August 18, 2009

RAND SIMBERG: Panel Recommends Major Changes in Space Policy. “The good news is that for the first time a major panel of this sort has explicitly stated that the goal of having a human spaceflight program has to be for the ultimate settlement of space, and if we aren’t aiming toward that, there’s not much point. Also, for fans of sending humans to Mars, all of the options are designed with that end in mind, though probably not fast enough for them. The other good news is that the panel seems to strongly support commercial space and believes that the new policy should be much more supportive of it than NASA’s current plans. But for advocates of anything resembling the current four-year-old plan to do ‘Apollo on Steroids,’ with new launch and crew delivery systems dubbed ‘Constellation,’ none of the options will be pretty.”

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