I Wrote a Letter to Google

Dear Google,

I am writing with a request. It is not very modest, I will go ahead and warn, and it may not even sound rational, but I am going to make it anyhow.

I was thinking that your organization might be able to help achieve permanent human colonization of the lunar surface as both residence and forward operating base, allowing additional exploration of our solar system, and that you could bring this about sometime within the next fifty years.

I am not delusional, I am not oblivious to the immense challenges involved, and I am fully aware that this project would find itself amid a clamoring army of latent and arguably more important concerns. And it would not be cheap at all.


What stands between human beings and extraterrestrial diaspora is not technology, we have it, we’ve been to the moon; it’s not a lack of information, of available resources, or in any way of ability. No, what has barred our path beyond this planet may actually exceed in complexity the challenges posed by orbital mechanics or cosmic radiation: public disenchantment with space exploration reinforced by notions of the impossibility, improbability, or non-necessity of crewed space exploration and human settlement of the  solar system.

Not only has the profound curiosity with and contemplation of space exploration been largely forgotten in our society, many no longer even believe living on other worlds is possible.

So this is the deal. You, Google, armed with formidable brains, passion for technological creativity, pursuers of the interesting and cutting edge, you possess, beyond the technical, financial, and otherwise tangible expertise, this: a discernable, undeniable humanism.

Yes, I know that the legal framework of corporate existence doesn’t always mesh cleanly with morality or ethics, and that my charitable anthropomorphism would be savagely mocked among some circles, but that’s not very important. In a world marching speedily and at times ruthlessly into the cold embrace of technological efficiency I genuinely believe that Google, more than any other global leader, embodies an enthusiastic curiosity for all things and recognizes how important curiosity is to maintaining a healthy attitude, from the individual to the societal level.

It is precisely a broad spectrum of interests that recommends you for this project. Only an organization of such talent, resources, and diverse connections can orchestrate the awesome task of aligning resources, awakening a lethargic public, and overcoming political obstacles, whether directly, through the delegation of responsibility, or by providing the catalyst for a broader movement.

I do not expect commitment, nor do I lobby for the adoption of a limited or predetermined set of policies and programs. Consider this letter instead an expression of belief in the spirit of unwavering human optimism, aspiration, and, yes, the often vilified, self-interested pursuit of profit and glory.

Imagine the size of a solar systemic market. Now imagine how well you would be positioned as the arbiter of that expansion. Google relay stations, google astronav shuttle computers, your star charts on the holoscreens of 50 billion people flung across the sky from Earth to Jupiter’s moons.

Help write the next chapter of human civilization.


Devin Howard


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