Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The future of American manned space flight

CAPE CANAVERAL — President Barack Obama proposed a radical shift in U.S. space policy Monday, saying he wanted commercial companies -- rather than NASA -- to take over development and operation of the rockets and spacecraft flying American astronauts. (FloridaToday.com)

These are the best of times for the commercial space companies who will be getting government seed money.

“During its first turn at bat, the Obama administration really hit it out of the park,” said David Thomson, chief executive of Orbital Sciences Corp. “This is the right time. It’s the right direction for the agency to take in this era.”

These are the worst of times for thousands of employees at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Johnson Space Center in Houston who may lose their jobs. Thousands more fear for their wives' and husbands', neighbors' and friends' jobs.

Norman Augustine of the visionary Augustine Commission Report released a guardedly optimistic statement. Among other points, he says, "Importantly, the President's proposed program seems to match the ends, and should therefore be executable."

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