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FAA administrator, a Trump holdover, announces resignation

FAA administrator Steve Dickson yesterday announced that he will officially resign from the agency on March 31, 2022.

Dickson was appointed by President Trump in 2019 to a five year term, so his resignation now cuts his term short by two years.

Dickson gave as his reason for resigning a desire to spend more time with his family, the go-to explanation for every Washington official’s resignation. While this may be true, I can’t help wondering if friction and pressure from the Biden administration contributed to his decision.

For example, though Dickson’s record with private enterprise has been mixed, his record in connection with commercial space was mostly good, working to help the new launch industry prosper by keeping out its way as much as possible. This record was especially obvious with SpaceX’s operations in Boca Chica, where there was little regulatory effort to slow that work until Biden became president, and even then relatively little. It could be the Biden administration was unhappy with this approach, and was trying to force Dickson to regulate SpaceX more.

A new administrator, appointed by Biden, will certainly be less friendly. Based on most Biden appointees in the past year, the administration will likely want to put someone in place who is hostile to capitalism, favors a communist agenda, and wants to impose strong government control. Thus, this resignation almost certainly puts another nail in the coffin of SpaceX’s desire to launch Starship test flights from Boca Chica.

Then again, that new administrator would have to be approved by the Senate, and right now, based on the Senate’s 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans, it will be difficult for the Biden administration to get a radical leftist approved. This difficulty will be further magnified by Biden’s horrible poll numbers as well as similar polls suggesting a bloodbath for Democrats in the mid-term November elections. For them to force through an extremist in this position now will not help those poll numbers.

I therefore predict the nominee put forth by Biden will likely mouth empty support for private enterprise during the confirmation hearings. If the Senate Republicans are fooled by this disingenuousness (something that has happened frequently), when confirmed that person will immediately act to impose the government’s will on most commercial operations, especially those by SpaceX.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

10 comments

  • Cluebat

    Advantage- China.

    Musk is in the crosshairs. They will be coming after Starlink next. A globalist-friendly constellation is envisioned by Europe. The ensuing failure will be exploited by CCP.

    Say good-bye to New Space.

  • Chris

    first line – official –> officially

  • Chris: Thank you. Fixed.

    What would I do without my readers?

  • clay

    Per the typical regulatory/political play book of the Dems:
    Appoint an administrator that will increase regulations across the spectrum, exerting enough pressure for business owners to appeal directly to the executive branch (president). At that point, a large donation to the party or re-election campaign will likely make a much smoother path for those businesses (works with billionaires also).

  • Chris

    Bob – It’s just because your fingers are slower than your mind.

  • Chris: Actually, its because my fingers and my mind are increasingly working at cross purposes.

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “A new administrator, appointed by Biden, will certainly be less friendly.

    Why wouldn’t the U.S. government be proud that its capitalist companies do well in space, even better than central government control, such as NASA? Shouldn’t the leader of the free world brag about how freedom performs so much better than government control?

    Based on most Biden appointees in the past year, the administration will likely want to put someone in place who is hostile to capitalism, favors a communist agenda, and wants to impose strong government control.

    Oh, that’s why.

  • Jeff Wright

    We need to convince him to not quit.

  • Col Beausabre

    “the administration will likely want to put someone in place who is hostile to capitalism, favors a communist agenda, and wants to impose strong government control.”

    Roscosmos here we come.

  • Questioner

    Why isn’t SpaceX asking the FAA for a special permit just for the one launch of Booster4+Ship20? The FAA would also then have real-world data to use in their assessment of the situation in order to grant permanent launch clearance for Starship.

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