Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Moon, Mars, Politics & Economics...

In January of 2004, Bush announced unveiled an ambitious plan to return Americans to the moon by 2020 and use the mission as a steppingstone for future manned trips to Mars and beyond.

Tammy Bruce, in a recent post on her blog titled "Stardust, Pluto and the Mission to Mars", talks about several of Nasa's current projects, like the recently returning Stardust probe, and the recently launched Pluto probe. Yet she questions wether it wouldn't better for us to focus more on one project: The Moon. The Chinese are doing just that.

I've always imagined that a moonbase would require some international cooperation to undertake. But to be realistic, I doubt there would be too much funding from other countries, and even the US government is in no position to be funding mega amounts for NASA like they did in the '60s. Not to mention that government is ofen very inefficiant and wasteful.

I think a great portion of it would have to be financed by private enterprise. There would be benefits in created jobs and spin-off technologies. There are those who would argue that the money should instead be used domestically on entitlement programs, but that does not create jobs, new technologies or wealth, it just holds us all back. An excerpt from Tammy's post:

...My point here is this: I expect citizens to take care of themselves, pay their own bills and personally handle their medical cost issues. These are things the government has no business in. Why? Because we as individuals can handle it and know what's best in our personal lives.

The government, however, should be in charge (with some private company involvement as well) of things that our beyond the scope and capability of regular individual citizens. Efforts that require the power of government organizing and mass funding--like defense issues, and yes, space exploration.

The spending on entitlements on the domestic front will be all for nothing if we collapse economically internally, or create a nation full of people who expect the government to take care of them. That folly destroyed the Soviety Union, North Korea and Cuba, and has crippled all of Old Europe...

You can read more, with related reference links HERE.

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