Home right here in outer space

Harry Drabik

If you’ve ever stepped into a hostile-to-life stiff subzero wind you’ve experienced (except for breathable air) an earthbound version of outer space. If we can handle below zero aren’t we, with some added adaptations to gear, then the demands and rigors of space itself are within our range.

Therefore, thinking grandly and extra-globally, an Iron Range space port isn’t any more beyond reason than bio-transitioning on the planet’s surface. The ice-prone north is environment essentially hostile to we naked apes, who have colonized it nonetheless.

Long, long ago some pioneering spirit among us thought the skin of something we’d recently eaten shouldn’t (in conservationist mind) go to waste or (on a whim) thought it would be funny to wear an antelope hide.

I simplify the lengthy complex process of human ingenuity learning to use parts found in nature in order to expand our range. None know where the process of rising up and away began. For moviegoers, Kubrick showed it neatly as a bone thrown in good-for-us celebration of victory over a marauding enemy, but escape could have come using a scavenged hide to keep a bare rear warm while we expanded into chilly hostile latitudes with new opportunities.  

I know of no group on earth can claim the first steps as mythically portrayed by Eve and Adam playing their somewhat gender-conforming roles. Dear me. So far back and yet there it is. But there’s a battle I’d as soon pass to others, so instead of who I’ll settle for a genetic and safer where. No one knows, so, don’t go away yet, isn’t Hoyt Lakes as good a place as any for the grand, systematic leap or (as in the case of my proposal) be metaphorically Hoovered into the heavens? Because it isn’t now doesn’t mean it never can be, does it? No, of course.

So dropping the marker on Hoyt Lakes for a spaceport to be is sensible as any politic and much religion. Personally (and not just because I, aided by the jet fuel of puberty, grew to semi maturity there) Hoyt Lakes is an intact time-capsule mining town. (I considered using a living ghost town analogy but dropped the idea because Rangers (even the east-end variety) can be quite touchy, which can make them mean, meaning dangerous, a thing better to be avoided.)

But being a practical and generous type I think it most appropriate to open the space doors as well to the Twin Ports for an even better Tri Port visionary ending. (Might have to add in I Falls for official border reasons, but going from Twin to Tri to Quad ports would be better, right? Bigger/more equals better regarding movement of our cargo.)  

Hmmm, what exactly would our main cargo be? Taconite pellets into space? I doubt it, and likewise not enough demand for in-orbit wheat. We’ve the climate for frozen corn, but again insufficient orbital demand. Our main freight has to be human, plentiful and willing to pay for the chance of a lifetime entry into the alien game. Real from-space aliens too.

Unimaginative Canadians aren’t going to help us on their southern edge get into the profitable migrant game, but, just overhead, near-orbit outer space opens a wide field of untapped opportunity sweeter and more reliable than springtime maples. Whooshing people up from any of our four ports allows them to establish alien space identity easily reassigned (no surgery, or pharmaceutical, etc. needed in outer space interventions) to anything the heart desires.

Paper proof in hand the space resident returns to earth as (if wished) a certified Venusian sexpot or ex-pat Martian looking for military occupation. Humdrum marrieds can rise to space as Jill and Bob Anybody and return as Lloyd and Mmarylyn Special. The southern border can continue handling the same-old traffic while our spaceport caters to those seeking to stand out in whatever way they wish.  

All it takes is money, and there’s plenty of that floating, grafting and grifting about for us (in the role, so to speak or as it were, of a cartel. The south can have asylum. We’ll thrive on assumption heavenward and renewed returns.

No reason, as well, we cannot benefit from our clime. The less climactic southern border allows people to enjoy the trip on foot and where they can nap in any convenient place they find. Try that around here, eh!

Our clients will be grateful for the essential added services we’d provide. Space suits and gear are obvious, but on earthly return our guests demand all manner of protection from the effects of freezing to insect defense. Few will wish to brave the perils of frostbite one season and fly bite another.

With death by hypothermia possible 10 out of 12 months, sale of parkas, mittens and boots will be steadily profitable as hawking sweatshirts to North Shore visitors. With mosquitoes, black flies, noseeums, deer and horse flies plus the dreaded tick I’ll wager sales of defense from those pests will rival the parka department.  

Experience shows in abundant graphics our spaceports will face opposition first by those inwardly jealous they didn’t come up with the idea plus the hosts of others who seek their purpose (now that faith is out of favor) in life in the traditional way of finding faults (sins, actually) in the lives and acts of others.

We needs be ready for lead shoe, earthbound objections to our visionary role of saving the very lives of those in desperate cognitive (used to be spiritual) need of regeneration (formerly transition) along gender lines that using the glories of space allows us to give the reborn traveler a new species or place in the galaxy, anywhere they wish. Mere globalism cannot long endure against the gravitational tides of intergalactic citizenship merged with the earthly industry of recasting our brethren (a new word is needed) into whatever role they wish.

The profitability of pandering to human desire and ego is unquestioned, and though fanciful at glance will prove, I assure, more attainable than (if you recall from recent history) revamping coal miners into code writers. Our chances are at least that good, aren’t they?