Voices From L5 – The Ethics of Terraforming

If we can terraform Mars, should we? What if there’s already life there? What is the most important thing about our solar system? Humans? Or Life itself? Do we have an obligation to be gardeners of our part of the universe, cultivating life as we find it, where ever we find it, and being sure not to impede its growth?

Chris McKay, a NASA expert, joins us this week to share his views on ethical terraforming. We discuss how humanities desire to grow and explore could butt heads with an ethical responsibility to the solar system and what can be done to overcome these issues.

A fantastic episode with some incredible implications and ideas. One of my favorites so far! If you enjoyed our early episodes with Tony Milligan and co, this one will be a treat!

If you enjoyed this episode, you can let us know by leaving a review over on iTunes – this really helps get us into the podcast charts and get the show out there!

Want to keep up with Voices? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Check out our patreon! Patreon allows Voices to exist. Over the past year Patreon has helped us get the right equipment, guests and set us up to produce the high quality episodes you’ve come to expect. For as a little as $1 a month you can support Voices From L5 and help us continue to improve the show!

Twitter

Voices From L5 – Concordia

Imagine being in the most remote place on Earth, stuck for months with no way of getting home. Here, farther from civilization than anyone but the Astronauts, Concordia research base houses scientists and doctors experimenting and preforming research that will prepare us for Mars.

Adrian Golemis is our guest this week, former doctor on the Concordia research base in Antarctica.  Adrian joins us to discuss his time aboard the remote base, his daily life and the struggles of the crew, both internal and external. We learn a little about his research too, and its potential for future Mars missions

Check out more from Adrian on his blog at ESA or on twitter

If you enjoyed this episode, you can let us know by leaving a review over on iTunes – this really helps get us into the podcast charts and get the show out there!

Want to keep up with Voices? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Check out our patreon! Patreon allows Voices to exist. Over the past year Patreon has helped us get the right equipment, guests and set us up to produce the high quality episodes you’ve come to expect. For as a little as $1 a month you can support Voices From L5 and help us continue to improve the show!

Twitter

Voices From L5 – Voices From Mars

An amazing special episode this week – Sheyna Grifford, the chief health and safety officer on the NASA-Ames HI-SEAS Mars analogue mission joins us for a time-delayed interview live from the HI-SEAS Mars simulation. Sheyna is currently involved in a long term Mars analogue and has graciously given us her time to discuss the mission, health and crew selection. Honestly we cover so much ground and Sheyna has so many amazing stories about her experiences in analogues – this is an unmissable episode!

Check out Sheyna at her blog, Live From Mars, or her Twitter

If you enjoyed this episode, you can let us know by leaving a review over on iTunes – this really helps get us into the podcast charts and get the show out there!

Want to keep up with Voices? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Check out our patreon! Patreon allows Voices to exist. Over the past year Patreon has helped us get the right equipment, guests and set us up to produce the high quality episodes you’ve come to expect. For as a little as $1 a month you can support Voices From L5 and help us continue to improve the show!

Twitter

Voices From L5 – Terraforming Mars

What other ways can we spread to the stars? Free standing settlements may be what we hope for, but are there other options?

Matt Williams joins us to discuss terraforming the red planet. Along the way we examine the ethical, technological and societal questions that follow. Why would we do such a thing? How long would it take? Is it morally right to impose ourselves like that?

Great episode and big thanks to Matt for joining us. You can read more of Matt’s ideas and hear about his book at his website, check it out! This is part one of a subseries on terraforming, we have another expert from NASA Ames on soon to discuss the ethics of terraforming Mars and some alternative answers to our questions in this episode, stay tuned!

If you enjoyed this episode, you can let us know by leaving a review over on iTunes – this really helps get us into the podcast charts and get the show out there!

Want to keep up with Voices? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Want to join our incredible Patron’s and support the show, as well as get all kinds of bonuses for yourself? Check out our patreon! We’ve had some amazing new patrons join us recently and I wanted to take a moment here to say thank you so much for your continued support – we’ve made the show so much better because of your help and we have so many crazy and amazing ideas for growth coming soon. Thank you.

Twitter

Voices From L5 – Who do we send into space?

How do you pick the next generation of Space pioneers? And how can we train, test our theories and build an understanding of space psych without actually going to space?

The answer may be mars analogues

Sheryl Bishop joins us to continue our series on space psych by discussing her experiences with space and Mars analogues, crew selection and more.

We touch on far flung missions to other solar systems, Mars colonization and more. Don’t miss this one folks!

Hey do you like the show? It’d mean the entire world to us if you left a review and some stars over at iTunes. Reviews help us get into the iTunes charts where people can find the show!

Minor announcement

Voices is going to be getting its own website soon, stay tuned for more info when it comes, but I’m pretty excited for a future where I can tell you to go to www.voicesfroml5.com!

Want to keep up with Voices? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Want to join our incredible Patron’s and support the show, as well as get all kinds of bonuses for yourself? Check out our patreon! We’ve had some amazing new patrons join us recently and I wanted to take a moment here to say thank you so much for your continued support – we’ve made the show so much better because of your help and we have so many crazy and amazing ideas for growth coming soon. Thank you.

Twitter

Voices From L5 – Mental Health and Space

How do we prepare ourselves for space? Not just physically, but mentally, socially. What happens when cultures clash in the great unknown?

Marc Jurblum joins us to kick off our series on Space Psych and general Health In Space. We discuss the history of the field and its potential uses back home, as well as where the research is headed for the future. I also ramble about getting to see Micheal Collins talk.

Marc had some interesting links to share with us along with the episode. First off he wanted us to share the Mars Without Borders program, a research program for exploring Mars topics. And a shout out to the VSSEC.

Hey do you like the show? It’d mean the entire world to us if you left a review and some stars over at iTunes. Reviews help us get into the iTunes charts where people can find the show!

More Videos From L5 this week too!

Want to keep up with Voices? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Want to join our incredible Patron’s and support the show, as well as get all kinds of bonuses for yourself? Check out our patreon!

Twitter

Voices From L5 – What it takes to get a Moon Base

We all want a moon base, but why don’t we have one yet and what needs to happen to make it real?

