Aylyffe is part of the National Space Society of North Texas. Her interest first started because of her parents who are space enthusiasts. She would like to see habitats built in earth orbit, and believes that there are ways to do this that would be very economical. She is excited to see us return to the moon. The exploration there will allow us to discover technology and resources that will help humanity here. And it is something that we should all be excited about.
Paul Bowen is a teacher at the Schilling School for Gifted Children. Paul and I had a wide ranging conversation. We started out with “we should focus on problems here at earth”, but as we explored those problems, we identified several drivers that could motivate other people to move to space. Intentional communities will find it challenging to maintain their identity and rules as communications technology and competition and pressure from other communities continue to put pressure on them to adapt to the mainstream. These communities might chose the hardships of space with the isolation and buffering that it provides in order to maintain their identity and their philosophy. Their way of life will have to change to adapt to the technology required to maintain life in uninhabitable places, but those challenges seem consistent with the apparent philosophy of those societies.
We also talked about conflict between US and China could result from the idea that China could be dealt with now. But that China is growing fast, and there will come a point in the future that it may not be possible to limit them. This conflict could escalate to be like no other with planet changing consequences. This may result in people that might prefer the seemingly manageable challenges that nature presents over the unpredictable challenges that fellow people represent going to space to be safe from potential world war.
The key sentence from our conversation was “It doesn’t have to be this way.” All the ills that we see in the world, all the short comings, all the sources of frustration and harm could be changed. We could chose to make the world a different way.
We can create a community of mutual respect, a world that is rational and supportive, and a world were we can focus on learning and advancement. The choice for that world is in our hands. But first we need to realize we have a choice.
The key to opening up space is reducing launch cost. And the key to reducing launch cost is to increase the payload fraction of the vehicle. This can be done through ground accelerators, deploying from planes, and the use of skyhooks.
Eagle maintains a website: http://www.high-frontier.org/
He helped a student create a launch tower.