Editor’s note: The reader must take care to note that this article deals with inter-stellar travel. This is a complete departure from the article on space industrialization and settlement in the last issue of ecoworld.com in which inter-planetary exploration was described and endorsed. Inter-planetary industrialization and settlement can utilize existing and deployed technologies, as described in “A New Age of Exploration and Colonization” in ecoworld.com issue #2. This new issues’s intriguing article by Dr. William Turner, a noted scientist, engineer and philosopher, deals with inter-stellar travel.
Nothing previewed in Dr. Turner’s visionary treatise which follows is the least bit implausible. Inter-stellar travel, however, uses technologies that are not yet deployed, to say the least. But technologies described by Dr. Turner will arise. Somewhere (or somewheres like Leibnitz and Newton) new technologies will be discovered. Not invented so much as discovered. That is one of the beautiful concepts that underlie Dr. Turner’s essay. Also refreshing is the complete non-treatment of the question of aliens. OF COURSE there are alien species in the galaxy! Many could be far more advanced technologically than we are. Perhaps we could acquire one of their physics textbooks, or medical journals, or “the equivalent of an entire set of their encyclopedia.”
This is good reading. And don’t forget about the biospheres.
It has been said that Man’s destiny lies in the stars.
This may be more prophetic and come true sooner than most of us realize. Indeed, there is almost unlimited business to be conducted and tremendous profit to be made in future opportunities for Outer Space. Yes, there will soon be increasing business possibilities in the many Outer Space activities of communication, message evaluation, exploration, travel, colonization, development, trade, and numerous ancillary areas such as systems and parts manufacture, finance, and commerce. When these projected activities do become operational, many will supersede the current magnitude of their counterparts in present industry. This projection makes it doubly important that each business assess its future position, and plan how each will fit into this Outer Space future. And, if you do decide to consider such business, then start setting something up now so that you can establish a background and an early date of when that background began.
Outer Space activities will dominate all future business as well as technology. right now, almost all Outer Space activity is confined to the research presently conducted by agencies of the various governments of major countries. Selected educational institutions also do some work in this area, but usually with government financial grants. But all this will soon change and there will be extensive expansion.
FIRST PHASE: INTER-STELLAR COMMUNICATIONS
As to the order in which the organized Outer Space activities will come about, the first phase will deal with extremely long range communications systems that can reach out well into the vastness of the Universe. It is conservatively estimated that there are at least 1 x 10^15 (1,000,000,000,000,000) such alien civilizations presently in the Universe, that are much more technically advanced than we are here on Earth. Indeed, the choosing of particular destination sites for future manned operations, will be decided by first establishing suitable Outer Space Communication Systems that can reach out to contact some of these advanced alien civilizations in approximately real time.
It is anticipated that the first technical strategies to design practical ultra-long range communication systems will employ hyper light speed technology (the exceeding of the speed of light), multi-dimensional interfacing, and a “3-Point” operational geometry. The message content of the communications will probably be sent out in “Burst” Transmissions. All these systems will have to be designed and made by using available standard and custom non-standard parts as required.
SECOND PHASE: MANNED OPERATIONS
As we look further into the future, the second phase will involve manned operations. When this occurs, then the numerous commercial possibilities for Outer Space will open up. Let us consider a comparison example of somewhat similar activities that took place in the Western United States during the 19th century.
The Western Frontier presented exciting possibilities to all those who dared to think about them, and then put such thoughts into viable actions. This resulted in an exodus of pioneers to new settlement areas, and thereby extended the frontier of United States civilization out into the beckoning West.
Similar to how it was then, today the new frontier of Outer Space beckons. The 19th Century pioneers moved out in “wagon trains” which provided for traveling to the faraway destinations, a new life totally different from the previous one, common navigation and direction through unknown areas, mutual security, sharing of supplies, communal help as needed, and new progress to advance civilization. It is anticipated that there will be a new breed of space pioneers for the 21st Century. These will move out in “space vehicle trains” for the very same reasons.
The symbol of the 19th Century western pioneer was the Conestoga Wagon. These were originally made in Lancaster County in Pennsylvania. The high demand for them brought much profit to their manufacturers. In the 21st century, the symbol of the outer space pioneer will be the space vehicle, space craft, or space ship. Its manufacture should bring considerable profit. It should be noted that the horse-drawn Conestoga Wagons required only a few general items like lumber, bolts, wheels, and a top cloth as their basic parts. In contrast, the space vehicles will require very many individual parts which will have to be supplied from a variety of different sources.
There will be other significant differences between the 19th century wagon trains and the 21st century space vehicle trains. The wagon trains were able to renew certain necessary supplies along the way. For example, water could be obtained from local rivers, streams, and lakes. Hunting game animals provided meat for food, and skins for clothing. But such necessities will not be available to the space vehicle trains. It should be noted that such necessities can not be carried in sufficient quantities for extended time periods to provide for the entire trip through space to the desired destination.