Brent Sherwoods joins us this week to discuss the Moon Village, an ESA proposed ‘lunar business park’ that would allow groups of corporations and countries to work together to build and use a large scale moon base. In this king-sized episode, Brent also talks about the driving factors that are required for a moon base, why we’d want one and what could get us there.

We also have another video episode this week, where I address a PR issue in the space settlement world

Want to keep up with Voices? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Big thank you to all of you wonderful Patrons this week! We broke through the $20/mo mark and I wanted to say a huge thank you for your continued support of the project. Look forward to many many more episodes from Voices, as well as some more video content and hopefully some special Patron only stuff soon!

Want to join our incredible Patron’s ane support the show, as well as get all kinds of bonuses for yourself? Check out our patreon!

Twitter

Voices From L5 – The Korean Perspective on Space

KangSan Kim AKA Antonio Stark and Jaehun Jang, two members of Team Divinity, winners of the NASA Ames Space Settlement grand prize join us this week to discuss their project, what designing space settlements means to them and what space development looks like to Korea.

Brilliant episode, was fantastic to talk to these young guys and brilliant to get a look at another countries ideas of space development. Another part of our ongoing goal to cover as many different viewpoints of space development as possible! Look forward to hearing more from space settlement advocates around the world in the coming months.

Learn more about Team Divinity and their project here – http://settlement.arc.nasa.gov/Contest/Results/2016/ProjectDivinity.pdf

Fan of the show? Check out our Facebook! – https://www.facebook.com/VoicesFromL5/ where you can find awesome discusions and get your voice heard about the show!

For the super fans, want to make sure Voices keeps on kicking? Check out our patreon page – patreon.com/VoicesFromL5 where you can get episodes early and a bunch of other rewards for as little as a $1!

Voices From L5 – How to stop an asteroid

James Howe joins us this week for an awesome episode discussing the other thing asteroids do – wipe out all life as we know it! More accurately, he’s here telling us all about the amazing technologies and movements that we have for detecting, identifying and ultimately redirecting these planet-killers, as well as the repercussions if we don’t. You might think our biggest risk is a big rock, but you’d be surprised!

Fan of the show? Check out our Facebook! – https://www.facebook.com/VoicesFromL5/ where you can find awesome discusions and get your voice heard about the show!

And check out our Youtube! This week we launched Videos From L5, a new show where I discuss some of my own thoughts and views on space and space settlement!

For the super fans, want to make sure Voices keeps on kicking? Check out our patreon page – patreon.com/VoicesFromL5 where you can get episodes early and a bunch of other rewards for as little as a $1!

Voices From L5 – New Space, The Outer Space Treaty and Lucite balls

Michael Listner joins us this week to address how the Outer Space Treaty effects the new space movement and the various new space companies plans for asteroid mining.  He also addresses concerns like ownership rights, and tells us some fascinating real world consequences of our current space legal landscape.

Michael is a legal professional who works at http://www.spacelawsolutions.com/ to consult and develop solutions and ideas for moving forward in the space industry.

If you like this show, and would like to support us while getting some awesome rewards for yourself, check out our patreon!

please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

Like the show? Check us out on Twitter!

And subscribe to us on Youtube 

As always Voices From L5 is brought to you by the National Space Society. The NSS is  working to accelerate humankind’s future in space through policy advocacy and thought leadership.

The NSS also fosters the next generation of space pioneers through STEM education programs that have inspired thousands of students around the world to pursue careers in science and aerospace.

All NSS members receive Ad Astra, our award-winning quarterly magazine focused on the future of space exploration and settlement.

To support the National Space Society as a member or volunteer, please visit us on the web at www.nss.org.

Voices From L5 – The Space Frontier Foundation

Hannah Kerner of the Space Frontier Foundation joins Voices and gives us the low down on what the SFF does, how it does it and what’s in the future for the group.

Most interestingly, Hannah goes over a philosophy of common good and how it relates to her work with the SFF, a side of the new-space movement not often discussed outside of press releases. A very interesting subject and a great guest!

Find out more about the SFF at https://spacefrontier.org/

If you like this show, and would like to support us while getting some awesome rewards for yourself, check out our patreon!

please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

Like the show? Check us out on Twitter!

And subscribe to us on Youtube 

As always Voices From L5 is brought to you by the National Space Society. The NSS is  working to accelerate humankind’s future in space through policy advocacy and thought leadership.

The NSS also fosters the next generation of space pioneers through STEM education programs that have inspired thousands of students around the world to pursue careers in science and aerospace.

All NSS members receive Ad Astra, our award-winning quarterly magazine focused on the future of space exploration and settlement.

To support the National Space Society as a member or volunteer, please visit us on the web at www.nss.org.

Voices From L5 – India’s Place in Space

Manish Mishra and Swapnil Kumar, two students from the Indian Institute of Space Technology join us to discuss India’s place in the global space industry and how they intend to be a part of it.

If you like this show, and would like to support us while getting some awesome rewards for yourself, check out our patreon!

please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

Like the show? Check us out on Twitter!

And subscribe to us on Youtube 

As always Voices From L5 is brought to you by the National Space Society. The NSS is  working to accelerate humankind’s future in space through policy advocacy and thought leadership.

The NSS also fosters the next generation of space pioneers through STEM education programs that have inspired thousands of students around the world to pursue careers in science and aerospace.

All NSS members receive Ad Astra, our award-winning quarterly magazine focused on the future of space exploration and settlement.

To support the National Space Society as a member or volunteer, please visit us on the web at www.nss.org.

Voices From L5 – The Workforce Of The Future

What will be the biggest industry in space? Ronald Kohl joins us this week to discuss where the workers of the future will come from, and the challenges they might face when they get here.

In a world where workers rights and job security is one of the hottest topics, we take a look at the needs of the future work force, and what might be its biggest contributors.

If you like this show, and would like to support us while getting some awesome rewards for yourself, check out our patreon!

Like the show? Check us out on Twitter!

And subscribe to us on Youtube 

As always Voices From L5 is brought to you by the National Space Society. The NSS is  working to accelerate humankind’s future in space through policy advocacy and thought leadership.

The NSS also fosters the next generation of space pioneers through STEM education programs that have inspired thousands of students around the world to pursue careers in science and aerospace.

All NSS members receive Ad Astra, our award-winning quarterly magazine focused on the future of space exploration and settlement.

To support the National Space Society as a member or volunteer, please visit us on the web at www.nss.org.

