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"Nearly 43 years after we first walked on the moon, we have taken another step in demonstrating continued American leadership in space," Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 astronaut.
Inge Spirig's profile photoCosette Colpetzer's profile photoBrian Carver's profile photoThomas Moore's profile photo
This is one giant leap for private space exploration, and the first of many small steps for sustainable extra-planetary colonization.
If sustainable means vegan, I´m out. Space cows FTW.
They walked on the moon? Amazing Hollywood!
سلام.دوستان لینک شما در تیوتر است با گوگل متأسفانه همخوانی ندارد. 
Stefan...Hollywood? Very funny. Whatever.
Way to go SpaceX! I wonder how this will all look in another 43 years.
43 years ago it was 1 small step for mankind. Now it is 1 small step for America?
من هرگز به فضا نرفتم و از مشکلات آن آگاهم و هوس رفتن هم نمیکنم. کسانیکه در حالت بی وزنی بمدت طولا نی می مانند دچار عارضه مغزی میشوند و عضلاتشان تحلیل میرود و ... . دوستان خوب هر چند سایت پیشنهاد دیگری داده بود باشد برای باعث افتخار است.
wasn't Buzz originally against the idea of commercial space flight? Why the change of heart?
Cernan was against it (well, he was against privatization of space flight, not SpaceX specifically).
Why is anyone against it? Cause they dont get any money out of the deal? WHY?
I see why they are trying to grab some space attention, that they do not deserve. Here is why, first they kill of Bush's colonizing the Moon program so they can go to Mars and plant a flag their. Then after 2 years of planing and research was ended due to it costing to much. Now they want to land on and explore the rocks floating in the Solar System. That is still 5 or more years down the road.

But if they would have built a Moon base they still would have aimed for Mars, it may have been slowed a few years but they would not have gone to plant a flag, they would have gone to start a base on Mars to start a place to live not just visit.

Overall it seems that the current leaders are afraid of independence.
A great feat in history, the thing I do not like is why dioes the white house make their logo emblem get used rather than the NASA logo. Is it the fool in charge of the White House currently wanting to steal gratitude from where he never earned it?
+Dean Holyer The White House didn't "make" anybody do anything. This article was posted on the White House website - hence the reason for the White House logo. So who's the fool now?
Dean Holyer...are you saying that the "new American commercial space industry" is now being run by those who shut down the ARES 1 NASA project?
Marco van der Heide...If the US is becoming more like Europe: SHOOT!!! I hope not.
Aaron it does not matter who is the fool, I did not directly phrase what I stated as a question asking what you answered. And I may have never liked the fool in the White House currently, but since 1976 I've disliked anyone whom desires to have the Fed's do work for you that you can do your self and at 3 to 5 times less cost. And to me that is a ploy that those from DC like to play to grab power that seems to never get returned to the people it was taken from. The thing is it is not just the left that steels this power the right does it also.
Joshua I'm not saying NASA is the main government program aimed to become more like Europe, but there are many that this current fool and chief desires to have become like Europe. In ways he desires the whole country to become Europe will low rates of progress at every thing but government control of everything. If it does it gives his people a better chance at staying in power. This is all his helth care system is aimed at, just like FDR saving America after the Depression and getting power of rule for 50 years. I'm not saying the right needs to grab that power of control, I'm more of a Tea Party type that says it needs to be returned to the people it was taken from in the first place. So DC needs to be drained of the powers it took.
+Marco van der Heide Reports are calling this the first commercial launch in any country. So I don't think this has happened in Europe, though you're welcome to set me straight about that if I missed something. Commercial payloads have been launched, certainly, and private contractors have always been involved in government projects.

Buzz Aldrin's comparison of the Dragon capsule with the moon landing is a bit of hyperbole. This hardly ranks with that achievement. This more closely bears comparison with the successful flight of a Mercury capsule containing a chimpanzee. Still, it's a milestone (as the first flight of a chimp was).

