Lostnbronx considers the effect that Elon Musk and SpaceX are having on the latest push for the exploitation and exploration of space, and the danger of pegging the future of the human race upon the showmanship of one man.
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Comment #1 posted on 2018-03-23 07:44:35 by clacke
You're right to worry, but ...
Musk isn't the only one. He's the one who got the furthest, and who has the grandest master plan. But don't forget about Bezos and Branson and their space ventures.
So, I don't think we're pinning our hopes on one man. But my answer reveals something else. We're still pinning our hopes on Great Men (as in the Great Man theory of history). Musk, Bezos and Branson aren't geniuses in the sense that they are sciencing and engineering all this stuff when nobody else could, they're just hiring the people who do.
Still, I think people fawning over Musk is awesome, because it means people are pinning their hopes on research, engineering and entrepreneurship, because that's what he symbolizes. And hustling the money and funneling it in the right direction isn't nothing either.
It's far better than people admiring people who literally don't contribute anything, or are contributing negatively, to furthering the knowledge and power of the human race, like David Avocado Wolfe, Dr. Oz or Gwyneth Paltrow.
Ok, so we're not at the mercy at a single man, but we are at the mercy of three men? No. Don't forget about China and India, and old spacer-travelers Japan and ESA, and even Russia! They're also further into space than Bezos or Branson, and on some axes further than Musk.
I'm not overly worried. Humanity will get our eggs in a second basket before the century is over.
Comment #2 posted on 2018-03-26 19:20:28 by Lostnbronx
I Agree With You, But...
I think China is our biggest chance for competition, in the long run, but they aren't moving quickly. That may change. I hope it does.
I also believe that the commercialization of space is the only real future it can possibly have. If people can't at least hope for a better life out there, they won't bother. China may be a big player here too, since it has no problem sponsoring large-scale commercial ventures.
Looked at from that point-of-view, though, business people like Musk and the others may turn out to be our last best hope for humanity, after all. I sure wouldn't mind being wrong!
Comment #3 posted on 2018-03-28 10:48:12 by Ken Fallon
Wendover Productions video
Interesting "Space: The Next Trillion Dollar Industry"
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