The effort will involve Google and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic as well as an open community of interested parties. And yes Google is calling Virgle an open source mission.
What does “open source” mean in the context of a distant, planet-wide,
century-long enterprise? Today’s industrialized (and
post-industrialized) (and, one imagines, post-post- industrialized)
economies are sustained not so much by physical wealth as by advanced
systems of shared knowledge whose marginal productivity grows as more
is accumulated. “Shared,” however, doesn’t mean valueless; we see
Virgle as a decidedly for-profit venture that will develop most
efficiently via decentralized models of effort, authority and reward.
If the first economic revolution was agricultural, the second
industrial and the third digital, the fourth will be Open Source — the
birthing of a planetary civilization whose development is driven by the
unbound human imagination.
The costs for the mission are staggering as well. Google expects to spend $36 trillion on the effort in total with $10- to $15 billion up front.
“We feel that ensuring the survival of the human race
by helping it colonize a new planet is both a moral good in and of
itself and also the most likely method of ensuring the survival of our
best – okay, fine, only — base of web search volume and advertising
inventory,” Google Founder Larry Page said in a statement. “So, you know, it’s, like, win-win.”
Interested? You can apply for a spot here.
(Be sure to check your calendar first and remember that today is.……………..APRIL FOOLS)