J. Barry Epperson
Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee

Who knows what lifting, rigging and load securement ingenuity will be needed for future planetary exploration and development. Perhaps the new Space Force engineering and equipment will be similar to what is used on planet Earth with adjustments for gravity and atmospheric conditions.

Certainly the James Webb telescope adds new dimensions to our speculations, with advanced exploratory capacities based on innovative light collecting capabilities engendered according to the instrument’s orbiting position some one million miles in space.

Of course, the remote controlled robotic systems beyond the wild blue demand sophisticated equipment, so it is mind boggling to imagine the possibilities for lifting, rigging and tie downs on newly discovered planets and other dynamic spacial objects as well as the attendant spacecraft. The vast air and space budgets of the U.S. and other earth world powers seem optimally dedicated to future space operations, so perhaps forward thinking AWRF members should devote some time and resources to near term demands beyond our own crowded atmosphere. Already, U.S. congressional hearings are dealing with the costs and logistics of placing people on Mars with safe return guarantees.

Problematically, precious metals on earth seem always to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, e.g., lithium for electronic vehicles situated in China or below the Salton Sea in southern California. Hydrocarbon extraction and transmission is equally elusive for fear of disturbing on and offshore aesthetics and offending the green new deal. So is now the time to “boldly go” to astronomical sources for newer and better materials with all the corresponding calculus for lifting and towing solutions? Do the magnetic forces from reduced densities mean we can now replace earthbound forklifts with salad forks? Can artificial intelligence and robotics find the answers or do we need humans out there?

The National Air and Space Administration has told Congress that we need to go all in with deployment of our human resources on planetary missions. If the momentum continues and we can hold back the many armageddons that face this planet, AWRF could add a whole new dimension of lifting, rigging and load securement products especially designed for other worlds. After all, this Association is the epicenter of talent when it comes to cutting edge gravity engineering.