Why you should care
Because Matt Damon shouldn’t be the only one who gets to live on Mars.
A degree in physics, at least 1,000 hours of pilot training, copious consumption of Tang: Decades ago, those were the key ingredients for anyone hoping to leave Earth in search of greener pastures, er, planets. But even with those boxes checked, it was impossible to become an astronaut (or cosmonaut) outside of the American or Russian space agencies. Space was the domain of superpowers whose national sense of pride and geopolitical power hinged on who could get there first.
But in the not-too-distant future, space travel will be within the reach of even those without fancy degrees or advanced training. Engineers are feverishly working to develop reusable rockets that will lower the cost from billions of dollars per flight to thousands; designers and entrepreneurs are already crafting living quarters and amenities that will bring the comforts of home to galaxies far, far away.
So, where will you go first?
Video by Melanie Ruiz and Matt Reyes