Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Vision for Space Exploration: New Opportunities - A Speech by NASA ARC Director Simon P. Worden

I am never sure how much import to attach to speechs by administration officials. Easy to dismiss when you don't agree with them, easier yet to proclaim a new heaven on earth when the tone of the speech agrees with your own thoughts.

Still. Whatever the Director of NASA Ames Research Center has to say should not be lightly dismissed. Full text of the speech at ISDC on 5/7/2006 is here.
Now these are the key questions then: How do we sustain the vision for space exploration to lead us to settlement? How do we afford it? How do we nurture it? My answer - and I think a lot of yours' - is the private sector.

But I've got to point out that history teaches us new frontiers were not opened up by tourists. English visitors and colonists in the 17th century had few if any wealthy tourists among their numbers. So I believe we must look elsewhere for the interests and funds to sustain the type of space exploration - and settlement - that we all seek.

Let me provide you a few thoughts how we might approach this problem. First I will assert (which may be changed by my leadership) that the government should focus its efforts on two areas. The first is infrastructure.
Infrastructure - man I do love the way that word rolls off the tongue. Not much glory in building a railroad, perhaps, but it can be fun and profitable.
blog comments powered by Disqus