Neil Armstrong was not against private funding, by the way. He opposed the cancellation of the Constellation project. The two initiatives have often been portrayed as mutually exclusive in the press. They're not. Seed money for private companies such as SpaceX to develop hardware for routine missions in low earth orbit began during the Bush Administration. Ever since Obama cancelled the Constellation project, Nasa officials have tried to fill the void where long-range goals used to be with sensational rhetoric--'we can do anything!' 'we're giving the space program back to the people!'. Even so, work has continued on Constellation's most important pieces, such as the Orion crew vehicle and the Ares heavy booster. If the hardware proves to be as versatile and solid as planned, we may yet see that moon base and that Mars mission.
+Joshua Hall I can't speak for Gene Cernan or Neil Armstrong (and won't), but after reading their interviews, letters, and transcripts, I think I may have some idea of what they were thinking. They probably believed that putting a commercial spin on space flight was a way for the administration to shirk their responsibility and indeed duty to spaceflight by outsourcing the task. This belief stems primarily from the fact that NASA and congressional budgets have played a men "hot and cold" game with programs. "Lets go to (insert destination here), creating jobs and furthering science" gets things rolling, but before the first bolt is cranked down, the program gets cancelled for budgetary reasons, making the congressman look fiscally conservative to his constituency. People in the space game are SO sick and tired of this BS that it's no wonder some astronauts got a little twitchy and volunteered their opinion when called on to do so.

My question is who put them up to it? Without doing some digging as to who sponsored them to Congress (though it may be no one considering their standing), and where money changed hands (possibly decades ago), facts are not available. The truth is that we'll never know the real story. I can narrow the list considerably by following the FBI adage: "Follow the money". Who stands to gain by seeing SpaceX and other commercial space flight endeavors fail, preferably due to lack of support? I have my list.
The protest of the cancellation of Constellation project has generally been on grounds very much apart from 'wanting commercial space flight to fail.' There have been individuals who have expressed doubt about relying on commercial hardware, but the real issue has been the need for the country's space program to have long-range goals. Where shall we to go next in exploring the solar system?

SpaceX can't tell you that. SpaceX isn't in the business of exploring the cosmos or providing leadership for your country. It's in the business of making a profit and its technology is, in space exploration terms, more of the same: low earth orbit taxi and trucking. The company will not leave low earth orbit until it sees a profit to be made. When will that be?

The Constellation project calendar was designed to keep and make use of a priceless national resource: Nasa engineers. It was timed to keep them on the job after the shuttle retired, use off-the-shelf technology as much as possible for safety and to keep costs down, get Nasa out of the boom-and-bust cycle it as always been on, and take planetary exploration step-by-step. One function of the moon base was to provide a lab--just 3 days flight away--to test techniques and technologies that would, in beefed up form, serve on a Mars mission. Mars is a year's flight away. You're in less position to help a crew if things go wrong.

It was a solid, well-crafted plan. One of the things I liked best about it was that it made use of a unique resource: the people who went to the moon the first time, and the experience they had to share. That generation is passing--and now, by the time the USA goes back to the moon, it's going to do so having squandered that resource.

Of course, national pride also entered the picture. Planners of Project Constellation knew that eventually another country will plant its flag on the moon. When things like that happen, people who don't usually pay attention to space start getting concerned and start asking people in DC how close the USA is to matching the capability (see Sputnik, 1957). It doesn't do at such a moment for elected officials to admit that the USA is decades behind because no one thought about this moment until it happened.

I take Obama at his word that Constellation didn't look like it was really going to deliver the achievements it was supposed to given its funding and time frame. I did notice that the date for the moon base kept getting pushed back. Still, losing Constellation was costly. The thing America needed most after two generation in low earth orbit--an inspiring vision--has been lost. If you're going to cancel a plan, the only remedy is to provide another, more inspiring one. That has not been done. Nasa promptly returned to boom-and-bust. Brains have drained and some of those brains are now working in other countries.

Happy rhetoric is not a national space exploration plan. Private companies seeking their fortunes in low earth orbit are not a national space exploration plan.

Right now Nasa has no plan. It is building a few big things and asking private companies to build some small things in the hope that one day someone will figure out something to do.
+Alton Thompson Agreed on most points. The problem is that while the government team has lots of plans "worth billions", the only products we have seen range from power point presentations to full scale mocks up for show and tell best case. This is because of their history of switching horses in mid stream.

Quoting Patton, "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week". I would rather see implemented development in an organic manner, ie. no plan beyond where the obvious or iterative next step, rather than a massive well developed plan, which the administration frequently alters early steps of, causing the whole plan to stall.

We must commit and execute a plan to move on, which is something I have watched the government fail to do for 20+ years in manned flight. We have backslid from lunar flights, to LEO, to thumbing a ride from other nations. If we had any national pride left to worry about, there would be riots in the streets. Instead people are watching the antics of Snooki on Jersey shore.

