- policy recommendations for the current administration -


These web pages proposes something perhaps at least as historically significant as landing the first human on the Moon -- and no, landing the first woman on the Moon isn't a substantially greater accomplishment. Rather, the real historic prize to be seized is the establishment of humanity's first, permanent foothold off Earth. Doing so would be the beginning of humanity moving beyond Earth. Perhaps entirely new nations will be established off Earth all tracing themselves back to the first permanent settling down of people off Earth. This would be at an historic level comparable to Christopher Columbus or Plymouth Rock.

As this page describes, space settlement is simply people selling their homes back on Earth and "settling down" somewhere off Earth. That page also describes how there is not a large difference between a habitat for scientists and the systems to support that habitat and a habitat with "private" people settling down. Since settlements need to be "homes" not just housing for a base with temporary workers, they need to have families of which married couples without children are the easiest and hence earliest form of families. The point here is that a habitat with private workers in the form of couples is something that we could easily see happen by the end of this coming decade as a side effort of the permanent base which the current administration is planning for in 2028.

If the first people back to the Moon are NASA astronauts then it largely becomes a repeat of the Apollo program and the historic story of how people began to move off Earth permanently becomes muddled by it not being the first people back to the Moon but some other people some time later. And if the stays on the Moon start with short science sorties and build up in length, exactly when did the first permanent people move off Earth? Rather, these pages argue that we should intentionally write the story of how humanity first began moving off Earth.

We should have an Initial Crew with something like an easily remembered eight people going to the Moon to stay "indefinitely" with biomedical indicators indicating if they should return to Earth rather than arbitrarily risking their lives to return them to Earth according to an arbitrary period while also risking the lives of their replacement crew. The Initial Crew could also logically be "private" in that they could be workers for companies who NASA pays to maintain and expand the telerobotic workforce to produce propellant in support of NASA and other countries as they conduct science missions throughout the Moon. This private, commercial work seems entirely appropriate.

Then also there is the tremendous legacy to be seized by the United States opening the way for all other countries to start moving off Earth as well. If the United States with its leadership in free markets would encourage other countries to help their companies provide redundant, dissimilar elements of our companies' transportation system and if we encourage other countries to develop specialty habitats with standard interfaces then it will have been the United States and the policies of its Administration that would have opened up the Moon and indeed the solar system to human settlement by all people but with the United States playing the leading role. This would be the best way of ensuring that the liberal values which we hold deal will be represented in off Earth settlements.

It is up to the current Administration to recognize the historic prize ready to be seized if so choose. And if not the current Administration, perhaps the next one will recognized what is to be achieved here. Hopefully the heads of the Administration will be informed about this historic opportunity.

If the current administration chooses the Plan described here, they can seize the legacy of having opened space to off-Earth settlement.

Next: Leadership in Space