How I Found My Passion Whilst Studying To Become A Space Doctor
Tell us your background and about your startup
First of all, I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself and my brand here! My name is David Talas, and I am a 4th year medical student in Szeged, Hungary. One of my most important career goals is to be a space doctor.
Marstronauts is my space enthusiast brand, and I simply want to educate people about Mars, space travel and the future of humanity. What I found out in my life was that the only things I was scared of were the things I did not know anything about. By learning something new about any topic, I always became more interested and less scared.
How did the idea come about and what was it like getting started?
I have been a space enthusiast since I was like 3 or 4 years old, and I was watching NatGeo instead of children’s tales. In elementary school, I attended a lot of mathematics and physics competitions, and performed decent on them. I wanted to be an astronomer. Then in high school, I had an amazing teacher who made me love chemistry and biology, so I decided to pursue a career in medicine instead.
I got into medical school, but I felt like something was missing. I found the branch of medicine called space medicine, and I instantly knew this is the field I was born to work in. I started Marstronauts (the name is a blending of ‘Mars’ and ‘astronaut’) in November 2018, and the main motivation behind it was to spread my passion towards spaceflight.
Before that, I felt completely alone with my space enthusiasm, in Hungary, we don’t really talk about this topic. We had one astronaut, Bertalan Farkas, who flew to the Mir station in 1980, and spent a little over a week there. I am super proud of him, but this is not an everyday topic here anymore.
When I tell people I want to be a space doctor, they either laugh at me or ask what a space doctor is and if I am actually serious or just kidding. So I decided to look for like-minded people on the Internet. Looks like I found them very quickly!
I don’t want anybody to ever feel alone with his/her space exploration dreams like I had to. Space unites people, but our dreams can be quickly killed by our closest environment (family, friends), if we let them in our head and we worry about what they will say.
"Starting is the hardest and I think the richest place in the world is the graveyard. There are many brands, businesses, inventions, careers not started right there."
Why is the problem you are solving important?
My main goal is to educate people. I would like to provide free knowledge for everyone on Earth, and thus make humanity one step closer to becoming a multi-planetary civilization. This may sound a bold goal, but you never know where the next Einstein or Armstrong is born.
As developing countries are growing and becoming more and more advanced, they will go to the internet. As of March 2019, only 55.8% of the world has access to the internet. This means there are over 3 billion people in the world, who will have access one day.
And when they come online, I would like Marstronauts to be one of the most well-known and scientifically correct sources about space exploration, where the content is easy to consume, entertaining but still inspiring.
What are some achievements you're proud of?
The fact that, at the time of writing this article, there are 29.6k followers on Instagram blows my mind. Especially if I consider that these people got together in just 4 months!
I am trying my best to provide new and educational content on this platform, and the fact that people are following, liking, commenting and engaging in any format is a good positive feedback that what I am doing is valuable and needed.
There haven’t been any big accomplishments so far, but the thing that I am proud of is I receive a DM almost every day that says “Hey! I just want to say I love your page” “it is awesome” “amazing content, thanks” or something similar.
The fact that someone actually takes the time to write me just a thank you message, makes my day.
One of my favourites is from @echonaut.science:
“Hey there David, it‘s me, the Science Journalist from Germany you talked to on another profile of mine. This is my quite new science journalism related account and I just wanted you to know that you are one of the accounts that inspired me to do this kind of work and that you were partly inspiration for my first four stories about Mars and what can be found there :) unfortunately my whole account is german so I can‘t really ask, what you think about it. So I just leave my many thanks here for you and hope you‘ll keep up your marvellous work :) 🚀”
The other favourite is from @sgzspace, an educational youtube channel, and in their Introduction video they mention that my page was super inspiring to help them start the channel. So to sum this up, my achievements are making small changes in the world, person by person.
What have been some of the biggest challenges you've faced? How did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge for me was being too afraid to start. I had this idea already almost a year ago. I wish I had started creating content back then! The way to overcome it was to just take the first step. Post the first picture.
People usually worry about what others will say, so I decided to focus on the people who actually need my content. People who are grateful for it. And whenever I post anything, I have those people in mind and I am filled with gratitude instead of fear.
If you are worried about what others around you will say, start your brand silently. Don’t tell your friends. It will be a bit harder that way, but makes it easier mentally, and eliminates fear. Tell your friends once you have some success that you are proud of.
