January 14, 2004

Space, The Final Frontier. . .

Not much blogging tonight, as I'm reading the speech.

My immediate reaction is somewhat negative, beginning with the setting. First, the President is at NASA and is addressing NASA employees, not the American people: "This will be a great and unifying mission for NASA, and we know that you'll achieve it. I have directed Administrator O'Keefe to review all of NASA's current space flight and exploration activities and direct them toward the goals I have outlined."

I don't want to watch superhuman astronauts exploring on my nickel. I want to do exploring for myself. And what's up with this? -- "We'll invite other nations to share the challenges and opportunities of this new era of discovery. The vision I outline today is a journey, not a race, and I call on other nations to join us on this journey, in a spirit of cooperation and friendship." Just what we need. Another feel-good international boondoggle like the ISS. I am afraid that these
steps will turn outer space into an Antarctica -- another preserve for PhDs and noone else.

Rand Simberg has some preliminary thoughts on this. Check out Jerry Pournelle, too. His prize proposal, and his favoring a higher-profile military role both parallel my thoughts on federal government involvement in space.

I would actually like to see several "dreamer fithp" (read this, if you don't get the reference) on the President's commission -- Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven, Burt Rutan.

Most other space policy bloggers are getting in on the action:

Rocket Man.

Fred Kiesche, who should put up a tipjar on his site.

Jay Manifold, who is promising more details real soon.

Still waiting to read Chris Hall's assessment of the speech.

Coming soon: my opinion of why we need to go (prompted by Anne Applebaum's execrable spew), and some thoughts on how I think we ought to go.

Posted by JohnL at January 14, 2004 09:54 PM
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