Why We Fly
Note: Posts may be spotty over the next few weeks. The Calrissian family is relocating to another state. I’m trying to keep up with the latest nerd news during this time. We’ll see how it goes.
I picked up a this presentation from MIT’s Space Policy & Society Group via Open NASA. Its primary focus is to outline what they believe the Obama administration’s priorities should be when it comes to space policy. A large part of the document also focuses on why it is important to have a manned space program.
After the Columbia accident and some now infamous cost overruns, some people in the general public called for a cutback in manned flight. Others even advocate for the government to redirect money spent by NASA to more “down to earth” programs. (remember readers: NASA’s budget amounts to about one half of one percent of the total federal budget).
This paper makes a good case as to why America (or any other country that has aspirations of a space program) should continue with manned exploration. I won’t spoil the findings, you’ll have to read through it for yourself. I’ve always believed that we should send people up 100KM (and more). But as the doc points out, my reasons are largely sentimental. After reading through the presentation, I’ve come to a new understanding about sending people into space: the costs and the benefits.