Back when I was a kid in the 50’s, everybody thought for sure we would be in space by 2000. I mean really in space with at least a working space station and regular missions to the Moon if not a colony. Not the hokey, useless space station that we can’t get to anymore anyway.
When the Russians were first to launch a satellite (Sputnik will be forever etched in my brain), the US rushed to catch up. The Moon landing was a triumph and right on schedule but after that things went horrible wrong. The adventure was over. The bureaucrats took charge and we wasted the next 50 years going nowhere with the space shuttle – the biggest waste of government dollars since the Great Society.
The public didn’t know. The NASA mouthpieces had a good story – if you didn’t think about it. A reusable vehicle makes sense so long as it gets you where you need to go. Unfortunately people with lives to live don’t spend much time thinking about space. We didn’t know that the worthless space shuttle couldn’t reach the altitude necessary for space exploration or a station that could serve as a way station to the moon. The $174 billion cost of this program to nowhere may not seem so big compared to TARP but the dollar amount is only part of the cost. Since the program started in the 60’s the US space program has been heading in the wrong direction on a road to nowhere. Now that the space shuttle has been axed we are up the creek without a paddle. We can’t even go back to the Apollo program because we threw away all that technology. Thank you government bureaucrats!
Looking back, it is obvious that only fools would leave the future of the human race to a government program. We were naive in the 60’s. We still thought that we could do anything so long as we developed a government program for it. As we now know surveying the wreckage of the paradise that used to be California President Reagan was right when he said. ‘Government is not the solution. Government is the problem.’
Contrast the space shuttle debacle with the private space program which has so far accomplished far more than NASA in making space open to exploration. They have a reusable craft which doesn’t look anything like the clunky shuttle and they will be offering commercial flights into space soon. No astronauts. No space walks. Just real tourists seeing space up close and personal. You can book a flight right now. They also have vision. They are planning for a space station which will be a hotel as well as a transit point for trips to the Moon. We are finally going to get into space but not with the government driving
So lets kiss off the $450 billion or so that NASA has cost us to date off as a lesson and kill NASA. We don’t need to spend any more money letting them lead us further and further away from space. I see the future of space and it doesn’t have the government’s stamp on it. The future of space is in private hands.