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FAQ Policy. Show all. Mars Dawson, Linda Pages Why Not Go Back to the Moon?
The past decade of US astronomy glitters with some truly astonishing accomplishments, amongst them landing a SUV-sized, nuclear-powered science machine on the surface of Mars, and answering the longstanding question of whether other possible Earths lurk in the cosmos a resounding YES. Third , in the medium- to long-term future, we will have to adequately deal with colonies that might wish to secede and become independent. CBS News, May 13, Most recently, the national space program took an even stronger hit when the Obama Administration discontinued the space shuttle program in leaving the United States for the first time in its spacefaring history without a vehicle capable to take astronauts into space. Interstate - Journal of International Affairs.
Dawson, Linda Pages I have to admit that I am one of them. Since the launch of Discovery in the return to flight, several major newspapers around the country have run op-ed pieces and editorials about what should happen with the space shuttle and its replacement. Some people are suggesting that the shuttle program should end right now with the money being diverted to accelerate the development of the Crew Exploration Vehicle CEV.
Some are even suggesting that we abandon the ISS and hand it over to our international partners. The instructor asked us to explain what type of competition we were facing for the largest deal we were trying to close. I told him that since nobody else was trying to sell the type of software we had developed to the prospect that we did not have a competitor for the sale. He said I was making a major mistake if I was thinking that.
He said that if we did not have a direct competitor offering a similar product, our biggest competitor was other uses for their funds.
Proponents of every agency think that the agency they are interested in is underfunded. The Park Service could use more money for maintaining parks and facilities. The EPA could use more money to clean up toxic waste sites.
The Energy Department could use more money for research into new energy sources like fusion and fuel cells. I do not know the details of why this amount of money for this bridge is deemed justifiable by those who included it in the bill. I did not do any research on the issue. I have learned that a sensational headline and a paragraph or two in an article may not tell the whole story.
But then again it may tell the whole story. If the shuttle program and the ISS were quickly abandoned as some people are advocating, it would lead to layoffs and economic disruptions in a number of congressional districts.
It would also lead to a loss of skilled workers that would be needed when shuttle-derived vehicles start flying. Regardless of the merits of keeping the shuttle going based on technical and safety issues, employment and loss of a skill base are legitimate factors to consider just as it is in the latest round of military base closings. Opinions on just how much the federal government should spend in a year and on what is subjective to every person looking at the issue.
Affordability from an economic standpoint is also very hard to judge when macroeconomics is still partially an art and only in part a well-defined science. Economists still cannot accurately measure or agree on the effects of the emotional and chaotic parts of human behavior as they relate to the economy. There is no clear-cut formula as to the effect of a rallying speech by a president on the demand curve on consumer spending. Nor is there an exact quantifiable effect on consumer confidence and national pride when there is a technological success like the Apollo Moon missions.
The US victory in hockey in the Olympics really did help start lifting us out of the economic and emotional malaise the country had in the late s. I recommend the movie Miracle for those who have forgotten or are too young to remember.
Just what does the space program give us that makes it worth the money? Many people are taught the technical spinoffs that help fuel innovation and spur the economy. The space program helps us understand the universe and our place in it. I doubt that anything of great significance will happen in this area. Given that realization, Michael Griffin and his staff have to make hard decisions as to what will be the most effective way to spend the amount allotted. The President and Congress have to use their judgment as to how money gets allocated to each agency with spending guidelines and missions.
Like any compromise and negotiated deals, there will always be people unhappy with the outcome. When the founding fathers of our country wrote the Constitution, they envisioned people of all occupations getting elected and serving in Congress. They wanted this so that they could bring a wealth of experience from these areas into the decisionmaking process and make better decisions for the country. Politicians love to speak about the strength diversity brings to our country. Sadly the diversity of occupations and experiences that Congress has seems to be diminishing.
Space exploration doesn't just happen—it is made through the decisions of government, budgets, policy documents, and by individuals and industries. It reflects. We are in a new era when it comes to technopolitics, the intersection between technology and politics. While the original space race between.