Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Human Exploration - Who’s In Charge?

One thing I have noticed while observing the world of human exploration activities is that in the past, most major exploration initiatives have been carried out by individuals. While it is true that some of them (not all) of them relied on nations or wealthy benefactors for support, the real thrusts in exploration have mostly been personal. I could spend a lot of internet ink here by recounting the notable examples – but you already know them as well as I do: Columbus, the Wright Brothers, Cousteau, etc.

It is the notable exceptions that has ruined the modern mind: the various international space programs. However, that is a little problem that the Rutan-Branson team is about to solve. It’s back to the future, it seems.

The thing that excites me most about the private explorer is his energy. I wake up sometimes in the dead of night and feel the energy myself. I CAN do this – and I can do it myself! And what is that?

I was invited to speak at the Milwaukee branch of the old L-5 society in 1992. I was invited there as “A Doer” because my private organization had already taken a few first steps into the frontier. We unashamedly told anyone who wanted to listen that we were going to build the world’s first undersea colony and pattern it after a space colony as an analog. It still hasn’t happened yet – but than I’m not dead yet and the day ain’t over. We’re still working – hard – to make that happen. More on that tomorrow.

Meanwhile, look around you and see if you can figure out who’s really in charge of exploration and why…

Shown above is Christopher Columbus. He didn’t know where he was going when he left. He didn’t know where he was when he got there and didn’t know where he had been when he got back. But by this obstinate approach, he changed the world and everyone in it.