According to one leading astronomer, humans will never manage to travel to another planet beyond Mars. While robots constructed by humans might be capable of making further journeys, humans themselves will only make it to the Red Planet.
This claim is being made by Planetary Society co-founder and MIT doctor Louis Friedman. According to Friedman, Mars represents the absolute limit for human space travel. To him, Mars really is the absolute and final frontier.
Friedman says that settling and inhabiting on Mars is completely possible and absolutely necessary. The Red Planet will someday be the home of future generations of humans and other Earth creatures. But beyond Mars, all exploration will be done virtually.
Friedman says that human space exploration itself will continue indefinitely. According to him, the universe is infinite, and there will always be more to discover. But to travel beyond Mars, within reason, is impossible according to the expert astronomer.
Friedman says that the survival of the human race is dependent upon one day becoming a true multi-planet species. We need the extra space if we hope to continue to survive. With Mars being the only logical destination point, we humans simply must inhabit it and settle there.
As far as scientists can tell, traveling to another inhabitable planet would require incredible advances in technology that, at the present time, do not seem even remotely possible. Space is just an empty area with a few key places scattered tremendously far apart. Traveling beyond Mars is simply impossible in any real and practical sense.
Instead of trying to put a human footprint on universal landmasses, Friedman believes that the long term goal of humankind is to extend its universal presence through virtual means. Humans will send robotic emissaries complete with artificial intelligence to various places throughout the universe. The vessels of these travels will be designed to process information, not to support life.
Still, Friedman says that humans are natural explorers. We will continue to seek more, but it might be through our robots rather than ourselves.
Luckily, we should have one new home in Mars. With all the damage that humans have caused to Earth, maybe we can learn from our mistakes in settling on the Red Planet. It will one day be our new home, and most likely, our final home.