Come learn about March Storm at the ISU Space Cafe

March Storm is coming!

Come join us at the next International Space University (ISU) Space Cafe on March 2 at 7 pm in downtown Washington, DC. A panel of space policy experts and citizen-advocates from March Storm will speak at the Science Club to engage the audience in a discussion about how space policy is opening up the cosmos for humankind.

Discussion topics include:

What is the real purpose of human spaceflight?  Should we be focused on the large-scale human settlement of space, perhaps even “millions of people living and working in space” like Jeff Bezos suggests?  

How might we define Cheap Access to Space? How would a multi-billion dollar Cheap Access to Space prize, funded by the federal government, work?  

What happens if the ISS is de-orbited in 2024 and we don’t have a commercial space station in LEO yet?  Should we maintain a human presence in LEO as NASA looks to Mars?  If you agree, what can we do to make sure that happens?

America could put humans back on the Moon by the end of the 2nd term of the next President, within NASA’s existing budget … If it used commercial COTS-like partnerships.  U.S. industry could mine the Moon for propellant, and lower the cost of trips to Mars.  Thoughts?”

Bring your comments, questions and concerns. We’ll see you there!

Ad astra!

Voices From L5 – March Storm

Have you ever wondered how you can get involved in space advocacy, or how you can change space policy?

Tom Marotta, long time Voices guest, joins us again to tell us about March Storm, the prime space advocacy event happening this March in DC. Tom discusses the world of space advocacy and political action as well as what March Storm has achieved in the past few years.

Like the show? Check us out on Twitter!

And subscribe to us on Youtube 

If you like the show and want to learn how to support us, check us out at Patreon. We have lots of incredible goals that we can only reach with your help!

please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

As always Voices From L5 is brought to you by the National Space Society. The NSS is  working to accelerate humankind’s future in space through policy advocacy and thought leadership.

The NSS also fosters the next generation of space pioneers through STEM education programs that have inspired thousands of students around the world to pursue careers in science and aerospace.

All NSS members receive Ad Astra, our award-winning quarterly magazine focused on the future of space exploration and settlement.

To support the National Space Society as a member or volunteer, please visit us on the web at www.nss.org.

Complete the Development of Commercial Crew

March Storm is coming!

Last year March Storm successfully advocated for full funding for the development of Commercial Crew. That was a huge success and it will go a long way to making sure America can launch astronauts from its own soil in the coming years. But our work is not done. Commercial Crew will likely require additional development funding before flights begin in 2017.

We are so close to having not one but two new spacecraft to send human beings into orbit. Commercial Crew is essential to our national security and achieving our goals in space, and it may also lead to more space tourism and other commercial activities in low earth orbit. Join us and help push this program over the finish line!

Register now for March Storm 2016 at www.marchstorm.com to join the movement.

Ad astra!

Awesome Space Settlement Art

Glenn Clovis is a genius and a visionary.  Just look at that awesome image of twinned Island Three’s above! Check out more of the outstanding space-themed images on his website here.

Update: I recently learned Glenn converted his old static website (with lots of cool space settlement stuff) into a more frequently updated blog.  So we can expect to see lots more from this awesome space artist!

This Orbital Life is on The Space Show

This Orbital Life was on The Space Show discussing March Storm.

You can listen to the episode here:

March Storm and This Orbital Life on The Space Show

March Storm is a legislative advocacy event occurring in Washington DC from March 13 to 17 this year.  Join dozens of your fellow citizens as we educate Congress about the citizen’s space agenda.  Learn more here.

Voices From L5 – Space Law Roundtable

Ever wonder what a space constitution would be like? Or what rights a society in space might need? Heard about this new space resources bill and need some help figuring it out?

3 masters of Space Law, PJ Blount, Christopher Newman and Adam Manning all return for a group chat on the space law legal issues of the day, dissecting and discussing the latest space resources bill. Along the way we delve into everything from security to constitutional rights.

Voices from L5 is brought to you by the National Space Society. The NSS is one of the largest and oldest civilian space advocacy groups in the world, learn more at www.NSS.org

Want more Voices? Check us out at the links below!

Website – http://thisorbitallife.com/podcast/
iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/voices-from-l5/id969809161?mt=2
Twitter – https://twitter.com/VoicesFromL5
RSS Feed – http://feeds.feedburner.com/VoicesFromL5
Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVDWBjcJZHrgPmm9ouirrwA
If you like the show, consider becoming a patreon, for just $1 a month you get episodes a week early and get to see what we’re up to behind the scenes! – http://www.patreon.com/VoicesFromL5

please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

Voices From L5 – Hacking the Solar System

PJ Blount joins us this week to talk space security, cyber attacks and satellite takeovers. How secure is our communications backbone, and how hard is it to steal a satellite?

PJ Blount is an adjunct professor at the University of Mississippi School of Law and a member of the Board of Directors at the International Institute of Space Law.

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/v…
Twitter – https://twitter.com/VoicesFromL5
Tumblr – http://orbital-colony.tumblr.com/
Youtube –https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVDW…
If you like the show, consider becoming a patreon – http://www.patreon.com/VoicesFromL5

Help Establish a Commercial Economy in Space

4f4b567c-8d41-452e-8378-eb3d8fb831e2

March Storm is coming!

From March 13 to March 17 dozens of private U.S. citizens will again travel to Washington, D.C. — on their own time and their own dime — to advocate for a Citizens’ Space Agenda.

A key item on this year’s Citizens’ Space Agenda is to pass legislation ensuring there is no gap in the permanent human presence in space.  The International Space Station will be decommissioned in 2024 and there is currently no plan for a replacement.  Congress should take steps to encourage private space stations in low earth orbit before 2024, with NASA as an anchor customer.

This ‘gapless transition’ is a key part of the larger Commercial Space Industrialization Act (CSIA).  CSIA will also clarify space property rights and require the U.S. government to establish a market for rocket fuel in space, especially for propellant manufactured from asteroidal and lunar resources.  In short, this proposed bill will lay the groundwork for a commercial economy in space.

Excited?  We need your help!  Register now for March Storm 2016 at www.marchstorm.com to join the movement.

4f4b567c-8d41-452e-8378-eb3d8fb831e2

Voices From L5 – What will we do on the moon?

