Outsourcing NASA – I Like It (sort of)

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The well oiled and highly effective machine that is the Obama Administration (note sarcasm) has decided to outsource some of our most critical NASA operations to private industry.  Not only have they killed any hope of a moon mission or settlement, but they are now planning to privatize a few things.

The romantic in The Pink Flamingo does not want to see this happen.  On the other hand, the advocate for human settlement of space is thrilled.

Maybe in trying to destroy something that is part of this nation’s pride and joy, Obama is actually stumbling into something that could end up being the little twit’s greatest legacy.

Go figure!

When we are in a  financial crises, unfortunately NASA is usually gets the shaft.  Jimmy Carter did this to NASA.  Since Obama is Jimmy Carter on steroids, he’s doing the same thing.

While George W. Bush had a tremendous view of our future – Mars, Obama doesn’t give a damn, we all know that.  His plans show it.

“…“They’re going to be putting meat on the bones” of options proposed last fall by a blue-ribbon panel that reviewed NASA’s human spaceflight program, said a person involved with the preparations, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the study.

But the people who will be working on the study had not, at least as of Friday, been told what the destination, budget and timeline would be.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the Obama administration had decided to start acompetition for commercial companies to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, following a suggestion of the blue-ribbon panel, which was led by Norman R. Augustine, a former Lockheed Martin chief executive. Mr. Obama will propose increasing NASA’s budget, now $18.7 billion, by less than $1 billion, an administration official said. The request may also set off new tussles over rockets — among companies hoping their designs will win out in the reshuffled space landscape, and between the administration and members of Congress who are not convinced that NASA needs another change in mission.

For many NASA employees, little will change in the short run. Five more flights remain for the space shuttles, scheduled to be retired this year. Work on the Ares I, the rocket that NASA has been developing for the past four years to replace the shuttles, will continue, even as many expect it to be eventually displaced by the commercial rockets and canceled. The administration has provided few details on what it is considering or has decided other than to insist that it will not abandon human spaceflight…”

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS

If the Obama Administration is indeed serious about starting a competition to allow commercial flights to the space station then they may have opened to door to the actual settlement and very real exploitation of space as a commercial venture.

Those of us who fought to save our space program from the ravages of the Dems and Jimmy Carter all realized the whole point was to eventually allow for the commercialization of space. Darn if Jimmy Carter II might open the door for it.

For all our protests to the contrary it is entirely possible the way to do go get humans into orbit is via commercial means.  There are some interesting considerations, some of which might be surprising.  They all point to the fact that going commercial could be our future!

  1. Commercial projects today would be far safer than the early NASA programs like Mercury, Gemini and even Apollo.  We have the advantage of all this science.
  2. It would be cheaper.
  3. Without govt. oversight, it will be safer – we can use more modern technology.  One of the worst problems NASA faces is the fact that we are launching brave men and women into space on deadly rockets made as cheaply as possible – ignoring the fact that cheap may be deadly.  By using private commercial systems, it is possible our astronauts would be much safer!
  4. We would have access to much more modern technology. NASA is limited by lowest bidder, worst technology.

I was appalled at first, reading the suggestion.  But, after second thought.  I like it!  If Obama has the courage to go through with it, he may have a legacy after all – one he may not really want.

Then again, Obama cannot be trusted.  He’s probably going to kill commercial initiative with regs.

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