If settlement and expansion into space is the goal of human spaceflight efforts, what is the optimal role of the government – if any?
As the flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon have just shown us, it is a new day in space. Join us for a conversation with Rick Tumlinson, co-founder of the Space Frontier Foundation and space activist, to discuss how the space frontier will be opened, with the support of, or in spite of our governments.
If we clear away the myths of history, we will see that past frontiers such as the Americas were not opened by the governments of Europe. It simply didn’t happen that way. Rather, different groups, companies, and individuals operating under various agreements, contracts, sanctions, and with different kinds of support, did the vast majority of the work, including most of the exploration. There were no government settlers or fleets of ships, except those patrolling the seas and protecting their citizens and their goods and the wealth they were shipping home.
As we open the Frontier of Space, we must create a new model, based on the realities of the 21st century and of space itself. This time we will be taking these new lands from no one, and rather than attacking its ecosystem in the name of industry, our industry will bring with it the seeds of life.
What will this new model look like? And what must we begin to do right now to make this happen as quickly as possible, as safely as possible, in a way that produces the most wealth, science, and value for all involved, in both the government, and the private sector?