Saturday, February 06, 2010
James Cameron wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post today (with a great intro, by the way) fully supporting the new vision for NASA that the White House has put forth. The op-ed basically makes the case that this will enable NASA to free itself up from doing what it does worst (building launchers and technology that has been available for quite some time now) and let it do what it does best (explore deep space, work on new technologies). I'm becoming more and more optimistic about the plan the more I see it, and if private industry can pick up the slack then goals like putting people on the Moon (or at least sending them around the Moon and back) should be doable by 2020.
The Wikipedia page for March 2007 for SpaceX gives an idea of what has happened in a bit less than three years - now SpaceX has a fully functional rocket with two successes under its belt and is working on the Falcon 9 to launch possibly next month. With these first successes, extra funding from NASA and ten years' leeway, hopefully SpaceX and other companies will be able to pick up the slack and make the cancellation of Constellation worth it.