Why Space Settlement?
Below is the declaration of the participants of the first Space Settlement Summit, explaining why humans must settle and develop space. The Space Settlement Project grew out of this summit.
Why Human Space Settlement
The human settlement of space is a noble cause that deserves the attention and support of every American for the following reasons:
- To enhance prosperity for all people and make use of the abundant resources of outer space;
- To fulfill the drive for discovery and exploration, which is an innate human quality at the core of progress and thriving civilizations;
- To ensure the survival of human civilization and the biosphere, and protect them from natural and man-made disasters.
Expanding boundaries of this new frontier is a pursuit of freedom, a fundamental element of progress essential to the fulfillment of human potential.
- Harnessing the abundant—virtually limitless—energy and material resources of outer space will alleviate our dependence on non-renewable, terrestrial resources and create new avenues of wealth.
- Relocating industrial complexes to outer space will help preserve the Earth’s biosphere from further deterioration exacerbated by human civilization (e.g. global warming, ozone depletion, toxic waste, etc.) and protect endangered species and ecosystems.
- The intellectual and cultural evolution of the human race depends on frontier migration, and space is the only true frontier left. Human beings are explorers; it’s what we do. It inspires— and demands—the best in us.
- Opening the space frontier to settlement and development will provide the necessary resources to raise the standard of living in undeveloped nations, inspire youth, and foster international unity by shrinking the gap between rich and poor societies.
- Focusing specifically on human space settlement as a national space goal insures that the core purpose of space science and exploration is to improve the human condition— physically, intellectually, culturally, and spiritually.
- Invigoration of existing industries, as well as the creation of new markets and off-world industries, will stimulate the economy, driving innovation and technological breakthroughs.
- In addition to insuring that human civilization will always have room to expand and grow, space settlement would guarantee survival of the human species in the event of global catastrophe such as asteroid impact, plague, or other disasters (e.g. war/terrorism.)
- The human spirit longs to be free, to move unfettered to unknown destinations, the freedom to choose one’s destiny and lifestyle. While some might characterize it as the “will of God,” the drive to reach out and explore, to know and experience all of creation, resonates deeply in the human psyche.
- Our efforts towards the permanent human settlement of space allow us to use our time and talents creatively and passionately. We believe that beyond being good for us, settling space will be fun, and we are having fun along the way.
- Getting there first ensures America’s leadership in creating a better world and a peaceful, prosperous future for all humankind.
Further reasons for Space Settlement:
The Space Settlement Institute is a non-profit association founded to help promote the human colonization and settlement of outer space. A key tenet of the Institute’s approach is that private industry, rather than government, must take the lead in space settlement efforts. The identification of financial incentives and other motivating factors that would enable private industry to fulfill such a role, as well as the removal of regulatory, legal, and social/psychological barriers to private sector efforts in space, are essential components of the Institute’s mission.
“Evolutionary Significance of Space Colonization”, written by author and space advocate Sylvia Engdahl.
Letter to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in response to his April 22nd, 2004 column, in which he dismissed the President’s space initiative. Speaker and writer Jeff Krukin explains why the settlement and development of space are vital to the country…and the world.
Steve Wolfe, former legislative aide and author of the Space Settlement Act of 1988, presented Space Settlement: The Journey Inward, at the 2004 International Space Development Conference. Both the text and Powerpoint slides are available.
A concise description of the wealth, opportunities, and jobs that space will provide, and what space settlement means for life on Earth.
A European website entitled “The Greater Earth Manifesto: Concepts for a New Humanistic Vision of the World.”
TheSpaceSite.com is an online community dedicated to the exploration of space. Their Settlement page explores the question, “Why settle in space?”