This is the first part of a many part series of blogs that are going to talk about the science fiction world that I have created for my son’s Serial ‘Space Courier’ and others.
(Part One of Space Courier is nearing completion in editing and I expect to publish as an ebook on Amazon and a print version on Create Space.)
As a general declaimer, the information created for the world building of these stories is not intended to be thrown completely at the reader, but shown slowly throughout the stories as it becomes relevant to what is going on. Example, the main character, Des, in Space Courier lives on a giant space station Jov 1-H. He does not care what is happening on Venus or the price of tea there. As such, there is no mention of Venus or its Psychedelic Tea leaves.
So the story of Space Courier is set 500 years in the future. Why 500 years?
Good question. I picked it out of my ass.
I selected 500 years as it is a good point in time that is far enough in the future that it gives me freedom to decide what has or hasn’t been accomplished at that point, but it is not too far away to be completely unmanageable. I didn’t want to be so far away that it I show life similar to modern day in many ways that it would break the story.
To start, I decided on a very rough history of how we, as a race, escaped the confines of Earth and became a multi-planet species.
There are two main schools of thoughts that have sprang up when you talk about us colonizing other planets.
The first is that it is obvious that it is a National or multi-National government that colonies other planets and moons.
But I don’t fall into that camp. I sit firmly in the other camp. I think that while governments have will power and money to do expeditions of this type, I don’t think that it is the case with interplanetary travel.
Christopher Columbus revolutionized travel to the Americas. He led an expedition to India and found North America. Everyone knows the story. He was also paid by the Spanish monarchy to do so.
But the numbers don’t add up.
Columbus was using old technology. Sailing ships have been around forever and the style that he had were around for many years. Further more, he knew that the Earth was round. They had known that for a while. He was an idiot and did not bring enough food to last the journey to India if there had been no North America around for resupply.
Nothing in his trip was experimental or difficult. They could navigate by the stars and the currents would bring him to the Americas even if he had no sails. His trip was nothing special in relative terms to what the first Space Travelers seek to do.
When we go to space, in real life as well as my fictional world, every piece of technology used is going to have been invented in the last 30 years if not sooner. That is getting all of the supplies, personal and material into orbit. The multi-month trip to the planet or moon, as well as that habitat that they will be living in.
The struggles that they have to face, especially the environment, is so much harsher that what Columbus faced that there is no comparison. I can’t come up with a single metaphor or simile.
Stating all of that and looking at the social and economic problems that are around today, I feel that it is not going to be governments that take people permanently to space. Governments will take Astronauts to space to play golf and maybe do some experiments when they can. They will not be taking people to space for permanent settlement.
They do not have the money or the political will power to do so.
What one government takes years to build up, it is often ripped apart by the next. NASA cuts programs all the time as one congress takes money away almost at a whim.
Also, the fact that the Spanish Monarchy payed for Columbus is not the same as the U.S Congress funding NASA. It would be like SpaceX going to congress for a lump sum of money to outfit an expedition to colonize Mars. Not a government bureaucracy getting a quarterly budget allotment that it MUST spend.
So, politics aside.
In my fictional world, NASA and China send over a couple manned missions to Mars and they play a killer game of golf. Among some really good discoveries that manned missions tend to do. There is no wind storm that disables stuff and causes a botanist to be forced to grow potatoes from his own shit. Sorry.
What happens after that is that there is a landmark legal case where a private corporation sues the world governments and opens up private space travel and privatization.
The legal basis of that idea is shaky at best, but it is something that happened 450 years before the main characters of my books were born. It’s okay for it to sound off. Listening to a history professor is like that. I know many times where I heard the history of what happened and thought to myself, “Really?”.
In my fictional world, the first permanent space colony was funded and built by someone that wanted to make money in the enterprise. I will go into more detail on some of the stuff that a corporation could be making money on in space next time. For now, this blog has gone on long enough.
Until next time.