Most of these extensive amounts of supplies will have to be produced during the trip, in designated individual space vehicles. And when the desired destination is reached, the space train group may still have to rely on its own capability to provide its own supplies – such as electric power, water, oxygen, and fuel – if the new environment does not prove to be hospitable. This means that special equipment, that can produce necessary specific functions, will be assigned to certain space vehicles. No longer will each unit be reasonably self sufficient. Rather, there will be a definite dependency upon other space vehicles to supply the more vital needed supplies en route.
NEW TECHNOLOGY AND BUSINESS ASPECTS
To illustrate, an energy generating source will be needed to supply power for running the electrical equipment for the entire space train. This electrical power will be sent to each of the other units of the space vehicle train through a wireless power distribution system. It is anticipated that such a generator will not only supply power, but water as a by-product. In addition to supplying drinking water to the rest of the unites in the train, a portion of the produced water will be separated into the basic constituents of Hydrogen for fuel, and Oxygen for breathing. All this will be doubly necessary to sustain life on future landing sites, if these locations do not prove to be immediately compatible to support human life.
The advances in such equipment will also be used to modify any similar equipment that may then be needed for similar functioning on the Earth. This new technology will be applied to the operations of the “factories of the future” that will be working here on Earth. Remember also that all this equipment will have to be made by someone, so that there will be many new businesses needed.
Of course, there will be a requirement for space craft propulsion systems. It is expected that there will be two different types of engines in each space vehicle. One will be needed to bridge the vast distances. The other will be used to provide for local navigating when the general destination astronomical body is reached.
There will be many ancillary support businesses needed. Special testing facilities will be required to certify that each piece of equipment (or portion thereof) is suitable for its intended application. Financial institutions, possibly at first backed up by government resources, will serve to provide the moneys needed for the initial trips. Insurance companies will have to look into determining what can be done to insure various aspects of the overall space trips. Once getting to suitable destination sites is realized, developers will step in and consider the on-site development.
Trade will be among the most important of all the commercial activities that develop for Outer Space. It might be asked – what would a highly advanced alien society want in a trade with the lesser developed Earth? The answer is that there are always many things to be traded. Consider the various items that come from the so-called “backward” countries of our world which find use in the relatively higher level society of the United States.
Inter-alien society trading will rank among the most lucrative of all the commercial activities. Its gross product should well exceed the overall total of everything now produced on the Earth.
As a further practical consideration, new advanced space weaponry will be required to protect from any hostile situations encountered in Outer Space, as well as from possible future threats to the Earth. Present weaponry is designed only to kill people, not to protect them. Space weaponry will be required to handle a far larger amount of tasks as compared to conventional weapons, and many of these new types will need extremely large ranges.
It is also anticipated that a completely new form of military will be needed. The U.S. Cavalry that went to the aid of attacked wagon trains of the 19th century will have to drastically change in scope and methods. It will have to become and Outer Space military, employing new operations, new strategies, and the new weaponry. Conventional military aircraft, naval ships, and tanks (just to name a few items) will become totally obsolete and financial liabilities.
In addition, the political structure and the form of governments on the Earth will have to undergo extensive change. This one factor alone will require each business to re-think its position and its future, even if it does not decide to enter an outer space activity.
But there is something else, something far more compelling and threatening, that must be mentioned. The Earth is presently undergoing increasingly serious deterioration from a myriad of subtle and not so subtle causes. All these problems actually started and only became a concern approximately within the last 100 years. Probably the most serious single problem is the accelerating increase in the World’s population, which could soon outstrip the inherent capabilities of the Earth. Although many of these individual problems have been noted and studied separately in various detail, very few people have considered the devastating consequences of their accumulating combined effects. Unless there are drastic technical changes to offset these problems, the earth could become uninhabitable in less than 80 years. Strategies and by-products of Outer Space technology could very well provide significant answers. And organized answers to serious problems also offer the possibility of new businesses.
Outer Space represents an unlimited frontier with the prospects of associated important new business. Considering dealing commercially with Outer Space presents the beginning step into an exciting future. It offers unusual possibilities from almost every point of view. In it lies all of Man’s aspirations including adventure, individual challenge, startling intellectual pursuits, new opportunities, a new life, and new economic opportunities.
The financial rewards could be very great for those who enter these fields and establish themselves in active competitive positions. There is virtually unlimited potential. Imagine contacting an alien society that was approximately a thousand years more technically advanced that we on Earth. Imagine what it would mean scientifically and financially to acquire from such an advanced civilization a copy of their latest physics book, or a medical journal, or perhaps the equivalent of an entire set of their encyclopedia. This could become a distinct possibility in the very first phase, once an outer space communications link was established and the languages decoded.
Think about all this, and while you are thinking, consider how work in Outer Space industries could benefit you and your company. Consider what steps might be instituted now to prepare to acquire some of the many benefits of this potentially very lucrative future.