Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Sea-Change in Human Space Exploration

William Shakespeare wrote in his Tempest,

Full fathom five thy father lies ... / Nothing of him that doth fade / But doth suffer a sea-change.” 

 He was the first to use the expression that means - something that has changed with such impact that it has evoked something radically new and very powerful.  That sea-change happened a week ago today when SpaceX launched two humans to the International Space Station - a mission so loaded with historic firsts it is difficult to enumerate them all.  After Saturday, 30 May, 2020, the human exploration of space changed suddenly and dramatically. In developmental ecology it is called “punctuated equilibrium”. It means that the process of stagnation is suddenly interrupted with radical, fast, epically important changes that completely change the dynamic from that point forward.  That is what we all witnessed last week.  The sea-change in space.  The difference to humanity is overwhelmingly significant from this point forward.  The governments of the world are finally - decades overdue -  moving out of the pathway to human space exploration.  Government seed money was and still is essential to any expensive R&D effort. But the government behemoth is so encumbered with regulations and absurd, expensive narrative protection schemes that it has reached its limit and now literally cannot even afford its own immorally profligate human space exploration system. Now a private enterprise - SpaceX - notably not the bastard child of the old money military contractor club - enters the game with the leanest possible, most efficient, most innovative initiative that any of us alive have ever witnessed.  Elon Musk’s game is wild, unpredictable, innovative-flash-genius and incredibly fun to watch. What we witnessed last week was the door to human space exploration opening wide enough that all of us who wish to fly in space will shortly be able to. And soon, Mars itself will be permanently populated with thousands of humans - all based on exactly the same technology that blew NASA and the big contractors out of the water with its incredible, heart stopping genius.  And Elon Musk - well - he is just getting warmed up.