If you have been following me on social media for a while, chances are you have heard me talk about the Mars Generation. I have been using this hashtag quite a bit lately, and so have many other people.
So what are we referring to when we use this term, and who is included in this special generation? I can’t speak for others who have picked up the phrase, but I can tell you my definition of who I am talking about and, most importantly, why it matters.
The Mars Generation…Who are we?
My own use of the term refers to kids and young adults who are currently under the age of 25.
The Mars Generation has grown up in a world where the technology that we consider to be a simple a part of life is technology that NASA has made possible through their work to send humans into space over the past 50+ years. The first of these efforts was the Apollo Era (baby boomers and older), then the Shuttle Era (gen X), and now they are working on the Orion Era (The Mars Generation).
Many people in the Mars Generation have grown up with access to a mini-computer that is more powerful than the computers used to operate the Apollo moon missions. This is not an exaggeration. The mini-computer that they know as a cell phone is pretty amazing, and often, kids as young as two or three years old are able to navigate their parents’ phones, sometimes better than their parents!
This early immersion in technology is an enormous part of who we are. Now why does this matter? It is the Mars Generation that is now tasked with leading the world to the next great exploration. Many generations before us have been explorers, exploring Earth from the ground, then expanding to the sky, then the lower orbit and the moon. Without this progress, we’d be in a much different place than we are today. And now it’s our turn.
Taking the reins for a better future
Now we must take the next giant leap and explore further than we have before. The older generations are helping to build our spacecraft and rocket–NASA’s Orion and Space Launch System (SLS)–to take us to Mars. It’s true, generations before us make our missions possible. But the Orion Era needs us–our immersion in technology helps us understand the drive for innovation.
As my generation, the Mars Generation, steps forward and begins to step into roles as scientists, astronauts, lobbyists, communicators and all the other many jobs that are tied to space, it is imperative that we have the knowledge and the structure built from our elders. As we move ahead to a new future, we need to bring the past with us.
To be GREAT you must do GREAT things
It’s our responsibility to step into shaping the world. Going to Mars is not about national pride–it’s about pushing ourselves further then we have ever pushed ourselves before. It’s about stretching our capabilities, and with that, innovating new and better ways to do things. It’s about making life on Earth even better than it is now, growing our economies to be stronger and giving people a future that is full of hope that we need for survival.
That’s the seriousness of the Mars Generation. Do not underestimate us, and do not take us lightly. It’s not just a hashtag. The Mars Generation is going to improve human lives. We are unstoppable. It is our time. We are ready!