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Enthusiastic about Space?

Updated on June 5, 2013

amateur astronomer

You could try being an amateur astronomer.

Amateur astronomers often help professional astronomers. Such activity as searching for comets, asteroids or galaxies can be done in cooperation with professionals via computer networks. Sometimes amateurs beat professionals to a discovery.

You can also pursue your own projects.

There are very few places on Earth where you cannot find an amateur astronomy club. And if you managed to find one of these places, then it is not hard to start an astronomy club by handing out cheap telescopes or your hand-me-down telescopes (now that you have a better telescope) as gifts. Once you hear that they have used them at night or gotten a photographer's tripod or built a stand or platform to use them (rather than try to hold them binocular-style) then it is only a matter of time before someone builds their own backyard observatory with dome or retractable roof. The way to get this ball rolling is to follow up the gift of a telescope with giving out extra copies of astronomy magazines to them. Then they will understand that there is a worldwide brotherhood and sisterhood of amateur astronomers.

Thus you have created an astronomy club in a place where before there was none.

amateur rocket scientist

You could try being an amateur rocket scientist.

Generally speaking, you cannot call yourself a scientist unless you have a PhD in the field in which you specialize. There is no PhD in "rocket science" per se but there are doctorates in astronautics and physics and space engineering. "Rocket science" is what non-rocket scientists call the whole business of building and launching large rockets that are large enough to get people or satellites into orbit. The proper name of the field as I said is astronautics and space engineering. Not all physics applies but physics that has to do with trajectories and rocket design and orbital mechanics and things related to getting into space is the area of physics that one must know to be credible as a "rocket scientist".

Two other things need to be said about the layman's term "rocket scientist".

1. It connotes a person smart enough to build spacecraft. But it is interesting that while brain surgeons consider "rocket science" to be more complicated than brain surgery, "rocket scientists" themselves consider nuclear physics to be more complicated than rocket science and nuclear physicists consider economics to be the most complicated field of all.

2. You need to launch rockets and/or experiment with them.

Free Space!


advocate of free space (nongovernmental space programs)

You could be an advocate of free space (nongovernmental space programs). If you have been a reader of Robert Heinlein, then you might be inspired to turn some of that science fiction into reality. if you have been a libertarian, then you might have decided that instead of talking about liberty, perhaps you should actually be free. Free from statist or totalitarian government and free to make a better world. Something that bad leaders here on Earth will not allow because they think polluted air, polluted water and polluted land is okay as long as the polluters are contributing to their re-elections (in so-called democracies) or are bribing them (in dictatorships).

Perhaps you want to be free from claustrophobia and free to claim some unclaimed land and inhabit some uninhabited land and the only place to find both -- is in space. Perhaps Earth is too crowded and you need some elbow room, some space to be free.

This is the movement called free space.

space colonization

Perhaps you want to go all by your lonesome. That's fine. Perhaps you want to take your family or your friends. That's also fine.

Perhaps you are part of a group (such as a religious community) that wants to go deep into space the same way that religious groups fled Europe because they were persecuted and suffocated there. This kind of group is called a space colonization group or SCG. There are companies that want to take up large numbers of people but the people who want to go have to organize themselves. No one will do that for them. If your group wants to go and claim an unclaimed world and inhabit an uninhabited world, then dreaming won't make it happen. You actually have to --

  1. organize and
  2. raise money for passage and
  3. know what equipment to take and
  4. get whatever training you need because there will not be teachers at your destination.

When can you go?

The answer is found in knowing two numbers --

  1. the amount of money your group raises in a fund
  2. the amount a company charges for passage

When fund is greater than passage, then you can go. Better organized groups will raise probably billions with a B and negotiate passage down to a few million dollars. Consequently they will go. Poorly organized groups will raise a few thousand and get quotes in the high billions. The poorly organized groups will go nowhere.


You could use your money to make a difference by being a backer, patron or supporter of a private space project. People are already putting their money where their mouth is via Kickstarter and other platforms.


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