NewSpace Is Under Attack

NewSpace Is Under Attack

November 18, 2009 Opinion, Press Releases

It’s been a couple of months since the Augustine Committee had the temerity to suggest that maybe, just maybe, we should leave a few things that have long been the sole province of government to the vital and growing private sector. The push back from the forces of the status quo has been building ever since.

Even before the final report was issued, Congress called Norman Augustine to come up on the Hill for a hearing to lecture him on his misguided ways. The notion that the private sector should be “allowed” to carry humans into space was ridiculed as too risky – as if somehow government employees are inherently better at their jobs than other people.

Three weeks ago, the launch, to a height commonly achieved by model rocket builders, of the Ares I-X prototype, at a cost to taxpayers of over 400 million dollars, was hailed as proof that we need only stay the course. Buzz Aldrin, was buying none of that nonsense, witting in the Huffington Post that “the much-hyped Ares 1-X was much ado about nothing.”

Two weeks ago former astronaut and associate administrator, Scott “Doc” Horowitz, apparently taking a page from Dan Brown’s DECEPTION POINT, seemed to find a hidden political conspiracy by “a few people in the administration who want to kill Ares I and put all the money in commercial”. It’s entirely a coincidence that Horowitz used to work for ATK, maker of the Ares solid rocket motors.

Last week, when Time magazine declared Ares “The Best Invention of the Year,” we seized the offered hook to strike back and do a little truth-saying, congratulating NASA on its propaganda triumph, adding to our earlier insistence that Ares needs a death panel.

Since 1988 the Space Frontier Foundation has steadfastly advocated for precisely what is happening now. We continue to speak out for reason, confront resistance from self-serving bureaucratic, political and “industry” forces and change the world one mind at a time.

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One Comment

  • Keith says:

    And you are accusing NASA of creating propoganda? I cannot believe that you have the gall to attack Ares 1X the way you did in this poorly written article. Such blatant statements like ” The notion that the private sector should be “allowed” to carry humans into space was ridiculed as too risky -as if somehow government employees are inherently better at their jobs than other people” is biased and untrue. The vast majority of the Ares 1X design and build team belonged to contractors (PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYEES), not the government. As to another quote “the launch, to a height commonly achieved by model rocket builders” is a ridiculous slanted statement intended to deceive. When was the last time a model rocket builder used over 3 million pounds of thrust to reach that height, and performed a stage separation with no major anomalies? I am sure that the Ares team is aware of the need to cut costs, but if you continue to create poorly written drivel, not only will you lose your following, but your credibiliy will go out the window as well. C’mon! I doubt that TIME Magazine fell prey to a hoax!