Where's My Flying Car, Dammit?!

How Government interference set us back 50 years in technological advancements and what private citizens are finally doing about it!

In 1957, when the Russians ignited the space race by launching the first satellite, Sputnik, the world was united in a sense of optimism that mankind was finally about to conquer the final frontier. Animals followed, then men, then we landed on the moon, and then...not much. Sure, great strides have been made with robotic probes and telescopes, and our knowledge of the universe is growing larger every year. But in terms of mankind exploring the universe? That ambition looks all the more relegated to science fiction.   

But there is hope. Private space entrepreneurs are stepping in where governments won't, and vast sums of money and an equal amount of brain power are being spent on getting us back to the moon...then Mars...then beyond.

Bangkok Scientifique is happy to be joined by Benjamin Scherry, who will give a brief history of mans efforts to expand into the final frontier and why it all went wrong. Benjamin will explain what's different this time around, and discuss key milestones, many of which have already occurred, that will get mankind free of this gravity well holding us back from our potential as a space-faring race.

Benjamin is the Chief Systems Architect of Proteus Technologies, an innovative global software development group based in Bangkok and Singapore. He's been interested in space since he was 3 years old, launched his first rocket at 9, and intends to blow his first billion dollars (both figuratively and literally) on private space once he hits it big.


Join or login to comment.

  • Georges D.

    The talk would have been much better without the libertarian cheap shots. There is a good argument for the private exploration of space that should have been explored on its own merits rather than as a way to support an anti-government rant, which was as parochial (have you heard about trains in Europe?) as it was superficial.

    2 · June 26

    • Stephen S.

      Plus was there really any impetus for private enterprise to go into space? I'm sure that if the will (and money) was there then the businesses would have found some way of developing their own programs (for example by starting up in other countries). The missions by NASA showed that it was possible to get into space, get to the moon etc., which is, after all, the major breakthrough and surely people would have thought "That's great but I can do it better!"? Therefore I question whether it was the presence of a large government agency or if it was something else. Be it the fact that the early programme was extricably linked to the nuclear weapons programme (and therefore national security would prevent autonomous development)

      June 28

    • Stephen S.

      ...or just the fact that it just wasn't appealling to the right people??

      June 28

  • Stuart

    P.S. Pls delete 'Wireless Rd' references in future advisories - totally dishelpful.
    Just Soi Ruamrudee -

    or did you already?

    Thanks,
    Stuart. ;-)

    June 27

    • Xiaoyi

      ...a BTS exit number would help; sorry I forgot which one it is.

      June 27

  • Mishari M.

    Just some stuff I found interesting today, someone made notes from N. Taleb's antifragile http://samipaju.com/antifragile-notes/

    1 · June 26

    • Ben S.

      This is a most amazing book. I'm about 1/3rd the way through it now.

      June 26

  • Xiaoyi

    In the responses last night, Ben suggested that we strip-mine the moon. I don't want corporatists like this to have any power let alone the power to ruin more of the solar system than they have already done.

    1 · June 26

    • Ben S.

      I never said strip mine and I'm not a "corporatist".­ I find your attitude presumptuous and insulting frankly and think such personal attacks have no place here.

      June 26

  • Jinda

    Enjoyed learning about the history of space flight and obstacles to its development. It was fun to hear Heinlein mentioned, of course! My question is, though, are there any comparable industries that have developed differently with regards to dominance of public/private sector? It's such a vastly different enterprise (though it overlaps with many other industries) altogether, that I can see how, as a result, it spawns some interesting What Ifs, comparisons and speculation. This was a thought-provoking presentation that questions the typical popular narrative of how space exploration was and should be handled.

    2 · June 26

    • Ben S.

      The way people expected it to go before it became a flag planting exercise was simply as a natural extension of the aerospace industry (but with perhaps some competition from the navy). Just for the purposes of getting from point A to point B in our natural gravity well we need to go higher as breaking sound barriers across the country in our 45 minute NY -> LA trip would not make for happy people on the ground. So our airlines expected to go into space as a transit route. That would naturally evolve to orbiting transit stations then destinations such as the moon. PanAm even sold advance tickets into space long before Sir Richard. It would have taken us longer to get to the moon as each step would have to be commercially viable but we'd still be there and probably thousands of people would have visited by now.

      2 · June 26

  • Adam G.

    I heard that for every dollar invested in the moon landings, sixteen came back into the US economy, making it one of the best stimulus packages in history. If this is the case there's no downside to science investment.

    June 24

    • Stuart

      A lot gets said Adam - such as.'space programme gave us Teflon' - not true - would like to see the analysis that produced the '16' factor. Hard to think what economic benefit came from the moon programme - other than bragging rights.
      Not against space research but would prefer to see an intensive programme to see if liveability of earth can be maintained - I think it's too late.

      June 26

    • Adam G.

      It did create the micro-chip though, however that wasn't what I meant. The money isn't just burned in a big pile, the program created lots of very specialised, technical jobs, (half a million people worked on the moon landings) and the wages were all taxed. That's a lot of money paid back in to the exchequer. It also inspired lots of people to study science. In the Uk science, technology, engineering and maths are responsible for nearly 30% of GDP

      June 26

  • Hamad S.

    Was lovely meeting everyone. Thank you Greg for organising this.

    1 · June 25

  • Ben S.

    I'm actually coming - since I'm speaking - but wanted to free up a slot for someone on the waiting list.

    2 · June 25

  • Au A.

    Money is never unlimited. Prioritization is unavoidable.

    1 · June 24

  • Thomas Rolskov H.

    Good point, but, who knows, maybe exploring space and solving Earth-bound problems is a two sides of the same coin issue..

    3 · June 24

  • Tyler K.

    I don't assume it's necessarily "gone wrong," which doesn't mean I think space should not be explored. Maybe private investment is the right source to pay for space exploration now, and the big public money would now be rightly spent dealing with pressing Earth-bound public welfare issues such as limiting and adapting to global warming. (If only. Calvin's right, we do still have weather!) Sorry I won't make it to the talk - it sounds fascinating. Enjoy.

    June 24

Create a Meetup Group and meet new people

Get started Learn more
Allison

Meetup has allowed me to meet people I wouldn't have met naturally - they're totally different than me.

Allison, started Women's Adventure Travel

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy