Sunday, April 27, 2008

Life imitating sci-fi movies

This is good news:

Caterpillar Inc. doesn't plan to stop at being the No. 1 construction equipment maker in the world.

It's aiming for the universe, with NASA as its partner.

Caterpillar and NASA - the National Aeronautics and Space Administration - are getting closer to having the right earthmoving - er, moonmoving - equipment available to put on the moon in less than a decade to build habitats, roads and other infrastructure that could sustain life on the lunar surface.

Excellent. I am reminded of that scene in Aliens, where Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) hops into a exo-suit power-loader designed for moving equipment on a star ship, and does battle with the Alien Queen. And what giant corporation's logo adorned that exo suit? Caterpillar.

Aliens owes a lot to "Starship Troopers" (the book, not the bad movie) ) and you all know what a fan I am of Robert Heinlein. Two recurring themes in Heinlein's work are the settlement of the moon and the commercial exploitation of space. He was in favor of both, and so am I.

We NEED to expand onto other worlds. It's the only way to guarantee our survival. Right now, all our eggs (pun intended) are in one basket: Earth. And one reason space exploration is stalled is because we've let government have a monopoly.

Cross posted to Peoria Pundit.