The problem isn't the Obama administration. Pertaining to space, that poor man has inherited a pile of crap that has been stewing since Nixon. Any nefarious plan to have commercial spaceflight fail (if any in fact exist) did not come from NASA or the government, but rather the action or inaction of individuals with agendas who have sufficient influence to affect program or policy direction.

NASA has plans... a lot of them. The problem is that they have no plan to get from where we are here and now to where we can execute those plans. I agree that before the cancellation of the shuttle, something should have been in place. This was poor planning by all involved. Even if there was no plan with high probability of success, the question becomes: "what can we do to make this plan functional" rather than giving up. It's kind of like selling the car for scrap when you lost your keys.

All factors considered, if private aerospace can show positive cash flow (not from government contract or subsidy), all kinds of investors and businesses will come out of the woodwork. The engineers that will be out of work at NASA and its contractors will need to adapt to the new paradigm. All these new companies are looking for experienced help, and those engineers are practically the only ones with substantial experience in the field.

What about NASA's future? I would like to see a gentle transition to an organization which performs inspections and issues licenses similar to the FAA or FCC. We will need that, and the body which performs those services must be neutral and able to enforce. The remaining services are nearly all outsourced to contractors such as United Space Alliance anyway, just complete the migration.
I talked to many Engineers from Lockheed Martian back in the 90's, this as I was recovering from the head injury that exposed my brain. Much of the Constellation Program came from the minds from then Martian Marietta before they merged with Lockeed and most of the stuff became black projects. I just went to dinner for my birthday with my brother who just returned from NASA in Florida. He works in the Electronics field. There was not much he was allowed to talk about, most of the meetings was about how NASA was going to smoothly blend in with the Private Commercial Programs.

One of the biggest subjects was how SpaceX wants to move from the Johnson Space center in Florida to the SpaceX launch area in Texas.

Another topic was about how the High Tech areas that was bloomed in as many states as the could to create more employment in the Areospace industry is starting to bloom. As for what was blooming were still under black project rankings so they can not be even know as of now. It may take 20 to 30 years like the Have Blue project that got us invisable to radar jets.

As for a Government agency to manage the Space aspects of the Areospace industry, one does need to start with in the next 10 to 15 years and the Aerospace industry needs to be moved from the black projects of the military into the public area. As the space program converts from Government hands into the private company areospace industry steered by the future IESTC (International Earth Space Technology's Consortium) or it can be called the ESF (Earth Space Federation)

I could keep creating names but it is best this Group create their own.
+Aaron Harper
Agree completely that 'We must commit and execute a plan to move on.' That's exactly the need that Constellation met. Alas, it got cancelled.

Agree that 'The problem is that they have no plan to get from where we are here and now to where we can execute those plans.' Constellation provided that but, alas, it got cancelled.

Agree that 'before the cancellation of the shuttle, something should have been in place.' Constellation was the plan in place. The plans were laid out well to enable the same work force to stay put and make a transition to the new project. But, as you know, it got cancelled.

Agree that 'Even if there was no plan with high probability of success, the question becomes: "what can we do to make this plan functional" rather than giving up. It's kind of like selling the car for scrap when you lost your keys.' That's why guys like Neil Armstrong got mad. He and plenty of other experienced people were ready to make tackle problems and make thins functional, and the plan was cancelled.
Right now Nasa has no plans. The bits of Constellation that are still being developed amount to spare parts that were salvaged from the car that got thrown away. No one knows what we'll use them for, because Nasa has no plans to go anywhere.

Agree that Obama's approach is not unique to Obama. On the contrary: it's all too typical. Administrations and Congressional leaders since the 1950s have put the US space program on a capricious boom-and-bust ride. It's more to the point to say that certain moments in that time stand out for being the exception to that kind of silliness. They provide focus. One was the Kennedy vision of moon landings within a decade, and one was the Constellation project as Nasa chief Michael Griffin unveiled it in the last decade just past.

Alas, Nasa has now returned to normal. No big adventures. America's space program is back to celebrating small things. William Shatner will no doubt always remember where he was the day he first learned about the Dragon space taxi.

