“In 15 to 20 years at the latest, going to and from space will become normal, and it will start to become a routine,” Umut Yıldız said while answering the most frequently asked question of when a trip to space becomes possible.
Yıldız, who works as a deep space telecommunications engineer and astrophysicist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA field center in Los Angeles, is investigating the water and oxygen molecule in space. He came to Türkiye to attend Innovation Week as a speaker.
Pointing to the Starship, being developed by billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Yıldız said, “First the cargo will be carried with these rockets, and then the people. The first goal of Starship is to go to the Moon and Mars, and its next goal is intercontinental voyages.”
The construction of the space rocket will be finished by 2025 at the latest, the expert added.
“For example, one flies from Los Angeles to Istanbul in 13 hours. However, with this rocket, one will go 100 kilometers up from Istanbul and fly to Los Angeles in half an hour,” he suggested. “Of course, businesspeople will start using it first, then gradually everyone will have an access to it.”
The United States plans to set foot on Mars again in 2025, after nearly 50 years since the last trip in 1972. “China can act faster as it does not share developments in space with the public very much.”
A total of 12 people have landed on the Moon, with two U.S. pilot-astronauts flying a Lunar Module on each of six NASA missions across a 41-month period starting July 20, 1969, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11, and ending on Dec. 14, 1972, with Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt on Apollo 17.
Born in Istanbul, Yıldız has been interested in space since his childhood. He says the movie “Contact” starring Jodie Foster, which he watched during his high school years, deeply affected him.
He then enrolled in Ankara University’s Astronomy and Space Sciences Department. After graduation, he completed his master’s degree at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in the Netherlands and his doctorate in astrophysics at Leiden University.
He worked with the Herschel Space Telescope for four years, and made many observations with telescopes in Hawaii, Chile and Europe. Lastly, after joining NASA in 2013, the expert broadcasts to space enthusiasts on YouTube with his program dubbed “Tek Çare Uzay” (The Only Remedy Space).
Yıldız writes a monthly column for Atlas and Popular Science Türkiye magazines and is the fourth most-followed astronomer in the world, with more than 500,000 followers on Twitter. Yıldız has given lectures in many schools in Türkiye.
Source : DailyNews