Thursday, July 25, 2013

future of humans in space and NASA itself at risk -- what can be done

Good afternoon, folks!

A couple of months ago, I was elected to be the new Executive Vice-President of the National Space Society responsible for policy issues.  It has been quite an exhilirating change of pace, a bit like mountain climbing.. with an occasional need for an ice axe.

If you yourself would like to make a difference on the future of humans in space, or of NASA, or of benefits from space, you might want to skip my rambling and jump directly to the official web pages: (a one page position paper)

If these could really get to the right people, and get serious thought, it might be possible to salvage the situation.

The process of getting a group dialogue and consensus on these two things, with VERY extended serious technical input, was... well, again, a bit like mountian climbing. And educational in its own way.

At times I have thought: "The most important people who need to know are Mikulski's staffers. So, since I know a few people (like my daughters) in Maryland, should I  try to go with them to bvisit those folks?"

But there are many other channels. Who knows? My own time is not all that free between 7:30 and 4PM.

At some times in these discussions I have referred to the first of the new Star Trek movies.
I really like the scene which starts with Spock telling Kirk: "Captain, if we follow your plan, the chances of success are only about 5%. Sithout success evefry human on earth will be dead."
Kirk's reply: "Yes, Spock, I agree. If you can think of a plan with a higher probability of success, please tell me right now, before it is too late. But if not, 5% is better than zero, so let's just focus on trying to make this one work."

That's pretty much what logic tells me about the survival of the human species at this point, if all aspects are accounted for.  But beyond that... maybe there could be some kind of collective intelligence effects, such that it's not quite as bad as one would expect form the dice which are now being rolled out in plain view. Maybe, maybe not. It makes sense to try our best in any case.
And always be alert to new opportunities to improve the odds...

Best of luck,


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