Here's a satire you'll appreciate. It's from the Onion.
Why did Constellation get canceled? The theory I've had since 1/16/10 is that it was due to politics. A moon base would one day gain it's freedom and the residents wuld no longer be under the thumb of the Lefts control of dependency on them for every thing. All political parties need members, just since my days of watching Get Smart in the 60's I've been viewing the Democrat's as controling junkies that only stay alive by sucking the blood (votes) of thier vote giving them life. I was only 7 to 8 years old at the time. But I could see back then at such a young age that Apollo 18,19 and 20 got canned because that would have lead to a base being made on the moon and one day get it's freedom from being under the lefts thumb.
Ok...lets be realistic here. A moon base is most likely decades out (that is, if NASA were to go into a full throttle forward mode...Which they are not). People throw around the term, "moon base" like they talk about their back yards. The technology needed to live on the moon (forever) is not even close. Its taken years to build the LEO ISS. Now we are talking about living on the moon...many times the distance out? And how in the world would a moon base gain its freedom? Are they going to type out a Declaration of Independence? I doubt that any "moon citizenship" will ever happen. It would be a base for government funded scientists. Im not being hostile at all, but these are just question that come to mind every time the topic is brought up.
+Dean Holyer politicians must compromise on everything, and their priorities determine which initiatives can be the sacrificial lambs for the initiatives with a higher priority. To most politicians, space is a very expensive jobs program and only has risk for them when it comes to balancing the budget or the PR issues associated with the kind of catastrophic failures on national TV only a space program is capable of. In truth, while I can see the whole idea that it would be politically disadvantageous for a lunar colony they backed to walk away, I seriously doubt they thought that far ahead.

+Joshua Hall NASA will not be able to do it, certainly not first. Between the Chinese, a Russian/Japanese joint venture, and commercial aerospace building up a head of steam, I see NASA not only thumbing a ride, but crashing on someone's couch. While this is what I see, I am not happy with it. NASA will always have a warm spot in my heart... I watched Apollo 17 launch, and when I hear "NASA", that is what I think of, not the systematic program failures or the culture which enables this behavior. As far as the moon base is concerned, I give it 10 years at a minimum. From that point, independence is a function of perceived inequities, not a matter of time, so a discussion or estimate of when that would happen is premature. It is possible that it would never happen if there is no social reason to do so.
+Joshua Hall You've conflated two issues: (1) the technological feasibility of a moon base and (2) the social/political issues involved in the colonisation of extraterrestrial bodies.

The second, political organisation, is not a pressing practical matter at this stage of space exploration. Crews on the ISS, the permanently inhabited space outpost, don't lose a lot of sleep over creating a government. For all the same reasons the crews of a permanently inhabited moon outpost would not be much bothered with it, either. A century or so down the road, once nearby planetary bodies have acquired a large enough self-supporting human population to face the kinds of practical issues of self-organisation and cultural identity you describe, questions of this sort would assume more pressing practical importance.

The first concern, technological capability, was addressed in the overall Constellation plan. It took the technologies step by step. First, you learn everything you can about extended space stays that you can on the ISS (hours away in low earth orbit). At the same time you do that, you develop and test the hardware that will take human beings back to the moon so they can build an outpost there. That hardware begins with new applications of the most reliable technologies we now have. Once you've created a moon outpost, you continue to learn everything you can about building and maintaining a permanent station there (now 3 days away by space flight). Some technologies to develop would include the production of drinking water, breathable oxygen, rocket fuel and other essentials from the soil (it's rich in hydrogen and oxygen). Once your body of knowledge and the associated body of knowledge is sufficiently advanced, you prepare an analogous mission to Mars (a year away by space flight) and build a base there.

It was all very reasonably set out. Obviously near-term goals were planned in more detail than far-term goals, because the latter depend on your discoveries and other variables. Another advantage of the plan is that it was designed to keep things progressing a solid pace without calling for huge expenditures all at once or for 'bust' periods after 'booms'. You could have a reliably employed aerospace work force serving the program reliably across 3-5 decades.
Aaron...You just put into words what I have been thinking. AMEN!
NASA cant do it. You know, the only reason that NASA has been known for its 'systematic failures' is because the government has such a huge hand in its funding. If the current administration doesnt like the project, they shut down what took NASA 4 years (or 8 yrs) to complete under the blessing of the former president. NASA almost cant win...cant finish a project. Maybe commercialized space travel is the only answer to real progress. I dont know. Time will tell.
+Dean Holyer Constellation was cancelled because Obama appointed a committee to assess it and the committee decided it was unlikely to produce the results desired within the budget it could expect to have.

