'Returning to Moon offers opportunity to learn how to survive elsewhere'

People can use space as another tool to improve life on Earth, aspiring astronaut says

2022-05-14 19:20:03


Humanity's return to the Moon is a top priority for space programs and this journey will be an opportunity to build space exploration skills and learn how to survive elsewhere, the head of the nonprofit Mars Generation said on Saturday.

"Humanity's return to the moon is a preparatory step for our next giant leap to place footprints on the surface of Mars to put human beings on another planet for the first time," Abigail Harrison, the co-founder of the nonprofit Mars Generation who describes herself as aspiring astronaut, said in a speech in Istanbul.

Harrison, wants to be the first astronaut to land on the Red Planet. She was speaking at an event named NEXT, organized by Turkish public broadcaster TRT World.

The one-day event was designed to tackle major issues facing the global community, aiming to bring together thousands of curious minds from Turkiye and other countries on May 14.

"We will have to develop technologies that we cannot even imagine today," said Harrison, adding that these technologies would be developed by today's young people.

She underlined: "I believe that humanity is defined by everlasting, unending drive to explore.

"It is our curiosity that makes us human, our desire to learn about our environment, to ask questions, and to search relentlessly for the answers to those questions."

Harrison, 24, began to speak publicly about her dreams when she was 13 and founded the Mars Generation at the age of 18.

Touching on the various space journeys that humanity has engaged in through the years, she said uncrewed missions, such as satellite missions, explore the vast corners of the solar system.

"We will also be continuing to perform uncrewed space exploration, such as exploring the atmosphere of Venus, where it's believed that there are organic signatures in the atmosphere that might indicate the presence of extraterrestrial or alien life," she said.

She also mentioned private space journey firms, such as SpaceX and blue Origin, and noted that humanity would witness even more changes in the next decade that would create a landscape unlike anything imaginable today.

Space exploration is not about leaving the Earth or trying to make another place home. It is about using space as another tool to improve life on Earth and solve problems, she said, adding: "Space exploration is about using the changes and opportunities to technologies and innovations that the challenges of space bring to us to make differences here on Earth."

After its first Moon mission in 1972, NASA is expected to conduct another Moon trip in 2025.