Adventures In Deep Space

A blog about turning our "crazy" big idea to transform deep space exploration into a real company (click on header above to view this blog's home page)

Why Space.Org? Why Thomas Leavitt?

August 24, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

This is a very basic question that I expect to answer many times over the next few years.

There's an easy enough series of conventional answers: I've been through the start up rodeo before, both bootstrapping, and obtaining venture capital; I have a wealth of first and second hand experience from working with startups and other companies as an IT consultant over the last two decades; I have contacts, both business and technical, that I can leverage and bring to the table. I also have the ability to understand both business and technical people when they talk to me in their own language. I can handle pretty much everything short of designing and building the actual devices themselves (and I'm busy educating myself on that process, so that I can at least speak somewhat intelligently about it). I own, and have done so since 1995, which is at least a modestly valueable piece of IP to contribute.

Less conventionally, I'm driven by a vision that I've had since I was a kid: of humanity exploring the stars. It's time, way past time, for us to return to space and stay there. To do so, we need to put "feet on the ground", at least virtually, in the form of satellites and other robotic explorers. Visiting other planets (and objects of interest) needs to be more than a once in a generation, once in a lifetime, event.

The last (and only time) that we visited Neptune and Uranus, two of the biggest planets in the solar system, I was 7 years old (Voyager 2, 1979)! I wasn't even a year old, the last time a human being walked on the face of the Moon (Apollo 17, 5:40:56 a.m., Dec. 14, 1972). For many of you reading this, that means these aren't even once in a lifetime events! Only four out of twelve Moonwalkers remain alive as of the time I write this, and there's more than a fair chance that they'll all have passed on before humanity returns to the Moon, perhaps even before we venture beyond Earth orbit again. That would've shocked my teenaged, science fiction obssessed self to the core.

Space.Org's part in this grand adventure will be to build the fundamental infrastructure necessary for humanity to explore and occupy every part of the solar system, to access and exploit the vast, vast, vast wealth of species transforming resources lying on our galactic doorstep, to make humanity, ultimately, not just a multi-planetary, but multi-stellar species. I firmly believe that the future of humanity lies in space. As a teenager in Jr. High School, I told my beamused parents that I would "lead humanity to the stars". Well, maybe I won't get there myself, but if I can help lay the groundwork for doing so, I'll be satisfied. There's no point in being anything less than utterly audacious. Let a thousand flowers (or satellites) bloom, let every object of interest in the solar system be documented and analyzed from top to bottom.

There are companies building production lines for flying cars. There are companies building production lines for spaceships, ones designed to land and take off from other planets, with humans inside them! What is a humble satellite probe, even a thousand such, beside these things? We can do it. The journey of a thousand miles, or a thousand light years, begins with a first step--come take it with me. I'm looking for a few good people who share this vision, who are equally obsessed with the idea that we belong among the stars, not trapped in the mud.

Tags: thepitch, background, whoami, vision

Just Getting Started

August 18, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

I've been a science fiction / space nut my entire life; the vast majority of the 3,000+ books I read before I turned 18 were SF/Fantasy. I remember the very confused look on my parents face when I ranted about "leading humanity into space" (rather ambitious for an asocial ubernerd 13 year old). So, when my pioneering web host, Web Communcations, LLC, started testing domain name registration services back in late 1995, I of course registered Space.Org (August 31st, 1995).

In the many years since, I've made several efforts to actually deploy a web site to it, at one point running a discussion forum via Ning, at another time, having a volunteer create a ton of content, but they all eventually fell by the wayside when other things demanded my attention. I've had dozens of folks make offers to buy the domain, or request to use it, but I've always held on, thinking that some day, I'd get to use it for something related to my original intention: human exploration of the cosmos (or at least the solar system).

Tags: background, origin, founder