A reportage on the March 31st Press Conference and April 1st mission to G20

by M. Martin-Smith and A. Autino


The first Space Renaissance Press Conference

The mission to G20
The challenge in front of us
Related papers and communications

The first Space Renaissance Press Conference

The Space Renaissance Initiative met at 4 pm at the British Interplanetary Society, in London, to launch itself, and hold a Press conference. Although no mainstream Press arrived, we did confer by Skype with several individuals, and received addresses from two continents! We also learned that in 4 months 1,000 people world wide had signed the Call for a Space Renaissance Initiative. We all know we are in a fine mess, and people are ripe for the message of hope we offer - or will be before much longer!

SRI President, Adriano Autino, of TDF opened the proceedings by outlining the case for a new Initiative to launch human civilisation into Space. The present order risks population growth and economic collapse in energy and raw materials, if access to Space is not assured by much cheaper access to Space. He laid out a stepwise logical programme of Space Tourism progressing out into Earth Lunar Space, Solar Power satellites, lunar bases, industries and settlements, and then on Mars and the asteroids. A comparatively small investmnent by the G20 nations could assure us a viable space tourist industry, creating employment, opportunities and cheap access to Space - above all giving our closed civilisation a new open door of hope and limitless wealth.  

Jerry Stone, FRAS, of Spaceflight UK, a professional lecturer and Space educator, amply backed up this presentation by giving a presentation by Dr Patrick Collins, President of SpaceFutures, and Professor at Azabu University, Japan. He is perhaps the leading authority on the economics and methodology of Space Tourism and, supplemented by Jerry's excellent outline of the vision of Professor Gerard O'Neill of a civilsation in Space, showed how the advent of Space Tourism, 50 years late, finally offers us the route to achieving a Space Renaissance. 

Dr Feng Shu, Director of Risk management at NASA, offered a compelling case for Space to take a larger inspirational and economically stimulating role in society at large. The time is right, he declared, for much more relevant and ambitious activities in Space.

A brief communication sent by Rick Tumlinson -- president of the Space Frontier Foundation -- was handed to the participants.

A discussion followed in which centred on the problem of making Space less esoteric and more comprehensible to the public.

Dr. Michael Martin-Smith pointed out that, with all the talk of the expense of Space development, there is a widely unrecognised cost in NOT going into Space, and that no-one would actually benefit from any money  "saved" by cutting Space development. The winding down of Apollo cost the USA two million high tech jobs.

The 20th century's closed world ideologies have both failed, and a Renaissance in Space activity and in the human world view is needed if we are to escape stagnation, decay and eventual extinction of civilisation, or even, perhaps, of the species.

Time is limited; if a start is not made within 10 years or so, the mounting problems here on Earth will effectively shut the door in our faces - we will be overwhlemed by the here and now and unable to look at possible futures at all!

Raymond Wright, of SpaceFleet, recalled a proposal, advanced several years ago to UN, and worth to be reproposed, for a world space agency, suitable to coordinate and harmonize the acitivities of different countries for the opening fo the space frontier.

Anna Hill, of Space Synapse, pointed out the big gap existing between the dramatic need of a true space renaissance and the current very low perception of such need by the public opinion.

Autino, and the other panelists, recalled the key proposals issued by the Space Renaissance Initiative. The opening of the high frontier is not to be seen as a cost, but as the greatest opportunity never occurred before. The current crisis holds a positive aspect: it shows clearly that many of the so-called safe investment funds were fully inconsistent and not safe at all. Space is the only perspective worth of investment.

The SRI will work hardly to build partnership with financial entities, in order to create space investment funds, where people can decide to bet some money on the future of humanity, to invest in the space renaissance.

The concurrence of enlightned patronages is key, to support this process and make it happen. SRI will take this task, to stimulate high level patronage, among its highest priorities.

The SRI will also continue its hard work to solicit governments to setup financial aids, tax abatement, and other incentives, for the emerging space economy and new space enterprises.

The mission to G20

After the end of the conference, we phoned to the G20 secretary, taking agreements to deliver to them our written proposals. We sent them via fax our letter to g20.

The April 1st, A. Autino went to Downing Street number 10, to the Secretary of the UK Prime Minister, chairman of the summit: “I couldn’t pass the gate, I was told by the policemen, due to security reasons. But I was allowed to call the Secretary by phone, and I talked to the secretary, and I handed our papers to the policeman, who took the task to deliver them to the secretary.”

Of course we have no assurance that they even read few lines of our proposals, but it was important to go there, and we went!

A. Autino at the gate of Downing Street, after delivering the SRI proposals

The challenge in front of us

In front of us we have now our main goal for this year: to organize the world wide forum, likely in November. We’re already working for it, main workpackages of the project are ready, and soon we will issue the call for papers.

During the next mounths we will have to achieve a better visibility.

The Space Renaissance Initiative is already pretty well known and appreciated in the space movement, and we’re proud of this, specially if we think that the SRI exists only since 5 mounths! SRI holds almost 800 members on facebook, more than 120 on LinkedIn, 112 on Google, almost 200 signatures of our online call, and 220 members on our mailing list. SRI has 30 joined organisations, and our Committee has 33 members. All together, we can count on support by more than 1000 members, in less than 5 mounths! And, if you make a search by google, typing “space renaissance” as keyword, you will find tens of pages repeating our calls and talking about us!

But we absolutely need to break the media wall (we failed this goal with our first press conference), and reach the public opinion at large.

To achieve the above we need:

1. celebrities as testimonials to support us: it is only a matter of leting them know about us: they will love the Space Renaissance concepts, ideas and name, as all the people we succeed to reach!
2. financial sponsors, so that we have money to pay professional agencies: the true big effort is to find the first, then we will run very faster!
3. some events who brings joy and positive excitation to the people (instead of terror and oppression), something related to astronautics... something related to love for humanity... ; aren’t we the best creative brains of this planet??!? Let’s think about it!
4. have a better web site; we’re already working…
5. have a continue relation to media; just to start, is there any web tv interested to broadcast the SRI web meetings?

Related papers and communications

1. Space Renaissance letter to G20
2. Space Renaissance Press Release
3. What the growth of a Space Tourism industry could contribute to employment, economyc growth, environmental protection, education, culture and world peace - by Patrick Q. Collins & Adriano V. Autino
4. Founding a New Renaissance - by Adriano V. Autino
5. A Unified Space Vision - by Feng Hsu & Ken Cox
6. The presentation by A. Autino to the March 31st 2009 SRI Press Conference - by Adriano V. Autino
7. The presentation by P. Collins to the March 31st 2009 SRI Press Conference - by Patrick Q. Collins
8. The communication by R. Tumlinson to the March 31st 2009 SRI Press Conference - by Rick N. Tumlinson
9. The video by F. Hsu to the March 31st 2009 SRI Press Conference - by Feng Hsu

[001.AA-MMS.TDF.2009 - 04.04.2009]