Private industry is making progress toward lowering the cost of space flight, and NASA would like to come along for the ride.
Among the earliest actions of the Obama administration was the appointment of the “Augustine Committee,” which was given the responsibility of carrying out a review of NASA’s manned space program. The result of the committee deliberations was a NASA with its budget intact, but without a mission or mandate to go anywhere. The previous administration’s plans for a return to the Moon and eventual missions to Mars were abandoned — few presidential administrations are interested in implementing the showpiece programs of their predecessors.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most significant milestones in the “Space Race” between the United States and the Soviet Union, and it comes at a time when Russia once again hopes to sprint head of any rival space program.
California's Gov. Jerry Brown, who took office with a state government in horrific financial shape, is continuing to press for so-called “renewable energy.” A bill which has passed the state legislature and which he intends to sign into law could require that by 2020, California utilities would have to draw 33 percent of their power from solar panels, windmills, landfills gases, small hydroelectric power plants, and similar renewable sources.