I was 11 when I watched the first noisy images of people walking on the Moon on a black-and-white TV. Only a few months before I had watched the immortal “2001: A Space Odyssey” (thanks Mom for taking me, and I hope you are there among the stars). Double punch and I was knocked out: I’ve been lost in space ever since.
Of course I studied science and engineering (theoretical physics and computers), and of course I ended up working in the space sector, in the European Space Agency and then other European space administrations. Then I set up a virtual reality development and consulting company, which was quite successful until the last crash. In the last few years I have been mostly working as a sci/tech freelance writer, with occasional other gigs now and then.
To me, space is important.
I know and love cool tech as much as the next geek, and I am persuaded there’s fun to be had and money to be made in space, but to me the importance of space goes much beyond that.
I strongly believe spreading to the stars is is our manifest destiny, cosmic duty, and sacred quest.
Forward Space Coop!
Let’s go back to the fun to be had and the money to be made in space.
In “A Virtual World Space Agency,” (2009) I proposed to create a global space agency of the people, open to anyone. Then a few months ago I created a Facebook group to explore the idea of a decentralized autonomous space agency. The project is now part of Space Cooperative.
I joined Space Cooperative and look forward to do my part. Forward Space Coop!
Of many ambitious space missions on the table, I will focus on lunar missions. I want us to go back to the Moon, now. NOW.
Of course part of it is psychological: The harsh realities of life on this planet took my Moon of sweet young dreams away from me for decades and now I want it the fuck BACK before logging off.
But I am also persuaded that Mars can wait a bit, and going back to the Moon (to stay) is the wise thing to do at this moment. There are many reason, but an important one is that, while there’s no solid business case for Mars at this moment, there are solid business cases for returning to and start exploiting the Moon with reasonable funding and reasonable expectations of return. NASA (and other public space agencies) can’t do everything but should encourage private industry to step in. I recommend reading “The Value of the Moon,” by Paul Spudis, for detailed and thorough arguments.
Besides governments and corporations, grassroots movements and citizen scientists have an important role to play in space, and every little step in the right direction is important. I often say I would be happy to clean shit to contribute to space exploration, so let’s all go clean some shit on the way to the Moon and the planets.
Then, onward to the stars. I am a big fan of the awesome Breakthrough Starshot project to launch relativistic interstellar micro-probes and receive data back from the stars before this century is over. Long-term, I have argued that our post-biological, hybrid human-machine mind children will explore the stars. But in the meantime, seeing flesh-and-blood people living and working in space will keep the interstellar dream alive.