Author Topic: Cooroperation or Competition is Best  (Read 903 times)

Offline DarkenedOne

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Cooroperation or Competition is Best
« on: 02/05/2011 02:56 am »
Many nations have been talking about cooperation in space.  The proponents of increased cooperation believe that it will result in more exploration and acheivement.  The logic is that multiple space agencies would be able to bring to bear more resources than a single one. 

The problem is that I do not believe history and human nature support this position.  Taking a look through are recent past it is clear that the greatest glory days of space exploration were not done with cooperation, but with competition.  Apollo was conducted not in an era of peace and cooperation.  It was conducted in an era of suspicion and fear.  It was during that time we practically developed all of the ground breaking space technology concepts that we have today.  GPS, Satellite communications, Earth observation, and humans spaceflight. 

Now look at us.  We are richer and more technolocially advanced than ever before.  We have better computers, electronics, and communications.  We have new materials like aluminium lithium, titanium, and carbon fiber.  We have more reliable rockets.  We have lower launch costs (at least in the commercial sector).  We have gone from an economy of 3.3 billion to an economy of over 13 billion.  Yet at least with regard to manned spaceflight we cannot seem to come close to accomplishing what we did 40 years ago.  During Apollo NASA got 4.41% of the federal budget.  Now it gets .6%.     

The fact of the matter is we have not returned to the moon or went beyond LEO because of a lack of resources and technology.  It is a lack of will. 

There are many great reasons to conduct space exploration and to advance space technology, but none of them seem to come close to compelling us as competition and the fear of falling behind.