Keith's note: Something has emerged from the Pioneering Space National Summit held last week in Washington DC on Facebook (larger view) The event barred press coverage and did not include a number of space advocacy organizations - including the Planetary Society. The organizers are now playing favorites with some media outlets but not others. At one point, the leader of this activity, Rick Tumlinson, posted the following on his Facebook page: "Keith...please get a life. Then perhaps you wont have to spend your time condemning those lived by others". He then deleted the comment and blocked me from seeing his Facebook page. Oh well. I probably do need to get a life - but this is how the leader of this new space advocacy effort responds to criticism. Not a good sign.
Tumlinson and Mary Lynne Dittmar made some additional Facebook postings (below). Note that Dittmar says that attendees are from the "human spaceflight community". The preliminary findings state: "The long term goal of the human spaceflight and exploration program of the United States ..." Apparently the space and planetary science community is not part of their proposed national space policy. Here we go again: yet another fractionated space policy - one derived behind closed doors by a subset of the larger space advocacy community - being touted as a national space policy.
Mary Lynne Dittmar Facebook post: "In advance of several press releases, Op-Eds, and additional calls to action in the weeks to come, I want to join with colleague Rick Tumlinson to thank all those who participated in, supported, and will support the outcome of the Pioneering Space National Summit of 2015. Over 100 of the nation's top government, science, engineering, industry and NGO leadership as well as Congressional staff and advocates from across the diverse human spaceflight community came together to build bridges and advance national space policy. Together we forged a consensus statement. More to come."
Rick Tumlinson Facebook post: "So we did it. Over 100 of the top people from across the space community. Astronauts, policymakers, entrepreneurs, academics, scientists and citizens - many of whom had never met, many who had been opponents of one another for years, and they sat down, rolled up there sleeves and worked together to try and forge a consensus on at least one or two simple statements.
It was tough going many times, yet the conversations were frank, honest and respectful. In the end we came up with this fairly simple sounding statement. It really seems pretty basic, it is built on existing national policy wordage in many ways, but is in fact revolutionary - as it calls out the desire of all attending for the United States to make the human settlement of space our national goal.
I was surprised at how open and supportive some were who I had thought against the idea, it was tough for some of the Hill folks to handle discussing what they call the "S" word, but they worked hard with us.
This output statement is not just a majority view. We spent two days deep into the night working on it, voting over and over, dealing with objections and challenges from some of the smartest people I know. And then in the end we got consensus. I know it pissed off some of our press friends not to be in the room. Apologies. Had to be done.
Gratitude to all who took this on, to all the orgs . signed up, the company folks who came, to our team and to the great SEDS students who worked with us and participated.
Now the Real work begins. Please take this doc and spread it around. In the next phase we will move to start adding supporters. If you want to help or donate to our org go to the NewWorldsInstitute.org or to the general effort drop a note to info@SpaceSummit.org. It begins. More to follow..."
- Alliance for Space Development: Yawn - Yet Another Space Group, earlier post
- Space Advocates Work Together By Not Working Together, earlier post
- Move Along. This Is Not The Space Policy You're Looking For., earlier post
- Yet Another Plan For Outer Space, earlier post