Half a Century Later

NASA is going to begin the second space age exactly 50 years after the first one ended.

At the end of 1972 Apollo 17 returned from the Moon and 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of humankind NOT exploring space. We are going to correct that mistake. As actor William Shatner announced in a recent NASA P.R. video- We are going.

NASA declares first SLS core stage complete

“Think of it as NASA’s Christmas present to America,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in an event marking the SLS core stage completion Dec. 9.”

While I consider Bridenstine the best NASA Administrator since the Apollo era and in the running as best ever, and sincerely hope he is carried over into the next administration, I don’t think of this as marking a holiday. Instead, I recall when the Augustine Commission murdered Sidemount and if not for that how the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8 could have seen another trip around the Moon. 2018 should have marked humans again leaving the gravitational field of Earth- enabled by Sidemount. It was a sad time.

“We’re going to do a ‘green run’ test. We’re going to prove its capability, we’re going to get it to the Cape, and we’re going to be ready to launch American astronauts to the Moon again.”

In 2022 we plan to fly humans around the Moon again, 4 years after the 50th anniversary of the first such flight. Ironically, 4 years is how long the first space age lasted. The public really does not understand that Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is only a few hundred miles up and a strong argument can be made that it does not qualify as “space.” LEO was first traveled in 1961 by Yuri Gagarin and following flights into LEO for the next 7 years and 8 months may be considered Human Space Flight (HSF) but Apollo 8 left the gravitational field of Earth far behind in 1968. In my view, LEO was removed from the HSF category at that point in history. Going in circles a couple hundred miles up is not space travel. LEO is not really space while 22,236 miles up is Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) where “space” should be demarcated as beginning.

USAF Confirms SpaceX Awaiting FAA Approval for Booster Landing at Cape for Return to Flight

Only 4 years ago I had just started a new job and there was still some debate about whether NewSpace was going to be the train wreck it is now, or die a quieter death. Unfortunately, the flagship company continues to launch satellites, and is starting to strip mine Earth Orbit with their ruinous smallsat constellation. The toxic dragon is still scheduled to carry humans to the space station to nowhere despite having blown up and being an unsafe design. Any debate on public space forums is over as the Musk mob has essentially completed their program of hijacking all discourse concerning their cult. Their decade-long propaganda campaign has succeeded in profoundly deceiving the public.

I wish I had the time to popularize this blog and try and get the message out to the public: Space is the Future! Everybody getting rich and living in Musktown on Mars is NOT. I hope and pray a progressive administration will undo some of the damage done by corporatism and neoliberalism- and that space will be a fundamental part of that future. I truly believe the best path to preventing a climate catastrophe is Space Solar Power, as envisioned by Gerard K. O’Neill. I stated years ago that the mountains of treasure currently expended on stealth fighters, submarines, and missile defense, should be redirected to spaceships.

The strategic deterrent can be relocated to deep space and used in a New Green Deal in the same way World War Two made the original New Deal such a success. Lunar water-shielded “fat workshops” can be used in GEO to support a Carrington-event-proof telecom network of human-crewed platforms. That crew compartment pipeline will enable a fleet of Lunar Cyclers and a bridge across the cislunar sea. Those crew compartments are also the prerequisite to true spaceships. The same infrastructure we create to support building a fleet of “space boomers” can be used to facilitate Space Solar Power. The superpower spaceship fleets can also protect planet Earth from comet and asteroid impact threats.

In contrast, the NewSpace business plan is a dead end.

The worst thing that has ever happened to space exploration.


Published by billgamesh

Revivable Cryopreservation Advocate

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