Tuesday, 8 September 2009

NASA Budget ≠ NASA Ambitions

It's the worst-kept secret in space: NASA doesn't have enough money to do what it's doing. A much-anticipated report from the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, given to the White House today, begins ominously:

"The US human spaceflight program appears to be on an unsustainable trajectory. [NASA] is perpetuating the perilous practice of pursuing goals that do not match allocated resources."

Where this all ends up is anyone's guess. NASA has already spent nearly $8 billion (of a planned $40 billion) to return to the Moon. The Constellation project seems to be going reasonably well despite strong criticism, but where exactly is it going?

I'm finding my hopes are resting more and more in private space enterprise, where decision-makers are personally accountable and the goalposts aren't shifted every time there's a new administration.

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