Saturday, August 8, 2009

So, Did George Bush Ever Get ANYTHING Right?

In my opinion, yes.

George Bush was right about the general direction of the space program; going to the Moon first. Here's why...

It's physics, and specifically the physics of trying to get around the solar system.

If you go to Mars directly from the Earth, it is going to be HUGELY expensive, and very likely a one-off program like Apollo, rather than a continuous move to get humanity into space in a big way, such as colonies and asteroid mining and interstellar exploration.

The Moon is logical as the next place to go, IF you are going to expand humanity beyond just the Earth.

Once on the Moon, you have access to effectively 24/7/365 sunlight for solar power, one-sixth the gravity of Earth, and what amounts to a planetary surface in a vacuum. This is probably the most perfect environment to build magnetic launchers possible, and it is right next door in astronomical terms.

If you establish a permanent base on the Moon, mine the raw materials for solar opanels and magnetic launch tubes there, and build magnetic launchers, suddenly the entire solar system becomes far, far more easily accessible in a huge way.

With a magnet launcher, you can launch payloads as quickly as once per minute provided you have the electrical power, and you can launch at high enough velocities to reach anywhere in the solar system, or launch probes into interstellar space at much higher velocities than anything ever done before.

Suddenly the colonization of the entire solar system becomes far more easily accessible, as does access to the entire solar system's wealth of raw materials.

This also makes it possible to for Humanity to survive a cosmic strike on the Earth, such as a large comet or asteroid. Humanity - and all the life we know FOR A FACT exists in the entire universe, can now expand beyond the one vulnerable planet we know it exists on.

The era dreamed of by the greatest science-fiction writers of the twentieth century since the 1940's, and all of their fans and people who grew up reading them will finally arrive. Humankind will finally, fully, become a truly space-faring species.

If we are thinking long-term about human expansion beyond the Earth, then the Moon is a cosmic gift, the perfect spaceport for Humanity. It will be magnetic launch technology that is the key to making it so.