Today, I am asking for your support for my election to the NSS Board of Directors.
I have read the NSS strategic plan in detail. It includes many useful and worthwhile tasks, but it is missing one important element: focus. We need to decide much more explicitly what we’re going to support, and what we’re going to reject.
Like any entity, NSS has limited resources, and the rules of “opportunity cost” apply. Any resources we invest in one activity, are not available for other activities. From my personal perspective, there is only one mission for the society that really matters: minimizing the time from this moment to the creation of thriving human communities in space. Space settlement. Space industrialization is essential to that result, as are many other supporting activities, but at the end of the day, space settlement is the bottom line. All activities should be tested against how well they support that core objective.
The problem isn’t primarily technological. Humanity is capable, right now, of creating self-sustaining human settlements in space. We simply choose not to do so.
On this note, I’ll say explicitly that the Obama proposal for NASA is a barely mitigated disaster. It has some good elements, like the emphasis on private sector development, but it has no clear focus of ANY KIND for the American manned space program. As a practical matter, Obama is proposing to kill the American manned space program. I think that’s wrong for the country, and I don’t like it.
You’ll find that I fairly consistently don’t play the PC game that says, “I’m OK, you’re OK, all views are good.” We need to make CHOICES about what we, as a society, are going to support, and reject. If I reject some viewpoint, you’ll know it.
NSS needs to focus on changing the pattern of resource allocation on the planet in the direction of creating space settlements, which necessarily means spending less on other things. We need to speak more directly. We need less nuance, and more simple, declarative statements.
What was that line at the end of the “Patton” speech? I don’t want to run afoul of the censors, but now you know how I feel!
I look forward to working with many of you to advance the production of independent human space settlements!