SUNBIZ

Seafarers Sailing On Uncharted Territories

Mahesa Abeynayake Head Of Quality/ Management Representative/Consultant Marine Engineering Fiji Maritime Academy According to Fijian folklore, the indigenous Fijians of today are descendants of the chief Lutunasobasoba and those who
08 Mar 2017 11:00
Seafarers Sailing On Uncharted Territories
A replica boat of the Santa Maria, by Christopher Columbus.

Mahesa Abeynayake

Head Of Quality/ Management Representative/Consultant Marine Engineering

Fiji Maritime Academy

According to Fijian folklore, the indigenous Fijians of today are descendants of the chief Lutunasobasoba and those who arrived with him on the Kaunitoni canoe.

The chief would have boarded that boat and rowed with all might braving the weather until he found land.

Not having navigational aids such as charts, with the guidance of the celestials, the primitive dugout took him anywhere the wind blew, and the currents raged.

What about the likes Captain Cook, Christopher Columbus? These ancient mariners just sailed the high seas, mostly in unchartered waters looking for new land.

Did these pioneers of the seas have any idea of returning to the base?

When Neil Sedaka sang “one-way ticket” in 1959, it just rings a bell of seafarers on sailing on uncharted territories.

Mark Twain is supposed to have quipped that “History never repeats itself, but it rhymes.” The story I am about to reveal is repeating history in a new dimension.

Mission Mars One is sending Earthlings to Mars to establish a human settlement on the red planet.

Thousands of applicants applied for the trip to travel seven months in a space rocket to a barren planet with no intention of coming back.

Due to Mars not being able to support a return rocket, this trip is truly a “One-way ticket.”

The applications were short lists progressively and culled down to the current 100. After a round of further selection this year, the final four two men and two women will undergo intensive training to make the trip in 2031.

To put it in perspective, the atmosphere of Mars consists of about 96 per cent carbon dioxide, 1.93 per cent argon and 1.89 per cent nitrogen along with traces of oxygen has only 38 per cent of earth’s surface gravity.

It is not an ideal habitat for humans.

The astronauts who plan to live there for the rest of their natural life can only go outside for about one-hour wearing a space suit. Without the suit, the liquids in their body would simply boil.

There might be satellite feed to NASA to keep in contact with the world, but the crew will not see or touch the earth’s soil or their loved ones again.

It is hard to say what they will miss the most. How they will get along with each other in such confined proximity forever would also a point to ponder?

There will be ample supplies initially, and they will be growing their food and even attempt to make water.

There will be more crews in sets of four sent to increase the population eventually forming a human colony.

Just as our ancestors who braved the oceans not knowing what ahead these volunteers from walks of life will colonise the red planet to pioneer living outside earth.

So history sometimes repeats itself.

Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: