|Interview Part 1
A matter of
life and death.....
Stuff has recently learned
of the existence of the above Foundation, as a result of a
Guest who visited Space N
Stuff and contacted me.
An email request was made and Mr. Eric Klien,
Founder and President of Lifeboat
agreed to an interview. As a matter of fact, once
Klien responded to the
questions in this interview, I discovered this is like
eating potato chips, you can't be satisfied with just "one".
At a later date, Space N
Stuff will again contact
Klien for a follow-up to
this initial query.
Please understand that this is a
very complex subject and due to space constraints, not all
of the details can be presented, however, we are providing
LINKS at the bottom of this Interview so that you can check
their site for yourselves.
In a nutshell, the
purpose of Lifeboat
Foundation is to research
technology in a serious effort to build vehicles, or "Arks"
that will house permanent residents, away from Earth. In
essence, self-sustaining colonies would be established, one
at a time, in an effort to save Humanity.
Foundation's basic concept
of leaving Earth ... as a "matter of life and death."
This premise is a result of facts that cannot be
denied. Human Beings are finding more and more ways to
destroy the Earth, and......... each other.
goals are straight forward:
By 2004, they hope to
educate the public as to 'coming dangers', promote efforts
to preserve life, encourage advancement in Space Technology
By 2010, the efforts to develop
self-sustaining technologies will be in full swing.
By 2018, complete the development above, launch a
for-profit Corporation that would have
as its primary
goal, to put the first
self-sustaining Space Colony in orbit, 248 miles above the
Earth, and have subsequent colonies, further from Earth.
By 2020, to promote free enterprise in the conquest
Klien, your site provides a
great deal of background information regarding your goals.
However, I do have a series of questions to pose:
Stuff: If I understand
correctly, based on your current projections, people will
not be off this planet until approximately 2020. In view of
the seemingly endless strikes of Terrorism globally, will
your "Arks" be too late?
Klien: It will be a close
In a technology timeline produced by British
Telecommunications (a multibillion dollar conglomerate based
in the United Kingdom) which we have a copy of at http://research.lifeboat.com/btexact.pdf,
it was predicted that in as little as three more years
terrorists will unleash dangerous bioweapons on the public.
It stands to reason that creating self-sustaining space
stations during the time between this prediction and total
extinction will be a non trivial task.
Stuff: It is my
interpretation that each 'Ark' will be self-sufficient to
accommodate 1,000 permanent residents and 500 visitors. In
addition, those who are chosen will be the winner(s) of a
lottery or benefit from "Lifeboat scholarships". While
security is one of the top priorities for The United States,
will that be a priority onboard an Ark? Will Lifeboat screen
those who enter/win said lottery or scholarships? In other
words, will criminals either present or future be included?
If not? Would that be discrimination?
Klien: Needless to say, each
passenger will undergo an intense screening process before
being allowed to board. Someone like Martha Stewart, who may
have done a little insider trading, would still be
considered a potential candidate. But a convicted murderer
would have little chance of being accepted as a candidate.
Stuff: Human Nature, being
just that, "human" ... presents many obstacles. Even if no
weapons would be allowed, terrorism could flourish in the
Colonies, in other ways. Currently, rules and regulations
prevail in civilizations here on Earth. Governments here
have impossible tasks and in the United States, laws vary by
state. How would this be handled within the colonies?
Klien: Each colony will be
free to create its own laws and standards of conduct.
Security officials will have the benefit of a confined
station and its finite number of passengers when monitoring
suspicious or malicious behavior. And, of course, the use of
practical safeguards such as psychological testing will have
to be in place for those onboard who have access to
Stuff: On this planet, we
have various means to cope with and handle death. Since
these colonies have no capability of returning to Earth, how
would deceased individuals be cared for?
