A Cruising Voyage
A Cruising Voyage Podcast
Mars Speech

Mars Speech

Ad Astra per Aspera

Like space, the rate of AI development is inspiring. This is a sample of what’s possible just using text-to-speech and basic editing. I’m excited to try this again in a few months.

Made with: Eleven Labs, RunwayML


My fellow Americans, today we gather here to celebrate a new chapter in the chronicles of human history. Our eyes are turned toward the heavens, as we embark on a grand adventure, fueled by the indomitable spirit of our ancestors, guided by the wisdom of the ages, and driven by the relentless progress of science and technology.

It has been over five decades since we first went to the Moon, a challenge willingly accepted, not because it was easy, but because it was hard, serving as testament to human ingenuity, determination, and the will of the American people. Today, we stand on the precipice of a new era, one where the challenges are greater and the stakes higher, but so too are the rewards. For it is in the boundless expanse of space that we find the ultimate measuring stick of our civilization's progress.

We have set our sights on Mars, our neighboring planet, a world that has captured our imagination for centuries. The time has come to turn dreams into reality, as we prepare to send our brave astronauts on a daring mission to uncover its mysteries.

In years since our lunar conquest, we have witnessed remarkable advancements in our understanding of the universe. To fuel our world, we reach our hand into the past, summoning up life itself, condensed by time, to drive our modern machines and industrial systems. And today, we race to harness the sun and wind, to say nothing of promises of atomic energy, long held back.

Our biology once terrified us; today, our understanding of medical science routinely eradicates the horrors of decades past. It is our microscopic enemies that lay defeated, and the unlocked secrets of the natural world draw the envy of Malthus and Gilgamesh alike.

It is not chance that this acceleration has occurred. In less than a century from the transistor, we erode at the edifice of consciousness, summoning digital minds born from rock and electricity. It is no longer man’s labor that constrains us, but the energy at our disposal, and the ideas that we pursue. For perhaps the first time in our history, it is our grasp that exceeds our reach.

So it is of no surprise that, today, I celebrate reaching for that farthest thing. We use the term “moonshot” to denote an unlikely objective, foolish in the eyes of the calculated and pessimistic. But today we regularly touch lunar soil, and we soon plan to permanently set down. It is those same skeptics and naysayers who rely on the visionaries and believers for an increasingly better world, those who conjure a vivid future that they will do anything to seize and to protect. It is these optimists that are declared mad before celebrated as visionary, pushing our world forward.

Of course, as we harness god-like power, we too unleash demons. It is this dialectic that we are subject to, and I fear we cannot escape it. Yet, it is the toil and progeny of our ancestors that bore our present, and it is the present that must decide the future. 150 generations of modern man descend upon you, blood, sweat, and tears, a promise foretold in our myths and songs. A promise that we must fulfill. Life was not destined to remain short, dull, and brutish, but ever larger and brighter. It is our very existence that is a gasp against the entropic nature of the universe – our cosmic quest.

Let me remind you. Our very nation was formed by those escaping persecution, entering a world of unknown dangers and discovery. They enshrined liberalism and unalienable rights, and set the foundations to ride the first waves of industrialization. Many of the luxuries of the modern world were first created here in our lands, spread throughout by grace of markets secured by our great military force. It is our vast natural wealth that buoys our virtue, but it is our citizens that breathe life into it. Our ancestors were vagabonds and refugees, but today, many of their homelands rely on us for assistance and safety.

The race for space has changed in decades past. New rivals emerge, and the great cosmic sea once again lay at risk. Space technologies are more valuable than ever, and like all technologies and great powers, it can indeed be a tool of war. But we mustn’t fear. No nation which aspires to be the leader of other nations shall neglect the challenges and opportunities in front of them. No serious nation shall neglect the fruits of space.

It is the ultimate height advantage. A great throne, peering down upon the world and its inhabitants, and pressing a thumb upon the scale of worldly affairs. This is a reality we must accept. Space and Earth are to be a realm of man, and, too, our ills will follow. But we shall vow, as Americans, alongside our allies, that we shall steadfast in our pursuit. For at least, the decorum of liberalism, not authoritarianism, will watch over civilization, and that you, as citizens of this great nation, might have a say in it.

In his darkest hour, Churchill declared that, in time, it would be the New World that would step forth to the rescue of the Old. He was correct, of course, but this was no mere prayer. The history of civilization is a story of the rising of the edges of empire. Of Athens. Of Rome. Of Paris. Of London. Of New York. Of San Francisco – our westernmost shores. Each, at one time, connected to the core of activity, yet remote, and where the New World bores discovery and promise. Some would have us slow down or heed course, but to do so is to neglect the birth of untold opportunity. To expand the frontier is to expand the reach of mankind, and to the benefit of us all.

For those who still want for reason, those who ignore the progress borne from the eternal frontier, let me tell you this. You must endeavor for something more. A grand purpose that keeps a nation pushing forward – even Sisyphus had his boulder. To climb this hill will require a joining of nations, a willing sacrifice of resources, and no doubt grave perils await us in the unknown.

Our ancient myths speak of gods and heroes who once strode among the celestial realms, shaping the cosmos to their will. Now, we, the children of those legends, venture forth to claim our rightful place among the stars, no longer as dreamers gazing at the night sky, but as pioneers and explorers, expanding the boundaries of human knowledge and experience. And in hopes that one day soon we might touch down on the Red Planet, bringing prosperity to its desolation and conquering the god of war.

Our mission to Mars stretches the bounds of human achievement. The expansion of mankind throughout the universe necessitates the advancement of physics, material science, biology, computing, and other disciplines. This is indeed the great test of humanity, marked by our furthest step into the unknown. And that one step may turn into another, dashing forward into a great cosmic stride. A foothold in a new world, then the solar system, and then the galaxy. 

So let us go forth to Mars, driven by curiosity, guided by wisdom, and united in purpose, for we are the torchbearers of a new age – the Space Age. And may our journey into the unknown be marked by courage, resilience, and an unyielding commitment to the betterment of all.

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Ryan McEntush