Here’s a good article by Nader Elhefnawy at The Space Review about the difficulties with getting a commercial space program up and running. He questions why no country has made a commercial venture outside satellites, and comes up with some pretty good reasons.
The positive forces the author notes are mercantilism and national pride, whereas the negatives are long and hard to argue against.
While there may be good reasons, as of now they aren’t economical ones, and money is what makes the world go ’round. Elhefnawy points out that businesses aren’t typically the adventurers they’re portrayed as (risk is not a good thing if you want to make money), and there’s also that pesky matter of space being REALLY big and hard to get to.
In sum, I’d like to be optimistic, but without a drastic change in the way the world works, I’m not getting off this rock. Hopefully my children will.
(image courtesy of galaxygrrl)
3 thoughts on “One man’s take on why we don’t have our moon bases yet”
I think the key economic reason will be if solar power and the hydrogen economy really starts coming online in a mainstream way. When that happens the short supply of platinum on the earth’s surface as well as other precious metals will quickly deplete our supplies long before demand ends. The economic rewards of finding a precious metal asteroid may become very enticing in a non-petrochemical based economy.
True, but since we humans (as a species) are extremely lazy, we’ll have to burn through every other possibility before developing the technology for space mining becomes economically feasible.
I see weird organic-hybrid solar production (like harnessing trees to produce energy) as being more likely than spaceships mining the asteroid belt.
You can not go back a second time when you may not have been in the first place
It is impossible to think we would not tried a self inflating sphere of somekind to to say it is possible to create any kind of dome there. We almost always try the little things first but not on the moon yet.
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