Where next? (TMRO 11.47)


After watching a few of the new format TMRO shows on Youtube I had a somewhat mixed reaction and decided to take a break from watching them. Now I am playing catchup, and am pleasantly surprised that the focus and energy of the shows is being maintained. I was worried for a couple of weeks there, but it seems to be working out.

Anyway, my question. At the end of episode 11.47 one of the viewer comments had to do with where next for space exploration - Moon, Mars, Venus - and answered that it should be all of them. Sarah said (in effect) yes that would be nice but we have to pick one. Jared responded that his answer is - Space. “We should just go”.

I think Jared is more right than he realises. The thing that we need is not a specific mission or program to a specific destination to the exclusion of all others. We need to enable access. This is the approach SpaceX is taking with their BFS/Starship. Once there is a relatively cheap way of getting into space then the whole solar system is open. If I can charter a vehicle for $5 million that can take me to the Moon, or Mars, or Venus or wherever then all sorts of people will be able to use it, whether it is a University geology department researching martian craters, a mining company checking out asteroids, a group of spelunkers exploring lunar lava tubes. If we can once get a general purpose vehicle at a reasonable price then the future will be a very interesting place.