While working as the Washington producer for the legendary MacNeil/Lehrer Report, Jo Franklin became frustrated by the coverage of Space events and she set out to make a difference. The result was an epic 4 part PBS special series backed by a grant from Boeing called “The Great Space Race.”
For many years this four hour set of videos had been a high volume seller at the National Air and Space Museum and now Ms. Franklin is considering adding an updated 5th part covering the exciting latest developments in the Space Industry.
The original four part series is available for purchase directly from Sea Castle Films and Ms. Franklin has generously agreed to allow The Space Studies Institute to show on our YouTube Channel Part 4 “The Next Civilization” featuring Gerard K. O’Neill, Freeman Dyson and many other SSI friends and alumni.
With all of the revolutionary achievements coming out of NewSpace – and MatureSpace – these days it would be great to see an in depth update to this classic series. We encourage you to watch this excellent video and please give it a thumbs up to show your interest in the project.
For information on ordering the complete original series or individual hours Ms. Franklin offers that you can contact Seacastlefilms AT gmail.com.
News and reviews of the original release of Jo Franklin’s The Great Space Race:
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On July 20th, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made Human History by being the first to walk on another world. The landing on the Moon was a dream born in our pre-history that came true by hard work, perseverance and by the firm belief that Human Beings are not meant to be limited.
The Moon landing proved that with dedication we can take what may seem to be out of reach into our very own hands.
The Space Studies Institute commemorates this monumental achievement by expressing sincere thanks to the many, many people who worked to make the Apollo program and the precursor Gemini and Mercury phases a reality.
It is our hope that the big dream continues and that the Human Breakout into Space will move ahead with a strong new generation of hard working and dedicated Engineers. And to that end SSI is proud to announce that right now we are giving away ‘the book that launched a thousand space careers’, Gerard K. O’Neill’s “The High Frontier – Human Colonies in Space” for free on all Kindle apps and devices.
The High Frontier is the landmark book that asks (and answers) the question that has been sitting like an elephant in the room since that “One Small Step” left its mark in the unchanging lunar dust:
“Is a planetary surface – ANY planetary surface – really the best place for an expanding technological civilization?”
The Apollo 11 Anniversary is said to make “Space” formost in people’s minds every year, but is it really “Space” that popular culture is speaking of in the ongoing arguments over a “Return to the Moon” versus a “Mission to Mars”? Space is Space, it’s the place where size is not limited by gravity wells or rocket fairings, the place where energy is not limited by atmospheres or dwindling ancient reserves and where room to grow is not limited by someone else’s right to their own desired elbow room.
Space is the place where there are no limits at all and where benefits to ALL of Humanity – everywhere – are free for the using with no harm to anyone.
Sound far fetched? Sound Utopian and unachievable? Until a person reads The High Frontier for themselves, they should be careful about jumping to any conclusions.
Right now – but only for a limited time – you can put the SSI Kindle Edition of The High Frontier in your Kindle library forever for free.
The SSI Kindle edition includes all of Professor O’Neill’s 1988 updated text, the wonderful preface by Kathy Sullivan (Veteran Shuttle Astronaut, the first American woman to walk in Space, current Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), plus this edition features the Pat Rawlings cover art and all of the original interior illustrations by Donald Davis.
All you need is your Amazon account and a Kindle app (free for Windows, OSX, iOS and Android) or a dedicated Kindle device such as any Kindle eInk reader or Kindle Fire tablet. Sign into your Amazon account and go to The High Frontier SSI Kindle Edition web page by clicking this link. Verify the price of $0.00 in the upper right corner of the page and click the Buy Nowbutton (note that our free offer is not the Kindle Unlimited option).
Then just start your Kindle device or app and sync your library to see The High Frontier in your cloud list. Download and start reading.
With Kindle whispersync you can read a bit on your phone while in the line at the grocery store, then pick up where you left off on your tablet while relaxing at home and continue from there on your work computer during lunch break. Kindle makes reading seemless across devices and right now SSI makes it free.
If you’ve never read The High Frontier for yourself you are in for a life changing experience – it is not what you may have been lead to believe. If you haven’t re-read The High Frontier in a while there is a very good chance that some of the details may surprise you all over again.
Gerard K. O’Neill’s The High Frontier is a true classic in Space and Engineering circles and yet it is also 100% readable and understandable by everyone. O’Neill, a world renowned nuclear physicist who was driven by Engineering details, had the gift to make big – VERY big – things make absolute sense. And it is now our gift to you.
Celebrate the anniversary of The One Small Step and The One Giant Leap by looking beyond “Missions” to a life worth living for everyone in Space. The High Frontier is amazingly practical, it’s do-able with technology we’ve had for decades… and it’s free for you right now. To get your own copy, just click this link.
This free offer is for a limited time only, a free Amazon.com account and official Kindle app or device is required and Amazon may place certain restrictions on international ordering. Get the Kindle app for PC or Mac here, or download the app for Android or iOS from their respective App Stores. This promotion will end on Saturday July 23rd, the exact end time is determined by Amazon systems and servers and is not under SSI’s control so we urge you to take advantage of this promotion as soon as possible.
