I believe that it is important for humans to get off the earth and populate the rest of the universe. If we stay earthbound, we are doomed. And I am convinced that the best hope for freedom is the proliferation of humans with every imaginable kind of society throughout the universe. It is hard to control people who have the run of the universe.
I am disappointed that we have done so little and such pointless space-faring so far. We could do so much more, and people will doubtless jump into space-faring in droves if it becomes profitable. I have already presented some ideas for space-based businesses: zero gravity nursing homes, asteroid moving extortion, casinos, selling space burgers to space-workers. I hope we do not have to wait until life on earth becomes prohibitively expensive before space colonization becomes profitable, and I reckon there is a danger that it will become too late at some point.
I think the key is for space colonies to be self sustaining, and to do that they must have a source of revenue. One way to kick start space exploration is probably the tourist industry. Tourism is a remarkable industry in that the resources on which it depends never get used up. Tourists come and enjoy the views and experiences, and when they leave the views and experiences are undiminished and ready for the next batch of visitors. Also, you don’t have to carry a product from space back to earth.
Before long, it will be feasible to transport tourists to and from the moon. I envision a complex at the Sea of Tranquility to take advantage of the first lunar landing as an attraction. A museum and gift shop devoted to lunar exploration would be a draw as would excursions to have your picture taken by the flag planted by the Apollo astronauts. You could rent lunar rovers and space suits and go on tours of craters.
Inside the complex would be an all inclusive resort with gambling, fabulous entertainments, virtual shopping and low gravity sports. Think of the thrill rides that lunar gravity might allow. Guests would be encouraged to pack nothing so as to minimize payload for baggage and to wear casual outfits provided by the facility. At first, the trips would be very expensive, but over time they would become more affordable, and the super rich would find themselves looking for more out of the way resorts or private asteroids.
The resort might employ hundreds of people who in turn would require goods and services that additional businesses would eventually provide. When enough folks live and work on the moon or in space, heavy industry to support them and markets on earth will develop.
I hope to visit the Tranquility Base Resort on my 50th wedding anniversary in ’33 if not sooner. The lunar gravity will feel good to my aging frame.