January 03, 2005

First Steps Out of the Cradle

The early space visionary and scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky famously stated: "The earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot remain in the cradle forever."

James Muncy describes two important political baby-steps out of the cradle: the Congressional funding of the President's Vision for Space Exploration and the passage of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act.

I would argue that the latter, together with the successful flights of SpaceShipOne to win the X-prize, represents a much larger step than pouring yet more money into NASA, new "vision" or not.

Posted by JohnL at January 3, 2005 09:53 PM

Most of my friends in the aerospace industry think NASA is just worthless at this point. Commercial space launches are nice, but too few and too close to Earth to get us going this generation.

Posted by: owlish at January 3, 2005 11:47 PM

I'm a bit more optimistic. I think tourism might be enough of an impetus to drive the technology and economies of scale that NASA hasn't provided so far.

Posted by: JohnL at January 4, 2005 11:15 PM
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