New Zimmerman op-ed in The Federalist


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As I noted earlier in the week, my op-ed outlining my proposed Trump space policy was today published in The Federalist. The title: “How President Trump Could Jumpstart Space Settlements.” The key quote:

So what should Trump do? At this moment he has a wonderful opportunity to put his stamp on the future, and steer the entire human race to the stars. Trump should propose a new Outer Space Treaty, superseding the old, that would let nations plant their flags in space. This new treaty should establish the rules by which individual nations can claim territory and establish their law and sovereignty on other worlds or asteroids.

From here I go into great detail about how that new treaty would function, laying out how it would encourage the peaceful settlement of the solar system while encouraging private enterprise and the establishing of law and freedom for future space settlers.

Read it all.

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35 comments

  • Sayomara

    I have a ton of respect for the Federalist, and they have a great podcast too. The question I have is where did they get that picture of you Bob?

  • Sayomara: I sent it to them.

  • Cotour

    This sentence stands out for me:

    “He also needs to shift the federal government’s focus away from building spaceships and rockets and towards its much more basic legal responsibilities, especially when its citizens wish to establish their mark in new territories.”

    I agree with your proposal to modify the treaty if indeed the goal is to inhabit space, which if you are paying attention to the internet billionaires it certainly is their intention. How else to incentivize the investment of massive amounts of capital, time, effort and lives but to convey ownership and land / mineral rights to those who risk?

    This competitive seed would bring about two things: 1. The need for space property law, and 2: The real potential for another front for conflict or war, in space and potentially transferred back to the earth. (Who would the arbiter be? The U.N.? The Congress? Alien space court?)

    I have one more question regarding the mining of asteroids. Lets say that a corporate entity lands on an asteroid and begins mining operations and their activities alter the trajectory of the asteroid and it is diverted to intersect the earth. Talk about the potential for liability!

    Is this in your opinion a realistic scenario and if it is realistic what is being done to counter its potential?

  • Edward

    From the Op-ed: “It would encourage competition and exploration, as every nation and person in the world would have an incentive to get there first to stake their claim.

    Because of the current development of privately owned and operated launch services, nations (as well as people and organizations) that are not spacefaring have the ability to relatively inexpensively hire transportation to the region that they choose to stake their claim.

    When the current space treaty was formed, nations that were not spacefaring would have had to either depend upon friendly-but-rival nations to take them to the region that they would desire, or else they would have to spend the very large sums to develop their own launch vehicles and spacecraft.

    This reminds me of the 1970s, when non-spacefaring countries, such as India, desired their own communication satellites in Geostationary Orbit (GEO). The spacefaring nations were, at that time, able to monopolize the available locations and radio frequencies for such satellites. An international agreement was created to help regulate and assign these, and such an assignment can be reassigned if not filled with an operational satellite in a timely manner. Although this has similarities to Robert’s concept of spacesteads, it avoids or reduces disputes by discouraging two organizations trying to claim the same orbital slot and frequencies.

    There are several useful resources available in space, right now. Orbital slots and radio frequencies are among them, but certain sites could be desirable spacesteading locations on the Moon. We know that hydrogen is locked in permanent shadows of craters at the Moon’s poles, and we strongly believe that this hydrogen is in the form of water ice. Water in space is greatly useful, and “mining” sites on the Earth-side of those craters would be the most desirable sites. It would be good for us to have some amount of coordination in determining who gets to spacestead which sites in order to prevent two organizations from racing to the more desirable sites in a harmful competition and in order to create beneficial competition, as happens with GEO orbital slots and radio frequencies.

    From the Op-ed: “In space, Trump could propose that in order for a nation to make a territorial claim, a nation or its citizens must establish a facility. If they occupy and use it for a minimum of five years, that nation can claim it, plus a reasonable amount of territory around it, and place it under that nation’s sovereignty.

