- establishing humanity's first, permanent foothold off Earth -


The Plan for Sustainable Space Development (PSSD) proposes that NASA fund companies to develop a transportation system between the Earth and Moon, the telerobotic ice-harvesters, and the habitats. Since this money would be coming from American taxpayers, it makes sense that it should go to American companies and that the initial commercial crew be Americans. However, not all Americans were born in America. Indeed, people from around the world have become naturalized American citizens thereby immediately enjoying the full rights of any citizen born in the U.S.

There are many benefits to America having the initial crew be composed of Americans who originated from around the world who would be fluent in the major languages of the world. These benefits include:

  • Demonstrating that the United States is a country based not upon ethnicity but upon principles applicable to people around the world.
  • Demonstrating that American leadership in space is something not to be feared but a blessing to the other nations.
  • Similarly, preventing other nations whose nationalism results in increased dangers from taking the lead in space.
  • Providing a diverse resident crew which can communicate in the language of follow-on international exploration teams.
  • The crew demonstrating the point that Americans of diverse backgrounds can get along together.
  • Eliciting international goodwill and influence as young people from around the world know that America is providing them with a (small) chance of establishing humanity's first, permanent, off-Earth foothold.
  • Providing a point crew member to be interviewed on the news of the country of whose language that crew member speaks.
  • Providing a point crew member to be "Skyped" into the classrooms of the country of whose language that crew member speaks.
  • Just the enjoyment of watching a crew whose diversity provides variety.

So what percentage of the world's population could a crew of eight speak to in their language?

All of the crew would need to speak English as the common language within the Team. If young people from around the world knew what languages would increase their likelihood of being selected, they could pursue the acquisition of those specific languages. Gifted students could become fluent in several different languages. Here is a scenario of what other languages each of the crew could speak if this were a selection criteria:

  • Commander: Indonesian-Malaysian
  • Biologist: The major Latin-based languages
  • Engineer: Polyglot (e.g. Amharic, Thai, Greek, etc)
  • Physician: Arabic & Turkish
  • Machinist-Metallurgist: Mandarin, Japanese, Korean
  • Chemist: Hindi, Pashto, Farsi
  • Geologist: The Germanic languages
  • Roboticist: The Slavic languages

    Polyglots (people who can easily pick up another language) could significantly increase the number of languages represented among the initial crew. Discussions with linguistics faculty indicate that it would be reasonable to expect that about 70% of the world's population could speak with the initial crew of eight in their own languages.

    Though the base would be American, it also represents all of humanity beginning to spread off Earth.

    Next: Watching TV