meeko:
- Foam balls (11+ pieces of varying sizes)
- Watercolor paint (For artistic value)
- Brushes (Same as above)
- Barbeque Sticks
- Meter Stick
Now, painting the planets was easy. What me and my brother found hard was positioning the planets correctly, relative to the sun, of course. Actually, by constructing the model, I noticed that the first four planets were much more clumped together than I thought, as compared to the gas giants. This was why we found it hard to tape the planets to the meter stick, so much that we decided to poke BBQ sticks through the planet models so that we would have an easier time. We managed to pull through in the end and, for me, I consider the result as a success. Anyway, just by looking at the created model below, you can clearly see the relative distance every other planet is from the earth. So, if it takes us 7 months to get from Earth to Mars, I’m guessing that it would take twice or even thrice the time to get to Jupiter or Saturn. The resources needed to make the trip would make any billionaire quake in his boots. Believe me when I say this but the planets aren’t the only ones swiveling around its axis.
So, let’s rethink our plans for the future. What do you say?