Rick Tumlinson writes about the Frontier Model and the division of space into the Near and the Far frontiers: [The Rise of the New “Frontier” Movement – Huffington Post].
> In a functioning Frontier oriented space program, the government’s explorers are not only aware of their role as surveyors and harbingers of an expanding civilization, they operate from it as a core driver and manifest its implementation in all they plan and do – as It is One of the Core Reasons for What They Do.
In other words, the Lewis and Clarks of space at NASA and the other government space agencies of the world should know they are the leading edge of a human wave and do their work in a way that enhances and enables those who will follow. They don’t begrudge the settlers and companies who come behind them, they don’t compete with them, and they certainly don’t fight or attack them or their motives. Quite the opposite, they are doing their job partially because it is in the interest of the people funding them to gain an understanding of what is out there beyond the edge.
If we grow the orbital industrial infrastructure needed here in the Near Frontier by nurturing large-scale commercial and industrial activities and combining them with new exploration missions out into the Far Frontier and intelligent investments at the government level in deep space transportation and resource utilization technologies that can be used to push out the edge of that frontier, the entire Solar System will be opened to humanity, including the Moon, Mars and all the spaces and places between and beyond.