    This concept may allow for certain historical Apollo sites to become property of the US, allowing for historical protection. However, other sites that were explored (e.g. via Apollo’s lunar rovers) may not be similarly protected, as no useful equipment (facilities) was left behind, just footprints and rover tracks.

    Then there are the picky details, such as the question of when a site is considered abandoned, and whether reflecting a laser off mirrors (a facility), left on the Moon for that purpose, constitutes occupancy and use.

  • Garry

    Edward wrote,

    “This concept may allow for certain historical Apollo sites to become property of the US, allowing for historical protection. However, other sites that were explored (e.g. via Apollo’s lunar rovers) may not be similarly protected, as no useful equipment (facilities) was left behind, just footprints and rover tracks.”

    A lot depends on the definition of “a reasonable amount of territory around [an established facility].” The furthest distance that any lunar rover traveled from its LM was 4.7 miles, which arguably falls within “a reasonable distance.”

    See table at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Roving_Vehicle

  • Edward

    Garry wrote: “The furthest distance that any lunar rover traveled from its LM was 4.7 miles, which arguably falls within ‘a reasonable distance.'”

    It may indeed fall within a reasonable distance, however, Robert used the larger acreage from the 19th century homesteading in the US: 640 acres. This equates to only one square-mile. a 4.7 mile radius would be close to 70 square-miles (over 44,000 acres).

    So, for mining water ice out of craters, how many acres is reasonable so that others are not crowded out of their opportunity to mine water ice? How should expansion of the operation be handled?

    For sifting deuterium and tritium for fusion reactors from the lunar surface, how many acres is reasonable and how often do the sifters have to revisit the entire territory in order to keep it from becoming abandoned?

    For mining silicon, iron, aluminum, and other elements from surface regolith, how many acres is reasonable?

    Does occupancy require manned presence or is serviceable equipment (robotics) adequate for territorial possession? Do manned outposts get more territory than robotic outposts?

    How is surface traffic (roadways) between territories (same owner or different owners) handled?

    How far apart can the various structures or pieces of equipment be placed in order to count as a single territory, and is it fair to place small pieces of equipment in a grid of this maximum distance in order to gain large amounts of (unused) territory?

    The details are picky, and the answers may yet need to be researched, but I think that a reasonable legal structure can be created that encourages privately funded exploration that answers these questions so that the answers can be incorporated later.

  • Edward and Garry: Please remember that there are two components involved in any claims, under the framework I proposed.

    First, there is sovereignty. Nations must have the ability to claim territory. Such claims will be by their nature larger.

    Second, there is within that sovereignty the claims made by private citizens or companies. These claims will exist in very different forms, or not at all, within the different sovereignties. For example, a nation like China or Russia might not allow for any private claims. The U.S. however will almost certainly structure its rules to allow such claims. Under any condition set by any of these nations, however, such private claims will be smaller and will form only a part of the entire national territorial claim.

    I purposely proposed leaving this issue up to the individual countries, recognizing that the nature of competition and freedom will naturally force all nations in the direction of competition and freedom.

  • wayne

    Interesting input by all.

    I would reference the Land Ordinance of 1785 (and the other iterations) & the Northwest Ordinance of 1789, as templates (in part) for what Mr. Z. has proposed. Both of which served as the underpinning’s of our early land policy and the eventual creation of the Homesteading Act of 1862.
    (My G-Father & Dad were both Land Surveyors.)

    -Land Ordinance– addressed settlement.
    -Northwest Ordinance– addressed political organization.
    (and as well– the “Public Land Survey System” (PLSS) was established.
    See– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Land_Survey_System)

    The Midwest in particular, was surveyed into “Townships,” which comprised 6X6 square miles. –36 square-miles per township, with 1 square “section” equaling 640 acres.
    -The smallest Political-subdivisions in the United States are generally no less than 1 square Section in size.
    [“more or less,” depending on terrain, skill, and how your Property description reads– early surveyors used steel-tapes to measure out 5,280 feet per mile and they were rarely ‘exactly 1 mile.’ Section angles, as well, are rarely ‘exactly 90 degrees. We are putting flat coordinate’s on a round Planet.]

    brief historical factoid– of the 36 sections–Section 16 was always reserved for establishing schools. They could keep the whole section &/or arrange for it to be worked , or sell off parts to fund schools. (We didn’t get stuck with “property taxes” to fund schools, until much (much) later.)

