Thursday, April 13, 2006

What happened to NASA

Dean Esmay asked

NASA, working in partnership with some of the best aerospace and high-tech companies in the world, used to be arguably most innovative organization on the planet. So what the heck happened?

What happened to the most innovative organization on the planet? The one that led humanity to our finest achievement to date?

NASA grew up. They made their goal, were feted, and then handed a bozo prize. Not to move on and explore new planets, to boldly go but .. to build a Space Truck. And not, as Von Braun wanted, as a stepping-stone to doing the next phase of exploration 'right' but .. to service a space station. That was just that. A dead end.

That is what we all wanted. It must have been - looking away and declaiming 'none of my business' is the same as saying 'yes, do that'.

We're better than that. Some of us remember. If the US Government won't support our efforts ... then we'll damn them and do it ourselves. This won't be easy, but what other choice have we?

And of course all of this is not really accurate. NASA does good work, some parts are excellent, still. JPL has hit every mark they've set and explored every planet but one. The Space Truck is a marvel of engineering - the most complicated machine ever built. And it's a gorgeous beast to boot. The space station - it works! People can live in space for months at a time.

But, guys, it's not enough. Be the bold explorers - the national will is there if you just lead the way. Some of us don't want to explore we want to exploit - we'll fill in behind where you lead.

Fair nuff?

My own views of course and not my employers. Heck, I am clearly delusional and nobody of any consequence should pay attention.

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