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Lecture “Gods and Rockets” by Rick Tumlinson (video attached)


2017.06.16 Лекція Ріка Тамлінсона «Бог та ракети»

World famous expert in strategic issues of space field development, entrepreneur, journalist and space exploration enthusiast Rick Tumlinson (USA) gave a lecture on 16th June in the exposition hall of State Polytechnic Museum at the Igor Sikorsky KPI.

The lecture was visited not only by students of Kyiv Polytechnic and other universities but also by personalities significant for the national space industry: first astronaut of independent Ukraine Leonid Kadeniuk, president of Ukrainian Astronomical Association, director of the Main Astronomical Observatory of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, NASU academician Yaroslav Yatskiv, CEO of SE “Production Association Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant named after A.M. Makarov” in 1992-2005, former head of the National Space Agency of Ukraine, Hero of Ukraine Yurii Aleksieiev, Minister of Defense of Ukraine in 1994-1996, director of Aerospace Institute of National Aviation University Valerii Shmarov, CEO counselor of State Space Agency of Ukraine Eduard Kuznetsov and others.

The lecture was devoted to the most actual problems of space exploration by humanity. We can already see a qualitative progress in the sphere: the first space tourists, participants in the first commercial projects on space trip organization, would have been sent to the orbit by the end of the year. Advanced entrepreneurs and outstanding leaders of the high-tech sphere – Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder, Paul Allen from Microsoft and others – are investing funds into space programs. Elon Musk is even more ambitious with his plans to found by 2026 a colonial village on Mars. Governments of European countries, the USA and China are planning to found inhabited bases on the Moon. All this is bound to change and is already changing the outlook of the Earth people concerning space exploration and colonization of suitable cosmic bodies. Excessive financial investments into construction of different classes of spacecraft and development of life support and productive work systems begin to pay its way now. The first sign of this is the growing interest in space private organizations foundation, sometimes with very ambitious goals – for example, landing on the Moon surface and mining on asteroids. However, at the same time, some people doubt both possibility of non-state companies running successful space exploration and the very necessity of manned space missions.

Who is right then? And to what extent does space exploration concern life on the Earth? Why is the interest in space programs and projects booming right now? How is the search for the meaning of life intertwined with the humanity’s desire to cognize the mysteries of the Universe? And, eventually, why are all these projects so important for every one of us?

Rick Tumlinson has attempted to give answers to these and other questions in his lecture “Gods and Rockets”, and quite convincing, as it has been presented by a very versed specialist. Back in 1988, he was one of the cofounders of non-commercial organization “Space Frontier Foundation” which promotes the idea of combining the efforts of national governments and private enterprises for the sake of the outer space conquest. He has spoken in capacity of an expert in front of the US Congress for six times when bills on space industry regulation were considered. Rick Tumlinson was a head of a specialist team that was managing a space station “Peace” for one year making it the first commercial orbiter. With his assistance, some organizations were founded and many projects realized, all of them having in common one goal – promotion of space exploration. Among them there are, in the first place, International Space Univesity and lunar research station “Lunar Prospector”. Amongst other projects and initiatives undertaken by Rick Tumlinson are “Orbital Outfitters”, a company producing spacesuits on commercial basis, and “Deep Space Industries”, a business to be engaged with mining on asteroids. He is also known as a promoter of space achievements. He has been making regular publications in the periodicals such as “Huffington Post” and “Space News”, and has edited the book “Return to the Moon”. In 2015, Tumlinson won the World Technology Award and is developing a new project now – “New Worlds”, an organization which would unite people and leading technological companies to explore space resources.

It is clear that as one of the experts who, if not decides, to some extent influences further development of space technology in the West, he has been speaking about new ideas in the realm of space exploration and fantastic projects that are already being worked on by engineers of the leading companies: from the equipment for ‘space diving’, i. e. going out into space with subsequent landing, to implementation of colonization of Mars and other planets where it would take local resources to ensure life activity, etc. He has also mentioned philosophy of space exploration which has to be based not on the conquest paradigm, but on the idea of life borders broadening, and many other things.

The main conclusion which comes out of the lecture is absolutely clear: space exploration is probably one of the most important spheres of activity for the whole history of humanity. And, as Rick Tumlinson is convinced, with its space history, international programs participant experience and scientific-technological potential, Ukraine is quite able to take an appropriate place in the first line of countries that make way into the outer space for the whole humanity. Thus, soon, thanks to the implementation of the daring space projects, we can expect not only new discoveries but also new opportunities which would make a life of every person on the Earth both more interesting and more comfortable.

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