Saturday, January 14, 2006

Houston, We (Still) Have a Problem

We respectfully ask that you read the entire post before commenting the first time, but for your convenience we have put a jump to the comments section right here, so that you can easily find them.

It was just like old times. All the networks left the game shows for the launch of Discovery. Even Oprah and Dr. Phil were preempted for the Return to Flight. And the launch was a thing of beauty.Until the tile came off. Live. On International television. And the nearest tow truck was still in the hangar. That was July of 2005. There has not been a U.S. manned space flight since.

NASA is working with technology from the '70's. Does anybody have anything left in their house from the '70's? I may have an old Superman comic book stashed away from that period, old and fading, crumpled around the edges, but that's about it.That comic book and the Shuttle program have alot in common. Both are falling apart, and being maintained with tape and chewing gum.
The difference is my comic book is stashed in a closet. The Shuttle is on TV, with men and women aboard her. Men and women who may be younger than the craft they are flying.It's time to start over.

It's time to jettison the worn out bureaucracy of NASA, and invest our space dollars where they can be effective. The X-Prize gave us a look at the future of space flight. Private enterprise can do it better, cheaper, and safer. An influx of funds from the Federal Government could jump start the private space industry with technology from this century. It would also get us to the Moon, and Mars much faster than a plodding NASA ever could.It's time to reach for the stars by looking forward, instead of back to a bloated government entity long past it's glory days. It's time for private enterprise to take the lead in manned space flight.

Private enterprise and competition is the best way to fulfill the dream so many of us have held dear for so long. A nation will get to Mars within the next 20 years. A nation will get back to the Moon and develop a permanent colony there. There are only two nations who have the plans and the technology to do this. One is the United States. The other, working far more aggressively to see the plans realized, is China. It would be a tragedy if the next time we see a man land on the Moon, he is from the People's Republic of China.

The tragedy would be that we let the opportunity slip away, by choosing bureaucracy over individual effort, and Big Government over private enterprise. The X-Prize showed us the way to the Solar System. Let's get moving.

Mark of Liberty Just In Case

I agree with Mark that private space travel is probably the way of the future, but I have reservations about government subsidy of private space flight.

The Associated Press recently reported that the Federal Aviation Administration has proposed 120 pages of new regulations on private space travel. I fear that public funding would accelerate the regulation. Once the government puts up the money, it will have one more incentive to regulate private space travel. Members of Congress would have an incentive to write the conditions of the prize to favor companies to which they are friendly.

As my high school history teacher, Mr. Voshell, used to say, "Whence comes money comes control." Private businesses that accept government subsidies usually find that those subsidies come with strings attached. This would probably be the case with government subsidy of the space travel business as well.

Jason of Leave Us Alone!

While I agree that trying to use outdated equipment, technology and etc for our space program is absolutely ridiculous-- I simply do not support a drive to spend MORE money (that we don't have.. considering the deficit) on going to space and seeing what all is out THERE... when we cannot effectively see and or deal with what is going on RIGHT HERE on THIS planet, in THIS nation at THIS time.

One thing that I realized when the X Prize accomplished what it did was that indeed, private enterprise can do it better and cheaper. That of course, opens up other issues.

As I see it, the Government of the United States, needs to work at governing the people of the United States and not further increase our indebtedness in chasing the stars in space, when we cannot manage the space that we live in, with the social and global issues that we are already currently involved with.

However, when private enterprise is given free reign to open space what can we expect? Do we expect them to respect the integrity of the Heavens anymore then they have respected the integrity of the Earth? Billboards in the heavens that similar to the old Burma Shave billboards will repeatedly direct you to the "Eat At Joe's"? What about Space Walmarts--ahhhh, you KNOW someone will attempt it or at the very least THINK about it. Will they be able to say "Owned by Virgin Records" as they speed by and slap a bumper sticker on a meteor?

Funny analogies, I know, however, I really do think that our audacity and ego has become (overall) that boundless and that if private enterprise is allowed to continue the space exploration there needs to be some sort of "rule book" that is not easily manipulated or gotten past.

The Bible says that "The Heavens declare the glory of God". We need to make sure that they continue to do so and not become just another ransacked "Earth, Part 2".
To colonize the Moon is a great thought, greater still is to fix the issues right here on Earth and let the Moon do what it always has. Colonizing another region (be it here on Earth or in another part of space) would seem to be a grand adventure however, are we only running from the problems we have created here and cannot or will not fix?

