In 1980 I wrote a script, Interface. It predicted the internet, drones, social media, cyberwar and other things. I became a “script doctor”, a rewriter of scripts. My specialty was high-concept; a frozen neanderthal is brought back to life; a nano sized test pilot is inserted in a comedian; adolescents fly Navy fighters; that kind of stuff. High-tech, military, and sci-fi.
As a high concept writer, I was offered mainly high-tech, sci-fi and military themed scripts. I noticed that if you went to space, an alien would pop out of your chest, or suck your brains out, or the crew would die one by one.
“Isn’t there anything fun about space?" I asked myself. "Don’t we have to go there? Isn’t that the New Frontier? Do we have a future?...Is this all there is
In 1994 I quit screenwriting for hire and started researching a certain arena. Space Future (as if it might be a good thing).
I attended conferences with the the National Space Society, the Moon Society, the Planetary Society, The Space Frontier Society, The International Lunar Exploration Working Group, the International Lunar Decade Working Group, The Small Satellite Conference and others.
I sensed a lack of focus. These guys were obviously the smartest guys in the room, which meant that in the aggregate they were the dumbest geeks in the known universe. They had tried and failed for 50 years to get back to the moon.
I asked a simple question over and over: “What is the main compelling reason to go to space?”
The answers were all over the solar system and beyond. “We can scan the planets”, “find new moons”, “send probes to the far end of the solar system”, “find asteroids”, etc.
“No,” I said. “Why should I care?”
“We can hedge against an earth killing asteroid strike, with humans on other planets and moons.” “It's our destiny…” “It’s a new frontier”…"We can look back to the Big Bang”, etc.
“No”, I said. “As a taxpayer, why should I keep funding NASA?”
NASA’s return on its investment, in earth imaging, in satellite phones and TV, in GPS, is worth it… And besides there’s the pork. A NASA installation in every important Congressional District. Steady jobs in the Military Industrial Complex, secret military agendas… All true. But it seemed to have lost focus, at least to the American people...
“No," I said. “You want a lunar colony, you want to go to Mars. You are pissed off that you became a scientist, an engineer, a rocket scientist because of Kennedy, and, after Apollo, you never made it back to the moon. Why not?”
Organizing rocket scientists is like herding super-intelligent cats. They could not, and have not, so far, agreed on anything, let alone how to get back to the moon. Or even how to go there. There is a Forty-Years War between the Martians and the Lunatics, new campaigns with every political administration…turf wars, ITAR wars, personal vendettas. It's a mess.
In 2004 I discovered a paper by Professor Martin Hoffert and 30 other top scientists and engineers. It examined our growing need for clean energy based on science and engineering, not politics and public perception. And it concluded that we are going to need three times the current primary energy and need it to be three times as clean. And that there is no earthly technology on line or capable of coming on line that could supply this power; Source X.
At the time it was not generally known that Martin Hoffert, as a young scientist, had worked on research funded by EXXON; that in 1977 this study had determined that fossil fuel was changing the climate and that we had five to ten years to do something about it. This research was buried by the fossil fuel corporations via a comprehensive program of lies, obfuscations, bribes, political machinations, and public disinformation.
A NASA scientist, James Hansen, tasked with researching the same concept of possible climate change caused by human activity, found the same results in 1988 and was vilified by fossil fuel operatives and forced out of NASA.
Had we, the world public, known then what we know now about climate change....what could we have done? Spent the last 25 years looking for other sources of power?....Well, yeah.
Years after this EXXON finding, Hoffert called for a crash program, a Manhattan Project or Marshall Plan funded at $30 Billion dollars a year to find this Source X before it was too late.
Why didn’t we follow up Apollo with a Lunar Colony? We had beaten the Soviets. Their lead designer and project director, Sergei Korolev, had died mysteriously. They were out of the race. We chose to confront Communism in Vietnam, while Democrats needed cash for The Great Society, a second bite at the New Deal.
Republicans, who took over the country for the next fifty years, would not fund a Kennedy-initiated program. And nobody, including our space scientists, could elucidate a compelling reason to go there.
Recently, both Bush Presidents announced projects to found a lunar colony, but NASA couldn’t come up with a do-able budget.
A swing and a miss. Perhaps the greatest for mankind.
Had we continued Apollo, or followed it up with a LUNAR COLONY PROGRAM, we could now have lunar solar power, space solar power and possibly Helium3 fusion energy with fuel from the moon. We could be rapidly replacing the fossil power that is killing us with clean, renewable energy. We’d be, at least, slowing climate change, and we would be heading for Mars and the stars.
In 1981 Peter Glaser at MIT published a paper about the possibility of power satellites; space solar power. Arthur C. Clarke followed up the idea.
A new public/private regime for space operations has lowered the cost to space nearly ten fold. Renewable rockets, nano technology, and new thinking will lower it even further. There is a vast tidal wave of potential funding with the divestment and divergence of fossil company stock, elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, long range and progressively directed pension and mutual funds, insurance and at-risk hedging sector funds, government subsidies, income from carbon taxes, YieldCos and Venture Capital Funds...
The creation of a Space Power Project would create millions of jobs, simply by re-directing these funds and the surplus wealth awaiting the next bubble.
The revenue from a thriving Cislunar space economy, driven by a potential fourteen trillion dollar yearly space solar industry, would eliminate the present world economic crisis and, possibly, any future ones..
Opening this new frontier would open a glorious future. Anyway, we have no choice. Are we too late? Possibly. Scientists are terrified. Therefore, so am I.
Just edit this element to add your own HTML. https://vimeo.com/180809497
We need a Manhattan Project to develop Space Power. CLIMATE CHANGE is the greatest crisis ever facing humankind. Time is running out. When top world scientists are scared, I’m terrified. And you should be…for your kids and grandkids.
Activists have identified the problem but have no solution. Space scientists have had the solution, but have not recognized the problem. This work fills a critical need to connect the two cultures.
This FEATURE DOCUMENTARY will show how resources redirected into public/private partnerships can create vast wealth and a new world(s) economy by replacing fossil fuel. It is a call to action for a new Space Race.our paragraph here.