We can get
nostalgic and name it the Enterprise
and we can also talk about going where no human has gone before, but at some
point we need to settle down and think. What we will think about is the design,
development and deployment of a starship-based space exploration system. Again, I stress, this is not a Star Trek reality program. I am talking about something far bigger and
more versatile. It is a major, space-age concept of human space exploration.
this case is both a very large, very accommodating and powerful craft as well
as an operational philosophy. Space-age, as used in this discussion, represents
the results of a well formulated international space policy. This policy is the
product of a joint, international effort by government, scientific, and
technical representatives. The policy
has a 10 century development and exploration plan. Yes, a 1000 year commitment
to the serious exploration of our solar system and beyond. Anything less is, at best, timidly tepid.
Key elements of the plan: The plan
is made up of five principal objectives all of which are directly relevant to
our exploration of near and distant space.
The objectives are:
creation of an International Space Congress: This
is not just a deliberative body, it is the governing organization over all
space related scientific and exploratory activities of the citizens of
planet Earth. Nothing ventures out
and away from Earth into both near and deep space without it being an activity
sponsored by the Congress. This is
true even for all of the many private sector ventures that are fully
encouraged, authorized and often partially financed by the Congress.
Earth Preservation and Conservation: As has been discussed
in preliminary documents, planet Earth at this time is humankind’s only
prime source of the natural resources, science and technology needed to
support an extended exploration of outer space. If we fail to preserve and
protect this vital resource then we stand to totally cripple our
exploratory ambitions and our future.
Research and Development Goals for all Science and Technology: In
those days when nations vied with each other over territorial and
political control, scientific and technical research and development was
rarely shared. In fact it was regularly used as a tool of “one-upmanship”
or “gotchas” that boosted one nation’s standings in the world order. Sometimes this was stunning and enabling
in that it ignited creative competitions that moved us forward, but
generally, at best we simply kept an awkward pace with the cosmos. Conjoining the entire technological and
scientific prowess of the world into a collaborative effort will open so
many new windows of revelation and opportunity that we will be challenged
to simply keep pace with it all. In so doing, we will be motivated to extend
all of humankind out into the deepest environs of the universe. We are, at last, beginning to fulfill
development and deployment of the International Starship “Beagle II”: The
purpose of this exploratory system is to carry forward an in-depth exploration
of every planetary body in our Solar System. Like its famous predecessor
it shall carry scientist-explorers to these areas so that they may begin
to assess every detail associated with each planetary body. The search for life in all its known and
yet to be discovered forms will be a major objective of this mission.
Habitability, with respect to human colonization will also be a major
investigative goal. Please visit the following link to see
the envisioned spacecraft design and operational objectives: http://bit.ly/1Mhfwd. Most
importantly, “Beagle II” is the virtual operational base for all of these
Solar System explorations. As such
it shall be both the home and the launch point for its research
launching of deep-space exploratory missions to be designated exosolar
systems: Earth’s humankind must reach out beyond our home solar
system and eventually even beyond our parent galaxy. When we do, we will revitalize and fully
honor those famous words: “do not be frightened for we come in peace.”
Peace, this time, is an expression of reality, not a dream or false
promise. We have mastered it and
put it to work for each and every one of us. It has brought us the power and unity
that enables us to move onward and outward. We are one, we are the
citizens of planet Earth.
Discussion: Well can we really do this? Actually we have no choice. If we wish to
insure our continuing existence and to also fulfill our true destiny then it is
a must. In these present times, we would
refer to it as a “YES WE CAN” opportunity and obligation. There is magic here.
If humankind decides to focus on the five plan elements above, then we will
have also committed ourselves to making peace a total, and very functional
reality. “YES WE CAN.”
immense territory of amazing mystery and challenge now demands our attention.
This, again, is part of the fulfillment of human purpose. If we decide to
disagree or ignore this challenge then we place ourselves in a terminal
state. This is not new. As we will find
out, if we agree to explore space, there have been other civilizations out
there that have essentially opted out of their futures. Who knows, it could be that we are the very
last to have the opportunity to extend humankind into the universe. Obviously this document is screaming out:
“Don’t drop the ball.”
your imagination run unfettered.
Consider all of the developments and human enrichment that will occur as
we undertake this effort. Oh yes, there
will be challenges, frustrations, and, sadly, loss of life in the process. Since, however, we are operating in unity,
those losses are no longer a singular grief, we all share and in sharing we
impart both compassion and strength. We
emerge stronger and more resolute. We repeat the mantra: “we are citizens of
Conclusion: I hope you will forgive my quoting myself as
the conclusion to this essay. In a blog
article I wrote entitled “Sailing the Celestial Sea” (http://bit.ly/1sWCuI)
on this same subject, I ended it with the following concluding comment.
above is not going to be an easy process, and there are many out there who
rather shoot NASA down than realize that NASA and its industrial/scientific
partners are one of the key elements of both our growth and future stability.
Space is the next (not the last) frontier and we are a nation that has
built itself upon our exploring past frontiers. It has worked well, and
this time we stand to move humankind far more forward and beneficially than has
ever been done before. Most importantly, the new partnership is an
international one that is far more comprehensive than the ones NASA has now.
This extends that growth and stability factor around the world. In short,
it spells FUTURE.
who among us wants to deny the future? Come aboard and let’s go sailing.
The universe awaits us.