The new space race

They say that the future is for the brave. I don’t imagine you see the world that way. I believe it is said in reference to explorers and pioneers.

Exploration is scary stuff. There is usually a vessel of some sort and always a fine line between things being okay and things quickly becoming a complete disaster.

I recently watched “The Mars Generation” on Netflix because I am a sucker for all things space. I loved watching Neil deGrasse Tyson’s revamp of the “Cosmos” series because it is never a bad thing to be reminded how small you are on this tiny speck of dust among other tiny specks of dust.

The Mars Generation follows a group of young teenagers going to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

In short, it’s about the current space program and its uncertainty to determine where it will be in the next decade. Former astronauts, astrophysicists and biographers are asked hard questions about the future of our space travel and spoiler alert: it doesn’t look very good.

It takes a look back at the 1960s and the momentum our country had for space travel and exploring -- not only to our Moon, but Mars.

It was great to see the younger people, with their giant passions and dreams. I forget sometimes how anything seems possible when you’re younger.

You have so much time and most do not have the busyness of bills or children or steady jobs.

I loved watching them build things with one another. It made me realize that our future is for dreamers and young people being better than we ever could be. There is always hope for the next group of humans to do extraordinary things, I have no doubt we will push forward again.

I was inspired by all of this because to me, in my own little way, I feel responsible for pushing forward a different kind of movement.

You don’t have to have a vessel to explore, as our worlds are so small and unique. But I’d like to think that I am pushing forward, ever so slightly. Whether that is with food or working to build a better community in this city.

We aren’t reinventing anything, but we are working to push our boundaries forward in hopes that we meet the future in a better place than where we are now.

Maybe the future is a little scary. I feel okay giving in to those who are younger, and more innocent than me. All the more reason to be open to their hearts and minds and allow their wild hearts to take over every so often.

I’m not building a rocket. I do not know Elon Musk, nor do I have dreams of living on Mars.

But maybe, I can invite you to my table, and together we can dream for bigger, more beautiful things.


Josh Casper is a writer and the executive chef at The Depot Coffeehouse and Bistro in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA.