Transterrestrial Musings  

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay

Alan Boyle (MSNBC)
Space Politics (Jeff Foust)
Space Transport News (Clark Lindsey)
NASA Watch
NASA Space Flight
Hobby Space
A Voyage To Arcturus (Jay Manifold)
Dispatches From The Final Frontier (Michael Belfiore)
Personal Spaceflight (Jeff Foust)
Mars Blog
The Flame Trench (Florida Today)
Space Cynic
Rocket Forge (Michael Mealing)
COTS Watch (Michael Mealing)
Curmudgeon's Corner (Mark Whittington)
Selenian Boondocks
Tales of the Heliosphere
Out Of The Cradle
Space For Commerce (Brian Dunbar)
True Anomaly
Kevin Parkin
The Speculist (Phil Bowermaster)
Spacecraft (Chris Hall)
Space Pragmatism (Dan Schrimpsher)
Eternal Golden Braid (Fred Kiesche)
Carried Away (Dan Schmelzer)
Laughing Wolf (C. Blake Powers)
Chair Force Engineer (Air Force Procurement)
Saturn Follies
JesusPhreaks (Scott Bell)
The Ombudsgod
Cut On The Bias (Susanna Cornett)
Joanne Jacobs

Site designed by

Powered by
Movable Type
Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

« An Exemplary Example Of How Crazy College Football Is This Season | Main | A Deadly Combo »

Is Space...

...the next Australia?

Posted by Rand Simberg at October 21, 2007 06:52 AM
TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference this post from Transterrestrial Musings.


Posted by Mark at October 21, 2007 07:04 AM

Not until we can ship out convicts!

Posted by Andy Clark at October 21, 2007 08:16 AM

"Botany Bay...? Oh, no!"

Posted by Frank Glover at October 21, 2007 11:02 AM

"Botany Bay...? Oh, no!"

That's one way to get Rand to rob a convenience store.

Posted by john hare at October 21, 2007 11:06 AM

That's one way to get Rand to rob a convenience store.

+4 mojo from me. Nicely snarked!

Posted by Bill White at October 21, 2007 12:12 PM


"Space, the final Australia. These are the voyages of the beer ship Enterprise..."

Posted by FC at October 21, 2007 12:13 PM

Is space the new Australia?

Definetly not, it's the new Bahamas.

Posted by Habitat Hermit at October 21, 2007 05:02 PM

Actually the original article indicates something more serious, that radical environmentalists are laying the ground work to turn Space into another Antarctica.

Some quotes…

]]]Dr Toni Johnson-Woods says she and her colleagues found there is a prevailing belief that other planets and their natural resources are there simply to be exploited.]]]

Shocking, just shocking…

[[[She says the "spirit of exploration" that has marked the space age appears to have given way to thinking that is closer to that of pre-20th century colonialism.]]]

Yep, its called Manifest Destiny

As for the next two quotes, don’t laugh, this is how “deep” environmentalists actually think.

[[["The other thing is that space is not an infinite resource. If we go to the Moon and litter the Moon and wreck it, there's not another one just down the road.]]]

[[["I can just see bubblegum on the undercarriage of a space station... it doesn't take long, and if we do destroy a planet that's uninhabitable, is that a problem? It's an ethical issue."]]]

The original article is here.

Posted by Thomas Matula at October 21, 2007 06:09 PM

This came up on the NASA Spaceflight forums. If a modest resource is consumed in a grossly inefficient way (say mining ice on the Moon, but permanently throwing away 90% of the ice in the process) or life is discovered somewhere near human activity, then there might be reason for this sort of concern. OTOH, these ivory tower refugees seem unable to even think of these rare but valid scenarios. Ultimately, I think the last phrase in the original story (as quoted by Thomas above) outlines their current space strategy. If you have no legitimate reason to obstruct space development, then vaguely refer to the "ethical issues" that it brings up.

Sometimes it seems to me that ethics is the dumping ground for obstructionists of all stripes. That is, if you're going to oppose some action on moral grounds, then might as well introduce ethics so that you can give your arguments a veneer of scientific authority.

Posted by Karl Hallowell at October 21, 2007 07:07 PM

It's not just the mineral exploitation. It's the pollution. What if we fill space up with our litter? What will will do? The Space Aliens will put us under an Interdict. It's bad enough that our Atomic Bombs have threatened all life in the Universe. Do we have to Poison it as well?

Posted by Craig at October 23, 2007 10:36 AM


That isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. Orbital debris is a real, and growing, hazard for spacecraft. I seem to remembr seeing an article stating that the Shuttle has often had to be slightly diverted to avoid some of the larger chunks, and it has often come back with a cratered front window.

Posted by Fletcher Christian at October 23, 2007 03:28 PM

Venting off helium in natural gas extraction and using lunar ice for propellant may be the textbook examples of "tragedy of the anti-commons" for the 21st century.

These two resources take billions of years to build up and we'll completely destroy them in the next century if no effort is made now to preserve them. We've already passed peak-helium and noone has even blinked.

Posted by Adrasteia at October 23, 2007 10:08 PM

Post a comment

Email Address: