Author Topic: Space industry takes prominent role in Trumpís national security strategy  (Read 3900 times)

Offline Star One

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I donít think thereís anything that surprising in all of this considering the administrationís past statements in the area. Though we havenít seen this kind of language used before in terms of being combined with commercial space and national security.

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The Trump administration is elevating the role of the privately funded space industry in advancing the nationís interests as competitors like Russia and China seek to challenge the United States and its free rein in space.

In the 2017 National Security Strategy released Dec. 18, the president commits the U.S. government to partnering with private industry to explore space and defend U.S. assets there. The administration also promises to help defend private space systems from hostile attacks.

The strategy makes the promotion of space commerce a national security priority. In that vein, the administration intends to overhaul industry regulations to motivate companies to invest and innovate. ďThe United States will simplify and update regulations for commercial space activity to strengthen competitiveness,Ē says the document.

http://spacenews.com/space-industry-takes-prominent-role-in-trumps-national-security-strategy/
« Last Edit: 12/18/2017 08:06 PM by Star One »

Online AncientU

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This is clearly the direction USAF think tanks, the National Space Council including the VP, and the Administrator nominee are all heading.  Walking the walk is harder than talking the talk.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Star One

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This is clearly the direction USAF think tanks, the National Space Council including the VP, and the Administrator nominee are all heading.  Walking the walk is harder than talking the talk.

Well the language used could be summed up under the term ďthatís fighting talkĒ.

Online AncientU

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This is clearly the direction USAF think tanks, the National Space Council including the VP, and the Administrator nominee are all heading.  Walking the walk is harder than talking the talk.

Well the language used could be summed up under the term “that’s fighting talk”.

Doesn't have to be read that way, but certainly can and will be by the military might oriented opposition.  (I don't think that is a reason to back off -- after all, these are the parties that are doing a-sat demos, etc.)

If this program gains any traction -- it's just talk now and likely will remain so -- it could create a window of vulnerability before headway is made that 'captures' any valuable 'high ground.'
« Last Edit: 12/18/2017 10:44 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline Coastal Ron

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I donít think thereís anything that surprising in all of this considering the administrationís past statements in the area. Though we havenít seen this kind of language used before in terms of being combined with commercial space and national security.

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The administration also promises to help defend private space systems from hostile attacks.

Aren't we already paying taxes to do that?

And how is that different than the status quo today?
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Rocket Science

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It's just creating a "new money funnel" to the defense contractors...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Star One

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It's just creating a "new money funnel" to the defense contractors...

What justification do you have for that statement?

Offline Lar

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It's just creating a "new money funnel" to the defense contractors...

What justification do you have for that statement?

It is his or her opinion. You don't have to agree with it.  However, I think many in the US that have personal experience with our system might well agree, based on how things have went in the past, that it's a likely outcome..
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Star One

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It's just creating a "new money funnel" to the defense contractors...

What justification do you have for that statement?

It is his or her opinion. You don't have to agree with it.  However, I think many in the US that have personal experience with our system might well agree, based on how things have went in the past, that it's a likely outcome..

Poor choice of word really should have used evidence instead. Proof of a past outcome doesnít guarantee a future one.

Offline Lar

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Poor choice of word really should have used evidence instead. Proof of a past outcome doesnít guarantee a future one.

Sure doesn't. But when extrapolating, linear progression/curve fitting is not a bad place to start guessing. If you can predict an upcoming discontinuity, great, but those are hard to spot.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Star One

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Poor choice of word really should have used evidence instead. Proof of a past outcome doesnít guarantee a future one.

Sure doesn't. But when extrapolating, linear progression/curve fitting is not a bad place to start guessing. If you can predict an upcoming discontinuity, great, but those are hard to spot.

Iíd argue that the discontinuity this time is so called new space. No longer do the old boys have the playing field to themselves. Iíd certainly like to see them giving a fair chance.

Offline Lar

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Poor choice of word really should have used evidence instead. Proof of a past outcome doesnít guarantee a future one.

Sure doesn't. But when extrapolating, linear progression/curve fitting is not a bad place to start guessing. If you can predict an upcoming discontinuity, great, but those are hard to spot.

Iíd argue that the discontinuity this time is so called new space. No longer do the old boys have the playing field to themselves. Iíd certainly like to see them giving a fair chance.
I agree that it COULD be a discontinuity but there are people actively campaigning (where it matters, on K street and in the waiting rooms of Congress) to make it not be so, to continue with the high cost, high pork approach.  They are not friends of NewSpace.

I think the best hope is that NewSpace just goes off and does things... things so astonishingly broad, and cheap, and effective, and fast, that these lobbyists can't counter them and we see that discontinuity. But I place the odds as less than 50/50, sadly. So much could go wrong.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Star One

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Poor choice of word really should have used evidence instead. Proof of a past outcome doesnít guarantee a future one.

Sure doesn't. But when extrapolating, linear progression/curve fitting is not a bad place to start guessing. If you can predict an upcoming discontinuity, great, but those are hard to spot.

Iíd argue that the discontinuity this time is so called new space. No longer do the old boys have the playing field to themselves. Iíd certainly like to see them giving a fair chance.
I agree that it COULD be a discontinuity but there are people actively campaigning (where it matters, on K street and in the waiting rooms of Congress) to make it not be so, to continue with the high cost, high pork approach.  They are not friends of NewSpace.

I think the best hope is that NewSpace just goes off and does things... things so astonishingly broad, and cheap, and effective, and fast, that these lobbyists can't counter them and we see that discontinuity. But I place the odds as less than 50/50, sadly. So much could go wrong.

You fear then that the fine words issuing from politicians about new space are just that words alone without the practical follow through?

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Poor choice of word really should have used evidence instead. Proof of a past outcome doesnít guarantee a future one.

Sure doesn't. But when extrapolating, linear progression/curve fitting is not a bad place to start guessing. If you can predict an upcoming discontinuity, great, but those are hard to spot.

All this back and forth aside, evidence  as to why they think its just a funnel to defense contractors would actually be useful.  Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion, but I for one would like to hear some actual data.
 And "well, Washington is corrupt, and everybody knows it," doesn't cut it - I'd argue that just moves towards the area of non-space politics issues that we aren't suppose to discuss.

(And I don't have a dog in the national security world)
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Lar

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You fear then that the fine words issuing from politicians about new space are just that words alone without the practical follow through?

You know it, brother.

Poor choice of word really should have used evidence instead. Proof of a past outcome doesnít guarantee a future one.

Sure doesn't. But when extrapolating, linear progression/curve fitting is not a bad place to start guessing. If you can predict an upcoming discontinuity, great, but those are hard to spot.

All this back and forth aside, evidence  as to why they think its just a funnel to defense contractors would actually be useful.  Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion, but I for one would like to hear some actual data.
 And "well, Washington is corrupt, and everybody knows it," doesn't cut it - I'd argue that just moves towards the area of non-space politics issues that we aren't suppose to discuss.

(And I don't have a dog in the national security world)

My default response when some political hack, ( or wannabe hack, whichever ), says "things will be different this time"? ... "prove it" ... the onus is on them to prove that the status quo ante isn't projecting forward as per usual.

My second response? Checking my wallet to make sure it hasn't been pilfered.

That's enough of that. Maybe talk about tangible things we could see happen that would demonstrate that this isn't just talk, and that there is a plan to overcome the high powered lobbyists of the MIC and change things.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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You fear then that the fine words issuing from politicians about new space are just that words alone without the practical follow through?

You know it, brother.

Poor choice of word really should have used evidence instead. Proof of a past outcome doesnít guarantee a future one.

Sure doesn't. But when extrapolating, linear progression/curve fitting is not a bad place to start guessing. If you can predict an upcoming discontinuity, great, but those are hard to spot.

All this back and forth aside, evidence  as to why they think its just a funnel to defense contractors would actually be useful.  Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion, but I for one would like to hear some actual data.
 And "well, Washington is corrupt, and everybody knows it," doesn't cut it - I'd argue that just moves towards the area of non-space politics issues that we aren't suppose to discuss.

(And I don't have a dog in the national security world)

My default response when some political hack, ( or wannabe hack, whichever ), says "things will be different this time"? ... "prove it" ... the onus is on them to prove that the status quo ante isn't projecting forward as per usual.

My second response? Checking my wallet to make sure it hasn't been pilfered.

That's enough of that. Maybe talk about tangible things we could see happen that would demonstrate that this isn't just talk, and that there is a plan to overcome the high powered lobbyists of the MIC and change things.

That's fine and dandy, but it does return us to the original point....

It's just creating a "new money funnel" to the defense contractors...

I would like to hear some evidence
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Online Tea Party Space Czar

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This is something that is incredibly reasonable.  Why not empower the private sector in the space industry?  The innovation of the American people is one of our biggest, if not the biggest, strength we as America have.  The private sector is much more agile and innovative.  It is a clear advantage to the United States to engage the private sector in the expanding space industry.

Quite frankly, this is validating the reality that the private sector is much more efficient with time and resources.  We want to move quicker.  We want to protect the interests of the United States - and quite frankly - humanity.  This is not in anyway diminishing the millions of accomplishments that NASA and the government have had since 1957... its just 2017 now and there are better ways to accomplish the mission.

Clinton, Bush, Obama, and now Trump have made steps to ensure inclusion of the private sector in improving space security and accessibility.  Some will rightfully argue it has always been the private sector; however, it was always under the auspices of NASA.  This simply isn't the case anymore.

Respectfully,
Andrew Gasser

Offline Rocket Science

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You fear then that the fine words issuing from politicians about new space are just that words alone without the practical follow through?

You know it, brother.

Poor choice of word really should have used evidence instead. Proof of a past outcome doesnít guarantee a future one.

Sure doesn't. But when extrapolating, linear progression/curve fitting is not a bad place to start guessing. If you can predict an upcoming discontinuity, great, but those are hard to spot.

All this back and forth aside, evidence  as to why they think its just a funnel to defense contractors would actually be useful.  Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion, but I for one would like to hear some actual data.
 And "well, Washington is corrupt, and everybody knows it," doesn't cut it - I'd argue that just moves towards the area of non-space politics issues that we aren't suppose to discuss.

(And I don't have a dog in the national security world)

My default response when some political hack, ( or wannabe hack, whichever ), says "things will be different this time"? ... "prove it" ... the onus is on them to prove that the status quo ante isn't projecting forward as per usual.

My second response? Checking my wallet to make sure it hasn't been pilfered.

That's enough of that. Maybe talk about tangible things we could see happen that would demonstrate that this isn't just talk, and that there is a plan to overcome the high powered lobbyists of the MIC and change things.

That's fine and dandy, but it does return us to the original point....

It's just creating a "new money funnel" to the defense contractors...

I would like to hear some evidence
I would like to see some proof that it won't be...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Lar

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It's just creating a "new money funnel" to the defense contractors...

I would like to hear some evidence
I would like to see some proof that it won't be...

Yep. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The onus is on those who say "this time it will be different" to prove it...d not those saying it will be same old same old.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Coastal Ron

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I agree that it COULD be a discontinuity but there are people actively campaigning (where it matters, on K street and in the waiting rooms of Congress) to make it not be so, to continue with the high cost, high pork approach.  They are not friends of NewSpace.

As with pretty much everything in politics, it doesn't matter what politicians say, it only matters what they do. So we really don't know how this will play out yet.

For instance, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Orbital ATK are all part of the "space industry", so saying that the private sector is going to be playing a more prominent role could just result in more cost-plus contracts for the big players, and not much for the smaller and more innovative companies (let's not debate that point, just stick with the concept overall).

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I think the best hope is that NewSpace just goes off and does things... things so astonishingly broad, and cheap, and effective, and fast, that these lobbyists can't counter them and we see that discontinuity. But I place the odds as less than 50/50, sadly.

Yes, NewSpace should keep their focus and not worry about what the U.S. Government is doing unless there truly is synergy, such as the Commercial Cargo and Crew programs.

And I don't see that there will be any sort of sea-change at NASA, because Trump really hasn't announced anything different for NASA to do in the near-term. Plus, major changes usually have to be started with some sort of legislation, and usually also with new money. I just don't see that happening with this Republican Congress - with tax cuts they are ready to move onto budget cuts, so it would take a lot of effort to get them to fund something new.

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So much could go wrong.

Agreed.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Coastal Ron

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Sure, someone can say "well, Washington is corrupt"...

Having "worked in the belly of the beast" so to speak, at government contractors large and small, I don't characterize what contractors normally do to get work as "corrupt". Sure, some have broken the law, and let's hope most are getting caught at that, but otherwise there are perfectly legal ways to extract money from the U.S. Government - and large government contractors have perfected those methods.

I think the distinction here is that it's almost easy to tell if something will result in a worthwhile goal based on how the contracting is done.

For instance, if there is a lot of cost-plus work being done, and not much competition for ideas or contracts, then that's a sign that the political goals are not aligned to the stated goals. The SLS and Orion programs could fit this description.

The Commercial Cargo and Crew programs are good examples of where the political goals were aligned with the stated goals, which were to create commercial transportation systems to support the ISS. There was robust competition, and the U.S. Government actually required companies to take some of the financial risk.

We won't know if the political goals align with the stated national security goals until Trump actually proposes something specific. That should come soon with the FY2019 budget proposal, so 1st quarter of next year.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline woods170

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This is something that is incredibly reasonable.  Why not empower the private sector in the space industry?  The innovation of the American people is one of our biggest, if not the biggest, strength we as America have.  The private sector is much more agile and innovative.  It is a clear advantage to the United States to engage the private sector in the expanding space industry.

Emphasis mine.

Great idea Andrew. But as long as US Congress holds the purse strings, and those purse strings provide highly-paid jobs to ~100,000 US citizens, it is unlikely that the private sector will be empowered to the level required.

Because when such empowerment actually would occur some 80% of those ~100,000 US citizens will lose their jobs.

It really is all about bringing home the bacon and US Congress folks making damn sure they can stay put in their well-padded chairs on Capitol Hill.

Online AncientU

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This is something that is incredibly reasonable.  Why not empower the private sector in the space industry?  The innovation of the American people is one of our biggest, if not the biggest, strength we as America have.  The private sector is much more agile and innovative.  It is a clear advantage to the United States to engage the private sector in the expanding space industry.

Emphasis mine.

Great idea Andrew. But as long as US Congress holds the purse strings, and those purse strings provide highly-paid jobs to ~100,000 US citizens, it is unlikely that the private sector will be empowered to the level required.

Because when such empowerment actually would occur some 80% of those ~100,000 US citizens will lose their jobs.

It really is all about bringing home the bacon and US Congress folks making damn sure they can stay put in their well-padded chairs on Capitol Hill.

You've together summed up two sides of the coin.  Both are realities... yet diametrically opposed.

Entrenched interests will not give up their paid position as evidenced by Mary Lynn Ditmar's statement for the 'Deep Space Exploration' lobby that completely ignored the President's stated policy (landing on the Moon in that instance).  Presidents come and go, but the huge Defense contractors remain and get stronger as they consolidate (consume the competition).

The only way the American advantage in the commercial sector will become a player in a strategic sense is to gradually supplant the incumbents in space launch, satellite building, space architecture building...

Even Congress will eventually see where the leadership in space is headed and rush to get out in front of it.  May take a Chinese leap in technology to get their attention, though, or a launch of something so startlingly different (superior) from our own shores.
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 12:51 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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This is something that is incredibly reasonable.  Why not empower the private sector in the space industry?  The innovation of the American people is one of our biggest, if not the biggest, strength we as America have.  The private sector is much more agile and innovative.  It is a clear advantage to the United States to engage the private sector in the expanding space industry.

Emphasis mine.

