Space can change the world; Brian Cox

Danielle McGrane
(Australian Associated Press)

Brian Cox believes most of the world’s problems, including war and conflict between countries, can be solved through space exploration.

Battling over our infinite resources could soon become a thing of the past once we breach that frontier, according to the British particle physicist.

“If you look at the great causes of human conflict we think that we have access to limited resources, and we think we have to compete with other countries for the resources we have. It’s false that idea. We have access to infinite resources because in space there are infinite resources,” Cox told AAP.

Humans are on the brink of becoming a multi-planet species, according to Cox who points to Space X’s successful relaunch of a reusable rocket at the weekend as just one massive advancement recently made in space exploration.

“If you look at commercial space flight now, it’s going through a revolution, it’s revolutionary and it will mean that we will be on Mars within a couple of decades, maybe faster than that, and we’ll be moving out into space,” he said.

“The very act of opening up that frontier might lead us to behave differently because it will demonstrate to us that there’s no need to have a fight with those guys over there for that stuff. If you want some of that stuff you can go and get it, it’s all up there for free.”

As a space-faring civilisation, a lot of the risk we face would disappear.

“Once we begin to spread out, once we have humans on Mars, once we start mining asteroids, once we learn that there’s so much for us to do – there’s a frontier that’s expanding – that will change us. We’re on the brink of that happening,” he said.

With his new ABC show, filmed at the Sliding Spring Observatory NSW and aired over three consecutive nights beginning on Tuesday, Cox wants to encourage everyone to look up into the night sky at this new frontier, and potentially discover a new planet.

Cox will be joined by presenter Julia Zemiro as well as leading scientists and astronomers for this interactive TV experience.

“Everybody who’s watching we’ll give them the details and they can go to a website that’s got data that’s never been looked at before, and it’s data looking for planets around the stars not in our solar system but around distant stars. And we will find some that nobody’s found before because nobody’s looked through this data,” he said.

“So some viewers will find a new planet. My dream is that some 8 or 9-year-old somewhere will find a planet.”

*Stargazing Live airs on April 4,5,6 at 8.30pm AEST and on ABC iview, 8pm SA + NT, 8.30pm AWST

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