New Infrastructure S-Curve of Progress

The Importance of developing spacefaring industrial mastery

A mentioned above, a very important aspect of building new infrastructure is that it provides industry with the opportunity to establish industrial mastery for operations in the new frontier. Mastery constitutes the knowledge, training, and experience that enables complex undertakings to be completed without unacceptable cost or delay. 

When a new type of infrastructure is being built, the engineering and industrial team achieves mastery by designing and building the new systems and facilities comprising the infrastructure. Not only does this mastery enable the economic updating and expansion of the infrastructure throughout its useful life, it also provides the springboard for developing and deploying new products and services that make use of the new infrastructure.

Steam shovel used in the construction of the Panama Canal (Source: Library of Congress)
Steam shovel used in the construction of the Panama Canal. (Source: Library of Congress; no known restrictions)

In the 1890’s, the successful rebuilding and expansion of New York’s Erie Canal system, using “modern” steam shovels instead of picks and shovels, gave the American construction industry a new mastery of large-scale earth moving. This was done under New York Governor Teddy Roosevelt. President Roosevelt turned to this industry to successfully undertake building the Panama Canal in the early 1900’s where the previous French effort had failed using less capable earth moving equipment. Industrial mastery opens new doors for nations that have this mastery.

As space becomes a new arena for commercial and national competition, achieving American industrial mastery of commercial human spacefaring operations throughout the Earth-Moon frontier is crucial. By implementing the Spacefaring America Initiative for building an integrated spacefaring logistics infrastructure, the American aerospace industry—both new and existing businesses—will gain the needed spacefaring mastery to effectively operate and exploit the new spacefaring logistics infrastructure to open a new era of the space age.