The State of Things

In journalism, when one writes a regular column, one must have regular updates. In order to prevent boredom, these updates must have new topics, or at least new angles on old topics.

The problem with my “regular” column is that there are neither available to me at the moment–which is why this blog has gone for many weeks without an update. That and my personal life, but that being personal, it will remain off this blog.

So, the state of things. In a word: unchanged. NASA’s still working on the same old stuff it can’t afford anyhow, Congress is still split–even after the House’s new “compromise” bill, which is being summarily rejected by the commercial space advocates. I’m torn as well–take what we can get and at least start moving forward, or hold out for a better situation and risk losing it altogether?

At least I’m less sore now about Mars–or I would be, I suppose, if I was convinced we were actually going to do anything there long-term. Robert Zubrin’s late-90s books–The Case for Mars and Entering Space–have made a convert of me, but only if we actually do what’s important there–starting a full-time colony. A lunar base is a wonderful idea in its own right, of course, and something I think would be a perfect start to the “series of firsts”, but Dr. Zubrin is right: it’s not a place we can settle, not as a species, not the way we have to.

So, in short–something unusual for my posts here, I know–nothing has changed, really, and there’s not much else to say on what’s still there. In light of that, this may once again be the last post for many weeks. I suppose we’ll know by the midterm elections.

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2 Responses to The State of Things

  1. Nathan Kitchen says:

    Mars will happen! Don’t lose hope. It just probably won’t be thought of by NASA until China does something to rattle Congress into action… My hopes are still on that of private enterprise, but I believe asteroids make more sense as a target for them at the moment. Let’s conquer NEOs!

    • I don’t have a problem with asteroids per se, but I want a real, persistent effort. It’s fine to go to an asteroid, but we should either be exploring steadily on all fronts–Moon, Mars, and asteroids–or devoting our efforts to a real colony somewhere in the Solar System. My primary concern is that we’ll do a couple of cool things and then it’ll be the end of Apollo all over again.

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