Manned flights to Mars were once a distant dream. They still are, in conventional terms: According to the most up-to-date space navigating principles known by NASA, a journey to Mars and back would take too long for any astronaut to make it back during their lifetime. If NASA would attempt to build a rocket powerful and reliable enough to make the journey quickly and safely, it would cost billions of dollars. They have already decided that their resources could be put to better use elsewhere.
Franklin Chang-Diaz, though, has not given up.
The former NASA astronaut is working on a plasma engine that can transport people to Mars and back in a 30-day journey. Growing up in a poor family in Costa Rica, he dreamed of becoming an astronaut one day. As a teenager he traveled alone to the United States to pursue the education that would eventually lead to a career in space exploration. He earned a doctorate in plasma physics from MIT, became a US citizen, and landed a position as a NASA astronaut. Now he dreams of finding a way for human beings to land on Mars.
His plan might seem overly ambitious. But it would do well for us to remember that in 1903, the president of the American Astronomical Society wrote a paper declaring that human flight presented insurmountable difficulties that technology could not solve. Less than two months later, the Wright brothers made their famous flight in Kitty Hawk.
Many people have a soft spot in their hearts for people who defy conventional wisdom in order to pursue their dreams. They have the confidence and commitment to stick to their vision despite the nay-saying of others. If history is any proof, it is the audacity of these individuals that is responsible for our most striking breakthroughs in travel, science or medicine—breakthroughs that others refused to even think about.
The truth is that in the very near future, even before Chang-Riaz completes his plasma rocket, we will reach much further than Mars. Thanks to the stubbornness and persistence of a few visionaries over the course of generations, we are very soon to embark on the ultimate journey, towards the true and complete Redemption. We will be released from the bonds that prevent us from reaching our true heights, that keep us from accomplishing all that we know we are capable of.
The Redemption will come in merit of those who never stopped dreaming, never stopped believing in the vision of Geulah, and never stopped taking practical action to put it into effect. Very soon, the ancient prophecies will reach their fulfillment, and we will see how our good deeds in the past led directly to this great achievement.