Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One Way To Aquatica

Ralph loaded a great blog here several days ago titled (below) One Way To Mars. It is not just a fascinating concept – it is also a typically human mindset replete with historic precedent.

For instance, as Claudia and I pointed out in our book, The Proxima Manual of Space Exploration over a decade ago, some of the 17th century settlers of the new world of the Americas left not to stay- but to make their fortunes and return to England rich and famous. Reality, however, had another completely different fate in mind:

In 1606, the first ships left England for the new world. They were jammed to overflowing, each individual clinging to a dream, summed up by a few words on a flyer, clutched tightly in expectant fingers. The flyer read (sic):

"Virginia, earth's onely paradise, where nature hath in store Fowle, Venison and Fish, And the fruitful'st Soyle, And without your Toyle, Three harvests more, All greater than your wish..."

They were headed by the hundreds for this paradise they called Virginia and soon, they would number in the thousands. They were lured away from England, each for their own reasons, but all by promises of fame and fortune or simply the opportunity to escape the slums and poverty and to carve out a better life for themselves and their children.

The ocean itself took the first toll. Thirty-nine of the 144 on the first three ships perished on the way over. Seventeen years later, over 14,000 settlers and colonists had made the trip over. All but 1,134 of them had died in the Virginia paradise. They had been ravaged by disease and savage natives, to be sure, but most died because their life support system failed. The little flyers were partly to blame for the mass deaths. The London Company also bore more than a small share of the responsibility. But the life support system held the key to life and death. It failed them for a number of reasons.

The flyer attracted two distinct and polarized classes of England. The first were the "gentlemen adventurers". They made the crossing to paradise to claim their share of gold and fame, along with whatever other miscellaneous success they could drive out of the wilderness. The second class were the indigent - seeking relief from the brutal English caste system or many were prisoners who chose to be shipped away rather than spend their time in the stockade.

When they arrived in the new world, none of them knew how to farm. Such activity was far beneath the dignity of the gentleman and completely beyond the understanding of both. So they died together when the food ran out and the winter set in. The paradise they had so longed for took their lives without the slightest regard for their social standing.

The experience of the early colonists to the new world is playing itself out all over again both in space as well as in the oceans. The 21st century has dawned with more than just the Atlantica Expeditions setting their sights on the new frontiers. And from my personal encounters with them, the boat is again loaded down to over capacity with the enticement of fame, fortune and gentleman adventurer types who wish to go to the frontier, make their fame and fortunes and retire in style back on the land. The exact same is true for many (not all) modern space farers.

However, it is equally true that there are still some of us who wish to cast off the pier and take our one-way trip outward, with no intention of ever returning. That is what is so remarkable about the Atlantica Expeditions. We are permanent settlers willing and ready to risk our fame and fortune on a citizenry of the future, yet unborn.

Are you interested in this idea? Then join us!