[FPSPACE] Reagan's contribution to space
kgottschalk at uwc.ac.za
Mon Jun 7 04:24:34 EDT 2004
I suppose that on FPSPACE the appropriate reflection on Reagan's passing should be:
whatever we may individually think of his earthly policies, it was Reagan who backed Hans Mark's lobbying, & issued the 1984 executive order to build a space station "in this decade". It was Reagan who over-ruled a year of the budgeteers opposition to the space station at all. Mark's memoirs give a hilarious account of the budget-makers cordon sanitaire around Reagan.
Twenty years later, Reagan lived long enough (the same age as Qian Xuessen) to see (were it not for his Alzheimer's) about a quarter of his dream, NASA's dream, & our dream come true. Not a double keel space station with about a dozen crew, but the same two crew as Mir, now housed in a roomier-than-Mir ISS, and with more electric power, bigger windows, & a robotic arm.
A good halfway house to the double keel space station that will be built one or other decade. Maybe as the ISS follow-on space station of the 2020s or 2030s.
Also, amongst the few components of "star wars" that were actually built & operationalized, the active optics mechanism is a boon & blessing to every astronomy observatory that has a budget to afford it & its software.
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