Spacey proposal
Posted by aogThursday, 15 January 2004 at 07:22 TrackBack Ping URL

President Bush has announced his “new” space policy (as Transterrestrial Musings points out, it’s basically a rehash of a Spiro Agnew plan). The fatal conceit is that a large government program is the right way to go about getting humans in to the cosmos. Some think that it’s a ploy to keep NASA from actively sabotaging any effort that isn’t 100% NASA controlled (a key sign of a failing burearocracy is its primal fear of openly acknowledged irrelevance - kind of like the UN) and that Bush will change that once NASA has publically bought in, because

The President has had a special place in his heart for the ISS and its management ever since he was stuck with a check that was some 48 billion more than he had been told.

And even at that price, doesn’t do anything useful (certainly not what was promised at the start of the project).

It all comes down to NASA failing to develop reliable and affordable ground to orbit capabilities for thirty years. Why would anyone expect the next thirty to be any different? At the same time, NASA will use all of its power to see that no private firm gets involved.

We’ll see. We can only hope that Bush is pulling another subtle move in his normal style. But that needs to be weighed against Bush’s high comfort level with massive government.

My overall rating - completely unimpressed, but not utterly opposed.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
oj Thursday, 15 January 2004 at 09:32

Where’s space’s FedEx?

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 15 January 2004 at 19:49

Strangled in its crib by NASA.

One need only look at the progress among the contestants for the X-Prize and how close they’ve come to failure from regulatory barriers, not technology.

On the other hand, it might just be too early for large scale space flight. Perhaps the supporting technologies don’t exist yet (for instance, SpaceShip One depends on some rather exotic composite materials that didn’t exist even 10 years ago). But if that’s the case, government can’t force the issue. It will just end up a dead end boon doggle just like the Apollo project.

On that note, given the failure of Apollo to lead to anything, I think it’s the proponents of yet another massive government program to demonstrate why this time it will be different.

oj Sunday, 18 January 2004 at 19:35

Apollo led to the moon. What more did we ask?

End of Discussion