In my book The Big Red Buckle, I image an endurance race of people soaring mountain waves at the edge of the Martian atmosphere. Humanity seems infinitely adaptable and well beyond our petty and violent squabbles sports are wonderful aspirational motivation. The thing is people don’t fight one another if there is a framework in place for them to constructively compete with one another.
Whether it’s pushing a body as fast as possible along the edge of aerodynamic science, figuring out how to travel across Austrailia on a tank of sunshine, or soaring a sailplane to the edge of space on a poorly understood atmospheric phenomenon I see these endeavours as critical elements in the continuing development of our collective capability. More needs to be done here, and more should be written about these sorts of ideas.
Today’s inspiration is the Perlan Project, which intends to soar a sailplane to 90,000 km above the surface of the Earth on a mountain wave.