As an engineer I live at the intersection of vision and implementation. What do we want to achieve VS what can we do today. In the public perception of our space programs there is a very large gap between our vision of tomorrow and what we can do today. We talk about setting up colonies on Mars and the Moon but in the last 40 years only our robots have gone beyond low earth orbit. My vision for the planetary society is to bridge that gap. Find ways to educate the public on space goals that are a bit more grounded (OK, bad joke). IMO the comming generation of near earth asteroid missions truly fit that vision. Real engineering is happening today for missions that will make a tectonic shift in both our perception of space and our capabilities in space. Today our space missions are like Columbus and Magellan. We are expanding our view of the solar system. Tomorrow our missions will be more like the Hudsons Bay Company. Setting up a remote trading post. What awaits us is an in-space resource industry. The Planetary Society can play a major role in helping people understand this new vision of space.
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