Angel Abbud-Madrid – TRANSCRIPT
I would like you to join me as we look up to space in a completely different way. Not just because of its beauty, or the mysteries that it holds, but because of the value that it represents for the future of humankind.
The year is 2062. One of the children of your children is about to go up on a mission to a space rock, an asteroid I know what you’re going to tell your grandkid “Darling, why did you pick such a boring dry destination in space?” “Well, think again, grandpa. Watch me go, grandma.” And there goes your grandkid on a one-month trip to an asteroid the size of this stage, one of hundreds passing close to Earth every year.
As it accelerates up to 40,000 miles an hour, the spacecraft finally catches up with the asteroid, turns a magnifying glass, focuses the energy on the surface of the rock, heating it up until gases and water come spewing out of it. Water that can be collected for up to a crew of four astronauts for drinking purposes. Also, to grow plants that they can serve as food. To extract oxygen from the water, so they can breathe inside their capsules and their spacesuits.
Water, that once heated turns into steam, that can propel that rocket to other destinations for up to four years, to other asteroids, to the Moon, and even have enough fuel and supplies left to bring the crew back to our planet, 50 years from now, to exactly the same place where we are all gathered here, today, so that that your grandkid can deliver the master talk at the TEDxMileHigh 2066 event.
And what would be the title of that talk? “How I learned to live off-the-land…in space.” So grandma, grandpa, next time you see a boring dry rock like this, think of it instead as a celestial gas station with a convenience store attached to it. Oh, thank heavens! What your grandkid has done is to extract resources to live and work in space, cutting our dependence from Earth, from where we have sent all the fuel, supplies, and equipment for the thousands of rockets since the beginning of the Space Age in the 1950s. We depend 100% from the resources of our planet to explore space, and that is obviously not an efficient or sustainable way to explore.