Why Did We Not Go?

Let us set out for the stars at once. Let us do it during this generation. There is no need to wait. It is not just pointless to have humanity wait for centuries before setting out to new worlds with immeasurable resources which wait unused. It is a wantonly cruel waste. How cruel we are toward one another, confined to this planet, contending with one another.”

How gentle are rabbits and doves in the wild? When doves or rabbits are uncomfortably crowded together, they are crueler to each other than the naturally more vicious carnivores such as lynxes, European wild cats, or wolves. They were not meant to be closely caged. They must be housed comfortably or allowed to live free.

The cruelest things that happen to humans are almost always perpetrated upon them by other people. As people are overcrowded, their needs, wants, and anxieties increase – this seems to turn them against one another.

The World is vast, but already for a few, it is grossly overcrowded. The proportion of humanity for which the World feels – and indeed is – overcrowded increases as population pressure increases. The writer has worked to conserve wildlands and has worked extensively to protect endangered species of animals and plants.

The world I (Dr. Enzmann) was born into was different. Herds of hundreds of thousands, even millions of creatures, roamed about Africa, parts of Asia, and even South America. Now they are all gone. Wildlands are conserved, but how empty I feel, for in these conserved lands, it is illegal to gather fallen logs with which to build fires. Not many decades ago, one could build campfires and sleep on an aromatic bed of boughs.

This should not be done anymore. There are not enough balsam trees for campers to vandalize them by cutting a bed of boughs. The World is more crowded and becoming ever more so. We must think more and more of each other and of that hereafter.

This is a call for action. This is a call to implement Robert Goddard’s new frontier for mankind. We need the space, the freedom, the new lands, the possibilities of adventure, and the resources.

Starship Aesar is a torch-class ship. How I would love to carry it outward along mankind’s first lap of our inevitable movement out to the stars. It is a wondrous machine.

Spheres along a keel
Crane Frame as a lander
Power plant
Beam Drive
Auxiliary Craft, Orbital Probes, Lander Rovers

Very soon, the nations with the most advanced technologies, then moments later all nations of the Earth, will thunder outward into an endless, boundless new physical frontier. Let the Wagons roll. A few among us today have met and perhaps are of the breed with the far away “frontier look” in his eye. You can’t fake it. You know it if you have seen it. It is a sort of longing for, and compulsion to go and see, what is over the horizon. Of course, the land over the horizon must be new and un-trodden by other men, at least for a long, long time. I lived on the last of the old frontiers. They were in Africa when there were still herds of tens of thousands of animals and in Buffinland of the Canadian Arctics. I will, in all likelihood, live to see mankind surge outward into the new physical frontier of interstellar space.

So many ask: Can humans ever be expected to work together toward a common goal for generations? What a silly question. We have always been doing just that. We plant forests, we build ever-better roads, we build vast canal systems, and universally we practice the conservation of mining resources and proration of oils.

It has been wonderful living in the last days of the old technology when blacksmiths made horseshoes when we saved nails so the blacksmith could hammer them into a lump of iron and then into something like a horseshoe, a hinge, or even kitchenware if he felt artistic and had time. The strip mills of Saugus Iron Works have given birth to the rolling mills and those precision machines, the drop forges. One of the most interesting things I saw as a child was a forge master lacing his gold watch upon the bed of a forge, then sending the hammer thundering downward toward it. It would end up so close to the crystal face of his watch that you could not place a bit of cardboard between the watch and the drop hammer.

I (Dr. Enzmann) want to see wagon trains departing from Earth, taking people to the stars. Hopefully, all people everywhere who so wish will find this road open. Consider what has happened so very recently: carriages, railways, and then iron horses, motor cars, airplanes, fleets of ocean liners now replaced by Boeing 747 and airbus fleets, supertankers of almost one million tons displacement ply the oceans of the world regularly. Space shuttles from the United States enter close Earth orbit, and in no time at all, French, Japanese, Russian, and other shuttle fleets will follow.

There is talk of beam “weapons” positioned upon satellites to protect them. Please look at them again: look, think, and delight in the fact that these beams are what will propel men, women, and children out into the new frontier. They are a powerful source of propulsion. It is exceedingly doubtful that there will be anything like a great nuclear war.

As Dr. Enzmann’s friend and colleague of many decades, I am still impressed and a bit awed by his accomplishments and intelligence. I cannot help but ask myself – why didn’t we listen to him then when it was still possible for our country to take a strong position in the space industry? When people were excited and dreamed about what space was like. When volunteers were numerous. What were we waiting for? His expertise would have guided us out to new worlds. He designed ships that could go. He wanted to go. And even if it meant never knowing him myself, I would rather we had listened. There were others like him, and with their efforts, this world would have been a different place. A better place. With neighbors in higher places.