By Andy Nimmo (Settlers' President)
|In September 1999, UKSEDS very kindly asked me to speak
at their conference scheduled to take place at Canterbury from Nov. 20th to
Before the event took place however, with the help of Lembit Opik M.P., Space Artist David A. Hardy and Jay Tate of Spaceguard, and Space Age Associates, we launched a web-based postcard campaign in aid of Spaceguard's call for a UK Government Task Force re the asteroid hazard.
At the UKSEDS event, I met many interesting people, particularly including both Bo Maxwell, President of the Mars Society UK, and Phil Dembo, Executive Director of the Mars Society UK.
In the course of e-mails in December I pointed out to Phil that Jay Tate's Spaceguard, Space Age Associates, and Settlers were co-operating in campaigning, and suggested that together with Jay, we might form a joint pro-space lobbying organization. Both Phil and Jay approved of this idea in early January, by which time the Government had approved and appointed the Task Force that Spaceguard, SAA, and Settlers had campaigned for, and I contacted Dr Michael Martin Smith and Stephen Ashworth of Space Age Associates, and Phil contacted Mark Bentley of UKSEDS, then others began to come in of their own volition.
Also in January, we held an EGM because I tried
to resign. I wanted to find someone to hand over to as I could see that Hogmanaycon
was going to take up much of my time this year, and I cannot afford financially
that it should fail. The members present however, wouldn't have it, and instead
appointed Ivan Dale and Robert Law to the Settlers Board as extra help. At
this meeting the joint lobbying project was mentioned and approved, providing
that all members of Settlers'
By early February, I had asked Phil, who lives in Ealing, if he'd be kind enough to host the proposed meeting of societies re our joint lobbying project. He and I then wrote an invitation, and on 16th February Phil sent this out - and I sent a copy to all members of the Settlers' Board:-
Subject: [Fwd: U.K. Space Development Council]
Herewith is the official invitation to our meeting in London, Sent out by Phil this afternoon. All we need now is the venue.
Best wishes, Andy.
Subject: U.K. Space Development Council
Step By Step Into Space
An Invitation From The Mars Society (U.K. Branch)
It has become apparent that there are a number of advocacy organizations in the United Kingdom committed to Space
|Development, who are, in the most part, working completely
on their own.
We wish to cordially invite representatives from all space groups operating in the United Kingdom, that are not for any reason prohibited from taking part in space politics, to join with us in the formation of a "U.K. Space Development Council". This will be an umbrella organization within which its participating member groups can co-ordinate and co-operate in lobbying on U.K. space political issues. It will:-
* Consider the wishes and priorities of its member organizations and formulate them into a step by step long term plan of political action;
* Obtain advice on feasibility of these plans, and on how our members can best implement them, from friendly pro-space U.K. politicians of all parties;
* Organize joint campaigns combining the strengths of all its member groups in order to best achieve the objectives of each step in the final long term plan.
The inaugural meeting to formalize the group and its aims will take place from 11 am to 6 p.m., on Saturday 8th April 2000, in London (venue to be confirmed). There will be an hour break for lunch. In preparation for the meeting, we would ask you to consult your members and formulate your own list of political priorities that you can bring to the meeting. This will be the basis for forming our combined strategy. We would be much obliged if you would be kind enough to inform us of the names of those representatives of your organization who will attend, not later than 20/3/2000.
P.S. In case you had already heard about this meeting, please note that the actual date is two weeks later than originally intended.
Living a Life of Excitement & Adventure
The Mars Society UK Limited is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the exploration and settlement of the Red Planet and is incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee. The Directors are non-salaried and give of their time freely.
By 21st Feb: apart from myself, the following UK space society leaders had expressed an interest:- Major Jonathan Tate; Dr Gregory Beekman; Duncan A. Lunan; Ivan Dale; Robert Law; Dr. Michael Martin-Smith; Stephen Ashworth; Captain John Broomfield; Philip Dembo; Mark S. Bentley; John Bonsor; Bo Maxwell; Peter Loftus; Paul Allen; and William Space Marshall. Not all of these people managed to attend the meeting, but most did and all but three are now on the SDC Advisory Panel and half a dozen are on our Executive. One or two others such as Julia Tizard, now a member of our Executive Council, also came along.
These represented: The Space Settlers Society, The Mars Society UK, Spaceguard, UKSEDS, Space Age Associates, The Discovery Space Club, ASTRA, and STAAR - who later dropped out. UKSEDS also had to decline as their constitution prohibits them from becoming involved in politics, but they were able to bring individual members to our attention able to represent a large section of UK young space fans. In early March we were joined by Dave Wright of BROHP.
All but one of these groups did make our meeting and thanks to Paul Dembo of the Mars Society and KPMG, the meeting did take place and the Space Development Council was formed. A Constitutional Subcommittee is presently drawing up a constitution that we expect to be approved by September.
We also plan a UK national space day to take place provisionally on 6th November, and I have been invited to speak on Titan and the Huygens probe at the BROHP conference at Charterhouse next Easter.
by Andy Nimmo.
The Space Settlers’ constitution provides for the formation of a Settlers’ Company, and after discussions with other members of the Board, Jim Voller, one of our ex-Presidents and now our General Secretary, and I are now setting this up. Initially we hope to use it to make some funds for both Settlers and ASTRA, with whom we work closely, but it is also hoped that we will do sufficiently well so that those most involved, and later, any and/or all members who wish to, may become employed full time by the company.
We plan to sell space-oriented writings and other products of interest to space fans, on the web. However, our main long term project concerns checking the viability of setting up an O’Neill Island 3 type space habitat by building one, in as near to virtual reality as we can make it on the net, over a period of time provisionally set at around ten years.
Independently of us, the First Millennium Foundation (see our Links page) are also building a space habitat on the net, but their version differs considerably from ours. The two may be complimentary in some ways however, so our two groups may be able to be of assistance to each other. In this way we (and they) should help discover many flaws, and we hope, solve them, prior to the time human beings set about building such a project in reality.
Professor O’Neill originally estimated it would take 2,000 space workers 6 years to complete such a project. Accordingly, our initial product sales will be aimed at
|bringing in a basis of bread and butter funding, while
recruiting potential future Virtual Island Project workers, (VIPs), and building
a base fund from which to purchase necessary server computers etc., for the
main project. We believe that from the millions on the internet we should
be able to find 2000+ who will willingly pay small sums for on-line time
and the privilege of taking part in this project over the ten year period.
There is still a great deal of analysis and other work to be done before we're going to be ready to launch this, so right now all we're doing is asking those interested and who would like to take part to register that interest with us, with no obligation. Send us an e-mail saying "Hey! Do please register me!" - or whatever, and we'll send you back some questions which if you let us have the answers to them, will help us make the best use of your services when the time comes.
If we manage to get the right expertise involved, and we do this right, it should provide good experience and training in a host of disciplines including team effort, organization etc., so by doing it right, we should get businesses paying to put their staff on our project so that they can gain these benefits. Some of you, maybe many of those who later next century, become involved in a real Space Habitat project, will have gained experience on our project and/or First Millennial's first. In view of all this, we are already engaged in an early liaison with a university. But don't let that hinder you, should you wish to get your institution involved. On the contrary, if they are interested do get in touch. We'll need all the expert help we can get.
Later, should we find it necessary to offer shares to help raise funds, it is our intention that those involved will have first option to purchase these.
Space Settlers' Home Page,
Linking Europe in Space-Politics,
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Space Tourism Today & Tomorrow,
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The Space Settlers' Company - Coming Soon
Space Settlers Long Term Plan & other stories...
How To Join Us --- And Why You Should, Even If You Don't Live In Europe!
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