Gaias pappa reser till rymden

Rymdturismen kommer inte att bli någon ”fluga”, utan snarare förändra synen på vår planet och öka medvetenheten om hoten mot den.

Iallafall om man tolkar James Lovelock rätt. Han är mannen som myntade begreppet Gaia, idén om jorden som en ”levande” superorganism, vars kroppsfunktioner nu är allvarligt rubbade på grund av människans rovdrift. Så här heter det i första kapitlet i boken ‘Gaia: A new look att life on Earth’, som blivit något av en bibel för delar av miljörörelsen.

Space exploration has always served as a convenient whipping-boy to those needing money for some worthy cause, yet it is far less expensive than many a stuck-in-the-mud, down-to-earth technological failure. Unfortunately, the apologists for space science always seem over-impressed by engineering trivia and make far too much of non-stick frying pans and perfect ball-bearings. To my mind, the outstanding spin-off from space research is not new technology. The real bonus has been that for the first time in human history we have had a chance to look at the Earth from space, and the information gained from seeing from the outside our azure-green planet in all its global beauty has given rise to a whole new set of questions and answers. Similarly, thinking about life on Mars gave some of us a fresh standpoint from which to consider life on Earth and led us to formulate a new, or perhaps revive a very ancient, concept of the relationship between the Earth and its biosphere.

88-årige Lovelock har just genomgått tester med höga G-krafter för att kunna resa med Bransons rymdskepp i Virgin Galactic – och klarat dom.

Författare: Dag Kättström

Vetenskapsjournalist