From https://history.nasa.gov/SP-4404/ch10-5.htm  Fig. 51. Cross-section of an injector used in experiments with an 89-kN rocket engine using liquid oxygen and regeneratively cooled by the liquid hydrogen. A lightweight design, the injector was a converging showerhead type. Measured performance was 93 percent of theoretical. From Tomazic, Bartoo, and Rollbuhler, NASA TMX-253, Apr. 1960.
The year I was born the high performance rocket engine was just being born. 15 years previously the first nuclear weapons had been dropped on cities and 7 years earlier America and China ended their conflict in Korea. My wife is Korean so that war has significance to me and it only ended when Eisenhower threatened to drop nuclear weapons on China. Eisenhower was also the guy who ordered the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe in bad weather. He was not kidding. From the New York Times:
”The President expressed with great emphasis the opinion that if the Chinese Communists attacked us again, we should certainly respond by hitting them hard and wherever it would hurt most, including Peiping itself,” the record of the meeting says, using the former name of Peking.”
Considering the economic woes that followed the Vietnam war it is an interesting “what if”:
”This, said the President, would mean all-out war against Communist China,” the document continues. It is one of hundreds of papers, most of them originally classified as top secret, included in the State Department’s latest volume in the series called ”Foreign Relations of the United States.” The volume, in two books, covers Korea from 1952 to 1954. The series is a source of primary material on American foreign policy. – The latest volume, in addition to discussing readiness to use nuclear weapons, discloses differences in approach between officials. – The discussion about the possible use of nuclear weapons in Korea was followed by a policy of threatening to use such weapons in case of a large-scale attack by the Soviet Union. There was also discussion in 1954 of possible American nuclear support to aid French forces besieged at Dien Bien Phu in the war that ended French rule in North Vietnam.”
The Reagan Revolution ushered in a new era of robber barons and now we have a Neoliberal world order with the rain forest burning and great barrier reef dying, ice caps melting, and pandemics threatening global chaos. The richest man in the world wants to industrialize space and as much as I truly hate the inequality and rampant greed that put him in his semi-divine position, I have to agree with him. I have written in this blog about how I came to my present worldview by way of reading “Project Orion” while helping my wife research a paper on situational ethics. My own take on the critical task facing the human race is not the same as Jeff Bezos and Gerard K. O’Neill, it is slightly different.
As long as human beings have short lifespans, our species is doomed. Nobody cares about a future they will not be in. We have a built-in denial mechanism that keeps us from facing this problem. Having been a troubleshooter of aircraft autopilot systems for several years as my principal trade, I believe I have some insight on the solution. In my view the first step is to simply acknowledge the fault- we get old and die. The second step is technically simple- find a way to freeze humans without damage before they die while we work on step three. Step three is reversing the aging process. Not a very complicated flow chart. The main feature is the step two storage problem while we are figuring out step three. Mr. Bezos has some experience with storage and deadlines.
But before that can possibly happen there is the problem of Neoliberalism- which places human life after the main reason for existence which is greed. Money is the god of this cult that has taken control of the world. The proof is simple to see in the calls to “go back to work” and just let people die because the economy is more important than individual lives. Space is directly connected to an indefinite lifespan for obvious reasons. If we do not die and we continue to reproduce then the world is not going to support that future infinite population.
We will not stop reproducing and it follows that freezing people is the only way we are going on centuries-long journeys to other solar systems. I would suggest that all these super-rich people stop competing against each other in this one area (step one), direct immense resources at the problem (step two), and then enable the solution (step three).
If you are not sociopathic predators and have some intelligence beyond how to amass incomprehensible wealth, please do that. Have a good day Jeff.