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America is setting its sights on returning Americans to the Moon. This will be but the first step in America’s industrialization of Earth-Moon space and the central solar system to tap the wealth of extraterrestrial resources to better America and the world.

Watch this brief NASA video showing the Moon crossing the Earth. This is what Earth-Moon space actually looks like. Then, scroll down to see why this coming America spacefaring industrial revolution is important for solving vital national issues related to the environment and energy.

Issues

America’s middle-class standard of living is shown in the above montage.

Today, Americans depend on non-sustainable fossil fuels for roughly 80 percent of the energy enabling this standard of living. While this fossil fuel dependency remains, America’s standard of living and middle-class economic prosperity are also non-sustainable.

Further, while Americans continue to use fossil fuels, carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of these fuels enters the atmosphere, adding to the abnormally high and rising atmospheric CO2 concentration.

America’s environmental and energy security threats require action now

Reasonable Americans are now recognizing that America has two vital threats that must be resolved by changing our source of energy in order to retain our middle-class standard of living with an acceptable environmental footprint. These threats are:

  • the environmental threat due to the abnormally high and rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, (for more details click here) and
  • the energy security threat due to America’s still substantial dependence on non-sustainable fossil fuels for America’s economic prosperity and middle-class standard of living (for more details click here).

Americans today have a moral obligation to set the United States on an effective path to resolve these threats by, in an orderly manner, transitioning from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. To replace fossil fuels by 2100, when America’s population is likely to have grown to around 500 million, nearly 5,000 gigawatts (GW) of baseload sustainable electrical generation capacity must be built. For comparison, the Hoover Dam can generate a maximum of 2 GW.

 

Solutions

Terrestrial sustainable energy solutions are not practical for America

Many believe that terrestrial sustainable energy solutions will provide America with the sustainable energy needed to replace fossil fuels. The three primary terrestrial options for the United States are wind, ground solar, and nuclear power. For reasons discussed here, none of these terrestrial solutions can be practically scaled up to replace fossil fuels. Thus, with the need for America to undertake an orderly transition from fossil fuels, the one remaining scalable option is GEO space solar power.

For America to become environmentally and energy secure, 5,000 GW of GEO space solar power must be built. To achieve this, America must industrialize Earth-Moon space and the central solar system to obtain the resources needed to build the GEO space solar power systems.

GEO space solar power is America’s sustainable energy solution

Industrializing Earth-Moon space will be undertaken to provide space-based sustainable power—GEO space solar power—to America and, possibly, much of the rest of the world to replace fossil fuels.

This silent, six-minute video explains GEO space solar power and how this can benefit America.

Charting a bold path forward for America

From the bridge of an arriving spaceship, a view of the United States Spaceship Enterprise in spacedock preparing for an upcoming mission. (Credit: US Air Force.)
From the bridge of an arriving spaceship, a view of the United States Spaceship Enterprise in spacedock preparing for an upcoming mission. (Credit: US Air Force.)

The illustration above shows what could be happening now had past presidential administrations pursued an aggressive policy of advancing America’s spacefaring capabilities based on the pace of American aerospace technological advancement and the need to maintain America’s great power status. That this did not happen has been a consequence of poor political choices regarding the priorities of federal government expenditures.

President Kennedy’s spacefaring leadership

In President Kennedy’s famous 1962 speech at Rice University in Texas—at the dawn of the space age—advocating for America’s Apollo lunar landing program, he called on America to the “world’s leading space-faring nation.”

To become the “world’s leading space-faring nation”, America must normalize its space-faring capabilities, starting by removing the “-” from “space-faring”, as was done in “Spacefaring Institute”, and focusing on establishing the spacefaring infrastructure enabling safe and routine commercial human spacefaring operations. Fortunately, America’s aerospace industries now have the technological and industrial mastery needed to lead America’s transformation into a true world-leading spacefaring nation. What is now needed is a plan on how to proceed with effectively utilizing America’s growing spacefaring industrial mastery.

The Spacefaring Institute advocates the following:.

