Mikulski Shooting Herself in the Foot
I like Senator Mikulski, I really do, but if she thinks that the ISS is the only use for the technology currently funded by COTS and CCDev then she’s missed the whole point behind Space Act Agreements. Her short-sightedness threatens to make her look like yet another public servant whose “my state money” blinders threaten to hobble the entire country on space exploration. It is the whole reason why we want government out of the decision-making loop permanently.
Commercializing Earth-to-Orbit service makes the Government only one of many customers for rockets and capsules. There is a company waiting to commercialize inflatable orbiting space habitats as soon as the market matures. This technology is superior to that under which the ISS was built. COTS and CCDev projects are about to lower launch costs to $1000/lb. So there are many, many exciting things are about to happen that will make the ISS obsolete before 2020. So concerns that money spent on these companies will only benefit us in the final three years of ISS are blind to the future of space exploration.
Mikulski is just worried that if further cuts come, HER telescope could die. She isn’t seeing how these programs indirectly help her. I am an outspoken proponent of the JWST, and it is my hope that the COTs and CCDev funded projects see success, so that they will lower launch costs and free up more money for science missions like the JWST.
- Pillage – then Burn (bhousley.wordpress.com)
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- Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski Becomes Longest Serving Woman In Congress (washington.cbslocal.com)
- Leaders On Capitol Hill Pay Tribute To Sen. Barbara Mikulski (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Props for Mikulski’s long career (politico.com)
- Sen. Barbara Mikulski named longest serving woman in Congress (twitchy.com)
- Mikulski Becomes Longest Serving Woman In Congress (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Maryland’s Sen. Barbara Mikulski Becomes Longest-Serving Woman In U.S. Congress (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Women’s History Month Spotlight: Barbara Mikulski (rhymeetreason.com)