The video above is from one of my more elaborate talks at the Mars Society Conference in 2016. It focused on the type of economy that would be ideal for a space settlement, and how that informed designs for education, currency, and creating a robust, independent culture with a tiny population. (I wondered after seeing that frame grab what the heck I was saying that made me gesture like a politician. I was explaining how the cryptocurrency Etherium works around the 6:40 mark.)
Description and Slides
Terraforming a whole planet and transferring an ecosystem is a very high technical and scientific wall. This is a practical intermediate approach that allows ecosystems to be selected, managed and refined in a canyon the size of Lake Erie on the Mars equator. This talk is roughly equal parts biology and architecture.
Using Starship components and simple frameworks, it is a fairly simple, scalable, modular path to build "self-feeding" deep space settlements from LEO to the asteroid belt using common components. These can be scaled from ten to 10,000 people.
My entry for the Mars Settlement Competition 2019, where entries were expected to solve the problems with building a 1000 person settlement on Mars. This was my entry.
The Kindle and Print versions of the top 21 entries were published on Amazon in a book called Mars Colonies: Plans for Settling the Red Planet. On February 7, Robert Zubrin presented a copy personally to Elon Musk at Bocca Chica. I'm delighted at the prospect that he may make it to chapter six and see my work.
This picks up on a thought Elon Musk put out on Twitter that we should send clouds of small space probes all over the solar system, particularly past asteroids, using a disposable version of Starship to launch them. This goes through all the low-cost technologies currently being used in low Earth orbit, and what a Starlink world and solar system would look like.
How does SpaceX innovate so quickly, and why does NASA seem so slow in comparison? When will SpaceX deliver on future promises based on past history? A quick, no-nonsense analysis of the root causes, implications, and methods of SpaceX. NOTE: This talk was picked up by Next Big Future and has been viewed on YouTube over 10,000 times. Thanks!
Now that heavy, affordable launch is becoming a reality, the next major objection to Mars settlement will be planetary protection (preventing Mars germs from getting to Earth, or Earth microbes from getting to Mars and interfering with the hunt for life there). This presentation looks at the situation objectively to find a path for Mars surface settlement with the least risk of either situation. Fortunately, this is also one of the easiest ways to set up early settlements.
While the early stages of the NewSpace revolution are in place, what projects could be done to expand human activity into deep space as soon as possible, with minimal cost and risk? This talk examines a few options that could be launched in the next few years.
This presentation examines the nature of technology revolutions, and the nature of the next revolution in space technology. It goes on to predict the nature of our expansion into the solar system, using principles from past technology revolutions.
What happens when you combine blockchain cryptocurrency, phased intellectual property cycles, distributism, and space settlement? This methodology can up space economies in a way that avoids past failures, while creating an engine for innovation and growth for rapid independence from Earth.
This is a concept for a highly modular space factory in high lunar orbit for use in rapidly advancing prototype technologies for asteroid mining, lunar settlement, Martian settlement, and deep space settlement. Equipment can be repurposed and prototyped rapidly and efficiently in near-proximity to Earth, while the base itself slowly grows and splits into the first independent asteroid mining craft, cyclers, and logistics depots for the solar system. In short, it deals with all the gaps in the L5 Society concept of going from Apollo directly to massive space settlements. It breaks the intermediate steps into efficient, minimal chunks for rapid start and efficient expansion from a single small lab to a full space settlement economy.
This talk gets into the economic and communication issues of space settlement and how they change the game. Just as standard rules of gravity and resource availability are disrupted when one leaves Earth, other rules of globalism, technology, and communication are set back up to 300 years or are entirely new. I originally gave this talk at the second 100 Year Starship Symposium in Houston, which explains the emphasis on starships at a Mars Society Conference. Worth watching just to see me getting progressively more annoyed with the squeaky door in the University of Colorado: Boulder classroom. Like the videos below, I intend to re-record this later.
Why do we explore, and who are we? This talk roots through the historic western cosmologies over the past 2500 years and how they still influence us today. This was originally presented at the first 100 Year Starship symposium and was published as a paper in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society.