Saturday, September 10, 2005

Free Market vs. NASA

Does anyone remember what the plans for space exploration were originally? I was not born at that time, but being very knowledgeable, I know what the plans were.

A Mars mission was on tap for the early 1980s, and an entire infrastructure was planned for near-Earth space, tasked with constructing spacecraft, facilitating private industry, and supporting genuine settlement.

What do we have now? Shuttles that barely work, a space station that is too small to live in, and the Russians now dominate space (at least it’s not the Soviets, but liberals would have loved it if it had been them).

Who are we to blame for this lack of vision that is now present within NASA? Richard Nixon, for one. We also mustn’t forget the Democrats who controlled the government in those days.

But it is not quite as much of a political matter as you might think, though politics always finds a way to get its hands into arenas where it shouldn’t be (both Republicans and Democrats do this).

No, it is the same thing that happened in New Orleans, it is the same thing that happens when you go to the DMV, and it is the same thing that happens when you try and get an answer from the IRS – you run into bureaucracy.

Bureaucracy is a necessary evil that, like inflation, must be kept in check. Bureaucracy is, I believe, an inevitable side effect of a larger government. As anyone knows, bureaucracy creates paperwork, regulations, burdens, unnecessary red-tape, paperwork, inefficiency, paperwork, and paperwork. Bureaucracy is what keeps government from working efficiently.

Bureaucracy is what killed the space exploration dreams of the 60s. Fortunately (actually, unfortunately for socialists), the government is not our provider (or at least to hard working Americans it is not). The free-market comes close though. And the free market has finally set its eyes on space.

Virgin Atlantic has formed a new division, Virgin Galactic, which has plans for regular service to space by 2007. Space Adventures has plans to send passengers to the moon and orbit the space body. NASA has plans to work on their shuttles so that they can finally go to space!

Though these space “tourist” rides are extraordinarily expensive, people are buying tickets. As with everything, the price will come down as more people become interested in commercial space flights.

Just think, it cost billions of dollars for NASA to send folks to the moon, but it only costs millions to send folks to the moon when the private sector does it. And the private sector makes money because of these tours, unlike NASA.

Your favorite 17-year-old Rocky Mountain snowboarder and political guru,

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