  • Garry

    Mr. Z, under your proposal, could, say, SpaceX stake a claim by itself, or would the US government have to stake a claim, and then SpaceX stake a claim within the US territory?

    Reading the comments in the Federalist gives me appreciation for how civil and thoughtful most of our comments are on this site. Few sites can match Behind the Black for the signal to noise ratio of its comments, which we should all take pride in and continue.

  • wayne

    Garry–
    Good point about the comments at the Federalist– quite the active Troll-element in action. I was sorta expecting to find a higher level of discourse.

  • wayne

    While I would definitely look to our past, to help guide us into Space settlement, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out there were all sorts of agenda’s in play, and we would need to fix certain problems beforehand to mitigate the damage inevitably caused by government interference.

    “How the Feds botched the Frontier Homestead Acts”
    Ryan McMaken
    10-19-16
    https://mises.org/blog/how-feds-botched-frontier-homestead-acts

    Two blurbs that are food for thought–

    “While the Acts led to privatization of government lands, they nonetheless did so in a manner subject to manipulation and regulation by Federal Agencies. And, it should surprise no one that this government-run privatization program failed to take into account the unique geographic realities of the frontier. In turn, this ineptitude on the part of Congress led to numerous problems of fraud, economic bust, and social disintegration.”

    “The Homestead Act was so inflexible and so geared toward naively promoting small-plot farming, that few people even attempted to settle many of the more mountainous and desert-like areas of the West. Those who did settle these areas were forced to use scams and fraud to assemble large plots, which was the only way to make land-use sustainable. The rest was taken over by railroads and other large corporations that obtained the land through cronyist deals with Congress.”

  • wayne

    I can’t resist—
    Duck Dodgers in the 24th and 1/2 Century
    (clip)
    https://youtu.be/OEXvsGe657Q
    (0:57)

  • LocalFluff

    Great idea! Much better argued and described than ever before.

    The details of what is to be homesteaded and how, will sort themselves out when we get there. Better to build basic legal principles first, and then let courts make the practical delineations based on real world cases, than trying to second guess what will happen in 100 years and try to program all the imaginary bug fixes already now. Almost none of the today imagined bugs will ever happen. And those that indeed will happen, and their best solutions, are unforeseeable today.

    An early rover track on the Moon of course has a substantial immaterial economic value. It can be estimated in terms such as how many knows about them, a bit like brand valuation. If the track is long, then its value per meter decreases and there’s no problem for someone else to cross them, even if it wipes out one meter of the track. It wasn’t homesteaded hard enough to deny transportation across it. Such judgement must be left to a court when all the specific facts are on the table. This goes thousands of years back, homesteading was really the beginning of all law.

  • wayne

    LocalFluff– interesting take.

    Edward– thank you greatly for your efforts of late, to spread-the-word.
    (I absolutely want to know, how much frozen ice, one can extract from a given amount of moon-dirt. That indeed, is the 64 billion $ question!)

    Mr. Z., off thread– how does the Israeli government dispense land, in the West Bank settlement of Beitar?
    (while I’m at it–how much for a gallon (liter?) of gasoline, gallon of milk, pack of cigarettes, and… do they drive on the correct side of the road, in Israel? What is the time-difference? Any Jet lag?)

    Totally tangential– (one of ) the Joke(s) in the Surveying profession, relates to an apocryphal story of a young Surveyor, George Washington, who had submitted an itemized bill for surveying & dividing up a large plot of land for a wealthy landowner.
    “Materials” were $2 (actual iron “property corner” markers, etc.) and “Professional services & Labor” was $8. The customer objected to the “professional services,” part, wherein Washington replied, “It costs $2 for the materials and $8 for the skill & knowledge of knowing where to put them.”

