January 15, 2004


I'm with Easterbrook, Sullivan, Simberg, and Drum. I really can't understand anyone who thinks George Bush's moon "plans" are anything short of a ludicrous bait-and-switch.

The problems should be obvious. The cost of a proper planetary exploration program, given the American economic projections for the next decade, is unsustainable, as Sullivan rightly points out. So Bush announces a $12B lowball, to at least keep it believable. Which, as Easterbrook rightly points out, can't and won't achieve anything.

By the time this is all apparent to average people, Bush's second term will safely be over and it won't matter. In the meantime, it's a few billion more for the established space contractors.

We're not leaving this planet any time soon, folks. Certainly not with this kind of "big iron" approach.

UPDATE: Simberg chimes in with a reflexive "Don't look at me, he didn't come in the same cab" castigation of Easterbrook. A valuable addition to the emerging skeptical dialogue, but it's hard to understand Simberg, who has frequently said things such as "low-cost launch will not come from the existing aerospace industry" and "NASA['s building a Shuttle replacement] would almost certainly be as disastrous as the Shuttle itself, because it will be subject to the same political and budgetary constraints as that program was" takes such issue with a columnist's belief that the organization Bush has laid his hopes in is manifestly not up to the task within the time or budget guidelines given.

Posted by BruceR at 06:07 PM


I just had to save this one for posterity.

From globeandmail.com today.


Posted by BruceR at 05:44 PM