extra. planetary.

three spacecraft

The emergence of private human spaceflight is an unqualified benefit to all mankind.

I keep seeing articles focusing on “an ego race between billionaires” and complaining about how the common man cannot hope to afford space, and that it’s only for the rich. I cannot tell whether these journalists forgot their history classes, have zero understanding of basic economics and scale, or just want to create controversy. Say what you want about capitalism, but I can’t find a better demonstration of free-market economics helping to vastly IMPROVE the potential survival of the human race.

When video game legend Richard Garriot self-financed his flight to the International Space Station for a reported $30 million in 2008, he committed a substantial part of the fortune he had painstakingly earned over decades to fuel his space dreams.

Now we have the ability to experience space with Virgin Galactic for $250,000 a ticket. That is BELOW the average price of a home in the US. That means that ANYONE in the US who could afford to buy a home and had a dream of space flight on their bucket list, could pay off the home over 30 years and fly to space in their retirement. That isn’t “EVERYONE” – but at least it’s an option for 89 million US homeowners!

The point I am making is that this IS opening spaceflight up to ANYONE. In the 1930s, air travel was too expensive for anyone but the wealthy and businesspeople. And automobiles started out too expensive. And computers started out too expensive, only government and big business could buy them.

Don’t you see the pattern? We now have not one but three entrepreneurs intensely devoted to make mankind reach the stars. Do they want bragging rights? Sure, and they are well earned!

As for arguments that money would be better spent on something else, such as solving world hunger, I would note that Jeff Bezos gave $100 million to Feeding America in 2020, the largest single gift the organization every received. Now, we need more – 7 billion to 265 billion a year – but in my research on this issue, it seems to have a lot more to do with politics than money.

in the last year, not only did the US and China put more robots on Mars, we FLEW A HELICOPTER on Mars to help us find out more about life on other planets. And the US formed a Space Force. And Space X keeps landing rockets upright and re-using them, just like we’ve seen in the movies our whole lives, just like God intended.

We are suddenly experiencing the payoffs from decades of toil and research and investment in space technology. And so much of this is driven by fundamental improvements in computer technology – artificial intelligence, machine learning and miniaturization – that were funded by the self-interest of consumers and businesses since the Information Age began.

Science Fiction isn’t fiction any more and I can’t gush enough about how bright the future is for space technology and mankind.

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