Why we need NASA

April 8th, 2013 § 0 comments

I am a huge fan of the advances we have made to privatize space flight. Companies like SpaceX are doing amazing things to bring down the costs of getting cargo into space and I can’t wait to buy a ticket on Virgin Galactic once the prices become reasonable. This does not mean, however, NASA’s importance is in any way reduced. If anything the hand off of such responsibilities will allow NASA to focus on what it does best which is pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Take for example the recent announcement of a project to capture an asteroid and bring it into earth orbit for study. As Robert Braun, a former chief technology officer at NASA said “This would be the first time ever humanity has manipulated a space object in such a grand scale.”

Obviously there are outfits like Planetary Resources that are planning to mine asteroids but their success is built upon the problems that NASA solves and I expect they are downright giddy with the recent announcement. Lets also not forget the penchant private enterprise has for vaporware. In order to raise money they have to put of a facade that makes it seem like their incredibly ambitious project is all but a done deal. Otherwise who would invest? That’s why an organization that explores for the sake of science is the keystone to humanity’s bridge off spaceship earth.

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