Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Convergence


Washington DC June 1, 2008

In the Air and Space Museum, this is one of the best photo spots. The Spirit of St. Louis, X-1 and Spaceship One appear to converge toward a common point. While the media blasts us with false Idols, out of the spotlight people of differing backgrounds are quietly working toward a better future. Decisions are being made that will affect the course of humanity in Space for decades. Many possibilities converge on a single future.

5 years after Columbia, a Vision for the Moon and Beyond continues. The International Space Station is the first permanent human presence outside Earth's atmosphere. The longtime dream of Space Solar Power will finally be demonstrated. Vehicles are being designed for extending human settlement to the Moon. In their wake, many private companies are competing to take passengers into Space.

Out of the spotlight, a new industry is being born. Space News reports that industry revenue has increased 50 percent in a year. We may see a boom like we once saw in the Web or biotech industries. Like the Pan Am shuttle waltzing toward a Space Station, we are approaching the 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY dream of commercial flights to orbit.

Much will depend on the next occupants of the White House. One candidate has talked about "delaying" the Vision 5 years, effectively killing it. There is room for added initiatives, like the DIRECT architecture or an asteroid mission. If the US cedes leadership, another nation will take the high ground. If the right moves are made, all humanity will converge on a future in Space.

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6 Comments:

Blogger CarlBrannen said...

Louise, if you are ever in the Seattle area, give me a call and I'll walk you through the Museum of Flight. It's a favorite of Boeing and has a lot of donations, including one of the SR-71s (actually the prettier, stainless steel and flat black derivative, along with the air launched drone). I'm sure you'll love it.

10:36 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thanks, carl. I'll be travelling to a couple of conferences in the Northwest later this year, and would love to meet. I hope your predictions of masses get the atention they deserve.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous a quantum diaries survivor said...

The spot will never be as good looking again after you left.

Cheers,
T.

11:16 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Tommaso, your comments are kind and very gentlemanly!

8:33 PM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

Oh man, now I understand how out-classed we are, us gentlemen who are not Italian.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous a quantum diaries survivor said...

See Carl, it's in the blood ;-)

Cheers,
T.

11:31 PM  

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