Growing up I always had dreams about space and space exploration. I can't believe that with the advances we are not doing more to explore our solar
system and more. I believe we are way behind in this cause. There are many factors but while living on this planet for almost 40 years, and seeing the
amazing advancements in technology I was expecting far more by now. I believe what you will see in the following report will show that the cost of war
and economic slide has left us with few options in the dream of human exploration of space...
President's Commission on Moon, Mars and Beyond handed its report to the White House on Wednesday, recommending that NASA change its basic structure
to carry out the next generation of space travel.
Edward Aldridge, chairman of the commission, said Vice President Dick Cheney accepted the report "positively."
Aldridge praised America's space program as a symbol of U.S. leadership vital to economic growth, national security and the future of space
"While discovery is the goal of space exploration, the journey is at least as important as the destination," he said.
He added that NASA was already on its way to realizing changes outlined in the report. The commission's report recommends that NASA transform its
basic structure to achieve manned exploration of the moon and Mars in coming decades.
It calls for a slimmed-down space agency that contracts many of the space roles it once pioneered to private enterprise and streamline its own
"NASA's relationship to the private sector, its organizational structure, business culture, and management process -- all largely inherited from the
Apollo era -- must be decisively transformed to implement the new ... space exploration vision," the commission stated.
The 60-page report, "A Journey to Inspire, Innovate, and Discover," made its sweeping recommendations following five months of hearings from
thousands of people including space luminaries, science fiction writers and citizens.
The nine-member commission said commercial nature of space should become "the primary focus" of the country's new space exploration vision. Given
the proper encouragement, "an entirely new set of businesses can emerge that will seek profit in space," the report stated.
It said that NASA should enter only areas where there is "irrefutable" evidence the government is solely qualified to perform space activities. The
rest should become the business of a private space industry that is in its infancy despite billions in government expenditure over the last half
For now, that means human space flight -- at least in Earth orbit and beyond -- will remain NASA's domain.
The space agency's progress toward the stars faltered after the Apollo missions, which landed Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin on the moon,
ended in 1972.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
So what I take from this report is that though it would be nice to explore space, we cannot afford it and we are hoping the private world will join us
and make the dream of space exploration possible.
The Moon, Mars and beyond.... but who pays?
In my view this is a shame. I remember growing up thinking we'd be much farther in space exploration than we are now. and it really looks like for
now human space exploration will remain just a dream.
I also remember a time when the whole world pulled together, set aside all differences and watched together as man first set foot on the moon. See
this is not just the dream of a nation it is a dream for us all.. and That time did more for world peace than almost anything in our recent history.
The world shared the moment together and we can do it again. But it seems that it will take a new way of thinking.
Space exploration is cost prohibitive and unless there is a profit in it it, real space exploration may not happen in our lifetimes. But the
optimistic side of me hopes I am wrong.
The Moon Mars and Beyond... we can at least continue to dream.
[edit on 6-16-2004 by Valhall]