Brent Sherwood joins us to discuss life on the moon. What will humans actually do on the moon? What kind of experiments, scientific discoveries and human developments can be made on the Moon and why do we need to go back?

One of our best episodes yet, Brent’s ideas for what we can discover and do on the moon, as well as his incredibly accessible delivery was a joy. Check out his work, What will we actually do on the moon, here – http://connection.ebscohost.com/c..

If you enjoy the show, please get in touch on Twitter! – https://twitter.com/VoicesFromL5

And if you would like to support the show, get episodes early and a whole lot more special rewards, check out our Patreon!

patreon_big

Subscribe to our feed at – http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/VoicesFromL5/~3/5XpcuOYa9OQ/

Take Our Survey: Help Design Your Future Home in Space

I’m writing today to ask you to fill out a survey.  It’s short, a one page intro then eight required and six optional questions.  The survey usually takes less than ten minutes to complete. You will not be asked for contact information and there are no ads. Your answers will be used to help inform the design of a new generation of space settlements.
Please forward this to your friends!

Thank you,
Al Globus
Tom Marotta
Bryan Versteeg
and The ELEO Group

TAKE OUR SURVEY

Thank you!

Image credit: Bryan Versteeg, spacehabs.com


please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

Voices From L5 – Building the Astrosapien

What does it take for a human body to thrive in space, and what can we do to make ourselves ready for it? Bill Gardiner joins us this week to discuss diet, exercise and acid levels as we try to find out exactly how we can go from being normal terrestrial humans to humans fit for space travel.

A quick note, sorry about the audio quality on this episode, Bill’s location made the call very difficult and while the discussion was made whether to post the episode or not, we decided that the content is so interesting, we’d have to.

If you liked the show, don’t forget to check us out on;

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/v…
Twitter – https://twitter.com/VoicesFromL5
Tumblr – http://orbital-colony.tumblr.com/
Youtube –https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVDW…
If you like the show, consider becoming a patreon – http://www.patreon.com/VoicesFromL5

The Path to Villages and Cities in Space

I’m on an email list with a bunch of geniuses who are working on a way to build space settlements. For real. The list was organized by none other than Al Globus, the ‘keeper of the flame’ of space settlement at NASA.

Al Globus, Space Settlement Jedi Knight
Al Globus, Space Settlement Jedi Knight

An aside: Al recently wrote a ground-breaking paper on equatorial low earth orbit (ELEO) space settlement that anyone who is interested in space policy really needs to read. He essentially discovered a previously unknown low-radiation belt in a 500km equatorial orbit that is ideal for human space operations.

Anyway, as you might imagine, building a space settlement is really hard.  Building the ISS, a relatively straightforward space station took twelve years, $75 billion and cost 7 people their lives. Not good.

Components of the International Space Station
Components of the International Space Station

Even the smallest space settlement will be much bigger, much more complex and probably way more expensive than the ISS.  It should go without saying that before humanity attempts to build a permanent community in space, more experience is needed.

Therefore, the path to space settlement begins with building more space stations.  Perhaps they will look like the ISS but ideally there will be a variety of architectures so we can learn what works best. After the stations come space hotels.  Bigger, more capable, lots of visitors and lots of crew.  Over time space hotels will get so big that they will eventually morph into permanent settlements.

The Path to Space Settlement

Space Stations -> Space Hotels -> Space Settlements

Or that’s the idea at least.  What do you think?

 


please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

Everyone Loves A Rocket Launch

Ok I realize I may have been a bit harsh yesterday when I wrote that government developed rocketships are insane.  And when I called the Space Shuttle a failed experiment in reusability.  While that last phrase is technically true, it does not reflect the full, positive impact of the Space Shuttle program.  Without it we wouldn’t have been able to build the ISS, we couldn’t have launched (and fixed!) the Hubble Space Telescope, and we couldn’t have done a million other amazing things in space.   So, to show my appreciation for the shuttle, here is an awesome video of a bunch of launches.

I particularly like this video for its depiction of the crowds watching the launches.  Check out the Mission Control guy pumping his fist at 41 seconds, the crowd going nuts around 5:15,  the lady wiping away her tear at 5:45 and the crowd cheering at the end near 7:25.  Anyone who has ever seen a rocket launch knows how emotional and exciting it is.  Hope you enjoy!

 


please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

Government Developed Rocketships are Insane

Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for different results.  In the past thirty years the United States government has made three attempts to develop a special kind of rocket called a reusable launch vehicle.  RLVs are the holy grail of aerospace engineers: they are a type of rocketship that can be reused many times greatly reducing the cost to access space.  Think airplane to space rather than big shiny tube full of explosives to space.

atlas-launch-muos-1920
Conventional rockets are not reusable.

Three times in recent memory the U.S. has tried to build RLVs.  Three times it has failed:

Space Shuttle – Intended to be reusable and reduce the cost of access to space.  Turns out it was just as expensive as previous rockets, and probably more dangerous.  Total program cost: $209 Billion.  Tragically, 14 astronauts lost their lives as a result of this failed experiment in reusability.

STS1white tank

National Aerospace Plane – “By the time of its cancellation [in 1993], the government had admitted to making a $1.7 billion investment in the National Aerospace Plane, but parts of the R&D was highly secret and the official costs were probably somewhat higher.”

RLV Attempt #2: the National Aerospace Plane.
RLV Attempt #2: the National Aerospace Plane.

X-33/VentureStar – “By early 2001, the program was officially cancelled – five years and $1.5 billion down the line. Official reasons for the cancellation was a disagreement over extra funding from both industry partners, NASA and Lockheed Martin. However, the recommendation of the composite tank to keep costs down to prospective commercial interest was the main reason given to workers.”

RLV Attempt #3: X-33/VentureStar
RLV Attempt #3: X-33/VentureStar

And now the Department of Defense is messing around with what I like to call “Shuttle lite” in the form of the X-37.

Reusability is a worthy goal.  We as a country and as a species should pursue reusable launch vehicles in order to more quickly and cheaply open up the universe for exploration and settlement.

We just need to use a different strategy.  Going the government contracting route when it has already failed three times is, like Einstein said, pretty much insane.


please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

The City on a Hill or United Nations in Space?

