Why space? — Quote From the Book “THE HIGH FRONTIER”

Why space? — Quote From the Book “THE HIGH FRONTIER”

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Why space? — Quote From the Book “THE HIGH FRONTIER”

Message 7 of the Frontier Files

c 1988 Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill

This message is part of a series of Space Frontier Foundation essays designed to inform the internet public about the incredible possibilities awaiting us in space.

In the early 1970’s the late physics Professor G. K. O’Neill published his book “The High Frontier,” in it he laid out a possible road map for human settlement beyond the Earth. The book also provided America and the world with clear cut alternative to our current Cold War space program (which is modeled on that of W.W.II Germany). To O’Neill the future was positive and exciting, and his astronauts looked like you and me. He believed in the power of individuals carving out pockets of life in a largely dead Solar System, and he basically told us how to do it. Although written in the 1970’s and with its focus on a relatively specific path to large scale settlements in free space, his concepts and the type of thinking behind them are more relevant now than when first written.

The following is a 1988 GKO quote from a reprint of The High Frontier, pages 325-326.

“We need, I believe, to lift our eyes….. to remind ourselves of the shared vision for which our work is done. Ultimately that vision will expand our physical, political and mental boundaries from the confines of a single planet to the much broader limits of a race freely expanding its habitat throughout our solar system, and from there to the stars. Even the beginning of realization of that vision will bring profound benefits to our planet and its life:

“The sure survival of all races of humanity, and of the plant and animal life forms we cherish as part of our Earthly heritage, in colonies dispersed throughout our solar system and beyond it.

“The preservation of the Earth and its fragile biosphere, as a place of great beauty, deserving our care and our nurturing, as it has nurtured us through our evolution.

“Opening a hopeful future for individual human beings, with increasing personal and political freedoms, a wider range of choices, and greater opportunities to develop individual potentials.

“Reducing the incidence of wars and the constant threat of wars, by opening a new frontier with virtually unlimited new lands and new wealth.

“These are the worthiest of goals, and many of us have tried in our own ways to work toward them. We may take courage in the fact that by opening the High Frontier we will transform all four of those goals into reality.”

The High Frontier is still seen as one of the most important books ever written on the subject of the human breakout into space. The Foundation, at Dr. O’Neill’s request, intends to keep the High Frontier in print as long as the organization exists.

If you would like to purchase a copy of The High Frontier send $10 ($15 outside of the US) to:

Space Frontier Foundation

16 First Avenue

Nyack, NY 10960

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