America, James Lovelock, Soviet Union discussed on The Economist: Babbage


The Apollo program is designed to show that America can Marshall its economy and its technology to do great things the fact that the great thing that was hit upon was going to the moon was not entirely coincidental but was certainly not central and so America does something that no one else has done before that many people have not even been capable of imagining and changes something fundamental in showing people a human footprint on an inhuman celestial body until you're coming down the ladder now okay. I just checked the backup is at first glance but as one small step for man art so why haven't we gone back because the mission was accomplished because showing people that America could do this was the point doing it was less the point going on doing it was hardly the point at all and so many people so I had this idea that now humans would quote colonize the rest of the solar system and but using the resources of the moon would take up the rest of the century and then the people would move on to Mars into the moons of Jupiter but this was all fantasy and so that's why we haven't gone back. That's why no one has gone back because no one has wanted to signal to the world what America wanted to signal to the world in the nineteen sixties it seems. It's like today. That's changing that there are people who wanna do such signaling. Do you think there'll be a new space race. I'm not even sure there was a first base race. Russians were nothing like a serious about getting to the moon as the Americans were so it was declared a race <hes> because as the Americans were fairly confident of winning it if you saw the space race in terms of who actually kept people in orbit longer than the Russians were of the Soviet Union was doing very well so your question about going back to the moon yes the people are undoubtedly going back to the moon but it's not for the same sort of signaling because going to the moon with the technology of twenty nine thousand nine is a significantly easier task than going to the moon with the technology of nineteen sixty nine and although NASA is hobbled by the strange political constraints finds itself in about what hardware it can use. It's still only GonNa take about a tenth of what it spent to go to the moon the first time to go to the moon second time the Chinese who clearly would quite like to go to the moon we'll go there by building out a human spaceflight program slowly and surely which is what they've been doing for the past fifteen years so yes people will go back to the moon and people will try for their own reasons to present it as a space race yes but I don't think that it's really a race so other than the Chinese what other nations are going to vie to get there the Chinese I interested in going so the Americans feel some Americans feel that they need to go back so that they can you know so I refuse to trade in moon talks with Chinese when they arrive. I think other nations are unlikely to go in the near term. I'm sure India would in the longer term be quite interested in going. The other thing of course is the private individuals and private companies might go and SPACEX has already sold a provisional tip to the moon to go round the moon not to actually land on the moon to <hes> a Japanese billionaire Yusaku Missouri and I think the might well be more of that. There's a U._B._S.. report that suggests that there might be a significant amount of moon toryism by the end of this decade on the other hand. There's more deeper concerns on the territory itself such as who owns it property rights resources and law. How's that GONNA get decided probably by force measure <hes> but I really <hes> <hes> by negotiation? There is already a body of law which says that no <hes> in the outerspace treat of nineteen sixty seven says that no nation can make territorial claim on another celestial body <hes> but it is somewhere between silence ambiguous on the question of whether private industry can cause normally private industry can make property rights on the basis that the ability to do so is granted it by sovereign government the American government and the government of Luxembourg of both sign that not saying that companies from America or Luxembourg can keep and use and profit from resources that they get in space. It's not clear that that really sits within the spirit of the Outer Space Treaty and it's not clear that it's a desirable outcome and what about the rivalry a little bit closer to Earth that is in the Earth's orbit and the proliferation of satellites. How is that going to affect space? There's no rivalry in low-earth orbit. The problem in low-earth orbit is if you put too much stuff into it in some of that stuff hits other stuff then you get too much debris and one of the people who thinks a lot about this is an American goal Brian Weeden and Brian points out that space debris is a problem a little bit like climate change by the time you realize it is really a problem. It's too late to do stuff about it. It's a significant concern that a build up of I bere- in especially in some parts of low earth orbit but maybe also geostationary orbit where the Satellite T._V. satellite set that could be an issue and of course if people start waging war in space and destroying each other satellites that creates more debris normally and how could make the problem was now Oliver. We've talked about humans in space. We've talked about satellites. What about humans venturing beyond the moon to other places in the galaxy as well while the galaxy is asking a little bit much and getting to the next planet in the solar system would be a hard? Enough reach that's what you know. Mosque wants to mosque is quite clear about the idea that his next generation spacecraft meant to take people to Mars <hes> again. This is an area where the law is extremely unclear about what Callan can't be done and and there are people who have significant worries about the degree to which the Martian environment would be degraded by heedless settlement to which a lot of backers of missing masculine say Hellier says the point. We want to go out there where the regulations don't matter but scientific concerns. There's much to be learned about MAS. The could be interesting whether I don't think it would justify the really extremely high cost of going to Muslim and going to Mars now would be a bit like going to the moon in the nineteen sixties to do a proper mas mission Asian would be to stretch welby on the con- capacities of the people have in space. James Lovelock thinks that we're alone in the universe. What do you think I think there's an interesting point made by off the clock that the question of whether humans are alone in the universe is.

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