"How dreadful!" cried Lord Henry. "I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect." ~ Oscar Wilde - The picture of Dorian Gray
Actually seems like a good way to go. Also, they're right out cancelling the Constellation project and earmarked $6 billion for commercial taxis to orbit, indicating an opening for the private sector to get in on space flight. It's basically like the government buying a ticket for their astronauts.
An interesting new direction.
This whole situation is rather strange. Under the program, all but about 15% of the funds ended up in the private sector anyway--a huge portion of the work was contracted to private companies, and NASA employees effectively provided oversight and provided requirements to them.
So the plan seems to be to basically short-circuit NASA, giving money directly to the private sector.
But then that process going to need oversight by some agency, because we can't expect the Science Advisor to do it alone. That's going to require some overhead, though.
We could call that overseeing agency, oh, a space agency. Maybe some sort of national space agency. There's a nice ring to that.
So we will probably be right back where we started--with a sizable portion of funds going to the private sector but managed by a government agency.
My source? I used to be a NASA subcontractor supporting Constellation, and I work with many who are still connected to the program.
I'm against aggressive exploration for its own sake.
I think space exploration is a noble goal, and must eventually happen, but right now at our level of technology there isn't really any motivation. There are no resources worth getting, no other civilizations that we're aware of yet, and we don't have the ability to terraform and claim land. Any resources put towards space programs beyond local space would probably be better put in dealing with local issues.
I do think that reseach should continue, but as more of a hedge than a determined drive. Still, given choice between military spending and exploration I'd certainly take exploration. Imagine what NASA would do with a decade's worth of military spending.
Yes, though I think we might be pretty far away from anything~really groundbreaking, but working towards it now would probably bring it closer in the future. But we would have to figure out how to fund it.
More than true. But I doubt that if it were to be decided to increase how much is put into space exploration to a significant enough degree, it would probably just end up meaning more taxes instead of substitutions. So it would end up being what are people willing to put into it for something that might not end up being notably worthwhile for a long time if really ever. But yes, pretty much am all for it.