First meeting of National Space Council announced


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A Potemkin Village: The White House has announced the date of the first public meeting of the National Space Council, set for October 5 at the Air & Space Museum.

Today, Vice President Mike Pence announced the first meeting of the National Space Council is scheduled for October 5, 2017 at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The meeting, titled “Leading the Next Frontier: An Event with the National Space Council,” will include testimonials from expert witnesses who represent the sectors of the space industry: Civil Space, Commercial Space, and National Security Space.

What this announcement tells me is that this council isn’t there to discuss and set space policy, but to sell that policy to the public. And right now, I am expecting that sales job will be trying to convince us that we must use SLS/Orion mission to build a new space station orbiting the Moon by 2023. They will use the council to pitch the idea, and then Trump will make the traditional Kennedy-like speech, with lots of astronauts standing behind him, committing this nation to putting a space station around the Moon by such-and-such a date. Whoopie!

Forgive me if I sound a bit cynical. I’ve seen this show many times before. For some reason, the opening act is great, but then it fades always away into nothingness before the second act begins.

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2 comments

  • Michael Dean Miller

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    Enthusiasm for exploration soon gives way to enthusiasm for spending.

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  • mkent

    Maybe. We’ll see. From the last National Space Council we got the Delta Clipper, which led to Blue Origin’s New Shepard and SpaceX’s Grasshopper (and thus, their reusable first stage).

    I doubt this one will get too deep into NASA policy. Maybe redirect the Mars program toward the moon instead, but not much below that level. The Space Council is meant to look at things much broader than a single NASA program.

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