As Science Fiction Becomes Reality
As a genre, Science Fiction, or ‘Sci-Fi’ as it’s more commonly known, is a niche yet popular genre for all types of entertainment and media. Whether it be H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds (made famous in an Orson Welles 1938 radio broadcast), or Douglas Adams The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, or Sci-Fi films and TV shows like, Star Trek, Star Wars and other popular films such as Interstellar and The Martian; Science Fiction has always been captivating, intriguing and at times polarising in terms of their narrative, characters and general content.
My introduction to Science Fiction came in the form of a 1950’s novel by Isaac Asimov called I, Robot (later a blockbuster movie starring Will Smith). My sister had borrowed it from the school library as a teenager and me, being curious, picked it up when she was done and immediately found myself lost in the strange and futuristic world within. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. As the years passed I chose to read novels from many genres, but always found myself returning to Fantasy and Sci-Fi as my go-to favourites. I don’t think it was merely the creativity and imagination required to comprehend such literature, it was also the immense potential they held for humans as a species. What if… what if someday, some of these ideas would become reality?
These books I consumed in the 80’s and 90’s thrilled me with the prospect of new technology and space travel. Not only in the sense that we had already experienced it, with the Apollo program in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but real deep space travel. The kind of space flight you see in the movies, travelling between planets, reaching out to the farthest depths of our galaxy, exploring the universe so to speak. As a child I thought this was far fetched and impossible… but today? I’m not so sure.
With an acceleration in the development of technology that is simply mind boggling, we are now living in a burgeoning era of space flight and space travel. With several private companies building, flying AND landing rockets quite successfully, the promise of safe and affordable space travel has come a long way since the first landing of a Falcon 9 booster on a drone ship in 2016. As a pioneer in the ‘new’ space race, SpaceX has led the way. Not only has their Falcon 9 booster and Dragon capsule ferried people and cargo to and from the International Space Station, their Starship program based in Boca Chica, Texas, is preparing for its first orbital flight. If Starship is successful, it will be a huge step forward in returning humans to the moon, and then in the not-so-distant future, taking us all the way to Mars. It’s an exciting time to be alive!
So, for all of you who gaze at the stars, who wonder what it must be like to be ‘up there’, for those of you who get a kick out of a Sci-Fi book, TV show or film, there is an electrifying amount of progress happening at the moment. If you’d love to learn more, it’s as easy as jumping on YouTube and typing your query into the search bar. You can watch Starship construction, test firing of rockets, test flights and full-blown launches of Starship, SLS, Falcon 9, the list goes on. I will provide a link below of the best place to catch these epic moments both live and in replay.
The Starship program is extremely complex and involved, so I can’t go into detail in this blog. However, if you are interested in seeing how the world of Science Fiction is becoming a reality, please follow the links I have posted below. By the time they send a fleet of humans to Mars, I may be too old to join them. But I count my blessings that I am alive in the days when these advancements are being made. When Science Fiction is becoming… reality.