Terasem Space Day, July 20: Rick Tumlinson
The orphans of Apollo grow up. What happens if WE do it right?
Greetings to all readers and subscribers, and special greetings to the paid subscribers!
Please scroll down for the main topic of this newsletter. But first allow me to salute Frank Wilczek, physicist extraordinaire and winner of the 2022 Templeton Prize.
Of course, some militant atheists will condemn the Templeton Foundation, and also condemn Wilczek for accepting the Templeton Prize. I guess they will use stupid (non-)arguments like this, or something even more stupid.
Zeeya Merali, a great science writer who doesn’t hide her faith, has published an interview with Wilczek titled “God, Dark Matter and Falling Cats: A Conversation with 2022 Templeton Prize Winner Frank Wilczek.” I won’t link to the interview because it was published by a magazine (once great) that I’m boycotting after they published “an unbelievably stupid piece (I won’t link to it) full of sanctimonious fact-free ideology,” but you can google.
The subtitle of Merali’s interview is “The physics Nobelist and author has not exactly found religion - but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped looking.” Wilczek is not a religious person in the traditional sense, but his writings are full of a powerful sense of the numinous.
“I lost my faith in conventional religion in my early teens but still yearn for some kind of transcendence,” said Wilczek in an interview. He added “For that, [“Star Maker”] may be on the right track.”
Since 2020 I have been co-organizing and running Terasem Colloquia in July and December. Here are the videos of the last three Colloquia, featuring stellar thinkers like Howard Bloom, David Brin, Martine Rothblatt, Max More, and others: 1, 2, 3.
The July Colloquium, aka Terasem Space Day, will take place as usual on the anniversary of the first human landing on the Moon. Terasem Space Day (July 20 from 10am ET to 1pm ET, via Zoom) will cover cultural, philosophical, and spiritual aspects of spaceflight and space expansion.
In February we announced the first two speakers, Frank Tipler and Frank White, respectively of Omega Point and Overview Effect fame. In April we announced two more speakers: Elaine Walker and Riccardo Campa. Now we are announcing the last speaker: Rick Tumlinson.
A leader in the space community on a quest to transform the future - by helping humanity literally rise above its past - Rick Tumlinson helped create the New Space Revolution exemplified by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. He led the takeover of the Russian Mir space station, signed the first space private citizen to buy a ticket to the space station, and helped develop the policies allowing the private sector to begin leading the U.S. space agenda. His venture capital firm SpaceFund has invested in over 20 space startups, even as he is is fighting for an inclusive and environmentally responsible space industry. Blending pragmatic business and a serious track record of accomplishment with a soaring yet achievable vision of our future, his work speaks for itself, and when he speaks, the space world listens. His EarthLight Foundation hosts the Space Cowboy Ball and New Worlds Faire, and his iHeart/IRoc Space Radio show: “The Space Revolution” is a new "must hear" radio-podcast.
Rick’s talk will be titled “The Orphans of Apollo Grow Up.”
Abstract: After the most expensive selfies in history, America abandoned the Moon and the dreams of a generation raised on the dream it had given us of the future. A generation went from being Apollo's Children to the “Orphans of Apollo” (Mike Potter's great documentary of Rick's team briefly taking over the Russian Mir space station in 2000).
Yet now, led by that same generation who followed in Apollo's footsteps, and new generations since, we are about to both Return to the Moon and throw open the gates to the rest of the Solar System.
Why is this important? Why the Moon? Why must we make sure the same players who pulled a cosmic bait and switch so long ago are not allowed to do it again?
And what happens if WE do it right?
Cover picture from NASA, picture from Rick Tumlinson.