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Space Goes Corporate

There have been countless television shows, movies, books, and documentaries about space colonization. So far, they’re just fairy tales of times that may or may not come, but what if they do?

I read today about a loophole that would allow heavenly bodies to be owned privately. Governments have always agreed that no one could own our celestial cousins, but with this loophole any company with enough cash and ability could privatize their little slice of the moon and mine, build, or just throw the biggest space party ever.

There isn’t a large incentive to colonize space at the moment. It’s not that eventually we won’t run out of space or resources, but that we have much bigger problems to deal with on our own planet first. In addition, a lot of research and funding needs to take place before anything can happen. That’s money few are willing to spare, aside from private companies whose revenue sources from space travel.

If companies were allowed to own private lots in space, it would do two things: fuel the need for sustained habitability research, and lead to the reduction of travel costs. These two alone could ensure our progress toward colonization. Sure, we might look up in a few years and see a giant Google advertisement on the moon, but if that marketing conundrum provides the segway toward our survival in large groups on other planets or moons, I say bring it on. I’d rather stare at the world’s largest Apple logo than starve to death from overpopulation.

I remember reading a book called Mars 1999, in which the author described homes on mars, complete with shag carpeting and Papasan chairs. The book was written in the seventies so some of its amenities didn’t stand the test of time, but the general theme was a good one. I think we all know that at some point we will need to get there, it’s just a matter of when. If corporate greed will get us there faster, so be it.

You may be sitting back scowling at my proposal, saying, “We don’t want to live in a world where corporations control everything and there are advertisements everywhere we look!” Take a look around, pal. We’re already there. Now we’re just doing it in space.

My best advice to you is to support the companies that want to focus on privatizing the astral land for geological research, preservation, and food cultivation instead of the ones that want to drill for moon oil (or whatever you kids do nowadays). If we put pressure in the right places, we can ensure that our future doesn’t look to cluttered and overwhelming. Of course, money talks, but while we may not win the war, if we win enough battles we can help to shape a better tomorrow.

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