The Space Movement Blog: Interesting, smart & wrong
I’ve added The Space Movement blog to my blogroll. It’s interesting, intelligent stuff…and all about a subject that I dearly love.
That said, my first comment there was a critical view of their support for the Obama space plan. They think that the big problem is that NASA made a mistake with the shuttle, and have long since committed us to expensive launch costs. Oh, and that NASA is running a jobs program—which is why the launch costs are so high.
In this view, the money we’d save by canceling the shuttle and presumably Constellation, will get us further and faster.
It’s well-known that I’m a fan of private space companies, and would very much love to see them take astronauts into earth orbit. And I think earth orbital missions would, ultimately, be a waste of NASA finances and talent.
But only NASA can get us further. They are the ground breakers. Just as their research into aeronautics made the private airlines possible, only NASA does the research that makes private space possible.
What’s Bigelow Space, but a company using NASA technology to build space hotels? This is great stuff they’re doing, but NASA is needed to provide the research. And these private space companies aren’t really brilliant efficient geniuses. They depend on big contracts from NASA to move them ahead. Spaceflight is both costly, and…in many areas…NOT profitable. Unless someone else does the expensive research.
(Incidentally, there is certainly some genius in the private space companies; look at Falcon’s Merlin engines. But, they’re only human and not more talented than NASA.)
So, welcome to The Space Movement blog. I’ll keep reading…and perhaps often disagreeing. Frankly, I think NASA’s full of great talent, and so are many of the private space companies. I think we need both, going full force.