Exploring is good. Finding balance is hard. We need to explore space, under the sea, the moon, Mars and further. Space travel is something to look forward to.
They had not heard about NASA’s plans to go to the moon in 2024. They are for exploration and development, but the benefits need to go to all humanity, not just to an elite few. They do not have an interest in going into space. Aileen pointed out that we need to consider the environmental impact. That considering it would produce so much pollution going into space that it would not be worth it for a holiday.
Environmental impact of rocket launches, rocket testing and production needs to be understood. We should spend time and resources understanding the negative effects and taking steps to mitigate them. We do not need to put everything on hold, it should be a parallel activity. I believe in the promising of space exploration, but we need to go into it with eyes wide open and not assume that the effects are marginal.
Sheila has not heard about NASA’s plans to go to the moon in 2024. She thinks it is a good thing that we are exploring space because we are not managing the earth well. She is not interested in traveling to space herself.
It is an interesting point to say that we should explore space and colonize space because we are messing up earth. This is often sited by people that are both for space (we need a back up) and against space (we need to fix earth). And one of my previous interviews even went as far as saying that we should not explore space because we will just mess it up.
However, fixing the earth is also the point of space travel. Jeff Bezos talks about moving all heavy industry and mining off of earth and zoning earth as a park and light industrial. Many people react to this saying it is impossible, uneconomical. But they do this while flying on planes that can take them between any place on earth in less than 24 hours and over WhatsApp that lets them have video calls in real time with nearly anyone in the world and as they answer the door to take receipt of their Amazon order just placed an hour ago while watching a streaming movie just released yesterday. All of which would have been deemed as impossible and uneconomical just a few years or decades ago. Now it is just a normal part of everyday life.
With scale, constant and quick refinement, and complete operational reusability, space is about to open up in an unimaginable way. The way that some people could envision the internet’s capabilities in the early 1990s in the age of the dialup modem, so I and a few others can see what space will be like.
In the 2030s there will be everyday travel to space and industrialization and mining in space that will be taken as a normal thing. Things that were though impossible just a few years ago will become common in the next decade.
Exciting times ahead. Space will be the new internet. Anyone that can do anything related to space will be in high demand. Study up!
Luke had not heard about NASA’s plans to go to the moon. He wonders why NASA is going. He is quite happy with staying on the ground.
I think “Why are we going?” is a recurring theme in these interviews. For the pro-space people it is axiomatic and is something that is obviously good. For people not so much interested in space, they need it to fit into a practical purpose. I think nearly everyone agrees on the value of communication satellites, GPS, weather satellites and the like. Not everyone would agree on the need for monitoring the sun or looking for near earth objects. But taking some measures to understand how space weather affects the satellites and communications on earth is something that many would see value in. Understanding what asteroids might impact the earth most could agree with (though not everyone). But then when you get into human spaceflight and exploration of the planets and observing the cosmos, you start to get into an area that does not have demonstrable practical benefit. For these types of areas it becomes more philosophical. And it has more to do with your view of humanity in the cosmos. Is our time here long or short? Is it something that we can control or influence? Are we something precious, deserving of surviving for the long term or are we pests that should not go messing up the universe?
I think as human settlements start to appear in the solar system and becomes the norm that more people will come to accept space exploration as something inevitable. Until then, it will come down to beliefs.