Private Space Missions

Americans Like Idea of Space Travel, But Don’t Want to Pay for It

Meanwhile, 42 percent say they support the U.S. spending “billions” on programs destined for the moon, Mars and asteroids. But a large share of the public — 50 percent — oppose spending that much money on space, which was similar to American sentiment in 1967, two years before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Still, most respondents in the poll said the U.S. space program has provided long-lasting benefits to society and 51 percent said increased spending would be a good investment.

via Americans want rich guys like Elon Musk to pay for space travel — not taxpayers – The Washington Post.

More Mars Mission News

“The project has been beset by controversy since its inception, with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) claiming that any manned mission to Mars would leave the crew dead after just 68 days.” 68 days? That doesn’t seem optimistic. I also have a hard time believing we’d send people to Mars just to let them die.

via Life on Mars? 5 Britons make shortlist to colonize red planet — RT UK.

Big Space Exploration Gift

As someone currently working in, but trying desperately to get out of, the nonprofit sector, I’m intrigued by this article. I’d certainly love to work for a nonprofit organization devoted to scientific exploration of space, rather than… eh, what I currently do (which I shall not disparage in this blog). 

The Intriguing Couple Behind a Big Space Exploration Gift – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

The Dark Side of Private Space Programs

I am not opposed to private firms helping us get into space. I totally understand that private companies and start-ups can bring new, imaginative, and innovative ideas to the table – and that we should absolutely listen to those ideas if we’re going to do this thing the right way. But their fervor to “control the market” is a bit much for me to handle. Just because it’s not on Earth doesn’t mean that all humans – not just the rich white privileged ones – shouldn’t have some say in the role we as a species will play in the future of our off-world experiences. The proponents of privatized space flight say it’s more efficient and doesn’t take money away from taxpayers. But, in reality, these are just convenient, conservative lines being fed to us so that one agenda – profit-making – becomes paramount. The only way to ensure that humanity’s best interests are considered in space travel is through democracy. And as we know, corporations are naturally undemocratic entities. Is that the future we want for space exploration? It’s not the future that I want to see. Anyway, in the article, they articulate all of the reasons why this is terrible much more eloquently than I do.

Let’s talk about the dark side of private space programs.

NASA, Bigelow To Discuss Private Sector Human Space Exploration And Development

 

I think I have a transcript.

NASA: “So, you guys, huh?”

Big Corp: “Yup. Government couldn’t POSSIBLY do what a corporation can.”

NASA: “Well, if we received adequate funding it wouldn’t be such a problem.”

Big Corp: “Well, lucky for our investors, you don’t have nearly as many lobbyists in Washington as we do.”

NASA: “…”

NASA, Bigelow To Discuss Private Sector Human Space Exploration And Development – PR Newswire – The Sacramento Bee.