Klien: Long term, we intend
for the colonies to repopulate other planets-- including the
Earth. As for those permanently living on spacestations,
burial traditions would be unlikely. The departed could, in
the fashion of a sailor's burial at sea, be ceremoniously
launched into the sun. Simple cremation and cryonic
suspension are additional possibilities. In all cases,
memorials could also be created to both honor those who have
passed and provide comfort to those who have lost loved
Stuff: Although the world
has made significant progress with various Space Programs,
we still find 'glitches' that delay progress, at great
expense. How will Lifeboat be different in this regard?
Since the colonies are forever 'out there' how will
replacement parts be stored? It would seem to be quite
difficult to predict in advance, how many of each, would be
needed to keep the Arks functioning at tip top performance.
Klien: The development of
self-sustaining technologies is essential to this project.
We certainly don't want to replicate the Skylab and Mir
experiences where they had to toss their junked space
stations into the ocean.
To create effective
self-sustaining technologies will require, at the very
least, the primitive beginnings of nanotechnology. This
technology, which enables the manipulation of matter, atom
by atom, could be used to stop a ship's entropy. Also,
whatever plagues, fallout or weaponry was used by terrorists
to wipe out life on Earth could be removed by this
technology, thereby making the planet habitable again.
For the record, while it will take hundreds of
billions of dollars, if not more, to create nanotechnology,
we will let others handle the cost. (Over a billion dollars
was spent on nanotechnology development just this year.) We
will just slightly adjust such technologies so they are
useful to self-sustain a space station. And that is what we
will spend ten years doing.
Stuff: For the first time
since Man has walked on Earth, scientists and engineers are
capable of mind boggling research and results. Yet, our
Universe is constantly changing. Solar storms are perhaps
altering many of our 'normal' weather patterns. Discoveries
are being made faster than the press can report. Wouldn't it
be difficult to plan now, with so many unknowns?
Klien: It is always
difficult to make plans based on educated guesses, but no
plan to preserve mankind seems premature when you consider
the consequences. Stephen Hawking warns that "You can't
regulate every lab in the world. The danger is that either
by accident or design, we create a virus that destroys us."
With this in mind, can we afford to wait? Can we afford not
to make plans?
Klien, mankind survives in
'groups.' Families, friendships, coworkers. Would Colonies
provide employment? How would normal everyday expenses be
handled? Would entire families qualify to climb onboard at
the same time? Those who find living in space, is NOT their
'cup of tea' will face great stress, since it appears they
will not be able to return, assuming there is a planet here
still in existence. Can you elaborate?
Klien: The more arks we are
able to build, the more room will be available to house
entire families. And considering that only a few thousand
people will be in such close proximity onboard the station,
meaningful bonds will be forged, new families will spring up
and, with time, a sense of community will grow strong.
As to employment, consumerism will not die alongside
our planet. There will still be financial reward for
services rendered. A new frontier offers new opportunity.
Everyone will be encouraged to stimulate creativity and to
provide the goods, services and entertainment needed for the
station to flourish.
Klien? Feel free to add
whatever you wish.
Klien: The idea that
advanced technologies are not an appropriate match for our
primitive culture is an obvious one, but it wasn't until
recently that I figured out why few people are worrying
about it. The answer is that non-scientists are oblivious to
potential dangers, while on the other hand, those who
worship at the altar of science live by the precept that
future advancements will cure all the world's problems.
We are currently working on phase 4, the technical
credibility, of our ARK I design and, in two weeks, I will
be flying off to England to meet with a multibillionaire.
Within a year or two, we expect our project to really gain
Stuff wishes to extend its
sincere gratitude to Mr.
Klien for his timely
response and the use of his valuable time. In the near
future, we will pursue additional information in the form of
a follow-up interview.
In the meantime
Klien, have a safe journey
to England and back.
Nancy, Director of Operations,
Below you will find various LINKS
Foundation's web site. It is
very easy to navigate. We hope you will visit and see the
details for yourself. Thank you.
http://lifeboat.com/ex/ : Home Page
http://lifeboat.com/ex/ArkI : Details on
http://lifeboat.com/ex/timeline : Current
and Future Goals.
http://lifeboat.com/ex/faq : Frequently