The Millennial Project  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps by Marshall Savage is a book (published in 1992 and reprinted in 1994) that gives a series of concrete stages the author believes will lead to interstellar colonization. Many specific scientific and engineering details are presented, as are numerous issues involved in space colonization.


The book's thesis

Savage takes a Malthusian view of the exponential growth of human population and life in general, and also recommends the exponential growth of blue-green algae for sustenance. He states that it is humanity's manifest destiny to colonize every star in the galaxy. He draws heavily on the Fermi paradox (briefly stated as, "If there is intelligent life in space, why haven't we found it yet?") to support his position that it is humanity's burden alone to ignite the universe with the "spark of Life." In The Millennial Project, he calls for the creation of an international foundation to realize these goals. Originally known as the First Millennial Foundation (founded by Savage in 1987), the organization changed its name to the Living Universe Foundation.

The steps of the project

The "Eight Easy Steps" proposed by Savage are as follows:

  1. Foundation -- Constitute an organization convened to realize these destinies
  2. Aquarius -- Cities built in the tropical oceans as a first step to learning how to build colonies in space. They also would generate income to fund later steps.
  3. Bifrost -- First step in actually getting off the Earth.
  4. Asgard -- Build Space stations in low Earth orbit and throughout the Solar System.
  5. Avallon -- Build colonies on the Moon by doming over the craters and creating miniature ecologies.
  6. Elysium -- Start Terraforming Mars to "create a living planet to sustain us".
  7. Solaria -- Use the materials in the Solar System to rebuild it the way we want.
  8. Galactia -- Colonize beyond the Solar System, expand throughout the galaxy.

In the early stages of the Project, Savage recommends Spirulina algae as a primary foodstuff, supplemented by seafood mariculture from the cities of the Aquarius phase.


The book has drawn some criticism in that while it is replete with details concerning OTEC construction and space colonization, it touches very little on the subject of how governments and societies will need to change to enact the Project. Defenders maintain that one man writing one book cannot be expected to write out the entire course of human development over the next millennium, and that others more suited to the field of social psychology will be needed for the Project's completion.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Millennial Project" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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