NASA is Sixty

Happy Birthday NASA

Some folks think that NASA has seen better days. Really?

While it is true that these robotic spacecraft get all the press coverage, let me remind any doubters out there that the International Space Station was put in space mostly by NASA’s Space Shuttle and has been continually inhabited by earthlings, NASA employees included, for 18 years as of this coming November 2nd…

What about human spaceflight? Doesn’t NASA need to do that to be “real”? Setting aside that fact that robotic spacecraft are, and always will be, by far the least expensive way to reach into space…human spaceflight inspires children to do their math and spins-off medical advances like nothing else. NASA should do human spaceflight, and since the retirement of the Space Shuttle NASA has been paying Russia to fly U.S., Canadian, and Japanese astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

But that is human space LAUNCH…a necessary but tiny part of human space FLIGHT, which NASA does constantly.

Don’t believe me? Does this look like human spaceflight to you?

Of course, NASA spends much more money than they should need to to do these things, but that’s because, as a government agency, they are joined at the hip to the U.S. Congress and Military industrial complex…both of whom prefer to do things in the most expensive way possible. For them, the measure of success isn’t how far we reach into space and how often, but rather how much Federal money ends up getting spent in specific areas of the country on particular stuff that Congress decides that it wants.

That will change soon as NASA “spins-off” human space launch…and certain key deep space exploration technologies…to private industry. This will accelerate expansion of humans into the solar system by driving down costs and eventually cutting dysfunctional government out of the human space flight decision chain completely.

The future of human discovery glows bright because of NASA. I won’t be around 60 years from now to celebrate their 120th birthday, but they’ll have one I assure you. I wonder what it’ll look like…

~ by Bill Housley on October 1, 2018.

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