The Apollo program stopped at 17 rather than 20, as originally planned, for two main reasons: resistance in Congress and fear of tragedy.

Nasa had enjoyed practically unlimited funding since Kennedy's assassination in 1963. No one in either party wanted to drop the ball on Kennedy's ambition of 'achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth'. In a single year, two missions changed the picture. One was Apollo 11, which met Kennedy's goal in July 1969. The other was Apollo 13, which scared the beejesus out of everybody in April 1970.

After Apollo 11, funding for moon missions became a tougher sell in the halls of the US Congress. In effect, Nasa personnel were punished for their success. Arguments for cutbacks took two forms: 'We've already done it and beaten the Russians, so what's the point of going back?' and 'I'd rather spend that money on a more interesting planet: Earth'. The latter was known as the 'rockets or rickets' argument. Ironically, the success of Apollo can be credited in part for the re-focus on earth. The images of our home planet seen whole and complete from space were paradigm shifting. They changed forever the way human beings thought of their world.

After Apollo 13, politicians in both the executive and legislative branches were intimidated by the risks. The crew of Apollo 1 had been lost in a fire only three years earlier and now another crew had nearly been lost. Nixon ultimately chose to cancel the last three Apollo missions because he wanted to lower the likelihood of having a space tragedy on his hands to explain to the nation. (He had already crafted memorial speeches for both the Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 missions for use if the astronauts died.) Going to 17 was a gesture of compromise, as some members of Congress supported cutting all Apollo funding at once. He was uninclined to fight Congress for more space funding, given all the other things he and Congress were also fighting over.

The notion that anyone was afraid of an independent Lunar Republic being formed is fanciful.
They almost killed the Shuttle after flight #25 exploded on take off, Reagan was the main reason they did not. Then the Constellation was designed with flaws to fit budget hopes. They figured that they could get more funding with ease by finding and correcting the design errors, rather than flush the project due to a few mistakes, they hoped money would flow in bigger and faster because they found errors that would save human lives in the process. It was a better way to get bigger bank books than asking for more than they though anyone would hand out to start with.

After it was canceled what did they do, they paid many to prove again that science facts were actually true, almost like they did not believe discoverys during Reagan's time were just good boosts to make it look good, their was no way they could have been real and truthful, they only gave made up answers to get them more money. Many of the Engineers I talked to from Lockheed Martian at turkey day dinner at my brothers in 2010 had the same view of how the space funding from the new fool and chief was going. Also many of the Engineers were being forced to quit their long standing jobs so they could get a job at a near by planet doing the same thing. This was meant to improve the new jobs numbers at a good rate and puff up the numbers.

And also many of the new engineers being hired new the numbers in the books, but rarely had experience of getting their hands dirty with grease rather than used eraser dust.

And in the 60's there was a phrase that said if you wanted to go into space you needed to learn math and science not how to use a slide rule.
All I have to say is, NASA Engineers know how to do their work: and if they were to be allowed to do what is needed to get a 1st class space program going, they would do it. Feds...let them do their jobs right!
But it seems that when America does do first class stuff, some in politics in ways want to punish the US for doing some thing that others deserved to do it first. It is like America has no right to do it first, and if we do end up being the first to do it then it is America that stoled the rights of others that were ment to do it first. A clasic project was landing on the Moon first. America stold the right of the USSR who were first in space from making the event happen before they whom had the right first since they were first to get their first.

I say tuff shit if you were bot first then someone had better ideas than you, I say whom ever is first does not matter, and if you think they have the right to be first, to bad someone else found a better way to get their first. All is fair in Love, War and being first.
+Joshua Hall I seen no other way, besides commercialization of space travel, to accomplish the two necessary improvements to the system:

1. Get the politicians out of the decision making capacity for space flight. They are frightened by the scope, completely unsuited and unqualified for the task; the ultimate "pointy haired boss".
2. Complete something or quit trying. The constant failures are the reasons morale and credibility are low. "We got to the moon" only goes so far.

