On Servers, OpenLuna's core purpose, and Epic Goals.
Welcome back, I'm personally sorry for the delay. You can blame me exclusively. With that out of the way, We can move on. (I'll explain more if asked, in the spirit of openness.) I will also say right up front, This is a bit long, but I have a lot to say today. I promise, I won't do it very often...
I was asked a little bit ago what our core purpose was. My immediate knee jerk reaction was to build a six to ten person outpost on the moon that was capable of permanent occupancy, and was designed using open source principles, using private funds, for the primary purpose of serving Humanity's needs in Science, and Exploration.
Then I thought about it a bit.
And then I thought about it more. I was reminded of my recent time judging the University of Toronto's Space Development Contest, and of all of the focused, dedicated students there. They were focused on space, they were interested in science, they we trying as hard as they knew how to learn. This would be expected from high school students on a university prep course. Except -
They weren't getting credit for it!
They were involved in the competition for one reason, and one reason only... they were interested in Space. No, They were fanatically devoted to space, space exploration and anything to do with the “High Frontier.” They had also developed a love for science, engineering, mathematics, even marketing because of of their fierce desire not just to see space explored, but to be there, part of the adventure.
They didn't want just to watch the explorers - They wanted to be the Explorers.
They showed passion, skill, creativity, and a huge desire to do whatever they needed to in order to further their need to be part of Space Exploration. They taught themselves math, they learned new systems, they pressed their teachers, they learned about cutting edge technologies, and polished their understanding of old technologies. They even learned marketing, budgeting, and got a real taste of emergency planning. They not only overcame their fear of public speaking, many of them practiced and polished until they were every bit as good as any professional speaker or entrepreneurial pitcher. They extended themselves in ways that were far beyond their years or education.
Why? Because Space is cool! - Or at least it used to be.
How can I say such a thing after what I saw at UofT? Simple. As fantastic as they were, as amazing as their work was, (Hell, there were two teams that I would hire flat out if we had the budget for it. They were just that good. We may yet...) they were a small fraction of their school's population. The vast majority of students didn't come to the event, most wouldn't even have cared had they known about it. They didn't even come to cheer or observer. How sad is that? It is mind boggling to imagine that so many of our children could care less about space, and even more have absolutely no interest in Science, Math or Engineering – But it is sadly true. And it isn't just secondary schools. We are seeing this startling trend away from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics – A term that I understand is falling out of favour) in all grades, from first to University. I personally find this scary. A future without Engineering isn't a future worth living for me, and the same could be said of all STEM disciplines.
How can anyone not be fascinated by the Sciences!? If you are reading this, chances are you agree with me. We get it, but why don't they? Simple. They don't have a goal worth of their attentions, something that captivates their attention, motivates their curiosity, They want the B-HAG, (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and we are giving them limited Low Earth Orbit with ever reducing capabilities, new cellphones that come crippled out of the box or are repackaged old tech, or an endless stream of commodity toys that are forgotten tomorrow. Where is the excitement in that?
Michael Doornbos recently gave an interesting Ignite talk in DC “On Inspiring Kids by Thinking Big in Space” In this talk, he hits the nail dead center on the head. We need to give our future a goal. A real goal, one that is so big, so "epic" that succeeding will take every bit of ingenuity, strength, creativity, and just plain guts that they have. One that will, when they are done, give humanity something that will be remembered for all of history. Not just a new game, toy or iwhatever that will be forgotten and replaced tomorrow, but something tough, exciting, something so challenging that they might actually fail. A goal that is worthy, and it will take a goal like that to again inspire the next generation of Scientists, the next generation of Engineers, the next generation of Leaders. A goal, a project that will again bring hope for the future...
What kind of a project is that? Well, Simply the future of all mankind. Nothing special.Nothing special at all.
Do I think OpenLuna is that kind of a project? Of course I do, otherwise I wouldn't be putting all that I do into it. Do I think it is the only project that fits this very tall order? No, of course not. There are plenty of worthy goals and projects out there, I do however think OpenLuna is the special kind of project that the whole world can get behind, and I truly believe it is a project that the whole world can take ownership of, and can provide education, hope, and a dream for something better to those who so desperately need it. Do I think we can actually do it? No. Plain and simple it is too big of a project for a small team to achieve. The only way we (Humanity) can pull of a project like this is if Humanity pulls together. Only then, with the resources of many can we do this. There is a movie that, as a famous line states “If you build it, they will come.” For us, it is the opposite, If they come we can build it. I firmly believe that one way or another we will make this happen. It is too important of a goal to let it slide, the world is ready, all the pieces are there, and the time is right to actually make it happen. The only question is how, and who will do it.
The time has come - You have to decide, Do you want to read the story, or do you want to be the story? Do you want to sit back in your couch or easy chair and watch it on TV or read about it on facebook or twitter, or do you want to be the one in the thick of it making it happen? Do you want to spend the rest of your life wondering if you could have done something special with your life, something better?
To quote something I've heard a dozen times from a dozen different people, "History isn't a spectator sport."
Come fly with us!
Oh! The question – What is OpenLuna's core purpose? Simple. We strive to provide inspiration, education, and hope to our youth, and to help them develop a lifelong love of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. We will do so in the form of a six to ten person outpost on the surface of another world – an outpost that they themselves helped build, and on a world they can personally help explore...