National Space Society seminar on "Space Policy for the 21 Century" 3 March 1995 Washington, D.C.
Thank you Charles (as in Charlie Walker, the NSS President who made the introductions). I'm delighted that we're having this conference, and I appreciate very much the invitation to come over and share this few minutes, and I'm particularly delighted because I think it begins to re-establish the right direction and the right tone for wherever you're going.
I have a very optimistic vision of the future. This space stuff is sort of gut American tradition, but that's how it works out in the end. And that in fact, as Reagan said in his first inaugural: "We have every right to dream heroic dreams. After all, We are Americans." And I think that the tradition of our society has been one of being very aggressive in trying to find frontiers. And interestingly, we are at the edge of a period, I think, where we can both have very bold frontiers here on the planet, at the beginning of what I think will be considered the age of molecular medicine. And at the same time, we can have very bold frontiers off the planet.
And so, I have a couple notes to say. By the way, I have very good credentials in this area, in that not only do I go back to the age of Missiles and Rockets Magazine which is probably beyond the-(unintelligible)-a lot of the younger folks have no clue. This was back when they were separate publications, and I got interested in space very early. But when I was, I think , a sophomore (2nd year member of the House of Representatives), I introduced a Northwest Ordinance for Space (see Title II of HR 4286 from the 97th Congress, 1981) which was looked at as a joke at the time. But it basically raised the question, when there are enough people off the planet, what are the organizing principles by which they apply for statehood?