Humanity must colonize space and extend life to other planets to “preserve the light of consciousness,” SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted Monday.
He made the call in response to a new study that explores the Drake equation, a formula on the possibility of intelligent alien life existing out there in the galaxy.
The study from researchers at Oxford University suggested that there’s about 2-in-5 chance that humans are alone in the galaxy, while there’s a 1-in-3 likelihood that humans are alone in the entire universe.
Fermi Paradox And Search For Alien Life
“It is unknown whether we are the only civilization currently alive in the observable universe, but any chance that we are is added impetus for extending life beyond Earth,” tweeted Musk, citing the need to be a “spacefaring civilization” and extend life to other worlds out there.
The new study coming from Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute centers on the Fermi paradox, which gleans on the high probability that there is intelligent life in the universe other than that on Earth. However, there exists no evidence yet of its existence.
The team focused on the Drake equation as proposed by astronomer Dr. Frank Drake back in the 1960s. This equation, using hypothetical values for several factors, has been traditionally used to show that despite the amount of life that develops at any given place remains small, the sheer number of possible sites should give rise to many potentially observable civilizations.
The conclusion doesn’t state that humanity is alone in the universe, or that it’s unlikely to find proof of alien life both existing and otherwise. Instead, humanity today is most likely the only intelligent species in its galaxy.
Colonizing Mars As The First Step
Musk, whose company SpaceX was created in hopes of a successful race to Mars and to move humans beyond Earth, tweeted before his 22 million followers that over time, space travel will become safe and open to everyone.
“As individuals, we will all die in [the] blink of an eye on a galactic timescale. What can live on for [a] long time is civilization,” he said.
In September last year, Musk presented his plan to colonize Mars at the International Astronautical Congress in Australia, which detailed plans for the Big Falcon Rocket. The BFR is poised to send about 100 people to Mars at once, with a design upgrade that combines a rocket booster and a ship into a single system.
As of June, SpaceX has over 500 job posts for qualified individuals seeking to join the company in its quest to bring humans to Mars.
The study titled "Dissolving the Fermi Paradox" was published June 6 on Arxiv.