  • LocalFluff

    wayne,
    “how much frozen ice, one can extract from a given amount of moon-dirt.”
    Here’s a recent, if not still ongoing, seminar aeries on exactly that topic:
    https://sservi.nasa.gov/in-situ-resource-utilization-isru-a-graduate-seminar/

    I gather that about 1-2% of random moon-dirt can be extracted as water. One just needs a Sun reflector that concentrates a beam of light on Lunar regolith, and it turns into metals while boiling off volatiles.

    The 3rd April lecture by Bernard Kutter of the ULA who works on the Aces, the Centauri upper stage replacement which also will work as a Lunar lander(!) argues really very well for their space strategy. Including for stuff like fuel depots and Lunar orbit Deep Space Gateway, and (during the QnA) why SpaceX is doing it wrong with both Mars and reusability.
    https://connect.arc.nasa.gov/p13p87vu2rm/?proto=true
    (The embedded video player is unfortunately horrible to use!)

  • wayne

    LocalFluff–
    Thank you. I will delve deeper, the Topics look very interesting!
    Attempting to download a file right now. They have some sort of Adobe .FLV file Player format going on, that is difficult for my download software to capture, not impossible, but slow…. (Hoping someone has or will, re-post these to YouTube.)

  • LocalFluff

    wayne,
    Please let me know how to download it! So one can watch it in a decent media player. I think you need a special tool to break their intention NOT to download it. I’ve never seen any video from that Adobe platform being posted on Youtube. It is still very watchable. Sound problems are only in the first quarter of it or so. And the video that didn’t play was of no importance anyway.

    Amazing, the contrast between the challenging engineering ISRU future they talk about, and their inability to produce a slide show without hick ups!

  • LocalFluff

    I especially like ans recommend this SSERVI series of talks because, at least some of them, are not purely academic in their old disciplines. But they are combined with the wisdom from real industry, especially mining industry. And as you can imagine mining industry on Earth counts on heavy equipment in deep gravity well with guys around to fix it when it breaks. At the same time, they suggest, microgravity and vacuum are ideal to melt and handle molten metals.

    The conclusion is that space mining will be done very differently from Earth mining. Yet unknown how, but very differently for sure.

  • wayne

    LocalFluff–
    I use “Internet Download Manager,” best program ever! It automatically detects the correct address of the media-files (in the HTML code of a webpage) and allows you to download them at will. (start, stop, schedule for overnight, pick among the quality level available, etc.)
    –You can test a copy for a month for free, otherwise it runs $25-30, with monthly updates. (Just search the name– (been using it for 15 years) It also has the ability to dynamically manage your internet connection and boost your download speed, somewhat. I have low-grade DSL but regularly get 500Kb/sec through the YouTube servers on download.
    It literally handles “99%” of all video formats & embedded Players, and supports the most-used Browsers.

    (This Adobe-player at NASA, is not something I’ve encountered before.)

    Most everything at YouTube is presented in .mp4 format, anywhere from 240-720p (and higher quality,) but I occasionally encounter .flv files. (They auto-convert the files when you upload them originally, no matter what the original format.) And a lot of material is restricted as to Quality-level available, due to copyright reasons.

    These files at NASA however— yes, designed NOT to be easily downloaded in full. My software can capture the individual files, but the speed slows down to dial-up, and they aren’t designed to “resume download” & appear to be packaged in some sort of “transport-stream” protocol using a .FLV Codec
    (Typical “Government Stuff,” we already paid for all this, but they make it difficult to obtain.)
    I’ll have to check later, and as well, see if someone has posted them at YouTube.

  • Edward

    Robert and Garry:
    The way that I read the op-ed, a claim would come first then sovereignty would occur after a five year successful spacesteading endeavor. My interpretation may leave some amount of doubt or wiggle room for the legal (or sovereign) jurisdiction over the spacestead until the claimant’s nation secures sovereignty over the region.

