Yawn. President Trump today signed a new space policy directive that makes the Moon the U.S.’s first exploration priority again.
“The directive I am signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery,” said President Trump. “It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use. This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints — we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond.”
As I wrote above, yawn. Same old same old. In 2004 Bush declared we will go to the Moon. In 2010 Obama declared we will go to an asteroid. In 2017 Trump declares we will go to the Moon.
In all those years, where have we actually gone? Nowhere. The government’s effort during all that time to build a rocket and a manned spacecraft to do any of this stuff has come up completely empty. Neither will carry humans into space for at least another five years, if not longer.
The only thing these empty promises have accomplished is to waste a god-awful amount of taxpayer money, now about $33 billion, with appropriations likely to increase that to more that $43 billion before that first manned SLS/Orion flight.
I predict that this government promise will come up empty as well, at least in the manner the government and NASA is trying to sell it. It won’t be the government rocket and capsule that will get us back to the Moon, but a host of new private companies, making profits and doing things efficiently and fast, that will get us there. And I am firmly confident that they will do it before the government even gets off the ground.
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.
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 available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can 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. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.
Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.