[FPSPACE] What should NASA be?[Scanned by MAIL]
Matula, Thomas L.
MATULAT at uhv.edu
Sun Apr 1 16:26:33 EDT 2007
The very reason NASA has to be returned to its core as an agency focused on engineering and the development of aerospace technology is because of the threat of China.
Let's face it, the biggest barrier to NASA replacing the Shuttle is the international agreements it is entangled in with the ISS. If it wasn't for those agreements the Shuttle would have never flown again after Columibia and the $6 billion a year spent on the Shuttle would now be funding the VSE. Instead VSE funding is being cut as finishing the ISS is driving its budget.
If NASA was a private entity it would have cut its losses on ISS long again, but foreign policy considerations it is required to keep building the ISS.
From: fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org on behalf of Jens Kieffer-Olsen
Sent: Sun 4/1/2007 1:08 PM
To: FPSPACE at friends-partners.org
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] What should NASA be?[Scanned by MAIL]
From: Matula, Thomas L. [mailto:MATULAT at uhv.edu]
Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2007 9:59 PM
> NASA right now is torn in three directions. First you have
> the strong science influence wanting to make space and NASA a
> preserve for science only.
> Second you have folks want to make it an welfare agency for
> Then you have NASA as a foreign policy tool, building ISS to
> keep its agreements with its partners and attempting to find
> a justification for a project that really served no purpose
> I think a better solution is returning NASA to its
> traditional role. SO what I think should happen with NASA is:
> First, space science should be spun-off as a separate
> organization, much as NSF was created after WWII. With it
> Next, after core completion the U.S. portion of the ISS
> should be turned into a national laboratory and run just as
> Finally NASA would be free to return to original mission of
> technology development and human exploration of space, just
> as it was during NASA's most successful years under Apollo.
For me to see you fail to appreciate the long-term strategic
need that is NASA's justification as a government agency for
being in the business of manned space flight.
History repeats itself in cycles. People in the USA are for
understandable reasons hostile towards the principles that
guided the colonial masters of Old Europe. Yet the conquest
of the solar system is likely to mirror aspects of the
colonization of other continents by the European powers.
In subtle ways the world was divided between these powers
large and small. War between them was not the normal state,
rather they shared a common pride in being flag-bearers for
Christianity, royalty, and civilization.
The Moon and Mars ( espcially if made habitable ) could
eventually be carved up among countries in a process
mirroring both the actual political divisions on Earth
and the process long ago, when European monarchs took
possession of Africa, America, Asia, and Australia.
Therefore NASA will very much remain a foreign policy tool,
not for projects that 'serve no purpose' as you put it so
uninspiringly, but for the protection of vital US American
interests in outer space.
Once the Chinese have built tent camps all over the He3-rich
craters near the lunar poles, it's too late for the USA to
trust the Marines to kick ass.
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