April 13, 2010

AT POPULAR MECHANICS, Rand Simberg reports from the Space Access Conference.

The era is being ushered in by a radical (at least to many) change in space policy by the Obama administration. It is not, as many in the media, and even in Congress have mistakenly and even hysterically characterized it, an “abandonment” of human spaceflight, or a “surrender” to the Chinese or Russians (pick your paranoia). Indeed, that is a bizarre interpretation of a plan that includes the extension of the International Space Station to 2020, and likely beyond; the acceleration and encouragement, with billions of dollars, of near-term commercial human spaceflight; and the development of the myriad technologies required to get humans to the moon, the asteroids and ultimately to Mars and its moons.

Read the whole thing. Like Simberg, I think the new Obama space policy is a good one, and that the criticism is largely misplaced. I think he’s right, though, that they handled the PR on the change badly.

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