SSI 50: Reevaluating SSPS and Considering Other Revenue Potentials

About three quarters the way through the final panel session of the final day of SSI 50, two attendees quickly ducked out of the Allen auditorium to refresh their coffees. As the door eased closed behind them I heard the one man’s exasperated words, “Sheeesh! Robots, AI, Military! Where’s the Humans?!”

For the rest of the talk and during the long drive home, I have to say that I felt the same emotions as that man about this session.

However.

In putting together the video, going through the angles second by second, rewinding and replaying over and over, the words of the other person in that overheard exchange started coming back to me. Just before the door had shut and over the din of the museum public visitors, she had said to him, “No, there was a nugget in…”

Nugget.

A good word for a session on the quest for the gold that will make Space a place worth living.

 

The final session of SSI 50: The Space Settlement Enterprise gathering held at the Museum of Flight in Seattle September 9th and 10th, 2019 is about the ways to pay and to make it pay.

The original High Frontier platform, envisioned during the peak of the American energy crisis of the 1970’s, put Dr. Peter Glaser’s invention of Space Solar Power Satellites as the primary revenue source for LaGrange area communities.

In the end, short of a miracle substance, SSPS will be the way an advancing civilization powers its survival. Eventually it will be obvious to everyone that digging up and pumping out the remains of ancient solar energy from the ground is silly when you can get to the unlimited pure, live source in just 8 minutes.

But will that happen in a time that we all live to see? Will it be required for our “O’Neill Colonies” to be built? And even if SSPS goes live in a very big way, didn’t we learn from Enron that putting all of your stock into just one bucket, energy or otherwise, can be a dangerous idea?

After a short intro, Dr. John Mankins, Founder of Artemis Innovation and undisputed living expert on SSPS gives us a status report and his view of the relatability that SSPS now has to Space Settlement. This portion, with occasional refocusing to the topic, runs about 50 minutes.

Then, the whole panel of Dr. Mankins, Eva-Jane Lark, VP of BMO Nesbitt Burns, and Dr. Philip Metzger, Planetary Scientist of the Florida Space Institute of the University of Central Florida, join together to discuss other revenue options.  Don’t expect a big finish ending with a single slide showing “The Ultimate Product!”, this remains the toughest nut to crack.

Most of the SSI membership is comprised of Engineers and Scientists, and while Gerry O’Neill was both of those, he was also a businessman.  It’s our turn now. TANSTAAFL.

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