“We are so used to living on a planetary surface that it is a wrench for us even to consider continuing our normal human activities in another location. If, however, the human race has now reached the technical capability to carry on some of its industrial activities in space, we should indulge in the mental exercise of “comparative planetology.” We should ask, critically and with appeal to the numbers, whether the best site for a growing advancing industrial society is Earth, the Moon, Mars, some other planet, or somewhere else entirely. Surprisingly, the answer will be inescapable: the best site is “somewhere else entirely.”
In a roundtable TV interview, Isaac Asimov and I were asked why science fiction writers have, almost without exception, failed to point us toward that development…”
-Gerard K. O’Neill, The High Frontier, Chapter 3 “The Planetary Hangup”
Discovered in a crumpled box in the dark back of a storage locker in New Jersey by an SSI Senior Associate who wouldn’t give up the search, the Space Studies Institute is proud to present that “roundtable TV interview” in its entirety on the SSI YouTube Channel.
Originally recorded over the air and restored with gentle care, to our knowledge this is one of the few, if not the only, existing complete copies.
With sincere thanks to Jennifer Bertani of WNET New York and Thirteen Productions for their assistance, The Space Studies Institute is very proud to present this piece of Space History, unseen since its original local broadcast in 1975.