    I had a great aunt (plus or minus a “great” or two) who tried homesteading in one of the Dakotas. My recollection of the story is that she gave it up and returned home to Wisconsin before the land could become hers. My point being that homesteading was difficult on Earth; it will likely be difficult in space, too.

  • Cotour

    ” As Isaac Newton deduced – “an object in motion stays in motion” – and separating useful material from the rest does not change its orbit.”

    http://www.planetaryresources.com/2015/06/safe-and-efficient-asteroid-mining/

    From the ensuing conversation:

    1. Moishe Weiss · Phoenix, Arizona
    Shouldn’t the loss of mass from mining the asteroid change its orbit a little bit?

    (My thoughts also, as the mass of the asteroid decreases won’t that effect the orbit? Or is the potential loss of mass insignificant?)

    2. Chris Lewicki · President and Chief Asteroid Miner at Planetary Resources
    Moishe – No – the mass of the asteroid has nothing to do with its orbit.

    Which is the correct answer? (does anyone here know?).

  • Garry

    As far as I know, it’s not the mass, but forces exerted on the asteroid that would change its orbit. It the asteroid is sufficiently massive in relation to the forces involved in the interaction with the spacecraft, then any orbital change would be negligible.

    But if the asteroid is very small, the momentum it absorbs upon touchdown could change the orbit, as could the momentum it absorbs at liftoff.

    As Arthur C Clarke described in 2001 (or in its first sequel; I’m not sure which), when a spacecraft uses a flyby maneuver to gain speed by passing a planet, the planet slows down just a tiny bit, because, as he eloquently put it, “nature always balances her books.”

    If an unusually large fraction is mass is taken away (as may happen if an asteroid split in pieces that go in different directions), the average momentum of the pieces would equal the original momentum of the original asteroid, but the pieces would be going in different directions/orbits.

    Imagine a snowball hitting the sharp side of a wedge, splitting in two, with one half being deflected towards the right, and the other half going toward the left; on average (by mass) the two halves would be going in the original direction of travel, but both halves would travel on deviated paths.

    If explosive charges were used to split an asteroid, there may be collisions between pieces, with similar results.

    But in a generic mining operation of a relatively large asteroid in which a small fraction of the asteroid’s mass is taken away without any large-scale splitting, no perceptible change in orbit would occur (to the best of my understanding)

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    Most excellent question. (I like it!)
    -orbital mechanics definitely aren’t by bag, that being said–

    One just can’t go wrong backing Newton, unless the object is travelling very fast, is very small, or has enough mass to appreciably distort space-time.
    Garry is on the right track with this– I believe this gets into the “Force = Mass X Acceleration,” and “angular momentum is a conserved quantity,” realm.

  • LocalFluff

    The president mentioned space policy, quite off topic and off prompter, in his rally in Wisconsin yesterday:
    https://youtu.be/vqEiqHyK_5s?t=2589
    He says that astronauts do a very very important work. That he has signed to spend on NASA again. That it is something we need psychologically and that it will be very exciting. Towards the end he mentions that the US put a man on the Moon.

  • Cotour

    Garry, Wayne, thanks for the filling in some of the technical details.

    I happen to see this and it gives a bit of a visual of size and proximity of an asteroid that will be happening today.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/asteroid-2014-jo25_us_58f720c2e4b029063d3526b7?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    I am wondering if a minimum size criteria for the mining of asteroids might be developed to mitigate the potential for disturbing an asteroids orbit?

  • LocalFluff

    Yeah, as if the pope 500 years ago set a fix limit on how large continents sailors are allowed to discover. No. Just apply ancient old settlement laws. That’s how humans interact socially over geographic interfaces (trying to express myself fancy).

