Space-ing Is Hard

Over at Legal Insurrection, Leslie Eastman has a good piece up on the apparent failure of the Japanese commercial moon lander. Given the failure to re-establish communications, it appears the landing has failed. I had hoped it would succeed, for several reasons, and it is disappointing.

It is also a reminder that getting to space and doing real things there is hard. Building an economically viable launch industry is hard. Building the infrastructure needed to live and work in space is hard. Elon pointed out the difficulty of building the large-scale rotating space stations of my childhood just recently. His take is that it makes more sense to build on the moon and Mars. I agree for now, though I think using asteroids as bases (a la the Act of God/Island Worlds series) is a good way to go. There are some other concepts out there for more modest structures or constellations of structures that are very interesting.

Living and working in space is going to be hard. The physiological changes the body undergoes in microgravity can be profound. The long-term effects are not yet known, because we really are only starting to be in that environment long term. We also still don’t know what will happen to fetal development in microgravity. The Frog Embryology Experiment on Spacelab J gives only limited data, though it is worth noting that the tadpoles did take on a more normal appearance and grew into normal frogs if I remember correctly. Humans being human, it is something we do need to understand.

Space-ing is hard. If we wait for the governments to lead the way, it will not happen. To get there will take drive, ambition, and old-fashioned capitalism. There are things to do, resources to tap, and plenty of opportunity. I really hope we can keep over-regulation at bay and get going.

Ad Astra

2 thoughts on “Space-ing Is Hard”

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