|Why Should We Keep All of Our Eggs in One Basket? This full column ad ran in the April 1992 edition of Omni Magazine. The usage of the 'one basket' phrase in relation to Earth is believed to have originated with Arthur C. Clarke. The phrase pops up every few years in the field of space advocacy. It is a simple way to express the fragile state we exist in by living on just one planet, while at the same time presenting a good argument for human expansion beyond planet Earth.
The Space Frontier Foundation was created in 1988 by a group of space community leaders who were dedicated to opening the space frontier to human settlement as rapidly as possible. These individuals had worked for years some professionally and some as volunteers in space research, policy and public outreach. From their experiences they had come to realize three truths:
They knew, from research done since Apollo (primarily by Gerard K. O'Neill's Space Studies Institute), that it was technically possible to realize their shared vision of large-scale industrialization and settlement of the inner solar system within one or two generations.
They knew this was not happening (and couldn't happen) under the status-quo centrally planned and exclusive U.S. government space program.
They knew the responsibility fell to them to replace the existing bureaucratic program with an inclusive, entrepreneurial, frontier-opening enterprise, primarily by working on the outside to promote radical reform of U.S. space policy.
These space activists quickly concluded that no existing organization was appropriate to this task. Most citizen's space groups were trying to promote the current space program; those few entities working seriously to advance the human settlement of space were focused on research (e.g., the Space Studies Institute) or some other non-advocacy function.
And so the Space Frontier Foundation was born. Its vision came directly from the work of Gerard O'Neill and other visionaries such as Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Robert A. Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke. Its strategy would be to wage a war of ideas in the popular culture for a new American space agenda, in effect transforming "the public conversation" about space from a government program for the few to an open frontier for everyone.
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