Thursday, June 23, 2005

Shooting for the Moon -- With No Real Aim

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out if you have big plans -- you have to spend time and money to make them work.

That's exactly what rocket scientists are telling the Bush administration today. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences say the Administrations grand plans for space exploration are doomed -- unless the administration kicks in big bucks and makes basic space policy changes.

"Current U.S. space policy presents a paradoxical picture of high ambition and diminishing commitment."
--American Academy of Arts and Sciences,

The New York Times took a look at the paper and reports four major problems in the way of US space exploraton:

  • Inadequate planning for NASA's future
  • Erosion of international cooperation in space
  • Congressional restrictions on the export of space technology that have choked the flow of sales to other nations and make it difficult to share information with foreign partners
  • A projected shortfall in the future United States science and engineering work force, made worse by post-Sept. 11 restrictions on visas for foreign students.

All this comes just three weeks before Discovery is supposed to return Americans to space for the first time since the Columbia crash. (NYT)

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