25 Jul Don’t mess with Space!
Is Space for Exploration, Commercialization, or Colonization? Space Musketeers must take it easy, we can't mess this up.
It was a spectacular few minutes. There is magic in watching a rocket lift off the desert floor shooting up with that thunderous power. Like it’s mocking the very concept of puny, earthy gravity, as it submits to the roar of the thrust. It’s adrenaline-pumping material.
And so it was that Jeff Bezos escaped earth for all of 10 min, and the human race got its 3 space musketeers. Bezos, Branson, Musk. BBM. And their muskets are these rockets. They twirl them around like their boyhood light-sabers.
Their space plans vary: Branson launches a pure space tourism business; Elon Musk fantasizes about making humans a multiplanetary species. And Bezos’ illusions of grandeur are still unknown and mysterious. The amazonification of space has begun.
But I am very confused and very, very conflicted.
What are we doing in space exactly? What is the problem we are trying to solve?
It’s not that I don’t get space excitement. I do! I remember July 20, 1969. Watching the moon landing as a little girl in my town on a Greek island. We had no home TV then, but we gathered outside the one luxury hotel along the waterfront, and I still remember craning my neck up to the screen to catch the moment. What a glorious, mind-bending feat that was!! I’ll never forget the feeling, I was hooked. Twelve years later, April ‘81, a group of us, young grad school engineering students – still without TVs – get up at 2am and trek to someone’s house to watch space shuttle Columbia take off. We cheer, fret, and, eventually, explode in thrill. Oh, the innocent days when space was about discovery! (more…)