Okay, after getting blindsided by Mark at Curmudgeons Corner, I thought it necessary to clear up some things. Apparently Mark thinks am an "alt.spacer blubbering about NASA's plan to return to the Moon continues."
I'll admit I have leanings towards private space flight, but I am certainly not a libertarian anarchist. I may be the most socially conservative space nut you have ever met.
So to clear all this up, I need to explain how I feel about NASA and about space in general. I am a big fan of NASA. I watch all the launches I can. I watch whenever Griffin speaks to Congress. I was very excited when President Bush gave out the Vision last year. I am happy to pay my taxes to support NASA exploring. Not only is it expanding out knowledge but it is certainly better than most of the useless crap our taxes go towards.
That having been said, the point of my post was not to bash NASA but to simply say why I am not more excited about ESAS. As Mark said himself:
The purpose of the space program is not to get me and mine a trip to Club Moon
but to spread human civilization beyond the Earth. If I get to go, fine. If not,
sad for me but it doesn't matter in the large scale scheme of things.
Exactly. NASA's goal is not to get me or my wife or you into space. As excited as I may be about NASA's 13 year out plans to put a group of men on the Moon (which I am), it doesn't immediately help my cause.
Well, I actually do care if you get into space, especially if you share my
values about Western Civilization. The purpose of the space program is not to
get me and mine a trip to Club Moon but to spread human civilization beyond the
Earth. If I get to go, fine. If not, sad for me but it doesn't matter in the
large scale scheme of things.
And while I congratulate you on your altruism, I simply don't share it. You don't care if I get into space, you care if Americans in mass get into space. I would love that (if I was one of them). But you know what, I want to go to space. I am passionate about it. It is my greatest dream. And quite frankly I think you cheapen dreams in general to say my dream should be for western civilization and not personal. Real dreams only happen at the personal level. I bet all our space nut forefathers wanted, personally, to go to space. That is why they worked so hard to make it happen and why we are where we are today.
Okay that was a little bit of venting, but I believe the core of America is personal dreams, not the greater good. The greater good piggy-backs off of personal dreams. So no one should feel bad or selfish for their personal visions of anything, especially space flight.