Christopher Carson is a former Regional Director for the National Space Society. He writes:
I would describe myself as someone whose life has been shaped by space.
My parents are of the generation which grew up with Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, but the first distinct memory I can put a date to is the destruction of Challenger. Growing up, my head was always full of thoughts of space travel, and more than that, living in space. I read science fiction, watched Star Trek, Babylon 5, and the rest, and bent my thoughts toward the concrete problems not merely of reaching the Moon, Mars, or the asteroids, but of remaining there. As a resident of North Texas, the Columbia wreck made a strong impression on me — “Watch for Falling Space Shuttle Debris” is perhaps the last message one ever expected from the illuminated freeway signs!
While studying engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, alma mater of Kalpana Chawla, the observation that the ‘usual’ academic and professional credentials showed very little sign of getting anyone of my generation into space led me to begin exploring alternative paths. A most careful and particular inquiry led me to conclude that what was required was to ‘leapfrog’ ahead to human settlement, which could be accomplished on the Moon and by private means. In the last few years, I have been travelling, lecturing, pamphleteering, and doing whatever else I can in support of this Luna Project, including appearing in a recent film, entitled Lunarcy.