Beyond the Cusp

June 15, 2018

Who Will Win the Actual Space Race?

 

There is this very comfortable but equally fallacious solution to getting man into space is to leave it to private enterprise. The argument often goes along the line such as the East India Tea Company and other private enterprises which were very important to the settlement by Europeans of the New World. We love this way of describing the way the New World was conquered as it also makes our argument better than any other story. The reason is obscured by wishful thinking. These companies which assisted with the settlement of the New World were all dependent upon governments first establishing settlements with docks and infrastructure for housing and serving the shipping companies. Under this concept, some government or world collaborative effort would need to first build a working space station (image below) with rotational gravity making it livable by masses of people without the difficulties of zero gravity. There would be the need of a space dock capable of permitting the construction of the space vehicles which would be used to “conquer” space. The most advance of these docking stations with its own space station should necessarily be built close to the Asteroid Belt so as to permit the use of asteroids for raw materials instead of stripping the Earth. The nation to first establish such facilities will be the one most likely to win the real space race. No nation can safely believe that should any nation construct such structures in space that they would be willing to share or allow others to use these expensive facilities. So, what would it take for the United States or others with a governmental space program?

 

Space Station Double Wheel from Stanley Kubrick Arthur C. Clarke 2001 A Space Odyssey

Space Station Double Wheel
from Stanley Kubrick Arthur C. Clarke
2001 A Space Odyssey

 

The first thing we need to talk about is exactly what does NASA really cost. One ugly reality is that when ever the Congress debates spending cuts, the first agency placed on the chopping block is almost always NASA. An even uglier secret is how the NASA budget is represented to the public; NASA is spending is almost twenty-one-billion dollars and we have almost nothing to show for all that money. What they do not tell you is that since 1975 the NASA budget has rarely risen above one percent of the total budget and currently approximately a whapping half-of-one-percent of the total budget. That miniscule percentage of the budget is why they give the number in dollars; simply because you will be shocked by the word billions, as most people do not realize that the total budget is over three trillion and heading up and up. They could triple the NASA budget and it would hardly make any difference in the total budget. So, with this initial establishment that the NASA budget is a minimal part of the total budget and Congress could be honest and allow NASA the funding they really require if earthlings are to leave the solar system within the next century. Basically, the question is how quickly does the human race desire to make war on the planet all but eradicated because once one nation has established their presence permanently in space, they will have the capability to dictate to every other nation. The return on the investment financially and the defensive level provided any nation who has a solid footprint in space is one of the reasons along with the economic boost such a program would provide for why we suggested strongly that Israel build a launch facility and invest in space for the continued future of the nation and her people (suggested location on the map below).

 

Israel Space Port Launch Facility

Israel Space Port Launch Facility

 

For those of us who have perused space, science, physics and cosmological educational and entertainment lectures, classes and other presentations on YouTube, you have probably run across the now infamous quotes from Ben Rich Lockheed Skunk Works CEO.

“We already have the means to travel among the stars, but these technologies are locked up in black projects, and it would take an act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity. Anything you can imagine, we already know how to do.”
“We now have the technology to take ET home. No, it won’t take someone’s lifetime to do it. There is an error in the equations. We know what it is. We now have the capability to travel to the stars. First, you have to understand that we will not get to the stars using chemical propulsion. Second, we have to devise a new propulsion technology. What we have to do is find out where Einstein went wrong.”

Assuming that Mr. Rich was extrapolating on concepts and what is possible in the near or not too distant future, we need remember that the spy plane SR-71 was a Mack 3+ (some claim Mach 5) craft build by the Skunk Works and flying by 1964 and was designed before President Kennedy declared that the United States was going to the Moon within the coming decade. So, we might need take Mr. Rich at his word. But no matter what the reality, technology is now capable of placing a space wheel in orbit around the Sun closely behind the Earth, build a space colony on the Moon (though personnel would require regular rotation due to the low gravity or become incapable of leaving the Moon and returning to Earth), place a colony on Mars (also requiring rotation or the station would need to be self-sufficient) and place another space wheel and construction dock near the Asteroid Belt. These are the minimal requirement for establishing a permanent space presence for the planet and the question will be whether this is committed to as a planet or will it fall to a single nation or groups of nations. But it all stands on a government, or the people from a nation, making the decision to invest in making these space colonies and stations a priority. As for the United States, perhaps we should put this into a basic equation. Would being the undisputed and irreplaceable leader of planet Earth and the Solar System be worth five percent of the budget? If that sounds reasonable, realize that this would be a nine to ten fold increase in the current NASA budget and would make the Moon colony and space wheel attainable within ten to fifteen years. Once these are in place, the remainder of the Solar System is simply a few more steps away. Once the Asteroid Belt becomes available for mining, which ever nation has permanent mining colonies and stations, perhaps one reachable with a launch ever three months to rotate people to and from each point, there would be so much gold, silver, platinum, rare earth materials and potentially unknown treasures to make that nation wealthy beyond all measure. That is not to mention the immeasurable amounts of nickel, iron and other more common elements which would be useable for the construction of large craft developed for potential inter-stellar travel. The Moon colony could pay for itself through mining Helium-3 (He-3, also written as 3He) useable as an energy source which scientists have simply drooled and dreamed of being able to use to power the Earth almost completely pollution free.

 

Helium-3

Helium-3

 

So, the final question is which nation will be the first to invest in taking mankind into the future. Will it be the United States or will the public fail to follow through because there is no actual race that they are able to see. Trust that there is a race and there is one nation ready and willing at this time of winning that race, and it is not the United States. For a set of charts showing the developed space programs from around the globe, click here. The simple equation is which government or group of governments will make the necessary investment and which will be the first. Will it take the realization that perhaps Russia, China, Iran, United States or some dark horse such as Israel or maybe Mongolia has taken a large lead to push the rest to take the race seriously. The answer is that it will be whichever nation decides they are going to invest in their and the human race’s future and desire to be the one who leads the world forward. The one promise we can foretell is there will be a number of nations who will be crying, “If only we had known, we would have acted smarter.”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Comment by OyiaBrown — June 20, 2018 @ 7:56 AM | Reply


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