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January 28th, 2000

Fixing NASA

The American space program, NASA, has been in a state of… well, disarray as of late. I mean, you’ve got the Mars Pathfinder – a very very positive thing – followed up by the Mars Lander project. The Lander was lost due to a miscalculation: a scientist used Imperial measurements instead of metric.

Ooops.

NASA’s funding was severely cut after the 1986 Challenger disaster. It just kind of fell out of the public’s eye, and space shuttle launches became uninteresting events that captured the imagination of no one. Mir space station? Who cares? Why was it important? We weren’t really ever told.

It’d just be great to have a butt-kicking space program again. Didn’t you think, as a kid, that we’d live on the moon by 2000? Well, we haven’t been there in decades. We haven’t gotten a man on Mars. We don’t know anything about nearby planets, it seems. And due to a lack of funding, NASA might not be interested in thinking big.

Since NASA’s money isn’t going to zoom any time soon, my proposal is simple: privatize the company. That’s right, get it out of government hands. Let major American companies throw money into it and see what they can do. I am quite certain that the technology exists to do what we dreamed of when we were little. It’s just not in the US government, now.

Let’s go back and set incredible goals. Get a man on Mars, begin getting people to live and work on the moon. Forget sending a surfboard to the Red Planet! -pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

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