Precursors to a Paradigm Shift

Gingrich & Walker: Obama's brave reboot for NASA, Washington Times

"Despite the shrieks you might have heard from a few special interests, the Obama administration's budget for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration deserves strong approval from Republicans. The 2011 spending plan for the space agency does what is obvious to anyone who cares about man's future in space and what presidential commissions have been recommending for nearly a decade."

The Case Against Private Space, oped by Taylor Dinnerman, Wall Street Journal

"The private sector simply is not up for the job. For one, NASA will have to establish a system to certify commercial orbital vehicles as safe for human transport, and with government bureaucracy, that will take years. Never mind the challenges of obtaining insurance. Entrepreneurial companies have consistently overpromised and under-delivered. Over the past 30 years, over a dozen start-ups have tried to break into the launch business. The only one to make the transition into a respectably sized space company is Orbital Sciences of Dulles, Va. Building vehicles capable of going into orbit is not for the fainthearted or the undercapitalized."

Keith's note: When chronic Obama critics Newt Gingrich and Bob Walker make a point of saying that there is value in President Obama's space plan, I sit up and take notice. Then again, these are both interesting guys who often think outside the box, so this is not all that surprising. I continue to be fascinated by how this new policy has parsed the space community with equal numbers of liberals, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, politicians, and business representatives on either side of the argument.

On the other hand I am startled at how so many self-described experts in space commerce such as Taylor Dinnerman (whose supposed website is now used for credit repair links) have such a woefully thin level of confidence in the ability of the private sector to innovate and succeed. I guess he missed these Falcon 9 launch preparation pictures the SpaceX posted yesterday. Certainly looks "respectable" to me.

I guess this is a classic case of "where you stand depends on where you sit". I think it also shows that faith (or lack thereof) in the private sector is not the exclusive property of any one party or faction. Fascinating. I sense precursors to a paradigm shift in the making.

Newt Gingrich and Bob Walker Endorse Obama's New NASA Plan, Urge Bipartisan Support, Commercial Spaceflight Federation

"In the op-ed, Gingrich and Walker state, "Bipartisan cooperation has been difficult to achieve in Congress, but here is a chance. By looking forward, NASA has given us a way to move forward. It deserves broad support for daring to challenge the status quo."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on February 12, 2010 10:02 PM.

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