“I always knew that I would see the first man on the Moon,” once quipped Jerry Pournelle. “I never dreamed
that I would see the last.” Hopefully, we can now prove him wrong. Dubya officially announced his space plan in front of NASA’s DC headquarters today, and the upshot is this: More scientists, less entertainers, a Research Lab in every city, and he’s going to disband all the Spearmen and Pikemen still lying around so he can build the SS Planetary Party Lounge.
Ok, just joking…some of y’all out there might think that was funny. At any rate, the plan is the ISS by 2007, the CEV by 2014, the moon by 2015, and Mars thereafter. Say what you will about election year boondoggles, but I still think creating and funding long-term goals for NASA is a wise investment. (Besides, if you want to cry election-year boondoogle, you don’t need to go any farther than Dubya’s ridiculous $1.5 billion marriage-promotion plan.) NASA still has serious organizational and cultural flaws, sure, but I think it’ll be better able to address them if there’s at least some semblance of a “vision thing” to build on.