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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pete Worden's ISDC Speech

I really like Pete Worden. He is the kind of guy we need at NASA. Here is his ISDC Speech. Here are a few quotes to get you excited.

And I'd like to say that when I talk about "human presence" - I really mean "settlement" of the solar system. And I want to pause on that word - "settlement" because that's what we are truly embarking upon and that's the really exciting part of what we are about.

Now these are the key questions then: How do we sustain the vision for space exploration to lead us to settlement? How do we afford it? How do we nurture it? My answer - and I think a lot of yours' - is the private sector. This is not necessarily easy or straightforward. For a start why would the private sector individual spend the money on space exploration? And if they do what is the role of the Government? And in particular how do we address the number one item in all space activities - how to get to space to start with?

Some - and many in this room, I'm sure - believe the key to private sector funding of space activities, starting with launch vehicles is space tourism. Indeed, most of the private sector space ventures ongoing today such as Virgin Galactic and Bob Bigelow's Bigelow Aerospace are focused on tourism. I do not doubt that tourism has a big role to play - especially in the space launch area.

Some - and many in this room, I'm sure - believe the key to private sector funding of space activities, starting with launch vehicles is space tourism. Indeed, most of the private sector space ventures ongoing today such as Virgin Galactic and Bob Bigelow's Bigelow Aerospace are focused on tourism. I do not doubt that tourism has a big role to play - especially in the space launch area.

I maintain that the moon could become a reserve for doing things too dangerous to do on the earth, but with "earth-shaking" benefit, if you'll pardon that pun. For example, I think that the moon might be the key to mitigating global warming - another idea Teller and his colleagues pioneered - and one that I think is quite real - more on that later.

But I want to make this point that the issue of private ownership - or at least the equivalent - is going to be a critical issue not only for the United States - but also for our partners around the world.

So, I would maintain that our next step in space exploration would be to emulate the French and set the protocols and standards - in cooperation with our colleagues around the world - to be used for the moon and beyond. This is something that I would advocate could be done immediately. It doesn't cost you any money.

I think that now is the time to standardize communications protocols to make these and all subsequent missions inter-operable - a key requirement for private sector development. From this point I believe some business case - perhaps encouraged by private ownership - or usage agreement - of lunar real estate could finance and build much of the necessary infrastructure for long-range lunar development
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Oh hell I could quote the entire speech. Just go read it for yourself. It is like a smarter, more distinguished me was made head of Ames.


1 comment:

Phllip said...

Great speech. I want to see those satilties over the moon in 2 years. if only I had the money...