  • wayne

    LocalFluff–
    Trump loves our LGBTQNAACP-UAWUMW members, who assemble cars in Michigan, mine coal in Pennsylvania in the off season, run Dairy farms in Wisconsin, and oppose unfair Canadian milk-restrictions on US dairy imports. Trump will “make the call,” and cut a “yuugee deal.” (and ReinceRyan is doing “an absolutely fabulous wonderful job,” dontchaknow, “let’s give them a big hand.”)

    >Who is Trump’s main speechwriter? (It IS nice to hear Trumps platitudes on occasion, but they are wearing thin.)

    Cotour– not to worry, The newly created Federal Department of Asteroid Mining and Outer Space Affairs, is busily writing “common sense rules-of-the-road,” designed to spur “public- private partnerships,” with “all concerned stakeholders,” so as to best “bring these vital resources to all of Mankind,” while at the same time ensuring “good jobs at good wages,” and concurrently “preserving asteroid environmental impact legacy-payments” to any displaced Alien’s, by fully funding the EPA department tasked with maintaining the “pristine nature of public outer-space coordinates,” to ensure “access by all,” at “prices they can afford,” by way of our new “Galactic Export-Import Bank,” backstop mechanism. (If we can “save just one child” from a “rouge asteroid strike,” it would “be all worth it.”)

    Was not aware of the close fly-by, thank you for that tidbit.

  • Cotour

    Landing on a continent 500 years ago or at any time would not have had the possible potential to alter its trajectory and have it crash it into another continent and cause untold destruction. “Ancient old settlement laws” came with the inevitable consequence to create conflict between states or civilizations. No?

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    seriously– we have more chance of controlling the weather, than we do of accidentally causing our own demise by extracting mass from asteroids and inadvertently sending them crashing into the Earth.

    Armageddon-Harry’s final scene
    https://youtu.be/l1gtvtYNkAE
    (3:10)

  • Cotour

    Its just something in the back of my head, unintended or unforeseen consequences visited upon those who only had good intentions. It happens. The Catastrophization of a circumstance or a potential event? The potential may exist at some level but we move on anyway, and that is as it should be.

    I will keep it in the back of my head, its an interesting question to me.

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    It’s always good to evaluate unintended/unforeseen consequences. (known unknowns & unknown unknown’s.) I’m a firm believer in thinking things through to their logical conclusions (as is doable) & I always want Plan B and C on tap.

    Referencing your original question–
    As I mentioned, as a general Rule– you can not go wrong with Newton, unless were talking relativistic motion, sub-atomic Particles, and/or black-hole type gravity.
    so.. I’m all in on the– ”As Isaac Newton deduced – “an object in motion stays in motion” – and “separating useful material from the rest does not change its orbit.”
    If he said it, I agree with it. Makes perfect sense to me. (but I only play an Engineer & Physicist, on the internet’s.)
    Angular Momentum is a conserved quantity— take that to the bank. As Garry mentioned with his remarks on — “…average momentum of the pieces would equal the original momentum of the original asteroid…”

    This gets into the energy-cost/requirements of a “change in trajectory,” and “delta-V” of a moving mass, type stuff, (which baffles me to no end because it’s in 3 dimensions & it’s never been explained to me clearly, with visual aids, and geometry is not my strong area.)

    In general, we are extremely limited in our ability to change trajectories of asteroids to any appreciable extent, in the near term.
    –We need one of our actual engineering people to settle this!

  • LocalFluff

    The immigration of people to America changed the plate tectonics, the continental movements globally, because of the mass transfer across the mid-Atlantic ridge. If one tries to understand how vast and empty space is, you don’t need to duck if someone fires a gun out there. Moving asteroids might become possible in the far future. NASA was ordered by Obama to try to deliberately move an innocent boulder for a few billion dollars in a decade or so, but abandoned it as unrealistic. But it is not a problem today and this imaginary potential problem cannot possibly be preemptively solved by any text of law.

  • Max

    Laws governing the settlement and mineral rights in the expansion of property rights in space is a wonderful and civilized concept.
    Unfortunately, it is human nature to find a loophole or a way to game the system for one’s own advantage.

