If you could reboot the space program, no strings attached, what would it look like? It's kind of a crazy idea isn't it?
It would be an interesting exercise to remove the boundaries that we unconsciously place on ourselves because we feel like we have to operate within the current environment. It seems too often that we focus on job retention or job creation and not enough about what it looks like long-term to operate a space faring civilization.
We end up with no direction at all, and it's too easy without direction to end up with empty rhetoric. The empty rhetoric hall of shame is where movements go to be stripped of their ability to inspire people to do great things.
How do we move from empty rhetoric to execution?
What happens when you move from a focus on job creation and short-term thinking to a focus on broad scope and long-term thinking? How do you do this while navigating the present?
When looking for what will happen in the future, visionary Tim O'Reilly often says:
Watch the alpha geeks on the edges. Who are those people and what are they up to?
In space exploration who are the alpha geeks? Who are the people on the fringes? What are they doing and how can we help them?
As an exercise I want to start talking about what our space program looks like if you remove our current boundaries. Just think free-form without the constraints. What does it look like in 150 years?
150 years is long-term vision.
150 years is thinking big.
Most of you will say thinking for 150 years is impossible, but this is exactly what the alpha geeks are doing.
Just try it. Fit your entire thinking about space exploration into this:
Exploration -> Discovery -> Inspiration
Now tell us about it.