08 December 2006

Pigs in Space

In Slate, Gregg Easterbrook ably demolishes the explanations offered for the boondoggle that is the proposed NASA moon base. The project is all about politics and pork, of course, as is much of our current space program:
So, what is it for? Transparently, the true goal of the moon base would be to keep budget lines and contracts flowing to the congressional districts and aerospace contractors wired in to current NASA spending.

. . . .

For 20 years now, NASA has gone through one iteration after another of supposed "dramatic" self-reevaluations, and always come to the same conclusion: All existing spending programs having to do with the astronaut corps are sacrosanct, regardless of whether they serve any purpose. With public-good space needs unmet and the enunciation of a moon-base plan that will waste colossal sums of public money, agency director Michael Griffin has simply raised NASA's middle finger to the taxpayer.

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