Great idea Andrew. But as long as US Congress holds the purse strings, and those purse strings provide highly-paid jobs to ~100,000 US citizens, it is unlikely that the private sector will be empowered to the level required.

Because when such empowerment actually would occur some 80% of those ~100,000 US citizens will lose their jobs.

It really is all about bringing home the bacon and US Congress folks making damn sure they can stay put in their well-padded chairs on Capitol Hill.
I am sorry, but the world can change with Congress, and it does every 2 years, and if you are a US citizen and you aren't happy, then IMHO, you have no one to blame but yourself.  I realize that we have a lot of people who aren't US citizens posting on NSF, and in that situation, SOL.  But if you are a US citizen, you can, to quote my dad "vote the bastards out".  And yes, one vote does matter - look at the Virginia House of Delegates District 94 - you have a situation where literally 1 vote is likely to decided whether a Delegate wins or not, which will also decide whether the Republicans or Democrats have a majority.

And there are LOTS of ways to get your voice to congress, and a lot of Space citizen lobbying activities out there.  Yes, there are entrenched interests.  But you can also over come them.  There are many examples of entrenched interests being forced to change because you had people campaigning for it. 

So, go out and vote.  Go out and find things like MarchStorm or other citizens space campaigns. Hell, run one yourself - you'd be amazed at how easy it is to build a relationship with Congress.  (and yes, this applies to US citizens - other citizens mileage may vary)


AncientU - there are days when the world does turn on a dime, and I suspect that the day space becomes a kitchen table issue, like the internet is, you'll see rapid change. 
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 02:51 PM by Chris Bergin »
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Chris Bergin

Goodness me I hate politics.

I want to make something crystal clear TO ALL and trust me I'm not grinning or winking when I'm saying this, I'm in your faces ready to fight.

Ms. Ditmar is a former high ranking Boeing ISS manager, a member of this site, and someone who works harder than pretty much all of the people posting on this thread combined for the space industry and thus deserves nothing but our respect. How much she gets paid for the role she's now in is none of your f-ing business, but I'm sure as hell she's earned it.

"Oh no, Chris sounds angry and that's not becoming of a "moderator"".

Deal with it.

Now, I'm going to stare at the new news site and cheer myself up again.

BE RESPECTFUL OF PEOPLE. Stupid internet.

Offline JasonAW3

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Personally, I have no horse in this race.

      I'm just happy to see some actual competition for launch services.  Competition tends to cause improvements as well as lowering costs for the services provided by the companies involved.

      How this will all shake out ought to be quite interesting.
My God!  It's full of universes!

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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A perspective from another one of those who worked in the trenches on the AF side from 1980 to 1989 in the LV office Space Division, LAAFS (now AFB) and 6595STG (Shuttle Test Group) and 6595MTG (Missile Test Group [Note: this group did not test missiles but launched sats]) VAFB. A BTW I was also the Deputy Test Director of the Space Defense Initiative program from 1986 -1988. One of the basic gripes was that we had to contract the contractors to do everything that they should have been doing anyway if they were a commercial service provider. The more things shift away from commanded (contracted developemnt) to a commercial off the shelf environment for space systems the more the AF guys in the trenches like it. Why? Because it makes their lives tremendously simpler and easier. Writing and managing contracts especially development contracts is tough work requiring digging into the technical details, talking with consultants, and travel almost every week etc.

I can here these guys and those in DARPA cheering this policy from here.

Offline Coastal Ron

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I am sorry, but the world can change with Congress, and it does every 2 years, and if you are a US citizen and you aren't happy, then IMHO, you have no one to blame but yourself.

I fully agree, and I am sad when we have low turnouts on elections.

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And there are LOTS of ways to get your voice to congress, and a lot of Space citizen lobbying activities out there.

However, most people vote either their pocketbook or their conscience, and things related to space usually don't fall into either category outside of just a few congressional districts. So even if everyone who should vote voted, I don't think that space-related topics would be a factor in the voting outcomes.

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Yes, there are entrenched interests.  But you can also over come them.  There are many examples of entrenched interests being forced to change because you had people campaigning for it.

