From Mars Expedition to Healthcare 3D Printing – Pondering after Elon Musk’s Presentation on Sept 27th, 2016 Part 1: “Why go anywhere?”

Raise your hand if you have seen Elon Musk’s recent presentation on Mars expedition and eventual colonization. If not, I highly recommend watching it.
I was very skeptical when I first heard about his plan.
Actually, I was a little enraged. With all the problems and sufferings we have on Earth, why bother tackling a problem so remote and so fantastic? What is so meaningful about that?
After watching Elon’s presentation, however, I had a change of heart. It was quite inspiring.
While I don’t think Elon’s plan for Mars is comprehensive enough to be successful (and safe) yet, I echo his starting point for taking on this ambitious task. ( Part 2 of this blog will explore how 3D printing and bio-printing could make the trip safer.)
“Why go anywhere?” Elon asked. This is not necessarily a rhetoric question, because to some (myself included), the answer may not be all that clear.
The true motivation behind expedition is often beyond personal gain and curiosity. There is a deeper kind of driving force. It is the driving force that inspired our ancestors to invent tools and to discover fire millions of years ago. It is the driving force that enabled us to land the moon and to discovered nuclear power. We have this driving force because that is who we are, and that is what gives humanity meaning. It is a force that comes from our deepest desire to survive for as long and as much as possible as a species.
I see similar driving force propelling the healthcare 3D printing industry forward despite uncertainties, challenges, and criticisms. I feel privileged and encouraged to be able to observe and facilitate the birth of an impactful ecosystem that is slowly forming around us.