During this promotion no proceeds from claimed copies will benefit the work of The Space Studies Institute so if you enjoy The High Frontier book we ask you to join SSI as an Associate and personally pledge to support the ongoing work that can make The High Frontier a reality in your lifetime.
99 Percent Invisible, the very popular podcast production company, has just released a wonderful audio episode about Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill titled “Home On LaGrange.”
Producer Katie Mingle spoke with SSI co-founder Tasha O’Neill, SSI’s second president Dr. Freeman Dyson and “The Visioneers” author Patrick McCray, assembled a wide collection of audio pieces from the history of The High Frontier concept and blended together a story that flows smoothly, touching both the technical and personal aspects of what NewSpace Industry insiders call “The Vision.”
The first link below will take you to that episode’s page where a bit of text and many classic Don Davis and Rick Guidice images are presented. Along with viewing that page, please make sure that you click the link to play the audio episode. It is very nicely done.
We know that many SSI Associates and Alumni come from Engineering backgrounds but remember the target audience of this piece is folks who may be just dipping their toes into the limitless potential of The High Frontier. That is to be encouraged. Listen to the audio and, if you are so inclined, leave a comment on the episode page pointing to the good that you hear. Producers and writers should be thanked for their efforts and encouraged by the experts in their audiences. As software people say “there’s always V2… but only if V1 gets some positive response.”
Yesterday morning Blue Origin’s New Shepard performed yet another excellent test flight. This time landing both launcher and crew capsule safely in the Texas desert even with one of the three capsule chutes intentionally not deployed.
This is historic news and the Blue Origin team deserves a standing ovation.
While that feat and its exciting videos receive the lion’s share of media attention, it is just as exciting to keep up on Mr. Bezos’ goals beyond the launcher – or rather, for the launcher and it’s progeny: Space Manufacturing.
Many SSI Associates have been following the growing hints and announcements from Mr. Bezos concerning the O’Neill/SSI Space Manufacturing end-game, and to see that side of the story starting to break through to the mass media is very encouraging.
It is also a time for careful and considered action.
As the discussion of Space Manufacturing continues to make popular culture news, there will always be some folks (or a lot) who haven’t yet done their own due dilligence on Space Manufacturing and so have not yet begun to see the actual potentials. Thanks to the internet making it easy for anyone to make instant comments and forum posts on any news item, negative opinions can seem to outweigh positives as regular folks see for their first times the individual events but haven’t yet invested the required personal time to let the big picture develop itself in their minds. Frankly, there is a very good chance that most casual readers and internet opinion writers never will see the big picture at all because some other shiny news headline will come along and distract them away, and also because “Space is Big” and things related to beyond-Earth concepts aren’t as simple to fully grasp as reports of what the starlett du jour is wearing to a club that night ;-).
This is not a fault, this is normal human action. If it weren’t the case then the interviews and articles in magazines from People to Science, Look to Time, Penthouse to OMNI to Physics Today to National Geographic and the hundreds of newspapers and all of the radio and television reports and documentaries from the 1970s, 80s and 90’s would have given us all here today low cost energy to spare, thousands of amazing jobs, a better educated world population and more than a few beautiful Islands in Space.
When we all see the reports and the occassional off-target opinions and are tempted to do our own replies to try to help ‘set the record straight’ we should remain aware of our own human drives and emotions and try not to get caught in any weeds of complexity with folks new to these big, important ideas. The Space Age is older than most of us and obvious to many in our own ranks but it’s still very new to the majority of people outside of our spheres of associates. Think back to your own days before you “got it” and consider how getting to that point may have been enhanced by someone listening very well to your objections first and thoughtfully guiding from a common ground.
Remember how The High Frontier book was written by a world renowned Nuclear Physicist but it was completely understandable and easily digestible by just about everyone. O’Neill had the gift of being able to make the complex fit together and make sense without ‘dumbing down’. It’s a talent that for most of us takes practice but it is learnable and it is required if the big goals are ever to be realized. Hard-core engineering details need working on and getting people passionate about that required minutia can be easier after the general message of how it all helps people here on Earth is crystal clear.
The High Frontier and its core of Space Manufacturing is personal to many of us but it is also far, far bigger than any one of us. Let’s look to these new opportunities where brand new people are being exposed to the spark and try to find ways to gently fan that passing interest into the same fact-fueled flame that burns within our membership. Ignore the trolls and posts that are obviously being made just to start arguments, look for specific points and address them with clear respect given to their authors, point to SSI.org, give a gift of The High Frontier Kindle Edition. The net is being widely cast right now, in it among the many are the few who may have what it takes to make a big difference for everyone. It’s every SSI Member and Associate’s responsibility to look for them and support their growth.
With your help online and face to face more good people can find their way to The High Frontier.