    The day the contract/treaty between nations and spacefaring companies is signed, the opposition will be undermining it and seeking a way to actively colonize what they want, where they want, and how they want, as long as they can defend what they claim because ultimately “might makes right” history is written by the victors.

    Here on earth, there’s very little territory and conquest left for the billionaires and mega corporations to seek after. They have private islands and secretly underwrite small nations, but as their wealth grows larger, so does their ambition and their possibilities.
    These wealthy corporations see each other as competitors, but that may not always be true. As they find an obstacle that they have in common, they will join together with their vast amount of wealth and resources. With their own treaty on how they will divide up the moons resources, eventually expanding to the other planets/astroids/ice moons.
    The corporations that build munitions, arms, rockets, and all manner of warfare capabilities will find a new customer and a new challenge for their services. They will throw in their billions for a chance at establishing a dynasty with unlimited resources and future potential for their descendants and those whom they control.
    For whomever is the first to establish a base and arm it, they can prevent anyone else from achieving orbit without their permission. Whomever controls the Highground will dictate their terms to others as long as they can back it up with force.
    This may sound like a science-fiction novel, or a 007 movie, but the capabilities and the ambition has proven to go to the private rather than a nationstate for innovation and tenacity.

    Can an independent space colony survive on its own without earth? Perhaps, but not likely. Too many unknowns. In the free market, earth would be it’s only customer. It is more likely that they will reach an understanding with earth and maintain their home base of operations (launch point) Which will become a new nation state like a Gateway to an eighth continent.

    In time, mega corporations will succumb to the necessity of their own governance giving way to civilization over ambition for the establishment of the colonies.
    If war does not break out between those who’ve “gone there first”and established themselves and the others back home who wish to “control them” from a distance, everything will be worked out in the end… even if it takes a generation or two.
    The treaty for space, a framework of regulations dictating who, what, where, when, and how space is to be colonized, will need to be aware, and accommodating for those who have the means to go there. Resistance to control is natural, so enough freedom must be granted to offset the possibility of war or the need to put heavy warfare capabilities in space to protect their investment. I would suggest large rewards for cooperation, even if The rewards are just a lease or a temporary accommodation.
    The universe is a large place, and through “cooperation” the science community will function best. A stable environment where a person can concentrate on their work rather than the politics and the necessities of the moment under threat of death or lack of resources to survive. If this works out, the human race will not only survive but flourish.

  • Cotour

    Max:

    Excellent take on the potential clashes that will no doubt at some point come about. Human nature is human nature.

  • Max

    Cotour:

    Thank you for your observation, I’ve been doing some reflection on human nature watching Venezuela destroy itself. They changed their government with the promise that socialism will make everyone equal so that all may benefit from a society of free food, free education, free healthcare, free economy. A Bernie Sanders utopia. It would all be paid for by stealing from the rich (oil companies, General Motors, cement companies, food production facilities, sugar production, landowners, anyone who generates a profit)
    Just like animal farm, everyone is equal but some, like the military, are more equal than others… The military is now collecting food from the countryside under force, butchering their animals and often their people so they can sell it to those who have money that used to be the middle class in the cities. They even confiscate donations and relief supplies for resell. It hurts to see how easily people are fooled, and those in our own government and media that supported Hugo Chavez and thought he was the greatest thing since Castro. Half of our country believes this is the example that we should follow…

    Now they are on the brink of chaos which will only end in the bloodshed of millions…

    Venezuela has vast resources and oil… Could this be a long-term plan to overthrow their government? Not unlike the regime change we have been experiencing for the past 20 years in the Middle East?
    This is not a topic for this thread, but a multi national company could step in under the chaos and offer help and stability setting up a foundation for a Space launch platform that I described above. A kinder, gentler Cuba with spacefaring capabilities and connections to Russia, Middle East and other oil producers that hate America… Human nature wins every time “unfortunately”

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