To want to achieve travel in space is a wonderful thing, yet here on Earth in the United States we already have trouble guarding our own borders and the issues of travel between here and there. How will we navigate yet more space and more issues? To want to achieve space exploration and colonization, wonderful thing-- however, why must it be a race that we must get there before China? You see, there is NOTHING in our ego, our manner or our thoughts that would lead me to believe that WE have changed, that our hearts have changed or that our desire to conquer has changed. Thus, Space is yet just another thing to be 'mastered' not necessarily respected, yet another thing to be 'owned' not necessarily to be shared.

Until such time as we can work out these issues right here on good old Planet Earth.. we have no business, going deeper into the Heavens with the ego that we have.

Nariel of Ancient Eyes for Current Times
If you like
"The Balance of Power"
Keep us running
Please make a donation



This Blog was created for two reasons:

1. To speak out against Extremism in politics.

2. To discuss contemporary political topics in a balanced manner within a neutral forum.

Our contributors are from all sides of the spectrum:
and Conservative

We will strive to bring you all sides of an issue and we welcome civil comments that further our discussions in an intelligent manner.
While we understand that political issues can be emotional, we respectfully request that you keep the conversation polite. All profanity and meanspirited language (i.e. personnal threats) will be deleted at our discretion.

Carl's (GTL) Blogroll

Liberty Dog's Blogroll

A Western Heart
An Inclination to Critcize
Anger Management
Ashish's Niti
Birth of a Neocon
Bourgeois Philistines of Minnesota
Election Projection
Gay Orbit
GM's Corner
Liberty for Sale
Miss Apropos
New Blog Showcase
Old Whig's Brain Dump
Powers Not Delegated
Propaganda Machine
Ramblings' Journal
Simon's World
Social Sense
Somewhere over the Rainbough
Stop the ACLU
The Balance of Power
The Gun-Toting Liberal
The New American Revolutionist
The New Oklahoma Democrat
The Nomad Tavern
The Truth About York
The Volokh Conspiracy
the will to exist
The Zoo
Truck Spy
Where HipHop and Libertarianism Meet
Zero Base Thinking


Jason's Blogroll

The Agitator
Atomic Poet
The Audient Files
The Balance of Power
Ban the Ban
Blawg Republic
Blogosphere of the Libertarian Left
Boing Boing
Brewed Fresh Daily
Callahan's Cleveland Diary
Codependent Collegian
The Comics Curmudgeon
The Commons
Crime and Federalism
Crooks and Liars
The D'Alliance
Decline and Fall of Western Civilization
Democracy Guy
DARE Generation Diary
Drug WarRant
DUI Blog
Russ Feingold for President
Flex Your Rights
Foreign Dispatches
Franklin County Young Democrats
Freedom Democrats
Freeman, Libertarian Critter
The Free Liberal
Gravity Lens
Grow Ohio
The Gun-Toting Liberal
Happy Furry Puppy Story Time with Norbizness
The Has Been
HistoryMike's Musings
Hit and Run
Hooah Wife
Improbable Research
Independent Country
Gary Johnson for President
Land of the Free, Home of the Brave
Left in the West
Liberal Common Sense
Liberty Belles
Liberty Just in Case
Martini Republic
Meet the Bloggers
The Mockingbird
The Mommy Blawg
Mutualist Blog
Mystery Pollster
National Nitwit
New Donkey
Notes from the Lounge
Objective Justice
Ohio 2nd
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
Political Animal
Chris Redfern Weblog
Reform the Patriot Act
Schweitzer for President
Setting the Pace
Springer on the Radio
A Stitch in Haste
Szollosi Toledo
Talking Points Memo
TPM Cafe
Talk Left
Tavern Wench
Thoughts from a Wondering Soul
Toledo Tales
To the People
Unbeknownst to Me
Vice Squad
Vodkapundit and the Weblog of Tomorrow
The Volokh Conspiracy
Waiter Rant
The War on Guns
Matt Welch
Western Democrat
The Whistleblower
Who Hijacked our Country
The Wine Commonsewer
World of the Future
The Y Files
Matthew Yglesias
Jeremy Zawodny's Blog