1. Define the urgent political need for America to undertake a commercial human spacefaring transformation. (Explanation)

2. Define an integrated technological path forward that effectively utilizes America’s aerospace industrial mastery to undertake this spacefaring transformation. (Explanation)

3. Convince President Trump to champion GEO space solar power. (Explanation)

4. Establish American leadership in transitioning the world to sustainable energy, ending energy impoverishment, and enabling worldwide sustainable development. (Explanation)

Undertaking GEO space solar power

America’s growing macro-engineering expertise

Building the Hoover Dam and Boulder City, Nevada. (Images credit: U.S. Government.)
Building the Hoover Dam and Boulder City, Nevada. (Images credit: U.S. Government.)

In the 1800s, American engineers began to undertake significant infrastructure construction projects to transform colonial America into a modern industrial nation. These began with the National Road and the Erie Canal in the early 1800s; canals and river steamship lines in the  1830s–1850s; the first Transcontinental Railroad, the Brooklyn Ridge at New York City, and the Eads Bridge at St. Louis in the 1860s–1870s; over 200,000 miles of railroad track and the beginnings of the telecommunications industry by 1900. In the 20th century, macro-engineering projects, such as the Panama Canal and the Hoover Dam, were undertaken as America’s technological and industrial capabilities advanced.

21st century focus on space macro-engineering projects

Manhattan Island as seen from space. (Credit: NASA.)
Manhattan Island as seen from space. (Credit: NASA.)

Undertaking GEO space solar power will require substantial construction activities in space as well as on the Earth. Upwards of 1000 space solar power platforms, each roughly the size of Manhattan Island, will be built in geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) to supply most of the nearly 5,000 GW of power needed for Americans to replace fossil fuels. On the ground, an equivalent number of ground receiving stations, each about twice the size of Manhattan Island, will be built across the contiguous United States to receive the power transmitted from the GEO platforms. In total, the ground receiving arrays will utilize about 40,000 square miles of land—slightly larger than the state of Ohio. Both the space segment and the ground segment will be immense, decades-long, construction efforts dwarfing past efforts such as the Panama Canal and Hoover Dam.

Establishing commercial human spacefaring logistics capabilities

Large space settlement to house workers and families involved in building space solar power platforms. (Credit: NASA.)
Large space settlement to house workers and families involved in building space solar power platforms. (Credit: NASA.)

Undertaking GEO space solar power will involve creating immense new American space power, space mining, space manufacturing, space settlement, and spacefaring logistics industries.

Undertaking GEO space solar power will be a human space enterprise. For example, if each of the new 1000 GEO space solar power platforms requires a workforce of just 100 people to manage, operate, and maintain the platform and its support staff—a facility the size of Manhattan Island—100,000 Americans will be permanently living in space by 2100. If the world needs 10,000 of this platforms, one million people will be living in space just to operate and maintain the platforms after they are built. Obviously, several times more people will be involved in mining resources on the Moon and the asteroids, converting these resources into platform components, transporting people and materiel throughout the central solar system, building the platforms and other facilities, and housing and supporting workers and their families throughout Earth-Moon space and the inner asteroid belt.

The first step to initiate this immense new national space effort is establishing the integrated commercial human spacefaring logistics infrastructure to open, first, Earth-Moon space and, then, the central solar system to commercial human spacefaring operations.

The coming spacefaring age

While many believe that talking about 100,000 Americans living in space is fantastical, consider the image above. This is a composite radar map of the commercial airliners flying above the United States on a typical morning or afternoon. The image shows 5,050 aircraft. In broad numbers, hundreds of thousands of people are flying above our heads every day and we don’t give it a second thought. Yet, a century ago, this would have been viewed as fantastic. A century from now, commercial human spaceflight throughout the central solar system will be as common as commercial air travel is today. Just as the 20th century saw America become a leading aeronautical nation, this century will see American become a leading commercial spacefaring nation.

What pro-spacefaring Americans can do now

Send an email to President Trump

Clicking on the above link will open the White House contact page where you can send an email to President Trump. If you support calling on President Trump to champion GEO space solar power, sending an email is an easy way to do this. The information on this Spacefaring Institute website can be used to help frame your communication.

 

Proceed to the Spacefaring Institute’s Wiki website

(Under construction) The wiki site is where the technological path forward for America to transition to a true commercial human spacefaring nation is being defined. On the wiki site, you can sign up for the Spacefaring Institute’s blog to be kept informed of important pro-American spacefaring news.