Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Let a Hundred Flowers Launch

Honestly, if I had to point to an Obama administration success that I think is fully deserved, it would be the policy that got the state out of the way to allow private space companies to begin the drive to go to--and stay in--space:

We have no idea which plan is more likely to succeed and flourish. But the beauty of privatization is that we don’t get just one shot at it. Our trajectory in space will now be the work of a functioning market of both ideas and commerce. It no longer will hinge on the whims of only tangentially interested politicians.

Space has now entered the era of the Teslas, the Edisons and the Wright brothers. From now on, they will be doing more and more of the driving. Which means we are actually — finally — going somewhere again.

I actually have high hopes for this beginning of a future of new worlds opening to mankind.

Just as the discovery of America revived the morale of Europe and dispelled their defeatism, I have hopes that space is the new new world(s) that can revive the confidence of the West in what we've built--and to defend it (and in another example of how I repeat themes--and even titles--unwittingly, here's a similar 2010 post!).

I guess I disagree that the West is in terminal decline.

Our new space policy is a lesson that hasn't been learned more broadly--get government out of the way as much as possible (and yes, hiring these companies to do things the government wants done rather than having a government space program doing them counts as getting out of the way) and let people bet that they can make money by going to space.