Standing outside on a clear night, people all over the world look up and see a sight familiar throughout the generations of mankind: the waxing and waning of the moon. Our moon has become a symbol of permanence; changes in its appearance, and the regularity of events such as solar and lunar eclipses can be accurately predicted for generations to come. But such seeming-constancy is not the case for every moon.
From deficit estimates to the cost of a socialized health care system, the Obama administration is encountering substantive challenges regarding the accuracy of its cost projections. Now, in the wake of reports that the presidentially-appointed “Augustine Committee” has determined that NASA’s budget is woefully inadequate at current spending levels to continue a manned space program, an independent review has found that the inadequacy rests not in the budget, but in the estimates being fed to the committee.
The recent launch of South Korea’s Naro-1 rocket marked the emergence of the 10th nation with the capacity to launch payloads to orbit. But several private corporations — including SpaceX and Virgin Galactic — have been redefining the role of private corporations in the opening of the next frontier.