Friday, April 13, 2012

Phil Chapman, "Reviving Human Spaceflight"

Phil Chapman started off talking about how fifty years after the first airplane flight there were tons of airplanes, but fifty years after launching the first satellite there is very little happening in terms of people traveling to space.  He pointed out there have been a few times in history when the mindset of mankind changed.  One was when Copernicus pointed out that the Earth rotated around the sun.  Another was in the 1920s as we started to realize our solar system was just one in a galaxy of stars, and there were something like 10 the 12 number of galaxies.  Recently we have learned there are maybe hundreds of billions of planets in our galaxy.  We need to get out to the rest of the universe. 
Phil expects than in 400 years more humans may live off earth than on earth.  It sounds like a startling claim, but consider that since the founding of Plymouth colony America has grown to five times that of United Kingdoms.  He would like the United States to consider have a branch of the Air Force which was a Space Guard. 
There will be a huge growth in the demand for electricity over the next couple decades.  A solar collector in orbit could be a competitive option for providing power.  Phil believes that for reasons of national security we need to invest in solar powered satellites.  He listed eleven ways solar powered satellites could be used in defensive ways.

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