Category Archives: Space

An Overall Perspective On The Reagan Space Legacy

A couple weeks ago I published a eulogy to Ronald Reagan at National Review on line, with respect to his legacy for space. It wasn’t the original piece I submitted–the original submission was longer and more comprehensive in terms of his overall space policy.

The piece that they published was better, partly because it was tighter and more succinct, and partly because, in the interests of the old saying of de mortuis nil nisi bonum, it was uncritical of his failures in space policy.

Now that he’s been interred, and it’s time to reflect on his presidency in its entirety, I’m republishing the original piece here. It will follow when you click on the “read the rest” link (unless you’re coming directly to the permalinked post, in which case it follows after the next couple paragraphs).

I’m prompted to do this for two reasons. First, because it has some perspective on the Reagan space policy that is relevant today, but also because Dwayne Day had a piece at The Space Review today that I think is too kind to Bill Clinton in that regard (and by the way, there are a lot of interesting pieces at that site today, so don’t restrict yourself to that one).

Thus, I’m providing what I hope is a relatively objective perspective of Reagan’s space policy, which was by no means completely laudatory, in anticipation of a similar one on Mr. Clinton’s, which was yet another decade-long setback, and one that the current administration is not addressing in many important ways.

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Calling Pete Aldridge

If you’re serious about changing federal policy to encourage young people to learn about space and rocketry, you’ll do something about stupidity like this:

In any case, since the federal Safe Explosives Act — which requires permits for rockets with more than 0.9 pounds of fuel — went into effect in late 2002, the rocketry industry has been battered.

John Wickman, president of CP Technologies, an amateur rocketry supplier, said his company’s sales have dropped by about 50 percent since the act passed.

“It was a major hit, because people just dropped out,” said Wickman. “They just dropped out of the hobby completely.”

Part of the problem, say people like Wickman, is that the ATF doesn’t even understand the hobby it is trying to regulate.

A Few Interesting Items

First, a little bit of Blue Origin Kremlinology: They are advertising for a crew systems engineer. There are rumors that they are working on a manned suborbital ship but then again there are also rumors that they are working on a transdimensional intergalactic warp drive. Either way, it looks like they want to put humans on it.

Clark Lindsey has an interesting item on the development of GPS, with lessons for RLV development.

…and Derek Lyons starts strong out of the gate with a piece on the business practicalities of space access.

Update a few hours later: Check out Dr. Day’s detailed comment on GPS, which is meatier than either my post or the one I linked to. Good Stuff.

Another One Assimilated

I’ve been weeding the blogroll garden a little. I’ve divided my former space/science section into two separate ones, and I’ve added a new one to the space section–Spaceship Summer. Its author, Derek Lyons, says that it is “dedicated to information about space tourism, the X-Prize, and CATS (Cheap Acess to Space).”

Derek has been known on at least one occasion, in, to disparage the blogosphere.

Welcome to the evil empire, Derek.