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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Why do the truly stupid rule our world?

Why do the truly stupid rule our world?
NASA celebrated its 55th anniversary by shuttering websites and furloughing most of its 18 000 employees as a U.S. government shutdown took effect on 1 October. But future space exploration missions stand to suffer the most from the shutdown's impact.
The U.S. space agency will likely halt work on satellites or spacecraft that have yet to launch, according to NASA's shutdown plans ….. the shutdown could delay the upcoming Mars MAVEN mission beyond its scheduled launch on 18 November and possibly push the mission back until 2016—the next time when Mars and the Earth will be aligned in the best positions for the spacecraft to reach the red planet. Reference

Now I’m really upset! And still the Congress are about the only government workers getting paid. Unbelievable!
But not to worry. Once again, it’s the private sector that will lead us into the 21st century, not the bungling buffoons in Washington people waste their time and energy supporting.
Four decades ago, NASA's Launch Complex 39A was at the center of the Cold War race to the moon.
Now the mothballed launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which dispatched Neil Armstrong and his crew on their historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969, is the focus of a battle of another sort, between two billionaire techies seeking to dominate a new era of private space flight.
A fierce competition for control of the pad by digital entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos has led to a government probe and congressional lobbying, delaying NASA's choice of a partner.
Musk's 11-year-old Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, already has two U.S. launch sites for its Falcon rockets at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and California's Vandenberg Air Force bases.
Musk, the co-founder of Paypal and chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc, also plans to build a site, probably in Texas, for commercial launches and wants Pad 39A for Falcon rocket launches to ferry cargo and possibly astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA.
Blue Origin, the company formed in 2000 by Inc. founder Bezos, is working on a suborbital reusable spaceship called New Shepard.
SpaceX has a backlog of more than 50 customers for Falcon rocket launches, including 10 more cargo runs to the International Space Station for NASA and satellite launches for commercial firms and foreign governments. The company also has two U.S. Air Force launches that are considered trial runs toward potential bigger contracts.

Blue Origin plans to evolve its rockets and spaceships for orbital flight as well and has proposed running Launch Complex 39A for multiple users while it continues to develop its technology. Reference
For a related article on SpaceX, please CLICK HERE.

Question: Need I ask? Who will lead us into the 21st century. Governments? Or private industry?


L.G. Keltner said...

Governments seem incapable of leading anymore, so I wouldn't count on them.

I'm also sad about the shutdown's impact on NASA. It's so frustrating to see things like this happen because of stupidity and politics.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Private industry all the way! Interesting and exciting news, but it would be horrible if they have to delay until 2016.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

Rob Z Tobor said...

I am quite happy to give it a go, I am waiting by the phone (the Bat Phone) for the call.

As an old friend once said...

who's the man....
you's the man....

He did bust into hysterics afterwards mind you.

Kim Van Sickler said...

Because most smart people are smart enough to know that politics is a thankless job where they won't get anything meaningful accomplished. Right now politics is about extremism and entrenchment. Not about compromise and working together to brainstorm solutions. It's scary.

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

I found your thoughts on this really fascinating and worth reading.

You chose an example which is understandable, even to people like me, who live and work outside of the traditional style of the business workday. Yet you made it move right along and you made a good thoughtful point. It could be applicable to government vis a vis
business in any of
its forms today.

Yes, I am removing myself from the immediacy of the actual discussion but I want you to know it helped me to understand what is going on, and it kept me interested, and I admit I am a bit frightened, but historically we HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE.
Well I haven't but
my grandparents sure as heck were

Best Wishes and thanks for the illuminations,

jean :)

Jo said...

I have never had time for governments. I think the current situation is disgusting with so many people out of work and unpaid, except for the politicians themselves, of course.

As for space exploration, I think it is going to be a private industry field, they have all the proper motivations to get it going. I didn't know there were two millionaires in the field before, knew about Elon Musk but not Bezos. All power to their elbows.

Thanks Steve for keeping us up to date.

Tina said...

Indeed. Stupid people everywhere. Except for brilliant entrepreneurs who are using their money to explore further. More power to them, and I think the government better get out of the way. Waiting until 2016 is not an option, like Shannon said.
Tina @ Life is Good

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Your tax dollars... not at work.
I'm guessing Musk will win, as he is farther along.

Susan Kane said...

Private industry and creativity always drive discovery. Gov't always bog it down with paperwork.

Arlee Bird said...

I'm counting on private industry. Government finds a way to screw up most things. If the legislators got cut off from their pay I'm sure they be getting this shutdown settled pretty quickly.

A Faraway View

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. I enjoy catching up with you via these postings - I've a vague idea of what's going on, but you always add a little middle of the sandwich for me ..

I don't do Government - they're reacting to their people .. and that's not always good either!!

Cheers Hilary

Lubaina E. said...

Sounds like the Ultimate Space Battle :D