Have you ever tried to get a table after walking into a popular restaurant on a weekend evening and finding that you’re in for a 2 hour wait?
Doing so provides a great lesson in the value of calling ahead.
And so it is with the idea of colonizing other planets or moons. They need to be ready for us to arrive before we get there.
Terraforming is a concept that allows us to do that, in a way. It’s a process of transforming a planet or moon from its current state into one that will allow humans to survive on it.
Obviously, this would take a rather long time.
Scientists are looking at several planets and moons as potential terraforming sites, but the 3 most popular are Mars, Venus, and Europa (one of Jupiter’s moons).
Mars is the most similar to Earth and is thought to have once been capable of supporting life, but nobody is sure yet why it no longer does. It’s also in the “Goldilocks Zone”, meaning that it’s within the right range of distances from the Sun to be a candidate for colonization.
Venus is also considered a potential planet. Terraforming there would involve the daunting task of removing most of the carbon dioxide and reducing the temperature to a more hospitable level.
Europa is a possibility because of the liquid water already present, but Europa is also close to Jupiter’s radiation belt, so terraforming would be possible, though more than a bit difficult.
There could come a day when, if asked where they are from, a person may find themselves having to specify the planet rather than the nation or region.
And that person may be one of your descendants.
Imagine being the last member of your family to be born on Earth.