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What Obama and Congress Should Do for Spaceflight & Space Exploration

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posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 08:35 PM
link asked a variety of experts in differing fields the following question:

If you could ask President Obama and Congress to do one thing related to your field that would be for the good of the economy and the country, what would it be and why?

There were differing answers. I'll post the link to the original article, and a few answers I agreed with, below.

"If America is to fulfill its highest ambitions in space, the country must focus its attention on lowering the cost of getting there. Less expensive space access — whether through novel technologies, better manufacturing or increased reusability — will make it much more likely that we'll be able to execute thriving exploration missions to Mars, the asteroids and the moon. Some experts believe that getting to space today costs essentially the same as it did in the 1960s. Breaking free of that plateau will save the taxpayers money, grow American jobs and allow us to achieve our dreams. — George Whitesides President and CEO, Virgin Galactic

First of all, I'm a huge fan of Virgin Galactic and the progress their making. I think that Mr. Whitesides presents a great idea: privatizing access to space. This may be the catalyst for further advancement...

"The best use of the highly-trained astronaut corps is to begin developing emergency measures for deflecting asteroids that endanger the Earth. Large asteroids capable of global destruction are exceptionally rare, but smaller ones capable of severe damage to cities and population centers are likely to impact the Earth in the next 100 years. It is time to train our astronauts to navigate to small, near-Earth asteroids and try out methods to alter their orbits. This is a global danger and should include all space-faring countries." — Peter Smith Principal Investigator, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Mission

Growing up watching movies like "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact", this seems like a brilliant idea to me.

"I would ask that NASA be tasked — and funded — to produce a demonstration Solar Power Satellite within a specified time: say, 10 years. It should deliver at least 100 megawatts to the ground. This will generate the capability to use powersats to produce a significant portion of our nation's energy, helping to move us away from dependence on fossil fuels. It would also demonstrate to private industry that powersats have an enormous profit potential." — Ben Bova Science Fiction Author

Could this be the answer to our energy problem? Perhaps it could be a small part of the solution.

So, ATS, what do YOU think President Obama and Congress should do to help space exploration and development?

edit on 1-3-2011 by gatorboi117 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 09:04 PM
Leave the country for good!

I know, but I had to do it. It's not like me though...

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