This is the 90th Birthday week of Space Studies Institute’s founder Gerard K. O’Neill and over on the Space Studies Institute Facebook Page we’ve been posting some snippets from Gerry’s Opening Remarks at the 10th SSI-Princeton Conference on Space Manufacturing.
It was O’Neill’s last time together with the whole SSI membership, scientists and engineers and this short conference opener was, as they say, “A Doozy.” There is nothing unclear or fluffy in the Professor’s words.
Acquiring copies of the complete collection of SSI Conference Proceedings is an expensive task for individuals, mostly these books are part of private research libraries, so there’s a chance that many even in the SSI family haven’t yet seen all of the details of the real work that can make The High Frontier Concept a reality. We’re working on ways to make the volumes more accessible, but for right now we’d like to share with you this one small but very important chapter… The full text of those Gerard K. O’Neill Opening Remarks.
If you’ve been reading the quotes on the Facebook page and want more in context, or if you just stopped by here and are open for a very good read, it’s all yours on a free PDF from SSI. I’ve read it myself and it clocks in at less than 6 minutes… but it packs quite a punch.
90 times Earth has moved around the sun since Gerard O’Neill was born, 40 times since he and Tasha started SSI to work on making a better future for Human Beings. How many more times does the planet have to run in circles before we take it upon ourselves to pitch in and help its people truly get somewhere?
CSO Students l-r: John Key, Rodrigo Bustamante, Nick Altiser, Ashley Hollis-Bussey, Daniel Johnson, Hayley Lewis, Olivia Kirk, CSO Professor Justin Karl. Photo by Doug Messier of parabolicarc.com
At this moment there are six amazing students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach exploring the stacks at the SSI Library at the Mojave Spaceport. They have a long list of things to do around the area and we are very happy that they could spend some time with us.
Their helping to get the thousands of classic SSI slides re-digitized is going to be a great boon for all SSI researchers but, to be honest, after spending time with them on Sunday I have to say it is even more satisfying to find that the resources of the library appear so interesting to them all on a personal level.
We’ve spent time with various students from various schools over the past several months and while it is nice to hear “I’m going to be the next Elon Musk” it is even better to sit down and talk Mass-Drivers and Solar Power Satellites and – most importantly – to see that THE REASONS that Space can be a benefit to all the people of Earth are being understood and taken to heart by individuals who are now standing on the verge of becoming Leaders in the industry.
Of course, a substantial part of the credit for new eyes already being open to wider potentials goes to their Professor, SSI Senior Associate Dr. Justin Karl. Dr. Karl’s CSO101 classes have The High Frontier as required reading. THAT is awesome. THAT makes a difference.
And more on THAT will be coming soon as we have asked Dr. Karl to give us all some information after they get a chance to come up for air from their whirlwind working tour of the legendary Antelope Valley Space centers.
On January 25th Cranfield University in Cranfield, Branford, England presented the inaugural ‘Manufacturing 2075 Think Tank’. It was a wonderful meeting of presentations and workgroups and The Space Studies Institute was honored to be invited to be among the first participants.
Our session was promoted as a discussion of ‘Manufacturing on the Moon’ and we used that starting point to give an overview of the reasons for using the resources of the Moon but getting bigger payoffs by moving the actual manufacturing to a free-space location.
In other words, we presented The High Frontier Concept.
We hope that we were able to pique the interest of future manufacturing Leaders and perhaps even break through a few common misconceptions about the limitations of off-Earth activities. After all, Space is big and the Moon and Mars and all of the other planetary surfaces added together don’t even come close to representing the true useable area that is available to business and humanity just above the Earth’s atmosphere.
We thank all of the conference participants for allowing us to wheel our virtual persona ‘head-on-a-stick’ into their discussion groups and we are indebted to Professor Rajkumar Roy [Director of Manufacturing, Manufacturing Department Director, The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Through-life Engineering Services (EPSRC-TES Centre) and Director, Operations Excellence Institute (OPEX-Institute)], and Dr. Jen Fensome [Head of Research Excellence, Research and Innovation Office], and Samuel Court [Software Development Engineer & Lab Manager at Cranfield University] for making SSI feel so welcome and for putting on such an exciting event.
SSI members in the UK may wish to take a look at upcoming Cranfield University events including the Manufacturing on The Moon Apprenticeship Competition coming up in May. For information on that event please click here.
And if you have 12 minutes, we invite you to view the SSI presentation that gave a very quick overview of the SSI High Frontier Concept to the participants in the first Cranfield Think Tank, we recorded it to a video and it is available now via the SSI YouTube Channel.