Conservative Bastion
The only blog that can factually claim to shift the Bell Curve, along with the hearts & minds of America, to the right.
Monday, August 07, 2006
US Space Program

In case you needed a reminder, two bits of news came out last week reminding us all of how ridiculous the US space program embarrassment is.

This news is from Russia.:

The Russian space agency is looking for a few volunteers to take a trip into “space.” The space agency wants to send five people on a mock trip to Mars and back to test how a real mission would affect the crew’s health, All Headline News online daily reports.

This is from Japan:

Japan has planned an ambitious lunar base project, which it plans to build by 2030.

Junichiro Kawaguchi, the head of Japan’s lunar and planetary exploration programme, said at a lunar exploration symposium in Tokyo this week that a deadline of 2020 had been set for sending astronauts to the moon and 2030 for constructing the base.

Meanwhile, this is what NASA is up to:

NASA scientists have joined the search for the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker, long thought to be extinct but possibly sighted recently in Arkansas.

NASA used a laser-equipped research aircraft to fly over the Big Woods area of the Mississippi Delta to learn more about the big woodpecker's potential habitat, the U.S. space agency said Thursday.

Keep up the good work guys.

The most pathetic aspect of these three stories is that Japan and Russia are now planning to compete with the US dominance, and NASA can barely even get astronauts into space.

In all honesty, NASA does have some good accomplishments under its belt. NASA is good when it comes to orbiters, Mars rovers, and space telescopes. Their problem is manned space exploration. It has been 45 years since the US sent its first astronaut into space, and look at the state of space travel today. There are a number of accomplishments that should have been completed years ago that are still years away from achieving. A simple list:

  1. A spaceship that doesn’t look like it was designed in the 70’s
  2. Tourist trips to the moon, Mars, and/or space
  3. Permanent colony/base on the moon
  4. Manned flight and landing on Mars
  5. Military space craft
  6. Moon farming
  7. Giant laser on the moon

Don’t laugh. Even if some of my suggestions seem outrageous, the fact is that we are far behind where we should be.

There are a couple of ways to address the NASA achievement deficit:

Increase Government Spending

Anyone that knows me knows I hate government spending more than I hate Satan. However, some projects have legitimate arguments for large amounts of government spending. Space flight is the prime example in my opinion. For the time being, space flight is no profitable. As a result, businesses are reluctant to invest in space travel and exploration. The federal government should increase spending either through government grants (I can’t believe I just said that) or through tax cuts/credits.

Privatize Space Flight

In conjunction with increased spending, deregulating space flight would do a great deal to spur innovation. God knows what type of loopholes exist for entrepreneurs trying to get into space. The government should do its best to stop holding back ambitious people, because as usual they are just getting in the way.

The biggest benefit of deregulation would be to increase competition in a field that is currently a monopoly. In fact, the space monopoly by the US government is a prime example of why monopolies are bad. Think back to when the US was in a race with the Soviets to get to space and the moon. That was when the NASA program was at its prime. Now all we have are a bunch of crappy scientists that postpone launches and a shuttle that has serious problems every time it is launched.

To my knowledge, only one private craft has been launched into space. For a fraction of the NASA’s $15 billion budget, Mike Melvill was able to fly to space and return safely. You can read about it here, but the point is that if there were more competition, money would be used more wisely.

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Blogger The Publicist said...
I laughed. Moon farming should be the number one priority of the NASA space program - well, maybe second to the Giant laser.

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