According to our sources, Congress is thinking about international cooperation in space.  Specifically, some members of Congress are considering who the U.S. should ask to join us if we go to the Moon, Mars and the asteroids.  Should it be liberal, capitalist, western democracies like Japan, Canada and Europe?  Or should it also include not-so-progressive nations like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea?

Do we want Vladimir Putin's Russia joining us on the Moon? Or do we want another space race?
Do we want Vladimir Putin’s Russia joining us on the Moon? Or do we want another space race?

This is ultimately a question of values versus cooperation.  Do we want western values exclusively represented in outer space?  Or do we want to foster cooperation between conflicting nations as humanity heads out to the stars?  Do we want to build the ‘shining city on a hill‘ referred to by Kennedy and Reagan or do we want to replicate the United Nations in orbit?

The argument for a U.N. in space is pretty obvious.   Cooperation is like motherhood and apple pie, who doesn’t like it?

Who doesn't like motherhood, apple pie and cooperation in outer space?
Who doesn’t like motherhood, apple pie and cooperation in outer space?

However, some have argued that the ‘shining city’ option is better.   By going into orbit with our democratic allies, we will be saying to the world that the future of the human race is one of rights, rule of law and progressive capitalism.  And when the Russias of the world choose to become free, democratic countries they can join the rest of us in outer space.

What do you think?  Why not let us know in the comments section below?


 

please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

How do Astronauts do Laundry in Space?

I recently learned that the International Space Station does not have a washing machine.  Astronauts are expected to wear dirty clothes (even underwear!) for three or four days until they put on clean set from a very limited wardrobe.  A supply of clean clothes is provided every few months on resupply rockets.  If the resupply rocket is delayed, astronauts have to make do and turn their jockeys inside out, I guess.  Once they do finally get clean clothes, the dirty laundry is packed into the empty resupply capsule which is then jettisoned and burned up in the atmosphere.

Except for maybe a pair underpants that they’re using to grow plants in. Seriously. Because “there might be a few nutrients in there.” Blech.

Why doesn’t NASA just install a washing machine in the space station?  They already have a super-duper space toilet and a golden robot.  Surely a washing machine wouldn’t be too hard to whip up?

Hand me the dryer sheets, will you?
Hand me the dryer sheets, will you?

The best I can tell is that, they could it but it’s actually easier with the current system.  Washing machines use lots of water and water is actually quite expensive to deliver to the space station. I guess NASA has decided it’s easier to ship up clean clothes rather than hundreds of pounds of water. Also, detergents are chemical irritants. If some got out in the closed environment of the space station it could wreak havoc on the delicate experiments and equipment, not to mention the astronauts themselves!

soap in the eyes
When anyone gets washing machine detergent in their eyes.
But what about when we go to Mars or the Moon and resupply is not an option? NASA has studied a waterless air-jet microwave washing machine as well as super odor-resistant materials. Whether or not these solutions will work for a five-year long Mars trip remains to be seen. Sounds like yet another reason why we need long-term space settlement to test all this stuff out before we go to Mars…

 

please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

Voices From L5 – The Aesthetics Of Living In Space

Lisa Lockard joins us this week to discuss the social and spacial needs of humans living in space, as well as how our social and cultural evolution will change from living in space.

Along the way we discuss social evolution, Human mental and emotional development, creativity, Virtual Reality and the Humanities great need for a walk in the park.

Lisa is the author of the book Human Migration Into Space and a Space Architect. She has written many papers on the topic of humans living in space and their often undiscussed emotional, mental and physical needs. Find more of her work below:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/human-migration-to-space/id878474958?mt=11

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Elizabeth_Lockard

Voices is proud to announce that as of this episode, we are an official media project of the National Space Society. The NSS is one of the oldest citizen space organizations in the world, dedicated to furthering the ideas of space settlement, and educating the public on the subject of human migration to space. Find more at www.nss.org

Like the show? Want to hear episodes before anyone else? Check out our Patreon!

patreon_big

And don’t forget to check us out on iTunes and Youtube!

Quick note on the audio  of this episode: There is some background noise and the very occasional breakup on Lisa’s end. She was kind enough to join us on the episode despite a very busy schedule and a less than perfect location. I’ve edited it as best as I can and it’s mostly confined to one or two spots during the show. I hope this does not detract from your experience!

Did the United States just steal the Moon?

Last month Congress passed a law stating that commercial companies can own moon rocks and asteroid bits if they go into space and mine it themselves.  This ticked a lot of people off because the U.S. is a signatory to the Outer Space Treaty.  The Outer Space Treaty says (kinda, sorta, if you squint at it really hard) that commercial companies cannot in fact own moon rocks and asteroid bits.  Because of this, a lot of excitable people on Twitter kind of went nuts saying that the U.S. wants to ignore the Outer Space Treaty and instead wants to consume all the resources of the entire universe all for itself.

hair on fire
Uninformed person learns U.S. law enables space mining.

Everyone take it easy.

What the Outer Space Treaty actually says is that no national government may claim the Moon.  By enabling commercial companies to keep (relatively tiny) portions of the Moon for commercial purposes, the U.S. Congress is not claiming U.S. sovereignty over any celestial body.  In fact, if those people on twitter actually read the law they will see that it says, right there in section 403 that, “It is the sense of the Congress that by the enactment of this Act, the United States does not thereby assert sovereignty … or the ownership of, any celestial body.”  Translation: you can mine it, you can keep what you mine, but the Moon and the asteroids are not not not U.S.-owned territory.

It’s sort of like commercial fishing.  You can take a ship out to international waters and extract fish from the ocean.  You will own the fish, but you can’t claim the international waters.

Stop!!! He’s stealing the ocean!
So what will this law do? Peter Diamandis, one of the godfathers of commercial space, said it best:

“A hundred years from now, humanity will look at this period in time as the point in which we were able to establish a permanent foothold in space. In history, there has never been a more rapid rate progress than right now.”

Agreed. Well done Congress. Haters gonna hate, don’t worry about it. You got this one right.

please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

featured image credit: peoplesgeography.com

Forget Mars: NASA wants to build a floating Cloud City on Venus.

No for real.  Balloons with regular breathing air will float in Venus’s heavy atmosphere.  It’s closer than Mars, there is less radiation and the gravity is about the same as on Earth.  Check out the video:

Curious to learn more about colonizing Venus? Check out our podcast on the topic:

http://thisorbitallife.com/podcast/voices-from-l5-what-about-venus/


please_support_me_on_patreon__by_skie_maree-d9at4nz

Stop Teasing Me NASA: Are we Going to Mars or Not?

