Reinvent the Exploration of Outer Space
What ambitious new goals could drive the “Barnstorming Era” in space?
We’re entering the second era of humans in space. David Brin, the scientist and science fiction writer who led this session, refers to it as the “Barnstorming Era.” This new era recalls the barnstorming era of air flight in the early 20th century, where all kinds of tinkerers and entrepreneurs in the private sector tried various approaches to flying – often at great financial and personal risk. We’re now seeing a similar phenomenon in the newly privatized space sector, with entrepreneurial initiatives backed by tech billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Paul Allen. Our roundtable featured space entrepreneurs, experts and NASA scientists who roughed out a handful of the ambitious goals that could drive the next era in space, ranging from mining asteroids to searching for signs life in the roofed water worlds of our solar system. Participants talked about the critical next steps needed to lay the groundwork for this next era, including transforming government’s central role into a more of a supporting role.