Green and NewSpace


I recently discovered a TED Talk by Jane Poytner,  62MileClub Face of Space, Paragon Space Development Co-Foudner former Biosphere 2 participant. The Biosphere 2 project captivated me when I first heard about it in the late 80′s. It was basically  an enormous  terrarium that was sealed with people, plants, animals. The first mission did not quite go as planned which is explained in the video below, but it could give us a better idea on how humans  might survive and hopefully thrive on future long term off world exploration.

lesson I learned from this video,

  • ” Small stuff counts”
  • If we have difficulty connecting with where we are in the Biosphere 1 (i.e. the Earth), take a deep breath.

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A couple of gradudate students in marine biology have some ideas on how space could enable us to better to take care of our current best spaceship, Mother Earth.

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth

Airship Ventures LLC is completely full of hot air (sorry).  That’s a good thing this time, because they need that hot air to get their dirigibles off the ground.  What a great idea.  Critics will scoff at it — but I bet seeing the tops of skyscrapers at a slower pace, up close, and without the noise of loud propellers or jet engines, is pretty frickin’ cool.  Check out this pic below (and more pics at Airship Ventures website) for some amazing views…

Golden Gate Bridge unlike anything before...

spaceinside

As if the battle between Environmentals and NewSpacers isn’t bad enough, freelance San Francisco Green Building critic, Alex Felsinger has named Spaceport America to his list of “10 Dumbest Green Buildings on Earth“:

Felsinger writes: “Another case of the rich attempting to make the rest of us think they’re doing the world a favor. Recreational space travel, at least with the current technology, is a huge and unnecessary carbon polluter. But hey, the spaceport will be LEED certified, so everything’s going to be fine, right?”

First off, GRRRRRR!!!!  Second off, we at 62 Mile Club beg to differ, sir.  What many of today’s anti-NewSpace luddites fail to realize is that in all likelihood what will drive NewSpace is new sources of energy due to the exorbitant costs associated with existing fuels as well as the environmental impact.  Furthermore, seeing the Earth from space, whether through the eyes of “the rich” or a San Francisco-based architectural critic, by all accounts is an incredible spiritual experience.  Wherein one sees the planet as it should be seen: as one thing spinning through space, alone…both vulnerable and great.

As for Spaceport America, I might say that Sir Norman Foster’s vulva-inspired design may make the testerone-charged, skyscraper-accustomed man in me a bit uncomfortable, but to be sure, his design is the stuff of the future…and whether the myopic critics know this or not, history will show to be another matter.