The Frontier Enabling Test

For Foundationers, space is the next great human frontier. A frontier such as the so called “New Worlds” of the Americas represented for the last 500 hundred years. A frontier we have to take from no one. A frontier to which we can bring the gift of life. A frontier for all humanity. A frontier we do not believe is being opened.

If truly committed to change, the Foundation needs criteria by which to judge what will and will not effectively advance the cause. Thus, the Foundation has created a relatively simple litmus test for projects and/or initiatives on which members may choose to take a position. It is called “The Frontier Enabling Test,” and it can be applied to both government and commercial systems, technologies or policies:

The Frontier Enabling Test

Our definition of a “frontier enabling” technology or policy is one which has as its effect the acceleration of the creation of low cost access to the space frontier for private citizens and companies, enables or accelerates our use of space resources, and/or accelerates the rate at which wealth can be generated in space.

In other words, is the project or policy going to provide a return on the national investment, if we define “return” to be the economically sustainable human habitation of space?

Frontier Enabling Test  (pdf )


Excerpt from: Manifesto for the Frontier, A Call for a New American Space Agenda

Testimony before the House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee

Washington D.C., March 16, 1995

Rick N. Tumlinson