July 20th 2009 is the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. July 20th is also Space Exploration Day. After 40 years of space exploration it is time to begin space settlement. In order to honor all who risked their lives for space exploration and all who are dedicated to opening the new era of space settlement, we ask everyone to blog about space settlement on July 20th. Feel free to write about any aspect of space settlement, and about settlement at any space location — orbital settlements, settlements on the Moon, Mars, asteroids, or any place else. If you want more information or need ideas about space settlement go to the NSS Space Settlement Nexus.
When we were in the early stages of producing the NSS Strategic Plan, we analyzed what had worked well for us in the past. We looked at not only the history of NSS, but also the history of our two precursor organizations, the L-5 Society and the National Space Institute. These organizations merged to form NSS in 1987. We found that our most important contributions were in the arena of ideas. Much success had been obtained by promoting ideas such as space settlement and the importance of space resources.
Ideas are powerful forces and can be used by organizations with no more resources than NSS to have a decisive impact on the course of human events. The key to such a strategy is to have powerful ideas; and that is NSS’s greatest strength. We are on the right side of history and that has profound strategic implications.
This article was written by Mark Hopkins, Senior Vice President and Senior Operating Officer of the National Space Society. The article originally appeared in Ad Astra, Spring, 2009.
Catch -22 is the title of a Joseph Heller novel, the title comes from a catch in the rules which creates an insolvable dilemma. Catch-22 is explained in the following quote from the book.
Yossarian looked at him soberly and tried another approach. “Is Orr crazy?”
“He sure is,” Doc Daneeka said.
“Can you ground him?”
“I sure can. But first he has to ask me to. That’s part of the rule.”
“Then why doesn’t he ask you to?”
“Because he’s crazy,” Doc Daneeka said. “He has to be crazy to keep flying combat missions after all the close calls he’s had. Sure, I can ground Orr. But first he has to ask me to.”
“That’s all he has to do to be grounded?”
“That’s all. Let him ask me.”
“And then you can ground him?” Yossarian asked.
“No. Then I can’t ground him.”
“You mean there’s a catch?”
“Sure there’s a catch,” Doc Daneeka replied. “Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy.”
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.
“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.”
In the space movement we have our own Catch -22.
• We can’t develop space without reducing launch costs.
• Most of the support of continued funding for space activities is derived from the jobs those space activities create.
• To reduce launch costs we must eliminate those jobs.
We are in a no win situation. How do we get out of this dilemma?
There are tens of thousands of jobs at risk as the shuttle is decommissioned (Bill would extend space shuttle life) and Constellation is having problems (Is Constellation A Bailout In Thin Disguise?). Since money for salaries for jobs means higher launch costs. If we oppose job cuts we guarantee high launch costs and eliminate the possibility of space development. If we support job cuts in pursuit of lowering launch costs, we also eliminate support for funding space activities, since congress supports space because of the jobs space activity creates in their districts.
The Pages for NSS and the Space Movement are part of The NSS Social Networking Team’s plan to use social networks to promote interest in the NSS. The team members are Brice Russ, Charles Radley, myself – Karen Shea, and our newest member Demi Pietchell. Anyone interested in volunteering contact me or anyone on the committee.
Arthur C. Clarke died a year ago today. Clarke shaped the space movement in so many ways from geostationary communications to 2001. He inspired so many to dream of the possibilities for the future. The world without seems to have an empty place without him.
Ovation TV | Arthur C. Clarke, The Man Who Saw the Future
Space settlement proponents and space tourism proponents make up two substantial groups that have significant overlap. The goals of both are mutually reinforcing. The members of the two groups are forward looking, dynamic, energetic, enthusiastic, motivated, and strongly pro-space. Part of the longterm NSS strategy is to broker an ideological marriage between the two. This is a major reason why Ad Astra places substantial emphasis on the issues of both. Such a marriage would not only be beneficial to space settlement and space tourism, but also to humanity’s future in space.
The Space Movement Face Book Page came up in the second position on a Google Search of the term – The Space Movement. Rankings come and go quickly so it may no last but I feel we are making great progress in popularizing the term The Space Movement.
The Space Movement Facebook Group now has 143 members with 700 unanswered invitations. One enthusiastic young gentleman, named Christopher Calubaquib, invited his 1100 closest friends to join The Space Movement. Thank you Christopher.
Last week one of the leaders of NSS explained to me how important it was that the pro-space philosophy be seen as a movement like the Peace Movement or the Environmental Movement. Late Sunday afternoon, I had the idea that a facebook group would be a good way to easily promote the term The Space Movement, since there are dozens of space groups with many of the same members. I also realized that Facebook was having a big push with CNN for the Inauguration and that would be a prime opportunity to get members since more people would be online.
So, I set about doing that. I knew the group should have a logo so I sat down at the computer and designed one. Then I looked at how to set up a group on Facebook, by setting one up. I was going to set up a Retrocausality group, a pet project of my father, but I found they already had one complete with picture of my father, I joined. Then I moved on to try the Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, one of my father’s previous projects, as I was setting it up I noticed it wanted a website.
So, I realize I should also set up The Space Movement Web Site and I might as well set up a The Space Movement Blog. From experience I knew that a Café press store is a great way to get noticed by Google because it is very easy to create a lot of products and each product creates a page and, Cafe Press and Google are working together so Cafe Press is indexed very quickly. So since I already had a logo, I also set up The Space Movement store on Cafe Press.
The Face book Space Movement Group now has 29 members. If you are on Facebook, I hope you come by and join The Space Movement Group. I hope that within a week the first ten pages found by a Google search of the term “The Space Movement” will mean the pro-space movement.
I have found that there isn’t much material on The Space Movement, as such, so if any one has good material on the web please send me the link. Please use the term The Space Movement often. It is important to make it part of the national jargon in order for space settlement to be taken seriously.