Are you serious about this relationship we have, NASA? We’ve been messing around for years and it’s been fun but I’m not a young kid anymore.  I’m getting impatient. I’ve invested more than a decade in you and what has it gotten me? Let’s get real: are we going to Mars or not, NASA?

All joking aside, a few items make me wonder how serious NASA really is about getting humans to Mars. Consider:

1. We don’t have a budget. NASA has yet to tell us how much it is going to cost to send humans to Mars. We literally have no official estimate of the price tag, could it be well over $100 billion?  It’s hard to take the organization’s commitment seriously if they won’t say how much they need from Congress to do it.

She's not waiting around.
When will NASA go to Mars? Cuz she’s not waiting around.

2. We don’t have a schedule. NASA and the President give different deadlines for completing the mission. In a major space policy speech in 2010 President Obama said we would land on Mars “in the mid 2030s.” NASA’s website concurs, saying we will land “in the 2030s” i.e. by 2039.  But in November 2015, the NASA administrator randomly moved the landing date up to 2030. In light of this confusion one can’t help but think NASA has a sincere hope of going to Mars but no actual plan.

Say what you will but the Death Star was one government space project that was completed on time.
Say what you will but the Death Star was one government space project that was completed on time.

3. Mars is killing me. Or it would, if I was on the way there. Really, between the zero-gravity and the radiation, an astronaut might arrived crippled or brain-damaged before even setting foot on the planet. NASA’s plan to figure this out? Send one guy to live in space for a year.  A sample size of one is insufficient to fully understand these risks and mitigate against them.

NASA thinks astronaut Scott Kelly is all we need to find a way to solve the physiological challenges of long-term space flight. But there are other fish in the sea…

Listen NASA, I love you, I really do. I want to make this work. Please get your act together and let’s go to Mars already, ok?

 * * * *

Update: The Marshall Space Flight Center is developing super-fast nuclear Mars rockets. I’m so happy!! Maybe, just maybe, NASA, we can work this out after all??

Cats Riding Pizza in Space

Pizza. Everyone loves it. But have you ever considered what goes into a pizza? Flour, tomatoes, cheese, olive oil, spices – and that’s before we even talk about the toppings.

In Russian space station, pizza eats you!
In Russian space station, pizza eats you!

Now consider – what would it take to make pizza in a space settlement, millions of miles away from Earth? Will future space settlers be able to grow and produce all the ingredients needed to bake a delicious pizza?  Let’s figure it out!

The foundation of any good pizza is dough. Luckily, the best dough is pretty simple: wheat flour, water, salt and yeast. Ideally a little olive oil, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s leave that out.  Water is a necessity. Future space settlements can probably figure out how to grow wheat to make flour.  Salt will probably have shipped up from Earth, but we don’t need too much.

pizza

Yeast is interesting.  No, really.  Ok, gross-out warning: yeast is a fungus found naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere. Chances are it will not be found naturally in the atmosphere of a space settlement (at least not at first).  So, like salt, yeast will probably have to be transported up from Earth. But again, like salt, we don’t need too much.  And once it’s released into the atmosphere of the space settlement it might propagate allowing the ‘natural’ cultivation of yeast in the future.

Once we have some dough, we’re gonna need sauce. Like a good dough, a good sauce is simple: crushed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, some dried oregano and some dried basil. All of those items can easily be grown in a basic space settlement farm. Olive trees are tricky to cultivate so, at least in the early years of space settlement, olive oil will probably be imported.

I love capitalism.
I love capitalism.

On to the cheese. Cheese is surprisingly complex to make, especially in a space settlement. First off, we’re using goat’s milk. Cows are too big and too inefficient.  It will be centuries before a space settlement large enough to accommodate cows is built. In addition to goat’s milk we need rennet (an enzyme derived from a young milk-fed cow, goat or lamb), citric acid (derived from lemons) and iodine-free salt. Like I said, complicated! And that’s before we even get started.  Making mozzarella is more of an art than a science and, like, cultivating yeast, it takes a lot of practice and trial and error.

In conclusion, early space settlers can grow or produce most of the components of a basic pizza. But certain ingredients, like yeast, salt and cheese-making bits, will need to be imported from Earth.

___

Here’s a fun article about pizza in space: http://mentalfloss.com/article/55506/brief-history-pizza-space

And finally, what you’ve all been waiting for.
Here is a cat.
On a slice of pizza.
In space.
Man, that cat's butt must be really greasy, right?
Man, that cat’s butt must be really greasy, right?

Voices From L5 – Viability and Cooperation

Dr Chris Newman joins us for a fantastic episode where we discuss the viability of various proposed projects such as moon mining and asteroid retrieval. We also discuss the growing need for legal and political cooperation of both private and public space projects. That’s selling it short honestly, we cover so much and go over so many interesting ideas in this episode, its a real winner!

Christopher Newman is a reader of Law at Sunderland University, and one of the few people teaching Space Law as a module of an actual law degree course at higher learning. Check out more of his work at – http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/faculties/bl/staff/chris-newman/

A really brilliant episode guys! This was a lot of fun to record. Don’t forget to subscribe to us on iTunes, Youtube and your fave RSS feed!

Also, a sneak peek at our new mic at the end there, during the new outro!

If you enjoy the show, please get in touch on Twitter! – https://twitter.com/VoicesFromL5

And if you would like to support the show, check out our Patreon!

patreon_big

Spacegiving: Let’s be Thankful for Space!

As we head into the 2015 holiday season we here at This Orbital Life have a lot to be thankful for (not least of which is the awesome turkey astronaut genetically engineered by NASA).

Let’s review:

Unless you’re living under a meteorite, you know that Blue Origin successfully tested their suborbital reusable launch vehicle. In secret. Without government funding. Huge freaking news and a big step forward for commercial space development.

International_Space_Station_after_undocking_of_STS-132

Taking a step back, consider for a moment that humans have lived in space for 15 years.  That is, there has been a continuous human presence on the International Space Station since November 2, 2000.  That’s a milestone achievement and one that is set to expand as the Chinese and commercial providers ramp up development of their own stations.

