Will Trump Move Us Past our Obsession over Space Colonization?

Maybe space colonization is the final frontier, but what if it is distracting us from other frontiers?

The story of privatizing a space station may not seem to have much to do with space colonization, but the consequences of expecting a profit motive are staggering. It’s been obvious ever since they halted the moon landings that going even that close is way too expensive. Current hype over colonizing Mars is far more unrealistic. I remember there was a movement in the early eighties that used the slogan “L5 by 1995” that wanted to create a colony in a space station.

Once you start to think about economic reality, space colonization becomes unthinkable in the foreseeable future. There are resources on the sea floor, and in Antarctica. If we haven’t colonized those much closer frontiers why do we think space colonization is viable?

AFP reports, “US wants to privatize International Space Station: report.

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The US plan, the paper [the Washington Post] said, involves privatizing the ISS, a low-orbit space station piloted by the US space agency NASA and developed jointly with its Russian counterpart.

The station has allowed international crews — notably in collaboration with the Canadian, European and Japanese space agencies — to pursue scientific research in the environment of a low Earth orbit.

“The decision to end direct federal support for the ISS in 2025 does not imply that the platform itself will be deorbited at that time,” says an internal NASA document obtained by the Post. “It is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform.”

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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