Politics In Space
Rand Simberg explains why the upcoming presidential election will not solve NASAs problems, no matter who wins.
The implicit assumption here is that our nation’s “human spaceflight program” would be just fine if we weren’t having a presidential election, but anyone who has been following it closely knows that it has many deep and fundamental problems that are entirely independent of who the next president will be, or even the fact that we will have a new president. NASA has bitten off an architecture that will not be financially sustainable, and may not even be developable, and for which it doesn’t have sufficient budget. That would be true if the president suspended elections this year (as some moonbats still probably expect him to do).
Simberg accurately notes that while all three leading presidential candidates have all stated publicly that they support the space program, none of them have made it a priority.
What I notice is that, since Armstrong walked the moon in 1969, the candidates’ position accurately reflects the electorates’. Historically, politicians have accurately captured their constituency’s ambivalence on spending for manned space flight, and that shouldn’t be surprising. Manned space missions are, after all, usually expensive, dangerous and low-reward endeavors. We do them either out of a sense of political necessity, national pride, or not at all, it seems.