What If You Were Born on a Spaceship
Wow, you’re zipping through space, in a large ship as big as 3 New York City Central Parks. There’s a lot of commotion going on. No, it’s not some alien invading the spaceship... it’s a very important day. The date is January, 22nd, 2700. You’ve just been born, outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Happy Birthday!
There’s a medical team attending to everything, futuristic gadgets help out with every aspect. And the view from the giant spherical glass ship, is nothing but the incredible vastness of space. You can’t even see Earth anymore, the spaceship is flying to a new destination millions of miles away. ETA on reaching that new host planet, decades.
Fast-forward a bit. You’re 25 years old, and this spaceship’s the only home you’ve ever known... so far. You’ve learned all the ins and outs of the ship. You start your day in your dorm, which has all the essentials. A small compact bathroom. A mini kitchen. A bunk bed. And a magnificent view of the stars and planets outside the ship’s reinforced glass. And you never need to worry about space radiation.
The ship has an everlasting magnetic shield that reflects space radiation so that it doesn’t seep its way onto the ship. Otherwise, there’d be big problems. The ship was designed to have artificial gravity. Astronauts normally lose 1 to 2% of their bone density every month they’re up in space, since they’re just floating around all the time. But now, I mean in the future, in deep space travel, they are able to solve this problem.
You make your way out of your dorm and see a wave of fellow crew members making their way to work. They’re all gliding through on their advanced mini hoverboards, and everyone’s wearing different colors, a space-age uniform. Yours is blue, so you hop on your board and join the blue wave.
You get to the underpass of the space transport and begin your work. As an engineer on board, your job is super important: maintaining the ship and keeping it running. But something’s wrong. Numbers are flashing all over the panels and the dreaded red light won’t stop blinking! You alert your coworkers, but they don’t know what’s happening either. Quick!
You keep checking the logs and all the complicated equations, but nothing adds up! Panic starts to spread throughout the ship! The hair on your arms is standing on end. You try to click on as many buttons and switches as you can. The buzzing keeps getting louder and louder. The light is flashing brighter! Some of your colleagues make a break for it... and you’re all alone in the red room.
Suddenly, finally, your supervisor rushes down to help. After a while, the 2 of you finally figure it out. Phew! That was close. You still have a lot to learn about managing the ship. Since your early years, you were assigned to work as an engineer. You were great at physics, chemistry, math... all those science-y things. It’s just another day in the office. But on this ship, you may make captain one day.
After work, you get a call from your friends wanting to hang out. And when I say call, I mean a phoneless device that lets you communicate with anyone while seeing all their info through a hologram projection that only you can see. You can also use it to listen to old tunes from Earth. Pop music has now become Classical music. And movies are now 3D projections of your own imagination.
You make your way out of the underpass and go up to the space plaza. That’s where everyone hangs out when they have time off. Some cafes, restaurants, a barbershop...even an ice cream parlor. You’ve never hung out anywhere else!
The space transport is essentially a small city which has all the important things society needs. That includes a biosphere full of animals and plants from different climates on Earth. Mini tropical forests, mini deserts, mini rain forests. You name it!
The biologists on board make sure to keep it all healthy, so you feel like you’re at home. Not that you ever even set foot on Earth... You enter the wild savanna and see some gazelles galloping around. A few wildebeests seem to be rummaging around and a small pack of lions are on the prowl.
In the jungle, you feel the humidity and the thick leaves and bushes all around. Some mountain gorillas are playing, and there are little tree frogs here and there. And lurking in the trees, making its way down for a sip of water... is a jaguar. Over in the dry desert, you see some roaming camels, a little rattlesnake slithering its way out of the heat, and some little scorpions crawling around in the sand.
You learned a whole lot about biology these last 25 years. You know all about Earth, but you’ve never been there, weird. After the tour of Nature’s habitats, you hear an announcement on the PA, it’s the captain. “The new planet is hours away. Earlier than anticipated. Everyone, assume positions for landing.” Everyone on the ship rushes to their dormitories, except the Key Crew Members needed to run the ship.
You strap into your bunk bed that turns into a seat with fancy interstellar seatbelts. You look out your window and see a blue dot in the distance. It gets bigger and bigger... and it looks a whole lot like Earth, from far away at least. That didn’t take all that long... only 25 years! Wonder what’s going on under the hood of that spaceship!
You look back at your life in space, knowing this first part of it is coming to an end. It’s kinda like living at the South Pole. At the bottom of the world lives a small community of scientists who work between winter and summer, doing all kinds of research... from climate and geology to meteorology and astronomy. Their lives must be similar to living here in outer space. They have their own bunkers, scientific labs, and even recreational rooms for sports and music.
The nature on the planet you’re approaching is unlike anything on Earth. Tropical trees soaring higher than the highest sky-scrapers. Oceans that are so wild, there are hurricanes that last for years, just roaming about. The pilot announces the landing. It’s all good, time to get to work.
You unstrap yourself and head outside to see the new planet for yourself. Walking on land feels like... well... like arriving at a new planet! The humidity is thick, and the wind is warm. The ship landed on the tropical side of the planet where, studies show, is the best place to begin a brand-new settlement.
It’s not gonna be easy. Humans usually begin new settlements next to lakes and rivers. Think of the Mesopotamians, the ancient Egyptians, The Aztecs... the list is endless. They began as small settlements...until they grew to be fully functioning mega-civilizations. By trading and exploring, they were able to advance their technology, learn new languages and discover awesome cooking recipes! Hey, I could go for some pasta and sushi right about now...
According to scientists, being born in space could alter the way humans look. Human heads could be bigger within thousands of generations, who knows? There’s no way to simulate it on Earth. We could even have different new skin colors since we would need more melanin, that pigment stuff that protects us from sun radiation.
Being closer to the sun or any hot burning mass of fire might mean we’d produce more or different kinds of melanin to protect us. We might turn dark brown, purple, gray... or even green. We’ll have to wait a couple million years to find out.
And with no gravity, humans would have to get used to having a lower bone density, kind of like birds have. That means we’d probably be weaker than our old Earth human-selves, and have some slightly odd physical things going on.
Gravity is essential for our balance, and mobility is one of the key factors for human survival. So, without gravity, we’d most likely have exoskeleton suits for walking and running... Or taking out the trash.
Now, nothing like this’s gonna happen for a very long time. They’re still brainstorming how to bring someone into this world... or, out of this world. Technically speaking, outer space is considered to be 62 miles above sea level from any continent on the world. Beyond that: endless possibilities.