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Thursday, April 22, 2010

NASA: No More Gov't Sponsored Space Flight: A Bad Thing?

NASA only has two more planned space flights. All near-future space projects (by the US) have been canned. I was very discouraged to hear this. At first.

I am all for space flight. For lots of reasons. For one, I like scifi. For more practical issues, I would like to see us reach beyond our own planet, for research, for exploration, for resources, and for territorial expansion. And we have a lot of nostalgia wrapped up in the space program.

But should it be done by the government? Show me, where in the Constitution does the government have authority to fund exploration of any sort?

Exploration has historically, in our country anyway, been done by private parties. Individuals and businesses who have an interest in the exploration.

And we now have a commercial space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, with ships manufactured by Scaled Composites.

And now Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is promoting a Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority. Do I have a problem with that? Its the state doing it, not the Federal government. The US Constitution only restricts the Federal government. The Governor expects this will create jobs and boost the economy, so sure, he can do that.

So, we are progressing to space. Just not on the dime of the Federal taxpayers.

Now we just need the researchers that NASA is keeping to realize that they need to put their dollars into US-based companies and organizations rather than in Russia and China.

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