The Willingness to Die
"When something does go wrong again -- as it surely will -- everyone involved must accept the consequences of living life dangerously, say a prayer in memory and move forward boldly."
The Trends of History
As I wrote in Leaving Earth, "Societies change. Though humans have difficulty perceiving this fact during their lifetimes, the tide of change inexorably rolls forward, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse." The columns below address several past and future changes in American society -- from the perspective of space and technology.
Or as I said in my January 6 column, "What this means for the American space program is profound. After more than 40 years of debate, the argument is over and the supporters of manned spaceflight have won."
- January 6, 2005: Bush 43 vs. Bush 41 in space
- May 12, 2005: The new colonial movement
- May 26, 2005: Signs of a renaissance
- June 2, 2005: History's moment of truth
The Hubble Space Telescope
These columns not only described in detail the reasons why the decision to cancel the shuttle mission for servicing the Hubble Space Telescope was badly flawed, they successfully predicted subsequent events leading to the possible reinstatement of that manned servicing mission by NASA's new administrator.
- December 16, 2004: O'Keefe's exit may save Hubble
- February 3, 2005: Turf war heating up
- February 10, 2005: Saving Hubble, defeating fear
- March 3, 2005: Backing a bad Hubble decision
- April 21, 2005: Is there life after Hubble?
NASA's Management Problems
The Columbia Accident Investigation Board noted how both the Challenger and Columbia shuttle accidents were caused as much by management problems as they were by engineering failures. If NASA is going to succeed in sending Americans back to the moon, these management problems have to be fixed. In these columns I analyze whether (or not) NASA and the government have faced these issues, and fixed them.
- March 17, 2005: Spacefaring by bureaucrats
- March 31, 2005: Part 1: A cultural change at NASA?
- April 7, 2005: Part 2: How politics drives NASA
As the first decade of the 21st century unfolds, the American public and their government are struggling to figure out how they wish to explore space. These essays focus on the often-ignored turf war that is going on between scientists and engineers for control of the government's space program.
- December 30, 2004: Scientists and engineers at war
- March 24, 2005: NASA impeded by science lobby
- May 5, 2005: The engineering crisis redux
Regulation and the future of Commerical Space
I am repeatedly disturbed by the failure of reporters to do some basic research. In these essays I outlined some essential but unreported facts about Congress's recent efforts to aid the nascent commercial manned space industry, and how that the consequences of those legal actions could do severe harm to the future of private space travel.
- December 2, 2004: Congress impedes NASA prizes
- December 9, 2004: Congress restricts private space
- February 17, 2005: Private space, more rules
In these columns I outline some essential but often forgotten objectives both at the International Space Station and on the Moon.