Getting Space Exploration Right

by Schuyler Erle

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This amazing, detailed article on Space Daily shows how NASA's policy, before and after the manned lunar landings, has gone from brilliant to bumbling. The message is that NASA critically needs to re-engage the mission-oriented planning and direction of the Apollo era, if humanity is ever going to get back to the Moon, and then to Mars, and then back, in one piece. (Thanks, Anselm!)


2005-04-25 12:08:36
We can't "fix" NASA
It's a long article, but well worth reading.

Yet I don't agree with his conclusion, that we can get back to the Moon or Mars with NASA in charge.

Without completely disassembling the organizational structures that have been built since 1973 - and here I mean literally firing everyone who works at NASA, and starting over - there is no possible way to "fix" NASA in the way he describes.

There is no political will in Washington to do such a thing. Bush has the leadership qualities of a ferret. No representative in the House or Senate who has NASA buildings in his district will vote for anything to take away all that government pork.

In addition, there are large corporations who have their fingers in every piece of NASA/Air Force budget, and who spend billions of dollars each year to make sure they keep their fingers in the pie: Boeing and Lockheed-Martin are just the two biggest and most notable of the bunch.

The current administration - and indeed, administrations going back to Nixon - do not have the policital will to set in motion an actual return to the Moon or Mars.

The only way I see it happening is if someone else does it. That could be a private company, but in all probability, it will be China, India or possibly even Japan that gets to the moon first.

Perhaps we should invest a bundle of money in one of their space programs.