When In Doubt, Just Dump On NASA

Back to the moon: What's the point?, LA Times

[Michael Potter] "The lesson of the last 40 years is that the government has proved it can run neither efficient nor sustainable space activities"

Keith's note: I'm sorry but this is simply not true. While NASA has certainly had its flops, white elephants, and failures - some of them colossal, it has also had some stunning, long-lived achievements. Apollo, while truncated at the end, did the improbable with a vast sustained government led team that operated for over a decade. NASA's two MER rovers are still functioning years after they were supposed to die, and there are Voyagers and Pioneers leaving our solar system for interstellar space that still send back data three decades (or more) after launch. The ISS, while delayed, has managed to stay alive as a program (a complex international one at that) for more than two decades and is now operational with decades more life ahead of it. ISS represents the largest, most complex structure ever built by humans in space. Oh yes, then there's Hubble.

Alas, Mr. Potter wants to wave his arms in absolutist fashion and simply ignore all that NASA has done so as to make a point - one that has yet to be substantiated in reality: he suggests that the private sector can do better. OK. That may well be possible to do. By all means go to the Moon or wherever you wish to go - but you need to do it with non-government money. Go for it. No one is stopping you - or anyone else - from doing so.

  • submit to reddit


Join our mailing list

Commercialization: Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on July 26, 2009 4:06 PM.

A Gloomy Outlook At the NSS Blog was the previous entry in this blog.

A NASA Intern Weighs In on Bolden is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.