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« A Visit To Cathy's World | Main | Space Poet »

Vision Losing Focus?

Jeff Foust has a writeup on Paul Spudis' and Wendell Mendell's talks at last weekend's Return To The Moon Conference. Bottom line: as is often the case, NASA has met the enemy, and it is them.

Spudis thinks that NASA officials are deliberately misrepresenting the vision. “My point is not that they misunderstand it, but that they are misrepresenting it,” he said. “This is all done deliberately, and the agenda is to kill this, or to morph it into something that it was never intended to be.”
Posted by Rand Simberg at July 26, 2004 09:06 AM
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My objection to the Spudis comments (as they have been reported) is the apparent thought that Mars must be put on the back burner in order to comform to the Vision.

To establish consensus that shall survive President Bush leaving office (no later than January 2009) the Vision needs to be for BOTH the Moon and Mars.

Not "touch and go" the Moon then Mars; and not Moon now and Mars, well, someday. BOTH as part of one integrated plan.

I have children and Paul Spudis reminds me of myself when I tell my kids: "Sure we can get a pony, just put in on your Christmas list. . ."

Support us to the Moon and we will do Mars, in 50 years, maybe. . .

Posted by Bill White at July 26, 2004 09:38 AM

That thought is not "apparent" at all to me.

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 26, 2004 09:42 AM

Rand, the whole point of the Spudis comments are "those devious NASA scientists making plans for Mars."

Just like those mis-guided Aldridge Commission types who actually think shuttle derived is a legitimate heavy lift option. ;-)

Posted by Bill White at July 26, 2004 09:53 AM

Yes, that is the point, but the opposite position of that is not to "put Mars on the back burner" and "not go for fifty years." That is a complete mischaracterization of his position.

Spudis is simply pointing out that some at NASA are subverting the president's vision, which is not to make Mars the highest priority, much as some would like that, particularly among Bob Zubrin's koolaid drinkers. If you don't like the president's vision, you're entitled to your opinion, but there's nothing wrong with pointing out when some parts of NASA and others are engaging in guerilla warfare against it.

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 26, 2004 10:00 AM

I gather Kerry will be making a speech at KSC today. I'm betting he'll either state or imply that under a Kerry administration the VSE will be adjusted to ensure full employment for the standing army, at least the Florida part of it. I'm guessing he doesn't care much about the Houston division of the standing army :-)

Posted by Andrew Case at July 26, 2004 10:07 AM

Actually, I'd bet he'll say little about space policy at all. It will probably be like the party platform, in which he uses space and Apollo as a backdrop to demonstrate how we can accomplish great things, like providing health care to everyone.

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 26, 2004 10:13 AM

Yes a health care system that would not be where it is at today if it was not for all those marvelous breakthroughs in space science. ;P

Posted by Hefty at July 26, 2004 11:59 AM

The Planetary Society has been sipping some Kool-Aid, I guess:

Posted by Bill White at July 26, 2004 01:07 PM

Of course they have. You act like that's something new. They've never had much interest in the moon.

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 26, 2004 01:11 PM

I recall those guys (Planteary Society) being robots only for the longest time. This is settlement talk.

Posted by Bill White at July 26, 2004 01:17 PM

That was back in the eighties. They've favored human exploration for quite a while (mostly because Sagan figured out that it was a good excuse to do things hand-in-hand with the commies).

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 26, 2004 01:22 PM

See, I told you he'd say nothing about space policy at the Cape today. He's just using NASA as a backdrop to talk about his other agendas.

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 26, 2004 02:51 PM

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