Human beings will always be explorers. We’ve pretty well surveyed our planet, our tiny blue dot, for answers and only found more questions. Why are we here? How did we get here? What does it mean?
We’ve already taken baby steps out into the solar system. But cheap, affordable space travel would be revolutionary, heralding in technologies we haven’t even yet imagined. Social and economic changes introduced by the internet would pale in comparison.
But here’s the thing: we won’t be heading to the stars in a rocket. Rockets are a terrible way of getting to space.
Orbit is a balancing act
There’s a saying in orbital mechanics: getting to orbit is halfway to anywhere. Orbit is the easiest way of going permanently to space. It’s a big first step on the way to leaving the gravity of earth behind.… Read the rest