Fund the Development of Space
by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
Space is where the human future is, HAS to be, and needs to be soon, if we're to get past some absolutely critical problems on this our home planet.
What the disgraceful lapse in our explorations after Apollo showed us is that we cannot rely directly upon government and the vagaries of short-sighted political process. That means main funding has to come from the private sector, and some of that, of late, has been emerging. To improve yet further the rate of private funding, however, here are two major, and obvious, ways.
One is, of course, the proposal that we exempt from all taxes for a full decade all income earned from development of space, and tax it at only half rate through the following decade. The resultant increased economic activity would actually put more revenues into government coffers than were foregone.This description centers on Mars, and the prospect of an eventually terraformed Mars, though modified versions of it will obviously also apply elsewhere, including economically large-scale O'Neill orbital habitats and the (presumably non-terraformable) Lunar settlements.....
This has to be done either via NASA or through some agency with sufficient authority for the certificates to mean something (and to preclude scams by other groups)....
Sell lease-bond title, acre by acre, say $20/acre, for most areas of Mars, and $200 or so for designated select areas the top of Olympus Mons, where undoubtedly science stations and the main ground-based observatory will be maintained long after Mars is settled and terraformed; the floors and walls of canyons including Valles Marineris; highland areas bordering lowlands (eventual oceanfront property, especially between 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south); etc.
These lease-bond titles and certificates would not be conventional property ownership. They would be a new kind of instrument, invented specifically for this purpose. Some of their features
1. Non-encumbrance provisions
Allocation of funds from purchase of these titles
Half goes to a general fund earmarked directly for the settlement and terraforming of Mars and, initially, development of vehicles to make that feasible on a large scale.
The other half can, if purchaser wishes, also go to that fund or it can go directly to the space-development firm or project of his choice. We have to have at least that much going to independently selected projects, in order to keep the development of space broad-based and, especially, to avoid precluding possible promising options by straining everything through "golden fleece award"-conscious bureaucratic and political selection.
We should, in fact, encourage the purchaser to opt for directing that half of his funds to his own choice of projects or enterprises. Incentives from such provision: being and staying informed means staying involved and interested. Firms and projects competing for these resources will find it worth their while to keep the public informed and involved and interested, especially as regards unconventional new approaches and efforts by small new enterprises, where most real breakthroughs historically have always emerged from. A better-informed bond-buying public will tend to mean better choices made within the space industry.
The entire plan should make as little encumbrance upon actual operations as possible, and as little burden as possible upon central record-keeping. Thus, if some particular acre-bond has not had the address of its (current) holder registered within the previous ten years (perhaps with an additional grace period of a year or so), that acre is once again unowned, the original bond void, and a new bond can be issued for it.
At the same time, it appears that sufficient incentive exists in this plan, interacting with the more usual motives, to improve by many billions of dollars per year the necessary funding for more rapid development of space. And this funding will go to a better spread and selection of project targets than would be the case with the feeding-frenzy set off by an expanded direct provision of funding from government.
Improving space development
Here are two additional notes bearing upon improved pace and quality of space development:
Please examine the inexpensive launch system proposed in the Inventions section of this website. Note that not only is that system remarkably economical (per unit of payload) by current standards, but also features declining long-term cost curves, making a strong incentive to keep on expanding the volume of use and thus the development of space. This feature, on this scale, has been observed for no other launch system except the proposed space elevator, which requires major science and technology not yet developed. The economical and high-volume launch system we propose can be readily built from off-the-shelf components. I've thrown this system deliberately into public domain so that anyone can use it without my permission being needed. You have a clean shot! No pesky encumbrance from this inventor as "owner." At least take a look at it before pursuing further the current convention, throwing good money after lesser options.
I repeat my offer, made elsewhere, to conduct at least one gratis 3-day creativity training session for some legitimate aerospace firm, free except for expenses, to invent other, different launch systems or space drives. Given the nature of the methods through which I would walk your engineers and scientists, there is good prospect that even within those three days your firm would invent a system superior to the space launch system I've proposed. After that one session at one firm, other such training sessions will be conventionally remunerated.
A few of the methods through which we will professionally guide your scientists and engineers include:
The point is that the flow of creative discovery and invention, as regards the development of space and other matters, could be much richer and more variegated than it is.
Related Space Science Reading
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