With all the talk about the findings of New Horizons in the news (more photos of Pluto and it’s moon Charon have been released and will continue over the coming months), some wonder if this means that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) should be given increased funding, with even some wanting to end support of private endeavors thorough groups like Space X. Yet such a step could undue aspects of technological advancement that might make space-faring more accessible to people than ever before. After all, when one looks at markets that were opened up to investment and innovation, it ultimately moved access to those who could never before afford such products, i.e. airplanes, smart phones, televisions, video players/recorders, computers, etc. Meanwhile, when it comes to the market of space travel, the price of such travel continues to run in the tens of thousands, making investment (as well as personal endeavors concerning it) hard to come by. Only when companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin (though one could wonder whether those were the ones with the best concepts and not favored by government contractors) were offered a chance of replacing the Space Shuttle, a product that saw little change and redress in the 50+ years that the program was commissioned, were there some vestiges of invigorated innovation. Such a thing is now being led by Space X and others, allowing for investment in new technologies in a way that also allows taxpayers to be less held on footing the bill. Indeed there have been blunders (then again, there were blunders just as well when NASA was fully in charge), but such endeavors offer a chance to advance in space while not going increasingly in debt. Such a step shouldn’t be easily reneged, and carefully handled…especially considering the political and financial circumstances involved.

Extra Links:

In some ways, it already has…though perhaps there could be more freed up http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/time-privatize-nasa

From New Horizons, more photos and concepts released: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/watch-live-as-nasa-releases-new-photos-of-pluto_55a9179be4b0c5f0322d155e

For fellow gamers out there, the CPU of a renowned console is continuing to power the New Horizons probe through it’s mission: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2015/07/16/the-pluto-spacecraft-is-running-on-an-original-playstation-cpu/

Advertisements