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L. Neil Smith's
Number 516, April 26, 2009

"The stuff that history is made of"

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Destination Resorts in Orbit
by Jim Davidson

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

Recently, I had occasion to write, "The civilisation which reached its peak in 1969, which put men on the Moon and sent passengers faster than the speed of sound to their destinations, no longer does those things."

It seems shameful that a culture which bothered to develop a path to the Moon then abandoned it completely. One of my all-time favorite songs is by the pop-rock group "The Three Degrees" from 1971. "Everybody's going to the Moon," say the lyrics. But nobody does.

"Why is it we so seldom pay a visit?" the song asks. And I think the answer is, "socialism failed." So we aren't going to be "the generation that gets to populate the Moon," as much fun as that would have been.

Yet, as night continues to fall on the old civilisation, a whole new way of doing things has developed. Thanks in part to the Ansari X Prize, a great many entrepreneurs have decided not to let NASA continue to stand in their way. I've often noted that NASA isn't opening the door to space, it is being the door. Picture a vault door with a major locking mechanism rather than a screen door, if you would.

A little less than a year ago, I made friends with a young liberty-oriented filmmaker who is living—where else—in New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. Meg McLain has a degree in film production, seven years experience in the film industry, and made a Ron Paul video which won eleven YouTube honors.

Lately, thanks to a private investor, she's been pursuing the project of documenting the new private space tourism industry. Her travels to DC and Florida for the documentary have brought her interviews with Ed Hudgins of the Atlas Society, Jaydeep Mukherjee of the Florida Space Institute, and space activist Jennifer Bailey. Would you believe that the US Chamber of Commerce has an office of space commercialisation? Not that it's been wholly successful, but Meg caught up with Michael Beavin to find out what the Chamber is doing.

Obviously, there are many more interviews to include. And a long list of them are planned. Unsurprisingly, it continues to cost money to make this project work. So, if you are interested in helping us with our ongoing documentary project, please get in touch.

One day soon, Americans will be able to travel routinely to destination resorts in orbit. Not because of any efforts by NASA, but entirely in spite of them.

Jim Davidson, author and entrepreneur, is working on making "Alongside Night" a household term. Watch for the upcoming graphic novel and film based on the screen adaptation of the novel. Get your copy at Jim is also involved in Eleven at Forty Productions, which is organising the documentary film "Destination Resorts in Orbit."


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