Thursday, November 30, 2006

NASA Ready to Launch a New Construction Misison

It's a sad way to run a railroad. IMHO, they should launch all the components using boosters and send up a construction crew to install them as fast as they can. Leave the crew up there to train while they are doing and keep mission control out of it. If mission control engineers are essential to construction, send them up too - and build a big enough station to handle the crew load. You would think the most powerful nation on earth would have a decent space station, not this wimpy effort.

Monday, November 13, 2006

What's Next for Space?

With the changing of the guard on Capital Hill, we can expect different priorities in Congress.

Hopefully that won't mean a diminuation of spending on space exploration, including the return to the Moon and the Mission to Mars.

The expected drawdown in Iraq can only be good news for the rest of the budget. Perhaps this is the time to move the NASA Appropriation from the Housing and Other Agencies Subcommittee on Defense in the to the Defense Research and Development Appropriation. This gives progressives political cover to draw down defense spending while still maintaining the aerospace business base. This is not to militarize Space but to demiliterize Earth.

It is tempting to want to kill the Mission to Mars or the International Space Station in order to balance the budget or provide more for fighting poverty. This would be a waste of resources. Not financial resources, but human resources. While the money can be moved, the people doing the work can't be simply redirected to teaching in the inner cities (we'll some could and should, but that is beside the point) or feeding the hungry. If we cut the space budget, the firms who are losing business will press for more defense business. This is what we DON'T WANT. In order to remove the temptation, move the line item and committee responsibility as I have suggested.