Astropreneurs are kidding no onePosted by goatchurch at 11:53 AM
Now they've got dear old Arthur C. Clarke to record a video promoting the Google Lunar X-Prize. Yes, even he couldn't keep a straight face when he read out the sentence: "Now the Google Lunar X-Prize will inspire a new fleet of private space craft to take humanity back to the moon."
Just so you get the message properly, the speakers at the launch party said:
Today we're challenging private teams around the world to design and build robot explorers and race them to the surface of the Moon. The Google Lunar X-prize is a competition that will once again demonstrate that small dedicated teams of individuals can do what was once thought only possible by governments.And there's also an official cheezy short movie dramatizing what the winning the prize will be like. An excerpt:
Science has a serious marketing problem. This is the best antidote I've seen for that... We believe that setting an ambitious goal like going to the Moon is a really good way to improve the state of Humanity and the World, and that's why we care about this.
How many of you [young people] would like to go to the Moon? Raise your hands. Yeah. That's why we're here. We're capable of doing that. Maybe not all of you, but at least some of you will be able to go.
Until recently, space was off-limits to the public, but in 2004 the winners of the Axsari X-prize proved that private enterprise could travel to space in a reliable reusable spacecraft less expensively than any government programme.I am going to scream! Guess what most of the dirt on the Earth is made of? Silicon! You don't need to go to the Moon for that. Why isn't it being used on the ground already then? Solar powered satellites are one of those very bad old ideas that have been looked into at length over the years, admittedly by Government scientists who must by definition be stupid. (After all, they only invented the internet.) The fact that you mention it as an idea, and the only idea proposed in the movie, proves you still haven't thought of anything better!
The competition ignited a revolution that will launch thousands of civilian passengers into space. Today, the Google Lunar X-Prize is challenging free enterprise to reach much further, to the Moon to pave the way to harnessing its wealth of resources. Only days away its earth partner in a unique two world system.
Earth's off-shore island, the Moon can become our greatest asset. It could help provide our world with abundant resources and clean affordable limitless energy.
Much of the lunar soil is Silicon, a key ingredient of solar cells. In the future the silicon could be mined and used to build huge solar powered satellites. These satellites could be deployed to capture clean solar energy for the Earth, each one capable of powering a large city.
Look, kids. None of you are going to the Moon. There are certain more pressing matters which will present issues of human survival in your own lifetime that you'll know about if you've been paying attention to the scientists.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think if any science fiction reader from the past saw this prize going down as the one great hope for Humanity, he would die of shame that the whole endeavour has withered down to this. Sure, there may be a few die-hards with nowhere else to go who will claim that the Surge is working. But this was not how it was supposed to be.
Perhaps we ought to put this whole space-ship fantasy on hold for a couple of generations and pay some attention to the question of its own long-term survival on the home planet, eh? I don't think even the most optimistic man is of the belief that we're going to get these life-rafts off into space before the ice-sheets collapse.
Even if they're only supposed to rescue the billionaires.