Great article on Obama’s NASA Dilemma (The Technology Review).
“When president-elect Barack Obama takes office in January, he will be faced with a rare situation. Within his first 100 days, he will have to decide the fate of America’s space program.”
“As president, Obama will support the development of this vital new platform to ensure that the United States’ reliance on foreign space capabilities is limited to the minimum possible time period,” the document stated. “The [Orion] CEV will be the backbone of future missions, and is being designed with technology that is already proven and available.”
“In addition, investing in space exploration could help the next president deliver on promises of creating jobs in high-tech industries during the current economic crisis. “One way to look at the space program in these economic times is that it is a jobs program,” AIAA’s Bell says. “It would be bad to encourage people to go into science and technology and then get rid of one of the agencies that is the primary employer for those types of people.”
My take is that the Space Program is important, as it creates jobs, and expertise and knowledge in science, math and engineering, in operations and other areas, which are all extremely important skills for our future, and which are skills that are applicable beyond the space program itself… A good example close to the readers of this blog is the “deep space Internet” (Disruption-Tolerant Networking) test, a “new” network protocol that was recently tested:
“(DTN is a) …software protocol, which must be able to withstand delays, disruptions and disconnections in space, was designed in partnership with Vint Cerf, a vice president at Internet search giant Google.”
I’m sure some of that innovation on (wireless) network robustness and reliability will be applicable to our own wireless networks here on Earth…