It’s been a very strange year here in Washington, D.C. Being a native I know all the jokes about living in a “logic free zone” and how the Beltway is the event horizon of a 25-square-mile economic black hole. Etc…
In fact, the apparent craziness of much of what policymakers produce has always been somewhat comforting to me… it’s when the insane decisions all make sense that I should start worrying!
But 2010, at least through the lens of U.S. civil space policy, just went way beyond average D.C. madness. This year has been plain weird. A Democratic President proposes privatizing orbital human spaceflight and Republicans attack him for neglecting a “public option”… and then the bipartisan Senate proposes using a heavy lift vehicle as the government option!
We’re talking 1965 Haight-Ashbury, acid-tripping psychedelic weird. Down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass craziness. If someone wrote this stuff the Science Fiction Writers of America would kick them out for being too “out there”.
But through all of this insanity, as I endured my own personal hell of being a Republican space lobbyist for President Barack Obama’s NASA budget, only one thing kept me from going over the edge. I knew that the Space Frontier Foundation was full of people – many of them friends and colleagues – who shared my vision, who were counting on me to fight for our vision, and who in turn could be counted on to do whatever they could to win the fight.
And throughout the year, the Foundation was always there in the thick of battle, advocating practical goals and ridiculing stupid ideas. In fact, NASA’s Deputy Administrator recognized us in a public speech in October for our activism.
If you think about it, we’ve won the first in a series of battles that could set our nation, and our planet, on a sustainable course towards the permanent human settlement of space. After all, that’s what we’re fighting for. Unlike many organizations, including our closest allies, we’re not just fighting for a piece of the $10 billion taxpayers invest in human spaceflight. For one thing, we’re not a trade association of companies that benefit from our pro-frontier stance, although we’re proud to get many such companies’ support. But it’s also true because we don’t just want a bigger piece. We want it all.
Like the Augustine Committee – hardly a group of radical O’Neillians – we believe the whole point of human spaceflight is settlement. So 100% of the human spaceflight budget should be aimed at enabling settlement. And we’re not going to stop fighting until it is.
Which is why we need your help. We’ve put everything we had as an organization into this fight this year. We’ve had a bigger impact than groups with 10 or 100 times our budget. But to continue the fight, and to press on to new battles, we need the help of every single Foundationer. Including you.
Please, take a moment and go to the Space Frontier Foundation Donation Page and make a tax-deductible investment in this effort. If you can, take the amount you think you can afford and double or triple it, but spread that pledge over 2011 with monthly or quarterly payments. Please don’t put this off until the end of the year. Act today to give yourself the gift of a pro-frontier space policy. Act to give your fellow Foundationers a stronger base to fight from. Act to give all of our children an open frontier.
We are pleased to announce that two of our largest donors have agreed to match up to $14,000 in donations for the next 36+ hours – through December 1st.
Thank you in advance,