Surreal thought of the week
We are researching technologies that will print a whole building. It’s possible that this is how we’ll explore other planets - send the robots first, they build a landing strip and a few facilities, and then the humans land and check it out in person.
I always visualized the first human footfall on Mars looking like the Apollo landing - a guy steps out of a space ship and plants a flag into red rocky soil. But it might not be like that at all. The first human explorers of Mars might land in an empty pre-fab city, built to spec. A silent city that no one has lived in before.
Imagine being one of the first colonists, sitting in your bedroom on Earth and picking out an apartment on another planet. Check out your future neighborhood using something like google street view. Buy an apartment filled with air that’s never been breathed. Be the first one to move onto an empty street, knowing most of your neighbors won’t land until the second colony ship arrives. Imagine driving through an empty city. Most empty cities were abandoned, or forbidden… but this one isn’t born yet.
We’ll watch our first Martian sunset from a viewing platform that was built by robots and never touched by humans, until now.