Astrophysicist Garik Isrealian thinks humanity has already embarked on the second space race


Armenian astrophysicist Garik Isreaelian believes that humanity is already immersed in a second space race, which has Mars as its main objective and is led by China, the United States and the private sector.

Isrealian, who this Friday was one of the last speakers of the course on the “New Space” sector held these days in Santander as part of the summer courses of the International University Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP ), sees this second space race because, as he said, the players who participate in it do so to achieve “better technologies and better science”.

“It’s not a weapons competition. It’s a technology competition”, underlined the astrophysicist, who believes that with this, “everyone wins”.

The Armenian scientist recalled that there are currently two robots on Mars, one from China and the other from the United States and Europe, which are competing to see who gets the best data and who performs the first evidence of molecular life on this planet, which is, according to pointed out, considered by “many” to be the place where we can “save humanity” in the event of a climatic catastrophe on Earth.

What he sees more clearly is that technologies that are developed with Mars in mind will also serve on Earth.

“All the danger we are going to have on Earth in 50 years is almost the same as what we have to develop to have something on Mars. So we win anyway. We always win: for Earth and to get to Mars”, did he declare. said.

In addition, he highlighted the weight of the private sector in this second race, which has made significant investments that have materialized in a new generation of aircraft.

According to him, this, combined with the reduction in the cost of technologies, has led to a second space race.


The Armenian astrophysicist is the founder of the “Starmus” festival, a science popularization event born in 2011, which in five editions brought together a multitude of Nobel laureates, influential scientists and music stars.

Its first three editions were held in the Canary Islands, specifically in Tenerife and the island of La Palma, but the following two have already been held abroad, one in Norway and the other in Switzerland. Now, the sixth will take place in September in Armenia and will commemorate 50 years of Mars exploration.

The festival was due to return to the Canary Islands, but some complications remain unknown. “Everything is in the hands of the government of the Canary Islands because it is they who must make the final decision,” said the scientist, alluding to some problems that arose during the formalization of the contracts.

Despite everything, Israeli was optimistic about the return of this event to La Palma. “Starmus is made for La Palma and La Palma is made for Starmus,” he said on Friday when interviewed by the media.

Isrealian, an astrophysicist at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, was one of the last speakers on the third day of the course “Competitive opportunities for the new Spanish space: technology, impact and society”, which ends today at the Menéndez Pelayo International University.

In the last session of this proposal, it was intended to inspire participants through proposals and challenges related to the special sector.

In this aspect, the Starmus Festival is postulated as an indisputable reference. “For a week, young researchers are in contact with the best researchers in the world, such as Neil Armstrong or Stephen Hawking”, he commented. This circumstance, together with another series of cooperative activities, creates, according to him, “an atmosphere of incredible inspiration”.

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