2020 Issue

48 Many characteristics of commercial factory space will be the same as Evans’ mill: • Machines will be arranged systematically to support a process: › They will be arranged in orbit according to the need. › Orbital trajectories will be set up to intercept promising asteroids. › There will be terrestrial support systems. › Some materials will be parked in space for future reuse. • There will be easy access to a central power source. These could include solar power, onboard nuclear decay, or volatile material from asteroids. • The space factories will accomplish a mission. For example, the mission might be tourism, satellite main- tenance, or unique microgravity manufacturing. 2 • Economies of scale will be used to produce better products at less cost. Once proven, use of commercial space will grow exponentially. • Easy transportation will be required since efficient output forces owners to go beyond local markets: › Delivery to Earth is easy because of Earth’s gravity well. › Some products will be created inexpensively and sent to interplanetary space. • Division of labor: › Government agencies such as NASA will perform FAA-type functions. › Orbital debris will be swept off the “factory floor.” › Organizations to recycle material, maintain facto- ries, provide fuel, or take care of other needs will operate as separate enterprises. The U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Space Forces It is an old joke that mechanical engineers create weapons, and civil engineers create targets. During the first Industrial War, the U.S. Civil War, both sides targeted mills whether they were highly automated or not. Even when they were not formal targets, they were buildings of great interest. Almost every community had a mill, and Confederate mili- tary leaders often used mills as meeting places. Many battles are named after the mills nearby, which were important community landmarks. General Sherman’s March to the Sea destroyed mills in support of his strategy of leav- ing behind no resources that could be used by the South. There is a famous story of Roswell, Georgia, where many mills were destroyed. Hundreds of suffering workers had to move north. 3 In the 1930s, the U.S. Army Aviation Signal Corps created a new military air doctrine based on the experiences of the Civil War, the Great War and the Spanish Civil War. 4 Military forces attacked another nation’s industrial strength by flying over entrenched front lines and dropping bombs. General Curtis LeMay played a crucial role in realizing this doctrine in Europe and Japan during World War II and as commander of the Strategic Air Command after the war. Will commercial space enterprises be like a nation’s indus- trial strength after the Industrial Revolution? Will it help form the basis for a new Space Military Doctrine that will be the focus for a new U.S. Space Force? (See figure 2.) Figure 2: Tomorrow’s Battlefield? SHAPING THE QUALITY OF LIFE