Here‘s kind of a typically dumb piece, which reeks of Apolloism:
I am a big fan of space exploration and I think that Elon Musk’s SpaceX is a visionary company that is trying to conduct meaningful space exploration. Yet, Congress might want to take a hard look at the ticket price for Musk’s latest endeavor before spending $10 billion to populate Mars.
First, SpaceX is not “trying to conduct meaningful space exploration.” It is trying to establish human settlements on Mars. And if it could really be done for as little as $10B, that would be an incredible bargain to the taxpayer, compared to (say) spending that same amount on SLS/Orion in the next three years, as NASA currently proposes.
I am a limited government conservative, yet I fully support government funded space travel. But it must be smart and it can’t fund risky adventures. The one concern I have about SpaceX’s plan to travel to Mars is that, on its face, the plan seems more like a for-profit enterprise than true space exploration. I would support pure exploration of Mars and a project that has a stated goal of forwarding humanity. Musk’s idea seems like he is more in it for profit than science.
#ProTip: “Limited-government conservatives” do not spurn profit. And even if making a profit on “science” was really a bad thing, settling Mars has nothing to do with “science.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Musk has received about $4.9 billion already in government subsidies for his three companies. Now he comes to the federal government wanting more. And he has been the beneficiary of many contracts to put satellites into space that run in the billions.
#ProTip: Tesla and Solar City get subsidies. SpaceX gets contracts. One is nothing like the other two, other than federal dollars are involved.
This is a laudable idea and Elon Musk should be celebrated as one of the great innovators of our time, yet the taxpayers should not be funding for profit space exploration and may want to find another contractor who wants to go to space for purely scientific space exploration.
This is a perfect example of the mental confusion that occurs when (as many ignorantly did with Apollo) we conflate “exploration” with “science” with space development and settlement. Mr. Woodson needs to go read my recent screed.
[Update a couple minutes later]
As usual, the comments over there are idiotic, including a couple appearances of the ignorant “NASA’s Muslim outreach.”