Just work in silence and, once you have a community, they will not think you are crazy to do it because you have social proof.
Starting is the hardest and I think the richest place in the world is the graveyard. There are many brands, businesses, inventions, careers not started right there.
I didn’t want to live my life with regret that I played inside the box, and became a regular doctor. I want to change the world. And as Steve Jobs said, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
Other great motivators for me are Gary Vaynerchuk, who taught me the mindset of branding, and why providing value to people upfront is the key to success in today’s world; Simon Sinek, who helped me understand the importance of why.
And Elon Musk, who pushed SpaceX and Tesla through everything, against all odds, and inspired me to chase a career in space exploration in this second space race.
What are your next steps?
Currently, I only produce content to Instagram and my website in written format. I would like to reach more people and want to start my activities on multiple platforms and create contextual content to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest, to be able to reach audiences there too.
I have started my podcast as well which you can listen to it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Soundcloud. In this podcast, I talk about Mars, space travel and the future of humanity. I will try to invite scientists, engineers, science communicators, or whoever I can reach to give you some insight about their work.
I would also like to start a YouTube channel to create video content but illustrating and animating takes a lot of time and money, so this will just happen later on.
Once I become a doctor and have some free money that I can invest, I may start a research company/startup to create biomedical devices for astronauts.
The ultimate goal of Marstronauts, and this is the first time I articulate it in public, would be to build such a business that can afford to buy 100 tickets on Starship for a trip to Mars and potentially back - and fund the whole mission.
Based on Elon’s calculations, the tickets will cost a total of $10M - $50M. To have this in free capital, I really need to improve my business game.
I am not exactly sure how I will pull this off but I have 20 years if I personally will go (I would be 42 by then, maybe a bit old for a Marstronaut, but doable if I keep myself healthy and in shape); or 40-60 years if I will just help operate the mission from Earth.
Doesn’t seem to be impossible.
What is your vision for humanity in space long-term?
I envision humans to be a multi-planetary species in the near future, and then expand into our solar system. The first thing would be to keep Earth as Earth, and utilize our energy sources on it in a renewable manner, thus becoming a Type 1 civilization.
Then as we would progress and advance, we would send colony ships to other solar systems and colonize planets there, and also work on our Dyson spheres to harness most of our Sun’s energy, thus becoming a Type 2 civilization.
If we have overpopulation issues on Earth, we will launch O’Neill cylinders into LEO and spin them to create a 1 g environment, and thus be able to have more living area.
Once our Dyson sphere is complete, we will have the technology to decrease sunlight towards Venus, thus making terraforming Venus also possible. Terraforming Mars (a.k.a. making it habitable to humans without a spacesuit) may be impossible based on current technology.
I hope we can also invent new devices to make this possible. Then we terraform planets on other solar systems and expand humanity and life with it to our entire galaxy.
What advice do you have for aspiring space entrepreneurs?
It doesn’t matter what you do today, if you are not putting out content about your business, research or any other project, you are invisible to this world.
So, put out more content, educate the world, and if you have good intent, the world will come to you.
Read the biography of Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance, learn your craft, and hire people who are smarter than you and provide a company culture where they can work together properly. Read psychology too!
"So, put out more content, educate the world, and if you have good intent, the world will come to you."
What’s the best way for the public to support you in your mission?
You can support me in two ways. The first would be to help me create content. Audio, video and written content. So, if you are a:
- Graphic designer, illustrator and motion designer
- Photo and Videographer and editor
who also has a scientific background, please go to my website and contact me by finding the contact form. (My email may change in the future, but the domain won’t.)
The second way to support me would be to help me out financially. The best way you can do that is to become a Patreon. You can support my activities for as low as $1, but follow the link and you can read a lot more on my Patreon gigs. I will launch a web store soon that has merchandise like T-shirts, mugs, posters, and a lot of other cool things.
Most of the profit will go towards expanding this business, hiring more creators and creating more and better quality content for everyone. If you can help me expand this business, you understand Facebook advertising or you can help me optimize my website or Patreon page, please contact me via my website.
Where can people find out more about you and follow along?
You can find many articles I wrote about space exploration on my website too.
I would like to thank Sarwech from Space Bandits for this amazing opportunity to share the beginnings of my work in space exploration. The last 4 months have been amazing for me, and I am super excited about the next years of my life!
Thank you, dear reader for reading this interview, your attention means the world to me!
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