The accomplishments of the human race are unrivaled and we are still progressing at an exponential rate. It seems only logical that as our technological capabilities improve, and we begin to exhaust resources and harm our home here on Earth, that we move outwards towards the stars, the first stop being the moon. Humans evolution and advancement is thought to have started some 200,000 years ago, however the life forms from which the first proto-humans evolved had been evolving for millions of years before that. This time scale is completely incomprehensible to us. But, if we imagine just as far into the future, as we expand out towards space, some very interesting futures could possibly be conceived. This Lunar Elevator is the key to interplanetary colonization. Imagine that we have constructed an elevator on the moon, to the specs we have described in our models. This would allow a fully fueled rocket to take off from space to go to mars, which would only take 3 weeks, as opposed to 8 months for a rocket that took off from Earth. Once a rocket is sent to mars, a Martian Elevator system could be constructed, or one on one of the moons of mars, and a planetary hopping network could begin to be established. There are at least 5 other moons or planets in our solar system alone that are thought to be habitable. If we imagine the human race expanding its boarders to such an extent that we are existing on different plants, moons and on different sides of the solar system, you introduce the possibility of human speciation to take place. Each location has a unique environment that will guide the gene selections of populations that have moved there to reside. Now, let’s allow ourselves to imagine this type of inter-planetary existence for the human race to run its course along a time scale similar to that of our evolutionary past. This type of scenario suggests the possibility of inter-planetary republics of distinct species of humanoid, all descending from us, Homo Sapiens. This could look remarkably similar to the way that science fiction has portrayed the interaction of different alien species in communal space areas. My mind goes to the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars, or various episodes of Dr. Who, when many humanoid species meet up in a communal area and coexist.
This is the future we could be potentiating if human progression is allowed to run its course for the time scale required for such technological development and evolutionary speciation. It does seem logical to suggest that if humans continue to progress as they have, for as long as they have, this is the future that may come about. But what would prevent this from happening? To put it very blunt and very blatant, there are two possible means by which human progression is halted, both involve the extinction of the human race. One possibility is that some form of cosmic catastrophe takes place, such as the sun going super-nova, or a planet size asteroid hitting the Earth, however this has been and forever will be a possibility that humanity both faces and can do nothing about. The other possibility of human extinction which is very much up to our control, is that we condemn the human race to extinction, a possibility that has never been more of a threat to humanity than right now. Through nuclear war, or extreme man-caused climate change, we have more than enough capability to destroy our own home and our own species. Human’s are resilient as hell and may reverse climate change, or take refuge on the moon (using some kind of lunar elevator perhaps?), and as long as we can stay safe from ourselves, the human race will colonize the solar system.
-Jeremy Wain Hirschberg
Unlike Jeremy, I have been working with Michael since February so I have had some time to really get to know and work alongside Michael. I will be writing this blog post again at the end of the summer to see how my answer changes as it most definitely will whilst working on this massive thing. In order to really break my time spent here I am going to split it into 2 sections: The Documentary days, and Intern Life.
The Documentary Days
Well, I’ve already went over our initial meeting, (we met at a coffee shop for our mock interview) there was countless days that we spent with each other filming and getting to know each other that I really valued. Michael was really great about being open with me and answering all of my questions in such a way that I got the whole truth and actually understood it. Not only was I surprised by his openness but it prompted me to ask more and more questions. I learned more during filming sessions with Michael about space than I had ever dreamed of knowing. On top of that we became friends, both of us shared a special place in our hearts for the military and we initially bonded over that. Basically I spent a few weeks with this guy filming him talk about a space elevator for like 6 weeks, but we became friends which made the good grade and the awards feel way better.
Well what can I say, I’m like a coffee boy with a nice fancy title “Business Development Intern”. Jokes aside I am definitely not a coffee boy here which is a wonderful feeling. We work 8 to 5 and have full access to this project, as interns we have been aiding with the business plan as well as taking on our own projects that we created and planned in conjunction with Michael. So far its been really fun, to work in a setting where we as interns are really respected and given true responsibility, something that can’t always be said for different settings.
Cant wait to see what the future holds!
- Griffin Pontius
The Lunar Elevator Project bridges science fiction and science fact because it is non-existent, and even featured in some works of science fiction, yet the technology to build it is available today. Think about that for a little bit. We have what it takes right now to build, housing, transportation and resource utilizing infrastructure on the moon. These are the first steps of colonizing our solar system. Our Earth is approaching the carrying capacity for humans. Some have estimated it to be around 10 billion humans, but regardless of the number, we are approaching it at an exponential rate.
Human history is characterized by colonizing and expanding to the borders of our globe and the next step is to expand past it’s borders. In the 1960’s, the conception of space and the moon changed from a surreal, almost imaginative or magical musing that existed above our heads, to a frontier that could be expanded out into. However, the scale of existence, meaning sizes of things and the distances between them, once you leave earth is so immense that even though this frontier had been uncovered, it remained an endeavor of curiosity and exploration, a realm too big to be utilized for our benefit. But, with this technology, with an elevator on the moon, the resources of near space become actualized into tangible assets, not simply natural phenomena with which we amuse ourselves.
