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The ruling oligarchy in China is currently using both capitalism and big government in order to economically dominate the world and the new frontiers of space. In the US, on the other hand,   many in Congress have purposely crippled the American economy with their  ideological war against a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Ironically, the Obama administration has used this right wing philosophy to cripple one the few government programs that the American right usually favors: NASA.


The US Federal debt is now approaching 17 trillion dollars.
But the Federal government  has a titanic budget deficit not because the government is spending too much money on science and technology, but because of the  trillions wasted in the war in Iraq and the hundreds of billions of dollars spent annually on  unnecessary military bases in Europe while domestically running one of the most inefficient and inherently inflationary welfare states in the history of humankind in the form of: Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and unemployment insurance (the new welfare). Cutting unnecessary military expenditures overseas while dramatically  reforming the welfare state are the keys to substantially reducing the Federal deficit-- not cutting our investment in science in technology!

At one point, NASA expenditures represented nearly 5% of Federal expenditures. Now NASA represents less than  0.5% of Federal expenditures. So NASA's tiny budget is almost imperceptible when it comes to total Federal expenditures. And this is even truer for NASA's manned space program related expenditures which now represents less than half of NASA's annual expenditures.

 Of course, if you hate all government programs then every dollar spent on a government program, no matter how small,  is a waste of tax payer money!

But its easy to cripple a government program that has no direction. And Congress is obviously not going to increase the NASA budget when NASA doesn't know where its going!

The primary goal of NASA's manned space program over the next 25 years should be to set up permanently manned outpost first on the lunar surface and then on the surface of Mars. And once those goals are made clear to the Congress and to the public-- then NASA will be back on course with the appropriate amount of funding from Congress. A mere $3 billion increase in NASA's annual manned spaceflight budget should probably be enough to get this done. $1.5 billion a year alone should be more than enough to finance the development of a reusable single stage Extraterrestrial Landing Vehicle capable of placing humans on the Moon and even on Mars (with the addition of a ballute and heat shield).

While Commercial Crew Vehicles could be an important  part of this Federal space program in the long run, its doubtful that there would ever be enough demand for Commercial Crew flights for NASA purposes to sustain more than one company. The beauty of capitalism, of course, is that prices are kept low through competition amongst several companies.

It's clear that the  future of Commercial Crew flights will not be in big government programs but in private commercial programs such as space tourism for the super wealthy and for space lotto winners.

There are more than 50,000 individuals on our planet worth more than $100 million dollars: individuals who could easily afford a $25 million to $35 million dollar flight to a private space station. Even if private companies could only get less than  1% of those wealthy individuals every year  to fly into space aboard their private space craft to their private space stations, that could still mean nearly  100 private space launches per year. Of course, such a high flight rate would probably dramatically lower the cost of flying into space which should increase the annual volume of wealthy people wanting to fly into space.

Plus there are billions of average people around the world who would probably  be willing  to risk a dollar or two every year in a Space Lotto system for a chance to travel into space.

Private space companies need to stop whining about government contracts and development subsidies and focus on where-- the real demand-- in the future will be for their private manned space vehicles! And its not the government!

Marcel F. Williams

References

NEW PAPYRUS MAGAZINE

http://newpapyrusmagazine.blogspot.com/

End of a Model – and a Program

http://www.spudislunarresources.com/...

 When Darkness Falls:the future of the US crewed spaceflight program

http://www.thespacereview.com/...

End of WWII Model Shakes Up Aerospace Industry

http://www.spacenews.com/...

Millionaires and Billionaires did great

http://nextbigfuture.com/...

 How a Real Public Option Could Reduce Deficits, Create Jobs, & Save the US Economy!

http://newpapyrusmagazine.blogspot.com/...

Poll

At the current level of expenditures, NASA will probably spend more than $175 billion dollars over the next 25 years on its manned space program. What should NASA's spending priorities be for its manned space program during that time period?

9%1 votes
27%3 votes
9%1 votes
36%4 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
18%2 votes

| 11 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  No the Welfare State is Just Fine (4+ / 0-)

    when the rich are taxed as they should be to maintain a democratic economy.

    Sorry as the son of a one time NASA manned space engineer, I'm not willing to trade global empire for space empire as the reason I must die sick and hungry watching the giga rich race 50 knot sailboats. Oh I've been a sail racer too by the way.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 06:46:53 PM PDT

  •  Too late (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob

    I wish I felt like I lived in a country that could imagine and support over the next 25 years a vision of the future that includes a vigorous and purposeful manned space program.   But I don't.  I live in a country where much of the political energy goes to preserve and protect the interests of the patrons of the elected officials and where vision is a political liability.  Over the next 25 years I expect climate change to have horrible side effects, and I'm pessimistic that politicians will rise to the challenge before we've maimed the planet.  Hopefully, if any humans survive in the next century they will be better organized.

  •  Establishing an outpost on Mars is pointless. (0+ / 0-)

    American space policy needs to be oriented towards the economic development of cislunar space.

    •  Mars (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rduran

      The moons of Mars could be exploited for their water resources which could be exported back to cis-lunar space and could be competitive with exported lunar water to the Lagrange points.

      Carbon and nitrogen extracted from the Martian atmosphere might be a valuable export for cis-lunar space for growing crops on the Moon and at space stations in cis-lunar space. And good old fashioned salt from Mars could be another valuable export.

      But I agree, the Moon and cis-lunar space in general could be an extremely lucrative economic region within the next 50 years.

      Marcel

    •  rduran - We really don't know what's (0+ / 0-)

      economically exploitable until we do a lot more exploration.
        The Columbus metaphor is overused, but: When Columbus started out, he thought he was going to India to buy spices.

      •  We'll explore more if we go (0+ / 0-)

        knock off and exploit destinations that are 1) likely candidates for ISRU and 2) easy to get too.  Mars isn't even in the top hundred of places we can go to further extend our reach in space.

        •  The Moon (0+ / 0-)

          The Moon, particularly the lunar poles, should probably be at the top of the agenda since they might contain practically all of the natural resources necessary for viably expanding the human economy off the Earth.

          And exploiting lunar resources should probably make it a lot easier to expand the human economy to the Martian surface and Mars orbit.

          Marcel F. Williams

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