Newsletter December 1998

Dear Co-Planetares,

Here I am for what it became an appointment (I hope of reciprocal interest), more or less monthly (often it trends to 1,5 months, because we always have many materials to put online and less manpower for translations and tests revision).

Firstly I wish Happy Christmas Holidays to everyone, wishing also that 1999 was not only the year of the International Space Station, but also the start of a real opening of the frontier between LEO and GEO, to the Society, to the investments and to the human activities in general. We hope that words like astro-technicians, astro-scientist become common used words, and other words can add to the typical expression of the common anthropologic attitudes. like astro-tourist, astro-architect, astro-insurance-agent, astro-restaurant, etc... or equivalent!

By our side, we fight for the birth of a dialectic Up versus Down (or Closed World against Open World), able to go over the traditional dichotomic couples, nowadays stale and no longer able to generate hope and real progress.

The space option, that someone define (maybe more properly) Astronautic Imperative (aiming that Humanity, in reality, doesn't have other alternatives, if it aims to continue to exist and evolve as a cultural and sentient species) is by itself an highly humanist and humanitarian option, for many reasons, but fundamentally for the following one: it proposes to look for new resources outside and elsewhere, instead of brawling here for the few remaining resources. I leave to each one to imagine the social perspective of such a scenario and the ferocious struggles which could result, no more by the dream to share (or to compete for) the abundance, but by the need to "share" the misery and the technologic/cultural backing, due to the need to conserve an environment anyway in progressive degradation, under the strikes of the human growth (before collapse). The recent bleak episodes of poisoning of Christmas cakes by the Animal Liberation Front are just a timid sign (but let's think also to the other horrible alarm bells, that we envisage in all the attitudes against the children, i.e. against our future) of the social conflicts which could ignite in a world obstinately kept closed.

Obviously, among the supporters of the Closed World -- object of our civil and democratic critics --, we don't count only the stated enemies of the Science and of the Technology (maybe these ones, by their awkwardness, end to provide a service quite to what they mainly oppose). We consider in the above ensemble also the ones which, aimed to their own personal profit, stop the research on the real alternative technologies, for instance in the energetic field, or they keep still absurdly high the cost of the space technologies, thus preventing the small investors to enter the space enterprise. Very powerful lobbies, real "masters of the market", on those we invite the many liberal, neo-liberal, libertarian, or even only free intellectuals, supporters or non-opponents of the free market (we consider ourselves, more or less, in this ensemble), to reflect and to develop their analysis, on how it is possible to make the market really free, warranting the enter to the small investors, to the small and micro enterprises, and to the underprivileged of the different "third worlds". On these aspects (and on the notorious carbon-tax) is about the editorial of december 1998.

The december number reports, furthermore, a very interesting article by Michael Martin-Smith on the ion engine; an information by Luisa Spairani on the Mars Society, an information by Dale Gray (from USA, Historician of the Frontiers), on the start building of the ISS; two theoreticians contributions, of great value and interest, by Marco Bernasconi, on the role of Astronautics for the solution of the Humanity's problems in the next century.

As an end, I report some statistical data, which speak about the growth of Technologies of the Frontier, as small tool of information and political campaign.

TdF counts nowadays, besides yours truly, 5 members of the editorial staff:

Our monthly newsletter is received by (and they didn't ask to be erased from the mailing list):

TdF counts nowadays 16 members, among the ones which sent their subscription through the proper module and the ones that, before the module existed, sent their support to us. I invite the ones which aim to directly express their support to Technologies of the Frontier, to send us their subscription by means of the proper form: the subscription is fully free of charge, and for us it is very important to know if we have friends sharing our vision and goals.

About the numbers we are very happy, considering that TDF started with the new deal just September 1998.

We should like, also, to have with our readers and supporters a closer relation of discussion and collaboration. I remember, at this purpose, that written contributions, even controversial, are welcome. We are preparing and it will soon be available a forum, form the ones aimed to share comments and thoughts, even without writing an article.

We are also considering the possibility to hold a seminar of a couple of days (maybe a weekend), next springtime, in a site to be defined in the north of Italy. The seminar should discuss, and give us confidence on, the themes of a campaign we aim to develop, together with other organizations (European, American and Japanese). We'd like a feedback by you, about the opportunity of such an appointment.

The Space events in 1999 are many and all useful, to carry on our proposals: among all I remember the UNO Conference UNISPACE III, about the pacific use of the space, in June, and the 50th IAF Congress, this year held in Amsterdam. If somebody was aimed to present own papers (specially at the IAF Congress), we are able to provide all the needed informations, chairmen of the different committees, etc... Our social engagement includes opening the discussion of the IAF Congress, to the "real" society, as much as possible. 1999 is in the Netherlands: an opportunity, for Italians and Europeans, to know the IAF, enter the Space Community and take there their own proposals and needs!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in 1999!

Adriano Autino

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