Caves are dark and I want a gas station in space

If you frequent this site as we get going, you're going to find that we're big big fans of TED.  A great example of someone who embodies what we're trying to do here is Bill Stone.  His 2007 TED talk is truly outstanding and only touches a few of the things he does that are amazing in every way.

Points of interest:

  • Difficulties in what he's doing in harsh environments has forced him to be an inventor
  • What they are learning in deep caves is applicable to any exploration, including space.
  • He shows off (according to him)the first fully autonomous robotic exploration that's ever been done under ground
  • Robotic autonomous exploration is something they are doing now. Their autonomous robots contain 36 computers and hundreds of thousands of lines of autonomy code.

He notes that the intention of NASA to return to the moon by 2024 puts us no further along than we were 50 years ago and suggests that there are 3 underpinnings of human expansion off of earth:

  • Economical earth to orbit transport
  • On orbit habitation
  • A gas station on orbit

He does a great rundown of why propellent availability in space is so important and how finding propellent on the moon can be that key.

Bill Stone is a visionary who's ideas if realized could enable humans to actually become a space faring civiliztion.  You can support his efforts and follow along with what he's doing at his company at stoneaerospace.com