Space Policy Foolishness

This is a sample of the kind of thing we’ll be working against next year: a Weekly Reader version of space policy, presumably from Representative Olson:

President George W. Bush inaugurated an ambitious and important plan to establish a base on the Moon by building much larger and safer rockets to take our astronauts beyond low Earth orbit. These rockets, called Ares I & Ares V, were part of a system called Constellation and they would be the backbone of a new system of vehicles capable of landing and supporting astronauts on the Moon or elsewhere in the solar system.

Mr. Obama, the candidate, announced he would cut the program and put the production of a heavy lift rocket for five years. But as the election approached, Obama changed his story to get elected and said not only had he always supported NASA & space flight but that he could and should do it better than the Republicans. Once elected Obama quickly returned to his original position and KILLED the program saying it would wait FIVE years.

Pete Olson has been working in Congress to save the space program and the jobs that go with it. Those jobs, filled by engineers, technicians, scientists and managers, are essential to the space program and if lost could never be recovered. This loss of personnel would be only a small part of the tremendous loss the entire nation would suffer as America would lose its lead in space flight. Pete Olson understands all this and working with the entire Houston delegation struggled to preserve what could be, but that was not enough.

I was, myself, dismayed to learn the program was greatly reduced in scope, but Olson explained as in a month when he expects Republicans to take the lead in the House again, that he and the others will be able to put more funding back into NASA to restore the mission. This is not the end. This is just the beginning Olson reported. I believe him.

What Pete Olson doesn’t understand about space space policy and technology would fill a middling-big library. No mention of the budget problems and schedule delays. No mention of the new technologies that will finally be funded. Nope, it’s the standard kindergarten treatment — George Bush had a wonderful plan for exploring the galaxy, bold and ambitious, and going along just swimmingly, and then that mean commie Barack Obama came along and Ended Our Space Program. It just makes you want to cry.

Bigelow Business Prospects

Clark Lindsey says that he’s going to announce six customers (countries) for his orbital facilities. Right now it appears that SpaceX and Boeing/ULA are the most likely providers for transportation, but it’s unclear whether it’s enough business to close the business case for either of them, let alone both. Commercial Crew will help a lot, of Congress doesn’t screw it up. Unfortunately, screwing it up would be the way to bet.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!