Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Multi-Planet Species

Off to give a talk tomorrow on not the human past, but the human future. We buy life insurance -- why not species insurance? The cost of that is the cost of making our species at least a two-planet species...but even that (e.g. Mars) is a 'close-in' perspective. Ultimately, as HG Wells wrote, for human survival, 'it's all the universe, or nothing.' Stay on Earth and we're cooked; ask any geologist or palaeontologist. So we must go to the stars and their planets; like any child, we must move away from home -- a project I'm working with on at three levels:

1 / FAR OUT= working with the research group Icarus Interstellar, specifically Project Hyperion, to provide humanity with the option to voyage to distant planets by the end of this century (they're doing propulsion physic; I'm working on the population genetics).

2 / CLOSER IN = working with the Mars Society on human settlements on Mars, as a stepping-stone to interstellar voyaging.

3 / EVEN CLOSER IN = working on life-support systems, specifically the space suit & life-support machinery for Copenhagen Suborbitals' private space-access project.

And spreading humanity universally is not an escape from Earth but an insurance policy for civilization and our species. I love archaeology, and the human past; but there is also a human future, and I'm working on that in the somewhat longer-term than the usual political or even human-life time-spans.

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