Lotta action in the commercial space sector.
Lotta action in the commercial space sector.

The United States has a burgeoning commercial launch vehicle development sector. Specifically, I count eleven companies seriously (with real money) developing new launch vehicles. Seven of those companies are doing so without any significant government assistance. There are probably more I’m forgetting. Eleven well-funded companies bending metal and building rockets to go into space is a market. What will these companies accomplish in future years?

No GPS = no Uber.

Cubesats are revolutionizing the satellite market and have the potential to revolutionize the world as well. You can build a satellite and launch it for hundreds of thousands of dollars, something that, not too long ago, used to cost ten of millions of dollars. Looking forward, two extremely well-funded companies are looking into building global wifi networks using small satellites.

But that’s only the beginning. The Alliance for Space Development gives a good roadmap as to what is in store for space development. In twenty years human beings will be living on the moon, on their way to Mars, and building permanent communities in orbit.

So be thankful this holiday season: our space future is bright!

Voices From L5 – Sustainable Space Settlement

Kathleen Connell joins us this week to discuss sustainability, astrobiology and the need for a more democratic approach to space exploration.  We ask the question, how can we build toward a space settlement future while avoiding the mistakes we’ve made in the past?

Kathleen is a long time space vet, working in many fields related to space exploration, particularly on the political side of things. She is also the founder of the field of Astrobiology.

Find us on:

iTunes

Twitter

Youtube

If you like the show, consider becoming a patreon, for just $1 a month, you can help us build this show and reach more people with our message!Twitter

A Real Plan to Return to the Moon (and go to Mars)

If America can put a man on the Moon…

…why can’t America put a man on the Moon?

This is the question posed at the beginning of an intriguing (dare I say groundbreaking?) study recently published by NexGen Space.

The study was funded by NASA, reviewed by an all-star cast of actual rocket scientists and, to top it all off, endorsed by Buzz Aldrin himself.

Bottom line: we can return to the Moon in seven years (from when we say go!) and do it within NASA’s current human spaceflight budget ($3B per year).  A decade or so after that, we can have a fully functioning manned Lunar outpost delivering rocket fuel to orbit, greatly facilitating Mars exploration.

We can return to the Moon with the existing NASA budget and in less than seven years.

Don’t believe it? Read the report yourself, right here:

Evolvable Lunar Arch_charts_23Jul2015

Voices From L5 – What About Venus?

This week in Voices From L5, we talk to Geoffrey Landis, a NASA scientist, about the possibilities and benefits of Venus colonization where we ask the question – why do we only talk about Mars, Moon and Asteroids?

Check out Geoffrey Landis’s website at www.geoffreylandis.com.

If you’re enjoying the series, make sure you subscribe to us on Youtube, give us 5 Stars on iTunes and check out our Patreon!

This Orbital Life Reviews “The Martian”

So, in case you live under a rock you know that The Martian movie came out a few weeks ago.  Obviously, the permanent staff here at This Orbital Life loved it.  Since we’re clearly incapable of giving an unbiased review of the flick, we thought it best to bring in a guest author.

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_4ec9wxyz1f6swkwcosokoowck_640

TOL’s good friend Mike took his son Andy to see the movie and he graciously agreed to write a review for us.  So, with no further adieu, here is our guest author reviewing The Martian:

Hi, my name is Andy.  I am 10 years old.  I think the movie “The Martian” was pretty good. It was very educational, scientific, and lots more. Here are some reasons why…

It was educational.  You learned a lot about space and gravity. You also learned how to create water. That is how Mark grew potatoes to survive.  Mark Watney is the main character.

Mark and his potatoes. Potatos?
Mark and his potatoes.

This is what the movie is about.  It is about an astronaut that gets stranded on Mars.  He has to figure out how to grow food, and ration it to survive.  He also has to figure out how to communicate with NASA.

It was scientific.  Mark has to use the poop from the waste bin to fertilize the soil he created to grow the potatoes that he found in the food supply bin in the base. That’s how he survived. He also had to create water with hydrogen and oxygen to grow the potatoes.

An awesome spaceship from the movie.
An awesome spaceship from the movie.

It was very exciting, but I don’t want to give away the whole movie.  These are only some of the reasons why I liked “The Martian”. What do you think it would take to travel to Mars for real?

Thanks for the review Andy! We hope you can come back and review Star Wars when it comes out this Christmas.

Commercial Crew Still Needs Your Support

Back in July I wrote an op-ed for Space News encouraging everyone to support full funding for Commercial Crew.  Congress still hasn’t decided how it wants to fund the program and, in fact, the entire government.  Therefore, I think now is a good time to republish my op-ed in its entirety here at This Orbital Life:

Whenever a group of people put tons of high explosives into a fragile metal tube and set that tube on fire, there are bound to be mishaps. No matter how advanced the equipment or how much funding is provided by Congress, a rocket launch is still a controlled explosion. This is what people are saying when they quip, “Space is hard.” Space is hard because until we perfect antigravity or the space elevator, we will be forced to send our people and our stuff into space on columns of smoke and fire.

However, there are choices we can take to minimize risk and maximize benefits. SpaceX and Boeing are developing two new spacecraft for America’s astronauts as part of NASA’s commercial crew program. Congress is on the verge of underfunding this unique public-private partnership by $300 million, consigning the program to more delays. Even worse, the Falcon 9 explosion on June 28, despite being the first SpaceX failure after 18 successful launches, is being used by some to argue that commercial crew is not an appropriate method for supporting government space operations.