This is going to happen. These resources are not just going to be looked at for the rest of eternity; someone is going to go and get them and this elevator is the best way to make it possible for as many people to access those resources as possible. This is going to happen because that it what humanity does. It sees something new and useful and it goes there and takes it. The only thing that makes this endeavor any different than Columbus and the new world, or any other historical example of colonization, is that this time we aren’t taking it away from anyone; we aren’t taking anyone’s home. Humans have been colonizing the world, killing millions of others under trumped up pretenses of destiny or divinity. This will be the first example of peaceful manifest destiny, one where all of humanity can work together to expand it’s borders into uninhabited areas and do so without hurting anyone.
-Jeremy Wain Hirschberg
I suppose I should introduce myself. My Name is Jeremy Wain Hirschberg. I am currently one of two interns working for Michael Laine at the LiftPort Group. My fellow intern, Griffin Pontius, was gracious enough to make his first blog post an introduction of himself to the greater community of LiftPort followers. Me, on the other hand, got a little too excited about writing “content” for the blog that I posted a few before letting any of you know where they were coming form. Well, a little about me is that I spent my young childhood in the bay area of California before my family moved to New York City right before I was to start High School. I graduated High School in 2013 and came out to Tacoma Washington to attend the University of Puget Sound. For those of you who happened to read my first blog post know that I studied psychology, neuroscience and biology and just recently graduated this Spring.
I got involved with the LiftPort Group just shortly after I graduated and couldn’t be more excited to be working on such a monumental project and pushing the frontiers of science. That’s what really intrigues me; pushing the boundaries of what is known. That’s why I studied neuroscience and why I plan to pursue a career in understanding the human brain (if we don’t build an elevator on the moon, of course). The human brain is the last true frontier of the human body. I say this not because there are not things we still need to learn about other aspects of the human body, but because the brain is still so shrouded in mystery, so unknown to us, that it is consistently thought of as having a supernatural element to it; a mind or soul of some sort that has no physical basis. As a neuroscientist, I fundamentally disagree, however, it remains that countless individuals hold such a vast spectrum of beliefs about the brain that they characterize our ignorance about the brain as a collective. I truly do not mean to belittle or pronounce naivety on any belief contrary to my own, I fully believe that everyone has the right to live their life through whatever lens they deem best for themselves, but I cannot find examples within the human body that share the same variety and spiritual nature as the beliefs held throughout the world about the brain. Even the heart, which has historically been an organ that housed some form of spiritual entity such as a soul, or is often cited as being the location at which emotion is felt, has lost some of the physically transcending qualities once ascribed to it as more has been learned about how it actually functions within the body.
I tend to get a little carried away when I talk about the brain, but the same thing happens when I get into talking about any frontier of knowledge. Imagining the possibilities of discovery and uncovering the mysteries of physical are the cornerstones of science and the pinnacles of inquiry. Advancement happens exponentially, yet time moves so slowly relative to a human life scale, that we begin to feel comfortable within the environment around us and do not see the extent to which progression is taking place. It is taking place now. We are on a technological frontier that will make countless examples of science fiction into a reality. Drones will rule the skies, body parts and organs will be able to be printed, robotic body parts will be common, technology will be integrated into our neural networks, and we will have an elevator on the moon. The world is changing and I am going to be a part of that.
- Jeremy Wain Hirschberg
As I’ve had some time to get in the groove of working at LiftPort Group, one of the things that I get asked every day is what I am doing over the summer. I have tried many ways of trying to explain that I am building an elevator on the moon and solving the energy crisis. But as you might expect people are generally pretty skeptical and reluctant to believe me. In its own way, getting asked what I am doing for employment, has forced me to develop a modified sales pitch just to prove to them that I’m being serious. It’s a strange conundrum when you have to convince people that you aren’t messing with them when you tell them what your job is.
I want to make it clear that I am not upset by this, I find it rather comical because my reaction to Michael when he first told me was the same (See previous blog post). At the end of the day, its never going to hurt me that I have had to pitch this idea thousands of times. Anyways it is fun to see reactions. When you explain something as big as this project you really have to walk the listener through step by step and when it all clicks and they understand how wild and how groundbreaking this system is the smiles and looks of astonishment make it all worth it.
I can remember back to when Michael first explained the elevator to me, and especially when it all ‘clicked’ and made sense in my head. We had met at a local café for a sort of “interview” and I can remember him drawing out the entire system and while in the middle of explaining space based solar power it all clicked that we could solve the energy crisis! If he didn’t have me hooked on the phone (reference joke from last week’s post) he certainly did now. The vast mass and scale of this project makes it tremendously complex and complicated. In the weeks to come, I hope that I can help explain some of the technology along with a few stories that go into building this huge thing.
Question for the community!
How would you explain to someone that you were building an elevator on the moon?
I look forward to reading your responses in the comments!