Space - the next frontier

This month's issue of Wired magazine has a fascinating sidebar on the space-related activities of the Island of read this correctly...the Island of Man. It seems that the Manx have been up to all manner of curious activity without many folks paying attention. Like developing a Space Law Initiative, for instance. And being at the forefront of space tourism activities. Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic and the new Spaceport America speak to the same impulse. It looks as though approaches to a most global concern - the use of space - might well be answered exclusively by entrepreneurs and not governments. The fact that the government of the Isle of Man has shown this kind of initiative, and that Spaceport America is in New Mexico (because of the vision of Governor Bill Richardson and the New Mexico Legislature) further reinforces a sense that societies in the 21st century will, and will have to, organize themselves around different institutions than the industrial age did.