This could not be further from the truth. Here is why:

  • Commercial crew will provide redundancy. The Falcon 9 explosion illustrates why it is essential for the United States to have multiple launch providers. Maintaining uninterruptible access to orbit is critical to supporting both civilian and national security assets in space. If one launcher fails and is down for a few months, there needs to be another one to fill the void. Commercial crew is doing just that by midwifing the development of two competitive, commercially available space launch providers.
  • It is the most reliable alternative. Astronauts currently access low Earth orbit and the International Space Station using Russian rockets. The Russian Proton has failed seven times in the past five years and the Soyuz has failed twice in the past two years. More troubling than the crumbling state of their aerospace industry are recent pronouncements from Russian government officials to end that country’s involvement in the International Space Station. Without Russian cooperation, America is unable to access the space station. A $100 billion American investment would be stranded, useless, in outer space. While we hope that our Russian colleagues will not take such a drastic step, it shows that they are becoming increasingly skeptical and unreliable partners in the ISS framework. America quickly needs another way to get its astronauts to the space station, and commercial crew is the only alternative currently under development.
  • It’s cost-effective. Commercial crew uses a new type of a contracting method that shifts much of the development risk to the private sector. That, and having two firms competing for limited funds, lowers costs. Specifically, the American taxpayer will spend less than $5.6 billion to get two new launch vehicles under the commercial crew program. Compare that with conventional rocket programs like the new Space Launch System and the old space shuttle program. SLS will cost about $18 billion to develop and the space shuttle cost $43 billion (in 2011 dollars) to develop. Commercial crew represents a new way of doing business at NASA, one the taxpayer and Congress should embrace.
  • It’s developing cutting-edge technology. Both Boeing and SpaceX will use late-model American-made rockets for their commercial crew vehicles. SpaceX in particular is very aggressive in developing cutting-edge launcher technology at multiple facilities throughout the United States. In fact, SpaceX hopes to use machinery developed in the commercial crew program to eventually send spacecraft to Mars. Commercial crew is leading to the development of a new rocket industry in the United States and, more importantly, appears to be inspiring young people to pursue careers in aerospace-related fields. Rather than subsidize the Russian ballistic missile industry or waste taxpayer money on pork-barrel space projects, we should embrace commercial crew because it is helping to develop the technology and the workforce needed to ensure American dominance on the high frontier.14-283Yes, space is hard. No matter what policy we pursue, there are bound to be failures when we launch rockets into space. However, within that reality, we can choose a path that makes the best and highest use of our shared resources.

    Commercial crew is still the best hope the United States has for ensuring uninterruptible and reliable access to low Earth orbit. It will save the American taxpayer money and will continue to expand homegrown innovation and technology development.

    Commercial crew, despite recent setbacks and a lack of congressional funding, deserves our continued and full-fledged support.

  • Permalink: http://spacenews.com/op-ed-commercial-crew-deserves-our-full-support-2

Voices From L5 – What Is Space Settlement?

This time on Voices From L5, Tom Marotta joins us to help answer what is space settlement? We cover some of the basics, and hopefully clear up some questions you folks have had about the topic.

Find us on:

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/voices-from-l5/id969809161?mt=2

Twitter – https://twitter.com/VoicesFromL5

Tumblr – http://orbital-colony.tumblr.com/

Youtube -https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVDWBjcJZHrgPmm9ouirrwA

If you like the show, consider becoming a patreon – http://www.patreon.com/VoicesFromL5

 

Recent Proposals to Increase NASA Funding

In the past few years ideas have bubbled up for spending more money on NASA.  For example, prominent scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson proposed we double NASA’s budget.  Separately, the slick, well-funded Penny4NASA group says NASA should get 1% of the federal budget.

Obviously, it is counter-intuitive to expect an organization like NASA to get more funding these days.  Asking for more funding for anything, but especially something like space exploration, is not likely to garner much support from Congress or the general public.  But, hey, it’s Friday before a three-day weekend.  Let’s have a little fun!  Below is a summary of recent proposals to boost NASA’s budget (as well as a few more thrown in by the Budgeting Department at This Orbital Life):

Recent Proposals to Increase NASA Funding - Sheet1

I realize that chart is a little small so it’s summarized here:
– Our baseline is NASA’s fiscal year 2015 budget of $17.46 billion.
– If we eliminate sequestration we get an additional $900 million.
Medicare made improper payments of $50 billion in 2013.  We could transfer only 10% of that waste to NASA for an extra $5 billion to bring the space budget to $22 billion.
– We could double NASA’s budget to almost $35 billion.
– We could dedicate a measly 1% of the FY15 Federal Budget of $3.685 trillion to NASA for a budget of almost $37 billion.
– Why not have a one-time “space stimulus” or “high-tech surge” of $100 billion, to bring NASA’s budget to $117 billion, at least for one year?
– In the mid-1960s, NASA’s budget was almost 5% of the entire Federal Budget.  If we spent the same amount today, NASA would get a whopping $202 billion. Starships, anyone?
moneystarship
So what could we spend all this extra money on, assuming it is provided?  That’s for next time…

Three Reasons We Need to Spend Money on Space

Imagine this: you’re at the craft brewery enjoying a PBR.  Suddenly, you hear the loudmouth hipster at the table next to yours whining about how the US wastes so much money on space.  He thinks all of NASA’s funding goes to building little robots for Mars.  You roll your eyes and ignore him.  Or you could turn around smack the stupid glasses off his pasty face and explain to him the:

TOP THREE REASONS WE NEED TO SPEND MONEY ON SPACE

 

  1. It saves time.  Do you use Uber?  Or Google Maps?  Or any modern smartphone?  Sure you do!  All of these amazing time-saving apps rely on GPS satellites.  The U.S. government launched dozens of satellites into space so you can find the closest Starbucks or get an Uber lickety-split.  Oh, and it maintains this fantastically expensive, incredibly precise miracle of modern engineering for free. That is, the GPS signals are free for anyone to use. Thank you American taxpayer!

    No GPS = no Uber.
    No GPS = no Uber.
  2. It saves lives.  South Carolina recently got walloped by floods.  Due to weather forecasting, provided (for free!) by the U.S. government, thousands of people evacuated the area.  Unfortunately not everyone was saved but without the imagery provided by weather satellites in geosynchronous orbit, surely many more would have perished.  So, spending money on space saves lives.

    You think getting these images happens by accident?
    You think getting these images happens by accident?
  3. It could save civilization.  The dinosaurs were probably killed off when an asteroid hit the Earth.  That’s not going to happen to us, because we have a space program.  One of the most important programs NASA pursues is detecting asteroids that threaten to hit the Earth.  They’ve also got plans to redirect a hazardous asteroid, should one be discovered.  If the dinosaurs had a space program, they’d probably still be around today.  But they didn’t.  Sucks for them.  Good for us.
    Hipster Kaiji 2
    I was extinct before it was cool to be extinct.

    So, let’s review.  We need to spend money on space for the following reasons: to save time with GPS,  to save lives with weather satellites and to save civilization by detecting asteroids.

Enjoy your beer.

Our future in space