New Mexico’s role in the future of space

Today marked the end of the last flight of the Space Shuttle. Many are questioning what the legacy of the Space Shuttle is in American history and in the history of space travel. Some (mostly “national greatness and neoconservatives” are decrying the lack of a US vehicle to deliver astronauts to space.

Me, I think this is an opportunity for both the nation and New Mexico. Certainly, it would be great to rely on private enterprise — or at least contractors — to be more engaged in space exploration as President Obama (of all people) has discussed. Also, New Mexico MAY benefit from this shift. We’ll see.

Needless to say, we’re not big fans of the Spaceport. There is no guarantee that, even if Obama’s vision for space holds and private companies play a greater role in space exploration and transportation, New Mexico’s Spaceport will be used in those activities. After all, there are dozens of spaceports in the US already.

So, I actually think Obama is going to right direction here. We need to shift away from the “big-program” style of governance — whether that be in space or in health care. As to whether New Mexico will ultimately benefit or not from this shift, that is another question. The Spaceport is so speculative at this point that any positive result would seem to be a bonus.

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3 Replies to “New Mexico’s role in the future of space”

  1. Good question Paul, but first, what is the Future of space?

    First, there are many foreign governments operating space programs, and they probably will continue to do so.

    Second, is it the role of NM to have a space program?
    One has to ask: Why? What will it cost the taxpayer? Then, who will benefit?

    Elon Musk has a space business, and several other states, more than five, operate space ports much more advanced than the still unfinished plan near Alamogordo.

    It is now a requirement for the Governor to put forth a program outlining the goals and objectives for the NM Spaceport, and compare the proposed NM program with those for other states so the voters/taxpayers can know the future costs and benefits. X Gov Bill managed to ignore other states programs just as he ignored the reality of his costly ego trip, the Rail Runner.

    We should be thankful that his plans to run it south to El Paso and North to Wyoming failed, just as he did as Governor.

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