O'Neill cylinders as illustrated in The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space - Our Planet
There arenow practically no new nations created on Earth without episodes ofbloodshed. Short of revolution and war, there are few options availablefor those who dream about establishing a new society somewhere, as variousideological and religious groups have historically done. But even today,there are many people who would welcome the chance to settle a new frontier,where new ways of life could be tried.
If enough people believed therewas an opportunity to leave whatever they didn't like about society behind andstart over with a new nation aligned to their shared passions, I believe thatcould stir the pioneer spirit that still slumbers in many. Space settlementmay really get started if the idea finds appeal in influential circles,especially among world leaders. Several Great Themes have successfullycirculated among leaders of the industrial societies, such as the need to avoidnuclear war, the importance of economic ties, and the need to make and honorinternational agreements.
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A Great Theme of establishing a permanent humanpresence in space--as a way to develop new energy sources to maintain highstandards of living for the growing population of Earth, and as a way to backup Earth's living populations and preserve our collected knowledge, and tocreate new living spaces for those wanting new ways of life--would provide aguiding principle for vital policy decisions. During theKennedy era, when Project Apollo was presented, many influential peoplerecalled the Colliers symposium articles and the Disney space televisionspecial.
The idea was already real to them, so they instinctively knew itcould be done.
It was just a matter of priorities. Having a technologicalcivilization that's able to afford nice things like space travel depends on theinfrastructure not being destroyed by wars or natural disaster.
Space Settlement: The Call of the High Frontier
Theability to "back up" our selves and our gathered knowledge may not always be possibleas it is today. As long aswe live in a world where limited resources must be allocated among a growingpopulation, we are ultimately doomed. All our efforts to increase foodproduction and extend individual longevity will end up trading a soonercatastrophe for a later one of greater scope. So far, we are succeedingin a kind of pyramid scheme with Earth's resources, but in time the pressure ofhuman numbers will strain and drain them. When resources become scarce andpopulations dense, individual freedoms are unaffordable luxuries.
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Ifcivilization is to be allowed to spread beyond Earth, it must take place beforethe world's resources are forcibly redistributed or squandered and disrupted bymajor wars. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video.
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The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space
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He formed the L-5 Society, named after the La Grange Points that form an equilateral triangle with the Earth and the Moon at which space settlements could be located with certain advantages. Its officeis at N. ONeill sees space colonies as offering a chance for reducing spoilageof the Earth and an expanding technological civilization in extraterrestrial space.
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In this well-written book he makes a compelling argument for the need for humans to move beyond their home planet. The argument is that it would be easierand better to developconstructed habitats in spacethan to attempt to colonise the Moon or other planets of the solar system. Therequirements for adequate supportof human lifeare discussed in some detail.
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