Bill Whittle brings us up to date on what he calls “the real Space Age,” which didn’t peak in July 1969 but launched instead on June 21st, 2004 — when the first private-sector flight entered Earth orbit. Thus began the era of sustainable space exploration, Whittle argues, where a top-down, sclerotic bureaucracy no longer controls the efforts to reach space. NASA has become an agency that blocks rather than promotes space flight and exploration, and now can’t even provide the US with its own transportation to the International Space Station we pioneered, along with Russia.
Does that mean the end of space flight for the US? Not at all, Bill tells us — and if NASA can stay out of the way, perhaps we can make space flight and exploration into a new private-sector market with much more room for innovation:
Barack Obama referred to our present economic crisis as “our Sputnik moment,” but Obama wants more top-down management of the economy; in essence, he wants to use the current NASA approach. If we’re facing a Sputnik moment on the economy or in space, we’d do better to follow Bill’s advice.