Volunteering for an Exploration into Mediocrity

The title of this article in the Guardian looked great “Space Exploration Volunteers Wanted (The catch? It’s a one way ticket)” but the authors must have had a deadline to meet for today’s Apollo 11 anniversary or else not be too interested in the subject, because they jump all over the place. The interesting part of the discussion was with John Olson, Nasa’s director of exploration systems integration :

A senior Nasa official has told the Guardian that the world’s space agencies, or the commercial firms that may eventually succeed them, could issue one-way tickets to space, with the travellers accepting that they would not come back.


The Future of Space Flight

Take a look at these interesting questionaires being used by the ESA for an upcoming seminar on the future of spaceflight.

They are trying to start a discussion about realistic, upcoming as well as fantastic dreams for the future of space.  This is a good way to go about it I think, until we know what it is we really dream about we can know how to choose from what is possible or how to push beyond the just possible.

One of the questions was along the lines of, if you had one thing to say to the designers of future space flight systems what would it be?  Here’s what I said:

Keep your mind open, think beyond government centralized control, think beyond scientific goals. Think of the internet, the blogosphere etc, how that exploded in a short time once people were enabled with technology. How could we enable small governments, corporations even groups of committed individuals to harness technology for use in space or even to explore space? Computer power is available, the knowledge is available. Committed groups of people exploring for their own goal may be willing to take risks and reap rewards that government programs never could. As space scientists and engineers how can you enable this kind of revolution?

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