Exodus Earth: Survival Of The Human Species

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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I recently learned that in five billion years our star, the sun, will exhaust its abundant supply of hydrogen and helium; this creates a problem for the species of humanity. When the sun has consumed all resources, it will begin to fuse hydrogen into helium and fusion will produce heavier elements, thus growing in size until it engulfs most of the inner planets. Life on Earth will cease to exist, not only will life never again exist on this planet but also Earth, as we know it, will become an alien world. When the sun consumes Earth, the mountains will melt while the oceans will boil. If we as a species wish to survive, we need to find a way off this planet and make our home elsewhere in the universe. There is certainly more than one method of organizing a mass departure of humanity from this planet but one thing is clear, three fields of technology will save us from death: these general fields include mathematics, physics and engineering, computer programming and robotics, and genetic engineering.

When the sun does conclude its life, the only way for humans to leave this planet is through the cold, dark, desolate reaches of space; this means we will need spaceships. The spaceships that NASA currently uses will not be sufficient. Mathematicians, physicists and engineers will need to construct huge arcs the size of cites, perhaps even countries. Constructing these crafts will be an enormous challenge. We will need super-strong, ultra-lightweight metal, and spacious interiors. Spacious interiors are needed because our astronauts do suffer from some mental deterioration due to the extremely confined conditions of our space shuttles. These shuttles must also have everything they need to survive: this includes food, water, oxygen and spare parts. If the ship breaks...