Third of Britons think the planet is doomed

Third of Britons think the planet is doomed and humans will have to live in SPACE, poll finds

  • Shocking 37 per cent said it was inevitable humans would have to move off Earth
  • Less than a fifth, 18 per cent, would use savings to visit space if given the chance
  • Of 2,103 people polled 42 per cent believing extraterrestrial life will visit Earth

More than a third of Britons believe humans will inevitably have to live in space due to the Earth becoming increasingly uninhabitable.

And it seems increasingly likely that people will look to private enterprises like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Asgardia to facilitate their space travel.

While the public sector dominated space exploration in the 20th century, the space race this century has been revolutionised by the private sector. 

A poll found almost more than a third of Britons believe we will have to leave the Earth

To find out what the UK thinks about travelling to and living in space, Asgardia – a private enterprise which claims it will be the first space nation – commissioned Populus to conduct a poll of 2,103 people.

From this figure, 37 per cent said it was inevitable that humans would have to move off Earth because the planet will not be suitable to live on.

A total of 29 per cent of those surveyed said they would pay to go to space if it were easily accessible to the general public.

Essential resources such as energy, water and oxygen are believed to be in abundant supplies on Mars, but a lack of a viable food source has long been seen as an insurmountable hurdle

Last year, houses for a potential future colony on Mars were designed by a Chinese electronics giant

Less than a fifth, 18 per cent, would use their savings to visit space if given the chance.

FIRST SPACE NATION

Asgardia will be the first ‘space nation’.

The name comes from the city of the skies ruled by Odin from Valhalla in Norse mythology.

It is described as ‘a fully-fledged and independent nation, and a future member of the United Nations’. 

The Asgardia Project Team is made up of experts from around the globe. 

The project team is being led by Dr Igor Ashurbeyli, a Russian scientist and founder of the Aerospace International Research Center (AIRC) in Vienna. 

By creating a new space nation, the experts behind the project hope to develop future space technology free from the restrictions of state control.

Alongside its announcement, Asgardia opened up applications for virtual citizenship via its website, and so far almost half a million people have pledged their allegiance.   

People were also asked their opinions on aliens, with 42 per cent believing extraterrestrial life has or will visit the Earth.

One fifth of those polled were worried about an asteroid potentially crashing into Earth, and the same number believe planetary alignments affect their mood.

A quarter of the recipients said the UK needs a stronger asteroid defence system.

Asgardia, the first space nation, is named after the City of the Gods in Norse mythology.

Its main aim is to develop space technology unfettered by earthly politics and laws, leading ultimately to a permanent orbiting home where its citizens can live and work.

Former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik, chairman of Parliament for Asgardia, said: ‘Inspiring the public to dream about space travel and tackle the final frontier is vital to the success of our endeavours – even the Apollo programme, that ultimately put a man on the Moon, was scrapped largely due to a lack of public support in the US.

‘But with nearly a third of UK with an ambition to visit space, it is clear to see that this support is not unattainable.

‘One of the keys will be to help people feel as though they are a part of something bigger and more tangible than just watching a rocket launch or following the fate of a satellite due to crash into a comet.

‘Asgardia aims to provide this, with over a million followers already, the space nation offers the opportunity to contribute to the exploration of space.

‘From running for a seat in our Parliament to tackling the scientific challenges associated with space living, democratising space exploration is a key goal of ours.’

THE BILLIONAIRE SPACE RACE

Jeff Bezos in front of Blue Origin’s space capsule

Jeff Bezos’ space tourism project with Blue Origin is competing with a similar programme in development by Space X, the rocket firm founded and run by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Virgin Galactic, backed by Richard Branson.

Bezos revealed in April 2017 that he finances Blue Origin with around $1 billion (£720 million) of Amazon stock each year.

The system consists of a pressurised crew capsule atop a reusable ‘New Shepard’ booster rocket. 

The richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos is pursuing Blue Origin with vigour as he tries to launch his ‘New Glenn’ rocket into low-Earth orbit by 2020.  

Whilst Bezos is yet to leave the atmosphere of Earth, despite several successful launches, Elon Musk’s SpaceX programme has already sent the Falcon Heavy rocket into space.

On February 6 2018, SpaceX sent the rocket towards the orbit of Mars, 140 million miles away. 

On board was a red Tesla roadster that belonged to Musk himself.

Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule

SpaceX have won several multi-million dollar contracts from Nasa as the space agency hopes to use the rockets as a fast-track for its colonisation of the red planet. 

It has successfully sent a Dragon capsule to the ISS and undocked without a hitch.

NASA has already selected two astronauts who will be on-board the first manned Dragon mission.  

Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic successfully conducted two test flight of the Virgin Galactic’s Unity spaceplane. 

The first took place in December 2018 and the latest took place on February 22nd.

The flight accelerated to over 2,000 miles per hour (Mach 2.7). 

More than 600 affluent customers to date, including celebrities Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, have reserved a $250,000 (£200,000) seat on one of Virgin’s space trips, 

The billionaire mogul also said he expects Elon Musk to win the race to Mars with his private rocket firm SpaceX. 

Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic craft

SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows – one to the side and one overhead.

The space ship is 60ft long with a 90inch diameter cabin allowing maximum room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity.

It climbs to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier craft, White Knight II, once it’s passed the 50-mile mark.

Passengers become ‘astronauts’ when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere.

The spaceship will then make a sub-orbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 1.5 hours.  

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