Risk management is a good thing for any engineering program, but risk aversion is not. People die, that's a fact of life. We talk about the value of a human life... this value is not infinite. There are things worth dying for, and exploration is one of them. In my book it ranks higher than national aggression and defense, and I'm a combat vet. If I could choose the time and manner of my death, I would rather die doing great things for my nation and species than sit in chambers and argue with other old men about what color of beige we want the walls painted and die in my sleep having accomplished nothing.
It's a problem inherent in all forms of government: at the top amateurs make decisions affecting professionals. This is no one's fault; it just goes with the situation. People at the governing level are called upon to make too many important decisions about too many things for them to be expert, or even functionally literate, about most of the subjects involved. Alas, it also goes with the situation that the stakes are often high.

Non-physicians must decide public health priorities, lifelong civilians must decide which weapons systems to buy, non-educators must make decisions affecting research universities, non-artists must plan museums and culture centres, non-astronomers must decide priorities for space research, non-engineers must decide which rockets to build, non-travellers must make decisions about foreign policy, non-lawyers must evaluate judges.

Good public servants know their limits. They get real experts as advisers. They rely on experts and delegate oversight of important details to them. They help as their help is needed and get out of the way when that point is passed. The do a lot of listening and they ask a lot of questions. At their best, they are good at building structures that put experts in charge of a speciality as much as possible. They know how to trust people and get out of their way.

It's a beautiful thing when the right people have jobs as public servants. But it's par for the course that many people in those jobs will be well-meaning bunglers putting their mitts all over things don't understand. That's how it shakes out. Bungling happens. A lot.

All forms of government have this problem. The big advantage democracy has over other systems of government is its capacity for self-correction. (Though it pays the price in a corresponding disadvantage: things that are going well can be changed.)

Finding good leadership in private companies is as difficult as finding good leadership in civil government--for all the same reasons. The difference in the case of commercial enterprises is that ideas must validate themselves according to the laws of the marketplace. 'Smart' decisions are those which make, if not always the best sense or the healthiest environment, at least a profit.
+Alton Thompson Well said. The difference is that all commercial ventures and thus the businesses themselves and their executive staff are subject to the direct result of the business end of evolution. If you are unsuited to the task, you will die in favor of that which can either thrive in the new system or adapt to it. When you link this to a social fixture in people's lives, such as government, the natural evolutionary process gets subverted; something which would naturally adapt or die no longer has a threat to its survival.

For a business or agency of the government, this means that they can rest upon their laurels, never worrying about the bottom line or whether their job will be there tomorrow. While uncomfortable for the players, this evolutionary process builds a robust economy rather than an apathetic one.

I have no quarrel with our public servants (my partner is one), but in most cases these people have no business being involved in anything other than the political side of it. Give us a destination and cut the engineers loose. They'll tell you what they need to get the job done... and for the love of all that's holy, don't haggle! An engineer can go back and rework the plan for less initial cost, but it will cost something somewhere else in trade.

Higher upkeep, less reliability, even higher risk will factor into the real TCO of a program if the cuts are too deep. Ask yourself what the cost was when the shuttle program was cut from the 10 billion original planned cost to the 5.5 billion program that was approved? Give you a hint... the 10 billion system launched like Virgin's and didn't have to worry about SRBs or ET foam and ice.
Your average pet dog has better odds of playing with your TV's remote and turning to a channel you'll like than a politician giving you what you need and for free, Or if what you need will get him more votes it may happen, but never for free (I mean really free not just moving the tax money you are forced to give them from one pile to another,
+Dean Holyer  It's about the same actually.  My dog could easily learn to change the channel to the right one if rewarded with the right treats (Petco Carob chip cookies).  To get a politician to do anything, you have to make it worth their while too.  

Now a public servant can often be convinced to do the right thing on the principle of the matter.
To make it simple you mean you need to bribe your politician to get them to do what is needed. But is that not illegal?
+Dean Holyer okay... we're going to go into some dark territory, and I have some experience playing that side of the equation, though I dislike the game.  If you are an idealist, you probably want to stop with the message that "yes, bribes are illegal." and leave it at that.

Still here?  Okay.  

The truth is that monetary incentives are fleeting; nobody stays bought... it's more like a rental with no contract.  What I was talking about is to create a situation where the politician has to make a choice: act in the way you want, or look like a petty idiot in front of the people who can either leave him where he is or vote for someone else.  

This is particularly effective if set up to come to a head in the year prior to an election.  The kicker is that you have to do this for the right reason and stay true to it, otherwise you are no better than a hired gun lobbyist.  This means that you can either:

1. Use facts and make sure his constituency understands the issue, and the likelihood decreases with the square of the complexity of the issue. Not going to happen with space issues or economics.

