Re: International Space Station
Fri, 20 Nov 1998 11:24:51 EST

In a message dated 98-11-19 21:41:35 EST, (Patrick Wilken) writes:

> I know its not a very extropian venture, but I still find the launch of the
> first module of the ISS next Friday exciting. There is lots of information
> on the BBC website:
> I'd be very interested in learning what people think the ISS will achieve
> (scientifically and otherwise).

You're right that the project is not very extropian in how it's being accomplished, but I certainly let out a whoop of excitement this morning when I saw that the Zarya module had gotten off the pad at Baikanour OK. Although ISS is a big boondoggle in many ways and it's history is an object lesson in why big central government projects are about the least efficient means of accomplishing anything (even something as single-minded as "build a space station"), it's also a great source of education for the next generation of space engineers. We'll need those people when the technology becomes available to do space on a more efficient basis. I'd like to see ISS privatized as soon as possible and serve as a construction base for those projects. By then (2005-2015) it's scientific value will have gone from low to nil, but its value as a place to do useful engineering work may be unmatched.

 	Greg Burch     <>----<>
	   Attorney  :::  Director, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-
	           "Good ideas are not adopted automatically.  They must
	              be driven into practice with courageous impatience." 
                                    -- Admiral Hyman Rickover