The IAC had been an amazing experience (read all about it here) but all good things must come to an end. But let it never be said that this IAC didn’t go out with a bang. For the entire week, anticipation had been lingering around the convention center and today it defuses as the man himself arrived on stage. A jubilant tumult erupted from hall as Elon Musk, the man of the hour, took the stage.
Despite his nervous disposition, he did not disappoint and his plans and premise to great effect. We all listened intently to his vision and plans to go forth and take a great step into making humanity an multiplanetary species with his latest daring plan. There were many exciting parts to this highlight presentation. He had gone through the rough history that showed the mettle at the heart of SpaceX and detailed the problem that underlies the way we’ve done space travel and how it hinders interplanetary travel. He had given his solution in the form of SpaceX’s latest project, a new rocket with revolutionary reusability features but once again, Elon Musk uses his greatest signature move and makes another stunning announcement. He announced that SpaceX is planning to launch multiple missions to Mars starting from 2022 in a bid to create and expand a Mars colony. The first mission would carry the building blocks necessary for the establishment of a Mars base with the next mission carrying the first people to step foot on mars. Additionally, he concluded the presentation with a potential to use his new rockets as a means of long distance travel on Earth. Naturally, these two revolutionary ideas were met with overwhelming applause and praise from the audience. As far as we know, this may be the start of our journey to the stars.
The day, however was not over and I took my seat to observe the final event of the day, the closing ceremony. There we celebrated achievements of members of the space community which have excelled and many words encouraging the next generation to take up the torch of our great journey were sent with vigour. The contract for the next IAC in Bremen was signed on stage by the esteemed president of the IAF, Dr. Jean Yves Le Gall and the ceremony concluded with the passing of the IAC flag from the Chair of the 68th IAC to the Chair of the 69th IAC.
As I left the convention centre. I had time to reflect on the journey that the past few days had been. It had been a trip of excitement and anticipation, of anxiousness in the face of finally presenting our work and of joy in meeting new people and seeing new sights. This event had revolutionised the way I see the space industry. I had learned to see it not as some dream that only a few will ever experience but a future that I hope will one day be realised through the strength and unity of humanity as we take a step towards space, the final frontier