13 thoughts on “The Only Reason To Explore Space”

  1. “Yes, it’s unclear that, absent physics breakthroughs,…”

    Yes; “breakthroughs”, like reverse-engineered tic-tac/Gimbo/Go-Fast UAP tech? How can one do an article like this in this day in age after the several years of disclosures and Congressional hearings attesting to the reality of such? With witnesses like David Grusch and many others testifying about such and efforts to reverse engineer/understand such tech? Understand it isn’t the thrust of the article but surely a line or two mentioning said caveat would have been in order (unless I missed it in my skimming). This article looks like world class deliberate cognitive dissonance.

  2. The subject was discussed in L. Ron Hubbard’s Return To Tomorrow(1954). The story depended on a handwavium ‘High Drive’ that allowed easy acceleration to reletavistic near light speed velocities for the ship Hound of Heaven to operate as a self-sufficient cargo hauller. It was self-sufficient because the ships like her only arrived ‘often enough’ to keep alive the idea that knowledge of an archaic ‘lingua spacia’. Arrival of ‘windfall profits from the stars’ could be attained but investing in something that might show a return to your great-grandchildren was laughable.

    So the ‘Earth side’ culture just thought of the starships as a ‘windfall profit’ that happened from time to time. The conclusion of the story had the main character read a post mortem letter from the captain that kidnapped him aboard years before. The MC had asked ‘Why?’ …why not land, why not colonize some planet and cease the endless travel into a future where very landfall was to places and cultures changed by the passage of many years?

    The Captain’s Answer: So that Humanity will survive! And that is probably the one reason because in the Deep Future even the Sun will die and why should humanity go quietly into the dark with it?

  3. DARPA wants to build a ‘thriving commercial economy’ on the moon in 10 years
    –“A large paradigm shift is coming in the next 10 years for the lunar economy,” Michael Nayak, program manager in DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office, said in the statement. To help expedite this shift, LunA-10 will identify companies with “technically rigorous business plans,” and promote collaborative innovation between them to create multiple, commercially viable services on the moon by around 2035. —

    Space business need equatorial launch sites.
    If find a lot of mineable water on Moon, things could get crazy.

    1. The only model is ‘crony capitalism’ thinly disguised as government managed ‘collaborative innovation? With stakeholders like Zimbabwe requiring their ‘rightful share’ of any profits? Predictable …as a ‘policy expert’ they don’t have to make things actually work in the real world.

      1. “…thinly disguised as government managed ‘collaborative innovation? With stakeholders like Zimbabwe…”

        If Musk succeeds in his goal of making space travel cheap enough so that private actors can independently operate I don’t see how Zimbabwe will ever be in a position to demand a share. The so-called moon treaty was never ratified by most of the major space fairing countries and as long as the 1967 celestial bodies treaty is in effect no country has the right (or countries) to claim sovereignty over any heavenly body or space in general.

        The more space wealth like that platinum/ gold/nickel laden asteroid psyche becomes real wealth rather than theoretical than the less likely countries like the United States Russia China et cetera would be willing to sign over their rights to any UN backed organization. The window for ramming something like that through is rapidly closing; it only worked when most people weren’t paying attention to it when they regard space as pie in the sky et cetera that window is closing.
        Paraphrasing Gordon Gecko (sometimes) greed is good.

  4. Ah yes, so we can only go to space if the same restrictions govern there as here.
    I didn’t get to the part where he says that we need to have an EPA to protect the lunar environment, but you can bet that it’s in his thought.

  5. I’m working on a (series of) hard SF novel(s) that take things in a different direction after 9/11, and the end result is the beginning of a space oriented civilization. I think that profits can be made by people living and working off Earth; colonization, mining asteroids and other objects.
    If these go well, and I can sell these or self publish, I’ll do another series set roughly 100 years after the end of the first three novels.
    One important aspect of these novels is that the new space company will not accept any government contracts and will not participate in the political games that too much of the aerospace community plays(high cost ads in trade journals in exchange for fawning coverage, to name just one).
    I do believe that there will be eventual breakthroughs in physics that will allow swift interstellar travel; that will be a major part of the plot in the second trilogy.

    1. I think there a lot planets/bodies within 1 light year from Sol.
      Only reason I can see to interstellar travel are exotic matter {chunks of neutron stars, black holes, etc} and I think these are possible within 1 light year from Sol.
      But you could call within 1 light year, as interstellar travel.
      I think problem with Sol system, is no body [including humans] would go to such a solar system.

  6. SpaceX test-fires booster for second Starship launch
    Jeff Foust August 25, 2023

    “SpaceX later stated that all 33 engines successfully ignited, although two shut down prematurely. “Congratulations to the SpaceX team on this exciting milestone!”

    It seems to me, they need another static fire, where none shutdown prematurely.
    It also seems, they should peak the thrust for a 1/4 of a second.

  7. If you really need evidence that this guy doesn’t get it, look no further than Elon. Individuals matter.

  8. I don’t think we need to go to space to transform humanity “for the better”. Just let humans be humans. This means there will be many reasons to go to space, not just one top down reason.

    “Rather than a government or religion, perhaps a new kind of institution yet to be invented will be able to take humanity to the stars. ”

    Kinda sounds ok but kinda sounds like Marxism, which is both a religion and government.

  9. Resources and energy. Those are the fundamental reasons to go to space. Those are the only reason humanity has ever ventured over the next hill – to find more/better firewood, and to find more/better clay for pots, or more/better prey for hunting. They are also the reason for pretty much every war in history.

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