A New Era - Ambitious Strategy #1
Filmed 23 July 2020
Michael Laine Transcript --
"Hey you all! Today, we're kind of continuing this deep dive into the space policy. We've been doing it for about three weeks now. We've got a couple more videos to go on this topic. Bear with us! I realized that not all the space policy is as interesting as some of the other work that we're doing. But I promise you this stuff is important and getting it wrong means, we don't build anything. The deep dive is worth it. So, thanks for sticking with us on this.
We are working on some more videos relating to LiftPort history and the space elevator history. We love that you're watching this. We are really grateful, thank you! Just a little over a month ago, The White House; The National Space Council issued this foundational and fundamental document that will influence basically every aspect and actor in space. Whether your influence is from Academia, Civil like NASA or NOAA or commercial like ours or Made In Space, Inc. or SpaceX or Blue Origin or Defense: U.S Space Force and Air Force Space Command. This document has influence and I would say control over all aspects there. It is worth the effort to kind of dig into this pretty deeply. We always focus on going to the moon for LiftPort. If we're going to build out the lunar elevator, we really do have to pay attention to this stuff.
We're on page six of a 23-page document and we're really starting to get into the meat of it now. I’m glad you all stuck with us through the seven to eight policy videos so far. But now we're starting to get into some really cool stuff. Stay with us! It's good. I promise. These are the things that we're going to be talking about and focusing on. How all of this stuff interplays one piece versus the other. Usually, when we show this slide: Hardware, Business, Outreach, and Framework that is relating to LiftPort and the effort to build the lunar elevator. But in this context, this stuff is very apparent and obvious in this space policy document. It's kind of comforting for us to know that the divisions we have made the federal government are also making. That's good style-wise. I think that's good.
Let's get into it here. We've already talked a lot about the American presence beyond Earth orbit, really focusing on commercial and international partners. The most significant undertakings in human history! That's why we're here! That's why we're doing this stuff! This is the most significant undertakings in human history. 50 years ago, it’s one thing to go and do flags and footprints on the moon. That was really great! But now we're at a point where we can have a sustainable and permanent human presence in space. We've done it for 20 years at the International Space Station. The next steps if you will the next giant leaps will really be about permanence on the moon and eventually permanence on mars. I don't think this is an exaggeration. I mean this isn't the kind of language you see in dry dull governmental policy documents. But just take a minute to let this sink in. The most significant undertakings in human history. I don't think that's hyperbole and I’m really proud of this document for taking us on that journey.
Now we're getting into the meat of it. That's kind of dull but still important. This document is a whole of government declaration. The United States government all the pieces of it are getting behind this effort to go first to the moon and then to Mars. When they do that, we talked a lot about private investment and operations. There's this comment about diplomatic engagement. I’m going to hold that to a later slide here in a few minutes. This international partnership is the same story. But what I want you to pay attention to is the last pieces: Existing and Emerging space fairing states. You'd be surprised but there are people in the world who think that Canada built the International Space Station because they built the arm on the space station. With the branding of the great big leaf of theirs on the International Space Station's Canada arm, some people think they built the whole thing. That's not true but there are a lot of existing space nations. Folks never really get a lot of attention and press but still significant players in kind of the global effort to go to space. You don't really hear very often about Brazil, for example. But they've got a solid earth observation program. The same thing with several African nations; Nigeria and Ethiopia are coming along pretty quickly. They would be examples of the kind of emerging space-faring states. Australia as long as they've been in space as part of the original Apollo program back 50 years ago. If you've ever seen the movie The Dish, it's pretty worth watching. Australia has been involved with space really since the beginning but they only just created an official space agency. While they have a legacy, they are in fact, an emerging spacefaring state. What this document is saying is that there are existing programs: European Space Agency (ESA), Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). Some programs are already solid contributors to the global effort to go into space and we're going to want to partner with them. But there are also developing programs that have a significant role to play in the future. I’m pretty excited when I see a language like that. I’ve mentioned before my relationship with International Space University (ISU) as the U.S alumni president. When I look at those kinds of things, I look at who's existing and emerging and how do they partner with an America. That's going back to the moon in a really big way.
This next slide is pretty intriguing to me. It's actually really easy to ignore this next line. I know some of you all don't really want this line by line by the explanation of this document but there are pieces of this are that justify a per-word examination of this document. This is one of the sentences. NASA is, and will remain, the leader for U.S. government space exploration efforts, other departments and agencies will have increasingly important roles in space. What this is saying is that NASA is the leader we all acknowledge that but other departments will have a newly expanded role. But the piece that I really want to focus on is U.S government space exploration efforts. It is not directing NASA to be a leader in commercialization efforts but Restricting NASA to an exploration role. Their job is to seek beyond the next barrier or the next horizon. That's what they're remarkably good at. I would argue no organization in the world has what NASA is able to do. But this is saying NASA’s role is the exploration and then other departments will take it from here. I think that's really interesting. I think the verdict's still out. I don't know whether I really am happy about that or really annoyed about that. I’d really like to see how this evolves. But I want you to pay attention to this sentence because this sentence impacts the rest of this document. This document impacts the rest of the national space program. The national space program has influence and ripple effects on the global space effort. It is worth the effort to go into the minutia of this document because this language they bifurcate what NASA has been doing. They have been stimulating the commercial market. They're saying good! Just keep doing exploration. You're doing great at that but the other departments and agencies will have a role in other aspects of going out to space. Pretty important in a one-line sentence in here that could have a lot of meaning.
If you watched any of our other videos, we're going back to the moon in a really significant way. 21 U.S missions are confirmed. Most of them are commercial missions. We've got 10 other international partners in many cases going to the moon as well. If you're not really sure what's going on with the moon, take a look at us other videos. We'll have a link below but this is a pretty good primer. A lot is going on right now!"