Those voting, whether citizens or politicians, need to understand what their choices are. The clearer those choices are the easier it is to understand why people are voting the way they are.

For government supported HSF we are at a point in history where there is no clear path forward after the end of the ISS. That is because taxpayer money is spent usually to solve problems, and while solving the problem of keeping humans alive in space was nice to solve for a possible future need, the U.S. Government doesn't have any current problems that are solved by sending humans beyond LEO.

It could be said that jobs are the problem that HSF activity in space will solve, which is OK as long as that is explicit. But otherwise sending government employees to the Moon doesn't solve any problem that can't wait - hence the conundrum that every President has run into after the ISS was approved.

Which is why the private sector has an advantage right now for doing things in space because they have their own motivations. The Moon is a place of rich history for America, which is why I think Trump is currently mentioning it, but otherwise I don't think he knows what he wants to do - what the worthy goals could be for such a long-term effort.

But voting for people that are not going to do dumb things is a start...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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And there are LOTS of ways to get your voice to congress, and a lot of Space citizen lobbying activities out there.

However, most people vote either their pocketbook or their conscience, and things related to space usually don't fall into either category outside of just a few congressional districts. So even if everyone who should vote voted, I don't think that space-related topics would be a factor in the voting outcomes.

But we aren't talking about just voting.  Don't get me wrong - voting is a PART of being a good space activist.  But there are other things you can and SHOULD do. 

Question for everyone in this thread - Have you ever called your member of congress (or another member of congress) to talk about space with them?  Have you ever participated in a district blitz, or even better a DC blitz? 
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Rocket Science

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And there are LOTS of ways to get your voice to congress, and a lot of Space citizen lobbying activities out there.

However, most people vote either their pocketbook or their conscience, and things related to space usually don't fall into either category outside of just a few congressional districts. So even if everyone who should vote voted, I don't think that space-related topics would be a factor in the voting outcomes.

But we aren't talking about just voting.  Don't get me wrong - voting is a PART of being a good space activist.  But there are other things you can and SHOULD do. 

Question for everyone in this thread - Have you ever called your member of congress (or another member of congress) to talk about space with them?  Have you ever participated in a district blitz, or even better a DC blitz?
Elon and SpaceX's "actual accomplishments" have done more to raise interest and profile outside of so called "space states"(especially among Millennials that I have taught) than any other activist methodology you propose IMHO... Ask our friend Andrew about his experience up on the Hill and if any quantifiable results (this is not intended to be snark but an actual query)...
« Last Edit: 12/23/2017 12:35 PM by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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And there are LOTS of ways to get your voice to congress, and a lot of Space citizen lobbying activities out there.

However, most people vote either their pocketbook or their conscience, and things related to space usually don't fall into either category outside of just a few congressional districts. So even if everyone who should vote voted, I don't think that space-related topics would be a factor in the voting outcomes.

But we aren't talking about just voting.  Don't get me wrong - voting is a PART of being a good space activist.  But there are other things you can and SHOULD do. 

Question for everyone in this thread - Have you ever called your member of congress (or another member of congress) to talk about space with them?  Have you ever participated in a district blitz, or even better a DC blitz?
Elon and SpaceX's "actual accomplishments" have done more to raise interest and profile outside of so called "space states"(especially among Millennials that I have taught) than any other activist methodology you propose IMHO... Ask our friend Andrew about his experience up on the Hill and if any quantifiable results (this is not intended to be snark but an actual query)...

1)  I don't deny that outside events can and do have a huge impact (see anything from the successful Mercury flights, to the Challenger tradegy, to NewSpace).  Absolutely, and the bigger the outside event, the more the impact. 
2)  That doesn't mean lawmakers ignore voters and constitutants coming to their door.  To your question - I have actually run a few citizen lobbying events, and I can say how they have had an impact in terms of quantifiable results.  There are more than a few historical examples, such as funding for RLVs, the flight opportunities program, and the one that I can speak to personally and most recently was we pushed to impact the request for the ISS transition report (I won't claim it was just us, but we did push the conversation and request in a necessary direction).

It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

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