[FPSPACE] Is the National Space Council a bad idea?
zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Mon Jun 21 19:06:27 EDT 2004
One of the recommendations in the Aldridge Commission report was to create a Space Exploration Steering Council at the White House level, chaired by the Vice President. This is essentially a proposal to create a more limited version of the National Space Council that existed from 1958-1973 and again from 1989-1993.
I recount the history of these organizations and conclude that this recommendation is unlikely to be followed by the White House:
The biggest problem is that the primary reason why space supporters want a council--to lobby on behalf of space inside the White House--is the primary reason why members of the White House are generally opposed to such an office. Furthermore, if George Bush felt the need for a White House level space policy advisory board, he would have created one by now. There is also no reason to think that an SESC could be confined only to space exploration policy issues. Bureaucracies like to creep and take over unoccupied territory. This kind of organization would start to tread on other turf, such as remote sensing policy. Mayhem would follow mischief.
In addition, there is little reason to believe that even if such an organization existed it would do anything particularly useful. The National Aeronautics and Space Council was essentially useless from 1963-1973. And Bush 41 was unhappy with the fact that the Space Council staff recommended the Space Exploration Initiative in 1989 without having thought it out very well.
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