A New Era for Deep Space Exploration & Development
A New Era A New Vision
Michael Laine Transcript:
"I hope you know that all of the space for the last 50 or 60 years has been driven by geopolitical interests. That's very well documented in lots of books. Dr. John M. Logsdon at George Washington University has a particularly compelling series about various Presidents; Kennedy but lots of other presidents and their role in the space race. Certainly, that was kicked off by Sputnik and geopolitics has always been a part of the American space flight program. That doesn't stop just because we got to the moon but also when we created the International Space Station. It expanded because we created the International Space Station. So, this historic model for human space flight is really important to understand and I really recommend that there are lots of other readings about this.
I really love that we're talking about public-private partnerships on the moon. Now NASA has created a list of nine partners for the CLPS program; The Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. But it doesn't stop there with those nine. There are lots of other companies that are subcontractors or clients to those nine. I think that's the important part. Clients of those nine are not counting the other three planned Artemis missions that are out there. This multinational effort with other national partners coming along with us and their own missions together become this great big as the Europeans call it a moon village and I really like that idea.
When we start talking about the commercial sector a little bit more deeply. Commercial cargo delivery to the moon is going to be an important element to all this. It's not just a delivery service from the earth to the moon. It's also the development of technology that then moves out into the rest of the world. That is a spin-off result of the work of going to the moon. As we bring power and communications to the lunar surface, there are going to be spin-offs for everybody like me stuck down here in earth's gravity well. The value of going there is not just the symbolic power of getting to the moon. It's also the tangible results of being down here and getting the science and technology capabilities and advancements that the effort took.
I know that the long-term focus of this policy is to get to Mars and other deep space destinations. This document's pretty vague about deep space destinations. I think there's probably some investigation is worth looking into on that. It's very clear that Mars is the not the next destination but the one after. So, the moon is first and then Mars is next. This line here that talks about nuclear power sources that is a game changer. That is a game changer. If we have nuclear power sources in space, everything changes. Missions to the moon change, missions to Mars change. Missions beyond out into the deeper solar system also change. When I saw that line in this document, my heartbeat actually started speeding up a little. I was pretty excited about that piece. Of course, robotics and talking about extraction and finding local resources both on the moon and Mars that has to be a part of it. But this nuclear power source that's new and that is really significant.
I said earlier talking about securing US interests. This line about understanding the criticality of space activities to the life of the nation. We talk internally on our LiftPort team about Space Literacy. There is math literacy, technology literacy, reading literacy, and then there's this idea. People really need to understand how space impacts their everyday daily life. I don't feel like most people do. I believe that most of the people watching this video on this channel. Subscribers, they probably do understand this stuff. But the general population probably doesn't understand how deep space technology is affecting their daily lives. We call that Space Literacy. This document space national policy is addressing the fact that most people don't have that level of space literacy. I think that's interesting. I hope that there are changes and spawned because of this line here.
We talked earlier about US values. It's not just about machines and astronauts but also about values. This idea of values keeps coming up in this document. I actually do a word search on it. There are nine times values are mentioned in this document. That's pretty cool to me. I like that this isn't just about machines and astronauts. It's about who we are as Americans but also as a global species that we're curious. We are interested that we want to go and push beyond our perceived boundaries. I like that this has a lot of conversations about values. I also like this line about the courage to go and the conviction to stay. My grandfather a long time ago told me a story about how the settlers moved from the east coast to the west coast. My family's been in Washington for about a hundred years. He made a smart-ass joke about “How the cowards never started” and “The weak didn't make it”. When I start thinking about going to the moon and Mars, the courage to go and the conviction to stay I think about my grandfather actually, and his lines. So, I got a chuckle when I read this.
I think this line is very important. Cannot and will not seed its role as leader of space-faring nations. I could do an entire video about that line by itself. It is a powerful line. If we take it seriously, then I think this line by itself could change budgets and expectations from our various space programs within the United States. NASA but all, there are several other space programs within the United States. I also feel like this might be seen as a challenge from other nations and other cultures. I was at an ISU online event last weekend, there were two different conversations about an ESA like program; European Space Agency like the program. But where a union of African nations worked together and then at a different meeting, at a different time this weekend, there was a conversation about a union of Latin American and South and Central American nations working together as a union like the European Space Agency. So, I feel like this is a great line for America to kind of state its case but also I’m even hopeful that other nations or unit unions of nations will see this as a challenge and work together to push humanity out further into space."