What if instead a simple ark, the flood heroes and a ground crew built a craft with a sail and a destination? A team would help build and prepare the travelers. The payload would be carefully organized in a way to optimize the journey and the target. Just enough of a compliment to complete the journey and settlement.
When calamity strikes, it is difficult to find skills for both the tragedy / transition, as well as the post-apocalyptic reboot. The traveler must react appropriately to the challenges of the storm, but also withstand the slow steps needed to re-establish on the other side.
The need for the soldier and the farmer suggests settler waves that arrived over a period of time. The first arrivals need to establish basic infrastructure and security as a way of lessening the initial start-up in a new environment for those that follow.
Once the initial air, water, shelter and transportation are in place, building expanded capability become crucial, which includes food production, waste management, and resource harvesting. The complete system must account for all factors, a significant advance on Earth’s more gentle environment, where air and other life resources are more plentiful.
Psychological training is often spoken about in our quest to press beyond the Earth. Long missions away, in close proximity to crew-mates must account for tension, relief and hope. The nomad, the journey, the destination camp must become one.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a significant driver in our world. The best humans are often damaged by situations they have faced, and their struggle in the aftermath. Humans are formed by the monumental experiences of their lives, and these tend to be traumatic. You never know until it’s nearly gone is a human mantra.
Those who are less scarred may be preferred, but a long voyage will inflict its own extreme neural mapping. This suggests the complimentary value of veterans more comfortable to the inhospitalities of such a journey, and provide a balance with more delicate souls.
There is a camaraderie among cosmonauts. This new kind of human will likely manifest itself more firmly as humans begin to create themselves a network of stellar posts and the numbers of people out there, and travel between these places. Making human space travel more common place will have a significant impact on humanity. Human society functions better with diversity of people and tasks performed.
Even today’s second generation astronauts have begun to specialize away from the pure space pilots of the Apollo era. Terran explorers will become builders and settlers, and still, space travelers will feel themselves part of the extra-terrestrial community, not just the first six people on a long mission to X.
Another important consideration ahead is understanding which complement of symbiotic biology of species humans will take with them. A host of bacteria, fungi, insects, plants and animals that together represent an advantageous biosphere for humans would accompany establishment missions. Such multi-species payloads would be the new Noah’s Ark.
These kinds of biological breakthroughs combine to become an extraordinary tool-set. They may have the long-term possibility that space missions could travel long term with the components needed to revive fauna and flora upon arrival.
You may not want to take woolly mammoth on an interstellar mission, but you would want a catalog of animals from which to select species, appropriate to the mission needs. Maybe you’ll need chickens or may you need fish.
Astro-shepherds will be the stewards to bring complex life to the solar system, maybe beyond. This new cohort will include advanced non-biologicals, like robotic shepherd dogs and horses. Migration is our legacy, it is our destiny..