• Earth’s population is increasing unsustainable. Climate change is accelerating degradation of our environment and natural resources.
• Is humankind’s future a colony on Mars (outer space) or a colony on the ocean (inner space)?
• Talent on each side of the debate
o Mars: Buzz Aldrin
o Oceans: Dr. Ballard
Dr. Ballard: Why Oceans are the Next Colony:
• Simplicity: they’re right here, not several years of flight away.
• Cost: estimated that to feed four astronauts on Mars would cost millions of dollars.
• Incentives: there is much left to be discovered, including mineral and agricultural frontiers, on the ocean floor, where only token surveys have been done.
• People already living at sea. Talent estimates that about 20,000 people live at sea on Gulf of Mexico alone.
Survey of Existing Technology:
• Dr. Ballard visits examples of emerging technology for sea colonies.
• Cat Ba, Vietnam/ Galveston, Texas, USA: Dr. Ballard visits a decades old marine colony in Vietnam and then the Seasteading Institute in Galveston, Texas, U.S., that is converting off-the-shelf oilrig technology into a habitable platform at sea.
• Hawkes Super Falcon: Dr. Ballard visits an engineer, Graham Hawkes, who has developed a super-fast underwater vehicle for personal transportation that can make an ocean colony as accessible as a suburb through rapid transportation.
• Farming: we explore the work of biologist Neil Sims who is developing modules to farm fish in open water and away from land.
o Deep sea farming would defray environmental cost of shore farming as well as make available huge tracts of space for food production.