Sunday, September 29
The US space program is in shambles. NASA no longer has lift capacity. Americans go to the Space Station on Russian rockets. The Washington bickering leading to sequester has cut NASA programs even more. Although Houston’s JSC occasionally takes over Space Station control, JSC is no longer the hub of a flourishing manned space program.
The conservatives may be right – you can no longer expect the government to solve your problems. Fortunately, American ingenuity continues to flourish in the private sector. Entrepreneurs are stepping into the gap. SpaceX has replaced NASA as the American pathway to the Space Station with their Dragon cargo ships. Sunday, SpaceX launched their upgraded Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg, putting a Canadian science satellite into orbit. America, we have liftoff.
Baby Boomers who grew up with Lunar landings have been disappointed to see that since Nixon decided to defund Apollo, the US has been unable to “go where no one has gone before.” The November 2012 cover of MIT’s Technology Review has the caption “You Promised Me Mars Colonies. Instead, I Got Facebook. – Buzz Aldrin.”
The next entrant to the moon race is not a government. Golden Spike has taken up the challenge. They plan to offer commercial trips to the moon. If you want to know more about how they plan to do it, they’ll be at Clear Lake Thursday for a Workshop on Golden Spike Human Lunar Scientific Exploration. Registration is still available. If you can’t come, we will be blogging from there.