2. Roll out a campaign which gets people to react in a certain way given the stimulus that the politician provides.  This has a higher likelihood of success, but also a high likelihood of unintended consequences.

3. Identify the politician's support base (fellow politicians in a committee, cabinet members, constituent business owners, his mother...) and begin a campaign to swing their opinions.  This has the highest bang for the buck, but tends to look bad even though it is not illegal.

I wish we could just present the case and lets the facts speak for themselves. Such boy scout campaigns are going up against established influential groups with deep pockets.  Many of these use the above methods plus another 3 which are illegal: bribes, blackmail, and intimidation.  Who do you think is going to win?  

If you want to win a game, you can't play a defensive game against an unethical opponent.  You have to play an offensive game and go in for the kill using every available advantage.  You need to not only win, but knock it out of the park.  This limits how much effort you have to expend later to continue to achieve the same results.
At least you have put some thinking into this idea.

Over all my big desire was created in 2004 as Bush said we will start colonizing the Moon by the time the 50th aniversery of the Moon landing arrives. In the 90's I spent the time recovering from a Drunk driver spliting my head open so my brain was exposed. This made me lose contact with the memory matrix of life I had stored in my brain until then. But I still had the moral values I was born with. But I had to learn everything over, most are lucky to get to grade school levels. I've always been good at self education. I even went to collage to learn the computer programing skills I had naturally and lost in my damaged brain. Just because my memory was lost does not mean I'm dumb, I still know how to naturally process information I learn.

The one thing I desire is to help humanity no longer be stuck on the 3rd Rock from the Sun. I may not phrase or view things in the Politically Correct way they teach in school, So I may express things in a more blunt less gentile way.
+Dean Holyer  I have no problem with bluntness.  I find it refreshing even when it says things I disagree with as long as they are backed up by fact of solid reasoning.

As far as leaving the 3rd rock...  we're working on it.  One step at a time as we learn to walk away from the cradle.
As for any thing I do not restate anything as fact unless have at least 1, 2 or 3 facts to prove it. What is the purpose of stating you value some thing if you can not prove it. It's something I learned from Science.

As for walking I was told I would never do that again due to the facy that a PET scan of my head shows that both deep inner ear balance sensors have been destroyed. But I learned to use my vision to replace them, works good but slow as long as there is light.

That is why I dislike walking in the dark.

The second time I was PET scanned was to figure out what my blood flow in my brain had circulation problems when massive thought processes slowed down the blood flow in the rest of my body. The brain needs more fresh air so it takes it from the rest of the body. And that is why I do not author somputer software any more.
+Dean Holyer You have done something few have done.  In order to get back to some semblance of normal, you have had to learn how to learn at a basic level.  This gives you an advantage over those who simply do it and take the process for granted.  

You see, "normal" people usually can't tell you how they came to understand something except in gross generalities.  "I was in this class in school..." is as far as they go, while you are capable of providing providence because this is necessary for your own confidence.

You and I have something in common...  I did not have a massive head injury such as yours, but I had an accident that made it necessary to learn to walk again.  The docs in my case told me that I'd never do it.  I bet them $50.00 that they were wrong.  I still have that $50.00 bill framed in my office.  My accident helped me understand how to learn what other people take for granted. 
I hope they won't wait another 43 years to take another step of this magnitude..
Most likely the long wait time period is due to the Government running and controlling things. Since Space Exploration in ways is going from public to private industry, things may move faster, the big danger is they could begin to go faster than what the technology permits. The one program I'd like to see private space take from public space exploration is the X-33 (aka Venture Star a SSTO space shuttle) and if some redesign it could become a MagLev launched space ship. In ways the ESA has worked on this but dropped it due to it being to big a step in technology, just like the then Martin Marietta Venture Star with the use of Vector Thrust rockets not the normal technology used.
It's good that they can't control Mars One. Hopefully..
Meanwhile, outside all the rhetoric about the superiority of commercial ventures, let's take a moment to contemplate the things that actually happen in such companies.

Enjoy the story of Palm, a one-time technology leader. As you read this tale of private American enterprise, try not to be reminded of the stereotypical 'government operation'.

Instability, reversal of course, lack of vision, failure to commit--these things will always sink worthy projects. These plagues are as likely to strike in the realm of commerce as in any other.

No substitute exists for real leadership.
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